Love the sinner ?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Bro. Curtis, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I keep hearing "Hate the sin, love the sinner". It sounds nice. But then I come across...

    "For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man."

    Psalm 5:4-6

    What say ye ?
     
  2. Helen

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    I think there is probably a pretty big difference between one's average neighbor who dings a borrowed lawnmower and a mass murderer! I'm using those two widely disparate examples simply to make the point that what God says He hates are those who practice and approve of what they know is wrong and evil.

    But most people, Christians or not, really do try to do the best they can with their circumstances and, "sinners" or not, need care and appreciation as our neighbors. (I have put 'sinners' in quotes not because some aren't but because of mens' judgments).

    It's pretty rare for the nice neighbor to also be the head of an assassination gang. We hear about such double personalities or such fake lives, but one of the reasons we hear about them is because they are NOT normal or everyday occurrences. Still, just because we might not recognize them, God does know them and their hearts. And He has plainly stated a number of times in the Bible that He hates 'workers of iniquity', or those who actually work at it.

    There is a second side to all this and that lies in the meaning of the word 'love.' Love is NOT an emotion (although many come along for the ride), but a commitment to care and to serve. God has told us to be as commited to helping others as we are to helping ourselves. Suppose you did have someone really nasty living in your neighborhood. Where does the commitment lie? I would say in helping protect the neighbors and others from him. A true worker of iniquity victimizes others, and those others need all the commitment to care and help they can get!

    And, as always, all of this will call for wisdom from God.

    [ November 26, 2002, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  3. Charlie T

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    God is the one who will punish the wicked. It is not our job to make judgement on them, for we do not know who He will call. What if the Apostles had judged Saul and managed to execute him? God has great plans for men, some of whom are quite depraved before He does His work.
     
  4. Johnv

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    If God hates sinners, then we're all hated. "God hates you" is not a biblical concept. Unless you're Rev Johnathan Edwards (see the sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God).

    There was another thread on this. I believe the jist of the thread was that the original Hebrew word for "hate" is that of "dislike", which is emotion-based. The God of the Bible is one of unconditional love (agape) which is a decision based love, not an emotion based love. We, however, tend to think of "hate" as the opposite of love. That would be an incorrect appilication of the verse here. God may dislike someone who's wilfully committing acts of sin, however, he still loves them unconditionally.

    As for us, however, we're told to hate all that is sinful, but we're not told to hate sinners.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    In a very fundamental way, Jesus is our guide to interpretation of this concept. It is very clear from the gospels that Jesus loved those lost in sin -- sometimes the gospels explicitly mention that Jesus "loved" them. Certainly He did not love their sins, but there is no doubt that He loved the sinners. Furthermore the classic text, John 3:16, explicitly states that God loved "the world" (the sinners of the world) that He gave them His Son.

    Anything else stated in the Bible must be filtered through this truth.
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    On what biblical basis do you make this assertion? I think you would have a very hard time providing a biblical basis for it.

    The reality is that God does hate the sinner, just like he says. I find no necessary reason to pretend that it means something else. God hates everything that is not in conformity with his own righteous character. However, because God is infinite, he can hate with all of his hate and love with all of his love the same object at the same time. We as humans cannot do that.

    Thus, there is no necessary contradiction (except for those predisposed to reject the plain and clear meaning of the text). God hates the sinner as he says; God also loves the sinner as he says.
     
  7. RaptureReady

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    God does not hate the sinner :eek: . If He did, He would have never sent His Son to die for us. As stated earlier, "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner," just like John 3:16 says.

    We will always be sinners, it's just that some of us are saved from the lake of fire that without Christ we would be condemned to. Thank God that when He looks at me, He looks at Jesus' blood, not my sin.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    On what biblical basis do you make this assertion?</font>[/QUOTE]:eek: Try reading the gospels. If you miss that Jesus loved sinners, you don't understand the ministry of Jesus... I don't mean to offend, but there's little more I can say about that because it is a clear as it can be to me. If you still don't agree, try showing me a place in the gospels where Jesus condemns any sinners except for the self-righteous religious crowd.
     
  9. Johnv

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    On what biblical basis do you make this assertion?

    BB has a point. The most well-known instructions of Jesus are to love God wholely, to love your neighbors as you love yourself, and to love each other they way he loves us.
     
  10. MissAbbyIFBaptist

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    Well if you aren't saved then you aren't on God's side, so there for you must be....the enemy! When you realize you are a sinner doomed for hell in need of Christ, repent of your sins and ask Christ to save you, then you become His child. His ally. Part of His family.
    Sin is sin, no matter how big or small. God is not pleased with it. After all it killed His Son. But His Son allowed it to kill Him because He loves us. So much that He'd give His life. I really can't coprehend that love, but I do accept it. God does love us all. As He so wonderfuly stated in John 3:16, but rest assured that if you reject Him in this life, then when you die and face Him in eternity, and He is your judge, then will He execute His wrath. God is loving, and merciful, but He's just. He will save and forgive anyone, but if you reject Him, then He WILL judge you, and you WILL go to hell. Not because you sin, because we all sin, but because you refused His Son.
    We, being sinners, but under the blood, must remember that no matter how terrible a sin an unsaved person committs, if it wern't for God's grace, we'd be doing the same. I think the reson we are to hate sin is because of the fact it is the reason Jesus had to die. But we are to love people because we could make those same mistakes had we not been saved. God loves people, and since we strive to be like Christ, shouldn't we love them too?
    I don't know if this helped or not, but here it is.
    ~Abby

    [ November 26, 2002, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: saved by grace 1999 ]
     
  11. Johnv

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    Well if you aren't saved then you aren't on God's side, so there for you must be....the enemy!

    Whether or not you're saved, whether or not you're the enemy, you still have the same capacity to sin. Christians often don't sin any less than non-Christians. And I guarantee there isn't a single person on this board who doesn't sin on a regular basis.
     
  12. Jim1999

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    If a simple statement can gender this much discussion, I would say the statement is without foundation and someone should develop a new one.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    Perhaps I was unclear. You said that everything else in Scripture must be filtered through the truth that Jesus loves sinners. I asked for teh biblical basis for that--the elevation of love as teh cardinal doctrine. The biblical truth that Jesus loves sinners is not under dispute. I don't disagree that Jesus loved sinners. That was not the point. The point that you elevated love above all others with no biblical proof for that. For the record, love is not the fundamental attribute of God. His holiness is as illustrated by numerous passages that elevate holiness above all else. His love is a holy love.

    As for whether or not God hates sinners, you cannot simply ignore the passages that make an explicit statement that affirms it. You must affirm both, or else the statement that God loves sinners becomes equally meaningless. This postmodern/reader reconstruction theory of hermeneutics is unsettling at a mental level and unsafe at a theological level.

    [ November 26, 2002, 09:27 PM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  14. tyndale1946

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    The better question would be... Can you hate sin?... Hate the sin the sinner sinned?...Love the sinner that sinned?... And forgive and forget their sin forever?... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ November 26, 2002, 09:38 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Psalm 5:5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.

    Psalm 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.

    What part of these verses is unclear to you??
     
  16. Johnv

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    See my earlier post on the biblical meaning of "hate". It's not the same as God not loving.
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    See the lexical sources on the biblical meaning of "hate." They are more reliable then someone trying to support a preconceived notiong. Can I quote from some for you?? Thanks. (I have highlighted some parts that you will find interesting.)

    From the Theological Wordbook of the OT:
    From NIDOTTE (Vangemeren):
    From TLOT, Jenni/Westermann:
    So who are we to believe?? You or the Hebrew scholars who have spent a lifetime studying it?? Every lexical works says that hate is the opposite of love. You say it is not. It is true that sn' can have the connotation of dispreference, but that is not the connotation of it when it regards sin and sinners. God does not simply disprefer sin and sinners; he hates them, just like he says.

    I think what you are failing to consider is the infinitude of God. He is not limited as you are. He can love and hate at the same time with all of his love and all of his hatred. God has a constitutional reaction against sin. He cannot tolerate or those who do it.

    I fail to see why this is so disturbing. It is perfectly clear when you read the text and believe that God communicated exactly what he wanted to say.
     
  18. Baptist Believer

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    Perhaps I was unclear. You said that everything else in Scripture must be filtered through the truth that Jesus loves sinners. </font>[/QUOTE]Okay… I see there has been some misunderstanding here. :D

    You are correct that I said those words, but that was not my intended meaning here. What is meant to say was, “Anything else stated about God’s attitude toward sinners must be filtered through this truth” (that is, the truth that ‘God so loved the world’ from John 3:16).

    I see. No, I don’t think that love is the *cardinal* doctrine, but it is certainly one of the main themes of scripture.

    Very good. I was rather surprised by what I thought might be a denial of John 3:16. I sensed that you either misspoke, I misunderstood, or something strange was going on. :D

    Certainly love is a fully integrated part of God’s “Personality” though. (I am uncomfortable with attempts to dissect God’s attributes and examining them as if they are contrary to one another.)

    No, those passages are not ignored, but they are interpreted in light of the overarching truth that God fundamentally loves sinners. Of course, some sinners have hardened themselves so much against God that He gives up on them and they become objects of wrath.

    If you are referring to my hermeneutic that “Jesus is the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted”, then I fundamentally disagree with you and strongly reject your labeling of it as “postmodern/reader reconstruction theory”.

    [ November 27, 2002, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    That's makes more sense, but I am still not sure I am completely comfortable with this because I don't see the necessary contradiction that you seem to see. I think God loves and hates the same object at the same time, since that he what he says he does. I cannot, in good conscience, subject one statement about what God says he does to another. He says he does it; I think we should accept it.

    Back to this "hermeneutic" ... Must be a CBF'er. [​IMG] I have seriously never understood this kind of statemetn. As I have said before, this it is meaningless. Scripture is the only place we know anything about Christ. To interpret Scripture by Christ is to reason in a circle, and in terms of hermeneutics, it is impossible. Language cannot be interpreted by a person in the sense that you say. Language can be interpreted either univocally or equivocally. Once you abandon the univocal nature of language whose meaning is determined by authorial intent, you have entered the realm of subjectivity in its various levels.

    The authors of the gospel wrote with the same inspiration as all the others. There is no scriptural validity to suggesting a "canon within the canon" as this position leads to. Christ himself elevated the words of Moses, of the prophets, and preauthenticated the word of the apostles as if those words had authority as they stand. He assumed (such as in John 5 and many other places) that the meaning of the OT could be determined apart from his ex cathedra pronouncement of meaning. He expected Nicodemus, the Pharisees, and others to have understood and responded to the OT text without his interpretation of it. Yet it seems you would deny this and presume that Christ is the only one that can interpret it.

    Thus, Christ as the criteria of interpretation has no real meaning. It denies the perspecuity of Scripture (by admitting that OT saints could not properly interpret Scripture) and introduces a huge realm of subjectivity (because of the vast majority of Scripture that Christ did not comment on). While it sounds pious, it has no real value in hermeneutical or theological discussions that I have found.

    What sources do you know of that argue for this position? I would be interested in reading someone who has attempted to defend it.

    [ November 27, 2002, 11:02 AM: Message edited by: Pastor Larry ]
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    That's makes more sense, but I am still not sure I am completely comfortable with this because I don't see the necessary contradiction that you seem to see. I think God loves and hates the same object at the same time, since that he what he says he does. I cannot, in good conscience, subject one statement about what God says he does to another. He says he does it; I think we should accept it. </font>[/QUOTE]Fair enough. I don’t think we are actually very far apart in our understanding as it might appear on the surface. I can accept your interpretation. [​IMG]

    Back to this "hermeneutic" ... Must be a CBF'er. [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]Nope. I’m a Texas Baptist (Baptist General Convention of Texas) and this statement is part of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message that Texas Baptists have accepted for nearly 40 years.

    We know of Christ in scripture. We *know* Christ personally. To accept that Christ is the very icon/image/representation of God (see the first chapter of Hebrews – somewhere around verse 3 or 4 – I don’t have my Bible with me here at work) is

    To accept that Christ is the very icon/image/representation of God (see the first chapter of Hebrews – somewhere around verse 3 or 4 – I don’t have my Bible with me here at work) is just good Biblical theology. Since we know that Jesus is divine, we can accept His interpretation of scripture (as revealed in the Gospels) by both word and deed. He stands as Lord of the Old Testament – not contradicting it, but revealing the meaning – He stands as the subject of the New Testament and Lord of the authors who wrote it – they cannot contradict Him. Therefore Jesus is the perfect touchstone of truth for the interpreter.

    I’m not saying that words necessarily mean what they mean, I’m saying that the meaning of the thoughts expressed by the words needs to be interpreted in light of Christ. NOTE: You expressed a hermeneutic of “authorial intent” – how do you know their intent? Sometimes the author gives the focus of a book (Luke and John in their gospels), but often they do not. We don’t even know who wrote Hebrews! You already have quite a bit of subjectivity in your hermeneutic without even considering the personal biases that all of us bring to interpretation! Instead of trying to maintain that there is no subjectivity in our interpretation, we should recognize the problem and very carefully and humbly work as a community to determine the meaning of the text and the will of God.

    Agreed.

    Certainly He did… but He also sometimes “updated” the teaching of the Old Testament. For instance, consider the passage where Jesus clarifies the teaching of Moses on divorce.

    Certainly the teaching of Moses and the teaching of Jesus are compatible, but the teaching of Jesus is the higher authority since He is greater revelation than Moses.

    I never suggested otherwise.

    Not at all. Accepting that “Jesus is the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted” does not mean that other solid principles of interpretation are ignored. Furthermore, we believe that we have the Spirit of God living within us who guides us to all truth. We are certainly not alone in our interpretative task.

    I have no idea where you got this perspective… Who has advocated this?

    Actually I maintain that it is no more subjective than making guesses at “authorial intent”. Where Christ did not comment, we use standard interpretive techniques.

    Maybe you need to look again! :D

    It seems to be fundamental to biblical interpretation for me… I learned it in college (a Texas Baptist school) and in seminary (Southwestern Seminary – a Southern Baptist school) and through my own studies.

    I can probably dig up some information for you.

    Well you just did. [​IMG]

    I’ll have to look for information for you. I’ll try to have something together within the week.

    [ November 27, 2002, 03:15 PM: Message edited by: Baptist Believer ]
     

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