“Brother, we’ve got to hate the sin but love the sinner.”
I don’t know how many times I have heard that statement uttered in church. What I do know is that I am sick of it for several reasons:
1. The statement is never applied to the church bucket-mouth (gossip), glutton, closet-bigot, tight-wad, or trouble maker. In my experience, we almost always use this statement when we are talking about gays or Hollywood or whatever people group we happen to be disagreeing with this week.
2. Most of the people that I have heard use that statement are not friends with ANY non-Christians. All of their friends attend church. Jesus was a friend of sinners. All of your friends are church folks. See the problem?
3. How can you love someone that you are not in a relationship with? Please don’t try to sell me the “I love everybody” line. Your theological, political, and sports ramblings betray you. I’m not buying it.
4. I think we are in love with the idea of loving sinners. However, many of us are not willing to deal with the relational complexities involved in true love. Real love is messy. Godly love is patient. Love hurts AND heals.
So, on this, the day of love, let’s stop the feel-good cliches and start building the real relational bridges that lead to life change.
Find an unlovable person and love them as God in Christ loves you.