3 Reasons “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” Is An Abomination


Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Rarely in history has there been a greater mischaracterization of the heart of Jesus or a more egregious bastardization of the Bible than these six words.

The damage that LTSHTS has done in the lives of billions of people and to the public perception of Christians can never be fully calculated, but one thing is certainly true: it’s an embarrassment and a sin and a total abomination—and here are three reasons why:

1) Jesus never said it. 

Lots of Christians would have us believe that Jesus would be totally onboard with LTSHTS, but the simple truth is that he never prescribed anything like it in Scripture. Jesus was crystal clear in his teachings about our calling to love: God, and our neighbor as ourselves, one another as he loved us, our enemies, sacrificially, extravagantly, relentlessly—but never with caveats or qualifications. He never let anything about a person’s life keep them from intimate fellowship with him (and he was the only one qualified to do so).

LTSHTS supporters will ask rhetorically, “Well doesn’t Jesus preach against sin and therefore hates it? Isn’t hating sin just being obedient to him?” Jesus always spoke to people about their own lives; about the sins they were personally called to address in response to him. Whatever repentance Jesus was inviting people to, it was on their behalf, it was never on behalf of anyone else. His words were never given as license to police someone else’s moral condition, but to use a mirror to assess one’s own. Any behavior modification, any inner conviction, any heart change would be between Jesus and those hearing his words. Only he decides the work he does. We don’t get to play middleman between Christ and another human being. We are assigned the tasks of feeding, healing, and caring for those we cross paths with, in his name.

Unfortunately for those so clinging to LTSHTS, Jesus commands us to love people—period.

2) It’s cowardly and morally inconsistent.

Let’s be honest here. Whenever any Christian uses the phrase LTSHTS, it’s never in the context of anything other than gender identity and sexuality, which itself is an indictment of the words themselves. It isn’t as though these faithful folks spend their entire lives dispensing the kind of behavior-based malevolence that LTSHTS always comes packaged with. It’s not as though they continually scour the Scriptures, applying their theological understandings of sin to those in their midst who might lie or steal or commit adultery or love money or drink to excess. If they truly loved those “sinners” and hated those “sins” enough to treat people as horribly as they treat the LGBTIQ community for the sins they charge them with, they’d have nobody left who could ever stand to be in their presence. LTSHTS is simply an exercise in selective, subjective sin-shaming and targeted discrimination disguised as righteousness.

If you’re a Christian and you’re going to choose to be hateful or biased toward people based on their gender identity and sexuality, you may as well just come out and say it. Own your discomfort or displeasure. Hiding behind LTSHTS is just using Jesus as justification for the kind of behavior he would be quite appalled by. It isn’t Christlikeness, it’s cowardice.

3) It’s a relationship-killer.

At the core of LTSHTS is the argument that gender identity and sexual orientation are somehow choices (an idea that runs counter to everyone’s experience of both, of course, but that’s neither here nor there). The speaker of LTSHTS believes that the person in question is making a decision to do something that the speaker believes is inherently sinful, yet (the speaker claims) they are able to somehow separate a sexual act (which they despise), with the person engaging in said act (whom they supposedly love). I’d really like a practical unpacking of how that all works with actual people, but I doubt it will be forthcoming.

Never mind that gender identity and sexual orientation are for all of us, both far greater than simply any physical acts we perform, and therefore to characterize LGBTIQ people as inherently sinful for only those acts themselves, is completely flawed from both a Biblical and common sense perspective.

But someone’s sin isn’t really the issue here and we don’t even have to agree on that. Regardless of our theological perspective, we can’t ignore that at the heart of Jesus’ life and ministry is the way he drew people close to him, listened to them, touched them, broke bread with them, wept with them, and treated them with dignity, as equals.

When a follower of Christ claims that they LTSHTS, they are saying two things loudly and unquestionably to a LGBTIQ person:

One, that he or she knows that person’s body and heart from a distance, better than the person in question knows from the inside.

And two, that what those people are telling them is involuntary about themselves, they are characterizing as despicable. They are declaring them as inherently defective, vile, evil. I’m not sure those who wield LTSHTS so causally have any real idea how damaging and hurtful that is; what it really speaks to the hearer’s heart. If they did, I’m certain they would see the complete absence of Jesus in it.

To say to a LGBTIQ person, “I love you but I hate your sexuality”, is the same as saying to someone, “I love you, but the color of your eyes disgusts me”, or “I love you, but I hate the way you laugh”, or “I love you, but God believes that the freckles on your shoulders and cheeks are an abomination.”

LTSHTS is not (as its practitioners allege) a balanced phrase, but a hateful phrase; one that never makes a relationship between two parties better or closer or richer, it only severs or prevents the very kind of intimate fellowship Jesus forged, even with those he disagreed with. To utter it is to stand in complete opposition to the life he lived and to the ministry he practiced.

Christian, there are many more reasons why “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” needs to be killed and buried forever, but those are a great start.

The bottom line, is that it is a phrase that injures, demeans, judges, and ostracizes people who are made in the image of God, and those are things that should never be on the agenda of someone claiming to be following in the footsteps of Jesus.

We’re talking here about important conversations, regarding extremely complex issues, with incredibly diverse human beings. These all deserve much more than a cheap, insulting catch-phrase. They deserve far greater effort than a lazy religious platitude which doesn’t work when fleshed out in real relationships and serves no redemptive purpose.

LTSHTS is about as sinful as we can get, friends. 

To never utter that phrase again, may be the very repenting Christians ought to do—but that’s between you and Jesus.

As for me?

I love you, Christian, but I really hate the way you—”love the sinner, hate the sin.”



463 thoughts on “3 Reasons “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” Is An Abomination

    • Here is my reply to this: 1) Jesus never said it (that’s correct), but He did more: He DEMONSTRATED it. 2) When John Pavlovitz says that “whenever ANY Christian uses the phrase LTSHTS” it has to do with gender identity and it’s cowardly, he condescendingly judges us by overreaching, and in the process makes himself the only brave one. Bravo! Speak for yourself John, I am a Christian who uses this phrase in quite a DIFFERENT manner than your narrow thinking suggests. And, 3) If it is a relationship-killer, then Pavlovitz’s relationship with God is thoroughly dead and buried. Bottom line: John, go spend a little time at the foot of the cross — seriously! — and then rewrite your article.

      • I am speaking for myself, David; an 18-year pastor daily committed to following Jesus, and these are my reflections. They are my evaluations of the way Christians misuse these words. I don’t need you to agree with them or approve of them.

        I do find it interesting that you advise me to “spend a little time at the foot of the cross” (which in itself smacks of a pride, superiority, and self-righteousness that you are probably quite unaware of, which is part of the point of the post itself).

        I’m glad that you are able to evaluate my relationship with God from where you’re standing, with almost no reference points. This was the position of the Pharisees as well, and they completely missed God in their midst. You seem to be reflecting the humility, compassion, and decency of Jesus well here. Apparently you’re quite content with your expression of the Gospel.

        I won’t tell you that you should probably spend more time in quiet prayer and self-examination, and less time declaring another stranger’s relationship with God “dead”… I won’t tell you that, because that would be presumptuous, judgmental, and rude.

        • “I’m glad that you are able to evaluate my relationship with God from where you’re standing, with almost no reference points. ”
          Really John? That’s exactly what you are doing with this post. Very hypocritical.

        • If you can’t understand “love the sinner, hate the sin” them I doubt you’ve ever had a new puppy…who ate your favorite whatever.

          I can love that dog 100%, with no reservations. It’s unconditional.

          But I don’t like what he did.

          I hate it.

          Where I would agree with you is that we shouldn’t lead with it. Or relationships shouldn’t be defined by sexuality. We should love everyone.


          But we can’t condone sin. That doesn’t mean “judge them”, deride them, etc.

          But we can’t conform. We can’t try to change the gospel.

          Nor should we let one issue divide us.

          • Kevin hit the nail on the head. Jesus loves the sinner, but even with the woman at the well, he made no mistake that she should turn from the sinful life she was living. I have no hate for anyone, but I cannot agree with immorality no matter the case. It just doesn’t line up with the Word of God.

            • “Immorality” is a vague term. Whose’s values have been offended? Can any human action be deemed “bad”, are there only “bad outcomes” from which to learn.

            • Only He who never sinned had the right to say “Go and sin no more” none of us have that right for “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”
              I think Christians should hate their own sin, and not go around looking at others sin.

          • Seriously? You are comparing LGBT people to a untrained puppy ?? That is condescending, you have just dismissed the humanity of LGBT people.

            Love, romance and sex (regardless of sexual orientation) not at all analogous to a puppy’s poor choice of chew toys.

          • Perfectly put Kevin! Whoever wrote this article, his pen drips with hate, pride and meanness toward Christians with a different opinion than his own , while taking people to task for the very same thing . Aren’t Christians people who should be loved too? #hypocrisy-anyone Jesus most certainly did live by loving the sinner and hating the sin. The woman at the well is just one instance that comes to mind.

        • This statement is from this article, “We don’t get to play middleman between Christ and another human being.” This is in the context of judging others actions as sinful. I would like to know how you get away with claiming that statement while the whole article is you playing middleman between Christ and LTSHTS supporters?

        • Wow…. I feel sorry for your congregation. Your twisted interpretation on the gospels is set in modern agenda thinking. I don’t even know where to begin pointing out your inconsistencies with scripture… prayer… Lots of prayer for you and your congregation!

          • Actually, I found this article to be very well reasoned, thoughtful, and beautifully articulated. I’m not a religious person these days, having had too many negative experiences within churches of the sort that would claim to “love the sinner but hate the sin” and am no longer a church goer. But this person might be the one that would coax me back to a church. I like the way he thinks.

            • I agree Karen. I have said many times that this guy might persuade me if I had any belief in a “God” in the context that religion defines one. I at least appreciate his words of love and support for everyone. It is so refreshing after all of the Christofascists out there damning everyone who doesn’t follow their specific beliefs.

          • Wow! You miss the point and are a reason I prefer to spend my time with God in the woods, rather in a pew on Sunday, with people like you. You criticize a statement and how it is used against others daily, especially those in the LBGTQ community. LOL, the hypocrisy of that view. I have listened to Pastors in the pulpit and “so-called Christians” use the phrase LTSHTS to show their own shallow faith in any God. LTSHTS implies that those who use it against other, in their own piety possess some special divine quality to see sin in others and judge the sinner. God did not divine you or me to be that judge of anyone. God made us in His image and I am sure he loves each and everyone of His creations. I am sure too that we need to put our judgement of others aside and allow our Higher Power to be the one who decides what is the sin of our fellow humans.

        • I thank jesus for pastors like you…
          I’m transgender and you know I can stop doing drugs and having sex …. but for me to change who I am , I can’t do it. Trust me if I had a magic wand … I would of used it and change myself into what Christians tell me I should be …. just to save myself the hurt and heartache.

          • You are beautiful as a transgender person! Please know that Jesus Christ not only loves you unconditionally but accepts and wants relationship with you:)!
            You are loved completely my friend.

          • Liane,
            I WAS a person who had a difficult time understanding people such as yourself. But I thought back about the hatred between Protestants & Catholics, the divide that was created by divorce, the black-white mess, and I came to realize that I must grow my understanding. Wisdom is rarely learned without mistakes. I hope your life gets easier as time goes on…

        • St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”

        • 1. “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1) which is based on the Word; biblical.

          2. Sound doctrine is important because we must ascertain truth in a world of falsehood. “Many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1)

          3. Best way to protect yourself from false prophets is to know the Word. Ask yourself, is what is being taught biblically based?

        • Hello, I realize that the article is 2 years old but I just came across it. I just want to say I have​ a relative who is openly gay .. I love him unconditionally​ .. I do not like that he is gay .. it says in the Bible that it’s wrong to be gay. The question is are people born gay? Because that doesn’t make sense .. god doesn’t make mistakes .. he wouldn’t make you gay then tell you not to be gay .. just seems wrong, don’t​ you think? So speaking as someone who is trying to be a good Christian I really do love my relative but I really wish he would not chose to be gay. It is a choice because God did not make him that way.

          • Hi JC Doucet,
            I just found this article too and have been refraining from commenting on any of it because I will just get all worked-up over things that aren’t important. BUT you have really good questions that I happen to have a ton of information on. I know of a ministry that studies neuroscience to help Christians understand God’s design for our brains, life, the universe, why we have Scripture, etc. Look at this link for a couple of your answers: Start at the time 39:00– “Homosexuality in the Christian World”
            One thing that I learned in Bible study recently– God didn’t “create” you or me. He created Adam and Eve in the image of Himself. Since God can “create”– he made it so His creatures on Earth could procreate (one evidence of being made in His image- the ability to create beings in our image). With that said, do we, born in sin, make mistakes? Of course we do, but we do not have to go down a road of calling people mistakes. THAT is not the point of your question or my answer.

          • I totally understand where you are coming from JC, as I am currently battling this issue with my now 18 year old daughter whom I love very much, as any father would love his only daughter. However, she is choosing to be gay, and tells me that I don’t really love her because I don’t love that she chooses to be gay. I feel that this isn’t something I can do. I mean, if I was a serious alcoholic, and showed up drunk to all of her school activities, I’m sure she would still love me deep down but I am also sure she would not love that I was an alcoholic and support that. So why (in her eyes) is it not right for me to feel the way I do?

            • When a person is lost in sin, they lose sight and purpose of what’s Truth. Instead they are covered in sin, and it’s like a veil being thrown over their eyes so they cannot see. Instead they only see what they choose to see, and what Satan wants them to see. Remember, The further from God we choose to be, the more Satan is allowed in our life. Just like in Job 1:7 The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”

              The phrase “god of this world” (or “god of this age”) indicates that Satan is the major influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of the majority of people. His influence also encompasses the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce. The thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world are under his control and have sprung from his lies and deceptions.

              Satan is also called the “prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2. He is the “ruler of this world” in John 12:31. These titles and many more signify Satan’s capabilities. To say, for example, that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air” is to signify that in some way he rules over the world and the people in it.

              This is not to say that he rules the world completely; God is still sovereign. But it does mean that God, in His infinite wisdom, has allowed Satan to operate in this world within the boundaries God has set for him. When the Bible says Satan has power over the world, we must remember that God has given him domain over unbelievers only. Believers are no longer under the rule of Satan (Colossians 1:13). Unbelievers, on the other hand, are caught “in the snare of the devil” (2 Timothy 2:26), lie in the “power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and are in bondage to Satan (Ephesians 2:2).

              So, when the Bible says that Satan is the “god of this world,” it is not saying that he has ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that Satan rules over the unbelieving world in a specific way. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, the unbeliever follows Satan’s agenda: “The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” Satan’s scheme includes promoting false philosophies in the world—philosophies that blind the unbeliever to the truth of the Gospel. Satan’s philosophies are the fortresses in which people are imprisoned, and they must be set free by Christ.

              An example of one such false philosophy is the belief that man can earn God’s favor by a certain act or acts. In almost every false religion, meriting God’s favor or earning eternal life is a predominant theme. Earning salvation by works, however, is contrary to biblical revelation. Man cannot work to earn God’s favor; eternal life is a free gift (see Ephesians 2:8-9). And that free gift is available through Jesus Christ and Him alone (John 3:16; 14:6). You may ask why mankind does not simply receive the free gift of salvation (John 1:12). The answer is that Satan—the god of this world—has tempted mankind to follow his pride instead. Satan sets the agenda, the unbelieving world follows, and mankind continues to be deceived. It is no wonder that Scripture calls Satan a liar (John 8:44).

          • No people are not born gay, We are born in sin, and some make poor choices throughout all the chaos in this world and without the Word of God being in the homes of those who choose not to follow God’s Word, or fall away from God’s Word for those who choose to leave the presence of God. Living in a World full of sin, not only opens ourselves up for the devil, but ti gives him to an open invitation because we are not protecting ourselves with the Whole Armor of God. (John 10:10 states, And Jesus said, the Thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; But I have come to give you life, and to give it abundantly.) Some people feel that it was not a choice, because they are confused by how Satan has perverted this world, and because they are not followers of Christ, they cannot understand God’s Word on their lifestyle choices. Doesn’t necessarily has to pertain to sexuality, That also includes self, loving, drugs, thieving, drugs, and “whatever you say, do, or don’t do that isn’t pleasing to God.” (Which is sin defined.) We must follow His word and try our best to live out the life that Christ wants us to live. Yes it says We must love, love our neighbors, and treat those who have not, with love and kindness. So no matter who the sinner is, We must still encourage them and advise them of God’s Word, but not condemn them in the process. Only helping them see the Light of God’s Truth.

        • I think people who are ltshts are trying to say that of course all Christians need to love everyone in any situation they are in, but as Christians it says in the Bible it is wrong to have those kind of relationships. We love everyone, but we don’t have to be okay with their lifestyle just like I don’t expect a non Christian to think that my lifestyle doesn’t bother them because I don’t drink alcohol or sleep with people before I am married.

        • I hear the phrase Love the Sinner but Hate the sin a lot, but when I’m told the meaning, It’s used in combination with, Embrace the person in sin, love them as your own neighbor and brother in Christ. Treat them as if Jesus would treat them but it does not mean we have to condone their acts of sin. Teach them what the Word of God says, and allow them to have the opportunity to repent. But We should not treat them with disdain or spite. We should always love with empathy and understanding, compassion and kindness. Patiently working with those who are willing to repent in their sin. But never condemning those who are not willing.

        • Love GOD with all your heart mind body and soul and your neighbors… I do believe in thinking ok hate the sin but love the sinner means give sin a little slack , JESUS came to fulfill prophecy, I am HOLY so you are to be Holy. It seems to imply a scape goat saying, sin cannot be tolerated now if a sinner repents which I seem to do daily then yes God loves me as such it’s semantics which need to be contextual.. I am a chief sinner I get it paul, I would rather testify then imply sin and love are unified, I hate my own sin and sin in others period like the tax man and the Pharisee. humility comes with repentance…peace to all brethren

          • It is the sinner who pulls the trigger on the gun to fire it.not the gun.. G od will not punish the gun he will punish the sinner, and the punish for sin is death. The sinner chooses death, the truly repented chooses life. That person is now a child of God and his love. No unrepentant sinner will enter the gates of heaven. PERIOD!!!

            • Well thank you sharing your wisdom! What was it like meeting God? – since you know so much.

              I suggest you and many think about getting closer to God and Jesus versus the bible. If I asked you what is the story of Jesus about – Would you answer Love? Guessing NOT. Great article John.

      • I think we try our hardest to step into another’s shoes, but it is so hard to walk a mile in them.

        You both have valid points.

      • Thank you!
        Here’s something Jesus DID say, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” – Matt 5:43-48
        This would be IMPOSSIBLE to do without separating the sin from the sinner. Further, as Davis mentioned, Jesus demonstrated it, just look at how He treated the adulterous woman (John 8)
        I am currently using the message of “Hate the sin and love the sinner” to encourage a woman in the church to pray for her ex-husband as they battle for custody over their only daughter. This has NOTHING to do with sexual orientation! Indeed, as David pointed out, your view is quite narrow. While some may use it as an excuse for ignoring other Biblical principles, there are still many who use it for GOOD and to the glory of God!

      • Very well put, David. I also found Pavlovitz views to be narrow and with many overreaching assumptions. I believe what doesn’t sit well is that the phrase LTSHTS identifies people as “sinners” and though Jesus Christ loved the sinner, Mary Magdalene, he instructed her never to sin again. The instruction of abiding in Christ is difficult for all as well as most LGBTIQ people. Sorry but I understand the meaning of LTSHTS and it’s not going to be buried anytime soon.

    • I love the Lord with all my heart and am so happy to be able to add His two cents to this nonsense I just read. Merely being alive as a human being with a sinful nature qualifies us all as sinners. Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are Commanded to turn away from sin. We are all sinners here and this phrase that you have a problem with is an accurate application of the golden rule and is exactly what Jesus wants from us. If you wish to criticize those who hate sin that’s fine and you have a free will and the right to do so. For now! I will love you and obey the Lord.

    • As a non- Christian I find the whole idea of ‘sin’ to be an abomination. Human beings are flawed and make mistakes- that is how life works. People make mistakes, back steps and cause harm to others either intentionally or unintentionally. When mistakes are made, it is the individual who has to deal with the consequences of their choices- which leads to greater wisdom and understanding – i find it incredibly offensive when a Christian feels compelled to point out so called ‘sins’ they believe I have committed. Aside from the 10 commandments, there are countless other ‘sins’ listed in the Bible according to Christians, but when these are pointed out to me- it is apparent that either something was mistranslated or misinterpreted or reinterpreted to fit the beliefs of the Christian or their church. Love the sinner but hate the sin- this is another issue- the use of the word hate as a very describing God or Jesus’s feelings about something- I don’t know how you can claim that a god of pure love can hate anything. Hate is a human construct, which leads to very human actions like violence, war, and punishment of alleged sinners. And unrepentant sinners go to hell? No one has yet pointed out where hell is mentioned in the Bible. It’s like, so god made us, made us flawed- god knows everything so he knows his creations will make mistakes- and he would also know if we were going to be unrepentant – knowing all of this God still created this individual and condemns them to hell. There is too much judgement of others on the part of Christians, and I think very little self reflection. As far as LGBTQ people- didn’t God create them? Science has shown that the brains of homosexual men are structured the same as heterosexual females, due to deficiencies in proteins and hormones during gestation. This is only evident after birth- and cannot as of yet be detected in uterine. So homosexuals are born that way. God made them, and still condemns them? Does God condemn autistic people? People with schizophrenia? Even when they sin and are unrepentant, God doesn’t take into account that their brain chemistry is not the norm? The reasons go on and on as to why I am not a Christian. I am open minded enough to change my view but so far I’ve never met a Christian who made a convincing case, with or without the Bible.

      • Thanks Emily for sharing your thoughts. What I’ve noticed with all the sanctimonious Christians who use the LTSHTS phrase toward LGBTQ people is that they are always heterosexuals. How easy to point the finger at a “sin” you’re unlikely to ever commit. Here’s a short letter phrase for them. FU. Not Christian. Don’t love you. Don’t need to. All these letters debating other people’s sins are just wretch worthy.
        John is a great guy, just because he is. Maybe someday he’ll realize that it has nothing to do with following an ancient diety dreamed up by a tribe of primative sheep herders, and that the Old Testament child-abusing god these people worship is not worthy of him. Remember that Jesus is this god. According to Christian belief, they are one and the same, along with the holy spirit. Maybe a good question these people should ask themselves is why they need to believe this stuff. Study the history of Christianity and free your minds.

      • Kind of a broad brush… Christians point out your sin? You actually mean individual people do it that identify as Christian. No one speaks for the group as a whole.

        For instance, unless you are sinning by breaking a law, I would never call out the sin of some stranger, or even someone I know casually. Even a dear friend or family member would have a conversation more akin to “I have noticed you are drinking a lot and now lost your job because of it. How can I help you get into rehab?” That type of conversation has been employed twice in my life-one about addiction and one distancing an inappropriate person from my children. (This person exposed themselves to someone) I’m not here to micromanage anyone’s life. I have enough trouble with my own. That is true of most all of my even very conservative friends/family.

      • People tend to think that Jesus Christ is only the Prince of Peace; but, He is so much more. He is our Salvation and He will come in Judgement of all. You are right in that sin is an abomination; because, it ruins our relationship with God. People refuse to accept Christianity or the acknowledgement that sin exist for fear their sins will be exposed.
        People make conscious decisions to sin and in the process harm others severely. Your comment, “individual who has to deal with the consequences of their choices- which leads to greater wisdom and understanding” excludes the reality that others are harmed. Which leaves me asking, If an offender intentionally harmed a victim, the consequence is sin and the reality is that the offender needs to atone for the harm that was caused. Justice is a huge validation for victims. Personally, I could care less if someone gains wisdom and understanding especially if my family or I am harmed. What I care about is justice.

      • I am a Christian and your response is amazing. It’s such an uphill battle to help people understand where Christianity took a judgemental turn and how to reconcile that and heal. Of course, God takes our brain chemistry into account — THANK YOU!!! Common sense goes a long way. I commend you for not believing in this nasty portrayal of God– I wouldn’t either. Recently I have found Science and Scripture harmonize… it’s incredible and a truth pronouncement of God’s love and true intention of our design. This psychiatrist talks about the science of being born gay, etc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUil2aQR6QY&index=3&list=PLhkYwZQsOYN2t2GzZK7UNFEToZfbs0UiC

      • God didn’t create flawed humans though, not at all! He created man in HIS image, and then from man, HE created Eve, to be near him and as his companion.
        The fall from grace was the original sin.
        From there, if you choose to use flawed genetics all around, as in homosexuality, autism, Down’s Syndrome, those born with mental health issues etc, then that is a flawed argument. So, residual genes and mishaps in nature are still all of that, flaws in nature but they are not ever from a FLAWED CREATOR.
        God is not capable of making mistakes, he’s omnipotent, and his vastness is infinite and his love is Perfect; however,
        We aren’t capable of understanding the infinite with our own finite minds.
        Somethings we have to accept in life, because we can not ever understand them. Like the air around us being used to describe God’s existence to young children.
        Seems that you eschew being labeled as a Christian, because of what uncertainty, I do not know or need to know, but you hold to the Ten Commandments? As I read your viewpoint on being a Christian, I think I see someone who loves others but hasn’t found a way to say that, in terms of aligning your self with a faith-based organization because of faults in that very organization. As for Christians and faults and sins, the best and easiest thing I can cover is THAT is WHY there are so many of us in the pews! We recognize our own sins, and want to be in a right relationship with others.
        We should ALL hate sin, because anything that separates us from the love of God, is to our own disadvantage. Why? Because we are commanded to love God, above all else.
        Being a Christian is not easy, nor is it anything in life to be feared or ashamed of owning.
        With regards to the issue of the other sexual stuff, it’s all just one more weakness we have to turn into a strength by exercising self-control. There are plenty of gays in the churches! Trust that! All gays can be gay and not act on their gay nature! That’s the really important part to understand here! Believe you me, not having sex can be accomplished just fine. Apostle Paul said it best, “not all can be like me,” and what he meant was that not all can be a man who is celibate, and lives his whole life for God, so therefore, that is why marriage was encouraged, so that the rest of us who would be sexual and want to have sex, can fulfill that desire, and then dedicate ourselves to the service and spirit of God. Sex is definitely allowed in the scriptures. Read up in Corinthians.
        I know people who are gay, and if the subject comes up, I just gently remind them of what God and Jesus say, and I certainly would not hate them. Hating sin is acceptable, and there are different kinds of sin. Christians are supposed to hold themselves and others accountable. If I do not hold you accountable than I am responsible for you. We go in twos in life. In this way, I am my brother’s keeper. I can not be held accountable for you and your sins on the day of judgement, nor you for me, but I do have a responsibility to help you walk towards God and hopefully, accept Jesus.
        You may want to read up on the differences between mortal and venial sin.
        Again, loving others is both easy and not so easy. I can tell you this: Heaven is real. Hell is real. Everything I have written is supported by Scripture but you gotta wanna know it and go there.. to understand it and it’s not my job. It’s not boring or hard, but you will be challenged!! Better to be challenged by what God said and Jesus said, rather than live with what mere mortals know and understand.. I would rather do anything in my power to help anyone who comes to me, to atone for their sins now, because I do not want either of us to fall short of the Glory of God when we die. I would say this to you, a perfect stranger and I would say it to my other oriented loved ones. It’s simply not good enough to do right, and be a good person, whilst committing sin on a regular basis. Again, read up on the two kinds of sin, to get a comparison.
        That’s why, in my opinion, it is so important to help others understand that silly htslts statement. When you weep at the Easter service reinactment and fully understand what the Agony on the Cross is all about, you, too, will understand.
        “The Agony on the Cross, ” by Dr Mark Eastmen, is incredible. Here’s a link and PEACE!! to you.. http://www.khouse.org/articles/1998/113/

      • Hi Emily –FYI: Hell is called Gehenna 11 times by Jesus.
        God did create all us humans, and all of us come with flaws. Some emotional, some physical, some mental (meaning how our brain functions). God knows our human choices in advance, our spiritual soul is another story (and it is our soul that is created in God’s image) We are held accountable to God by our conscience decisions.
        So I agree that traits like being gay are born into some, just like having a non-functioning leg. God doesn’t condemn people who make mistakes- but those who knowingly reject His teachings is quite different. For example, if I knowingly harm another person (Commandment #6 which does go beyond just killing someone), and do not repent, then I am subject to God’s judgement, which may.. or may not be condemnation- it is His decision only.
        People with schizophrenia or autism are held to different standards due to the inability to knowingly commit a sin. (and God can see into that person’s heart) Further, people with disabilities play a very important role: they are here not only to teach those who are blessed with good fortune, but also to show God if us Christians are indeed practicing the teachings of Jesus.
        Any person who judges another has sinned- full stop.
        All Humans are flawed- even religious leaders; God is not.

        It is relatively easy to prove that God’s word is contained in the Bible. I’d be happy to show you outside of this post.

  1. I use the same concept with those practicing usury. And anger, such as the anger you show for your fellow Christians. The first victim of any sin is the sinner themselves, all the more so when they claim what they are doing is not sinful. Pastor, heal thyself first. Your hatred of traditional families, and the persecution you heap upon heterosexuals, is downright frightening, but much to be expected from somebody who thinks that the only worthwhile form of human love is homosexuality.

    • I am I guess in what you would describe as a traditional family. Husband wife and three children. I did not feel any hatred or persecution towards me in this article. I am confused as to how another couple’s loving relationship hurts mine. Perhaps you are saying if I Don’t get my own way I am being persecuted. Whatever it is you are the one who needs healing and not the writer of this article.

      • You are right it does not directly affect you, the problem is that it creates a slippery slope. I don’t really have any care about what someone else does or how they live. However, the problem is that when the agenda gets pushed into your schools, homes and so on. What I mean by that, is alternative ways of having relationships and therefore sex. The agenda is to teach sexual education and relationships to children as a part of norm which is problematic on so many levels. I would assume that you are married and have children, correct? Well get ready for the storybooks that show two princes or two queens and lessons how same sex practices are as normal. This is going to be disguised as acceptance. Do you want to have these types of conversations with your family?

        • I actually think it’s good to have the conversation with my family. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have truthful, honest conversation with children – using age appropriate language so that they understand.

          If your family were at an amusement park and you all saw 2 same sex people holding hands and your child asked about it – what would you say?

          I don’t think anyone is ‘pushing an agenda’ in schools. Schools are trying to de-stigmatize a fact of life for some of their students by educating everyone on the forms of love that are real in this world. It’s an effort to stem the tide of depression and suicide in those who are ‘different’. Or would you rather those kids just kill themselves so we don’t have to have uncomfortable conversations with our kids?

          • Wow! if you think schools ‘Don’t push their agendas’, then you must live in a very special place.
            The sad fact is that schools have lost their balance to ‘what is the newest tend’ and throwing away ‘lessons learned’
            too many times in our society today, respect for both sides has been replaced with :if you don’t agree , you must be a bigot’

    • There’s nothing worse than a Christian who takes it upon themselves to judge others, rather than listening to Jesus.

      “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is just another way to say “If I can’t judge the person, I’ll judge the action”. Doesn’t make it anymore Christian.

      • Really Guy? You can’t point out the fact that someone is doing something wrong? That is not judging.

        Luke 17:3 – “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”
        Matt 18:15 – “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

        Calling out someone’s obvious sin is not judging. It is biblically ascribed. If I know a friend of mine is making devastating choices (using illegal drugs, cheating on his wife, etc.) then, out of concern for him and others, I have a responsibility to point out his sin (rebuke him) and try to get him to turn from it. To ignore that is cowardly. You have to get off the fence Guy, Rev 3:16. – please look it up.

        • Thank you SoulFeeder! Absolutely correct.

          All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)

          This article was written by someone who expects Christians to not only be kind to homosexuals and sodomites, as we should, but to ACCEPT homosexuality and sodomy, despite what is clearly written in the Bible.

        • This is why I don’t frequently associate with Christians, although I once was. I’m gay. I won’t go into the myriad reasons I deserve your respect or acceptance because I’ve learned how little it matters when convicted of a sin that so many Christians are obsessed with. I read The Bible and take much from it; universal love, respect, kindness, justice and value. Sadly, for me, I see so little of this mirrored in Christianity.
          I know I will be labeled as some form of hypocrite. But let me be clear, I don’t hate Christians; I fear you as a sheep fears wolves and I’m disappointed in you as I am with those that have such promise but so little resolve.

          • As Christians we are not supposed to accept the things that are contrary to God’s laws. Yes, we CAN love someone who is willfully doing acts that are contrary to his will, yet show that God does not approve. The Bible teaches against “unnatural affection” and “sodomy”. “You shall not lie with mankind as you would with womankind. It is an abomination before the Lord.” Now we can pretend these passages from the Bible don’t exist in order to be politically correct and not offend anyone, but in doing so, the Christian could be in danger of accepting the willful acts of a person who is in rebellion against God. Don’t blame the Christian. Jesus himself stepped on many toes. That’s why he was crucified.

          • When you say”Christians” it might be better to say “some Christians.” Just as when some person talks about “homosexuals” and a certain problem, they should say ” some homosexuals.”

            • True!!!!! No one speaks for the whole of any group. That is my issue with this article.

              I use the maligned phrase in this article as do many I know. However I have never used it in the context of the article -never pertaining to the LGBT… community. In fact, I have never used it “at” a person. I have never said “I love you but hate your sin”. I have used it when talking about certain sutuations.

        • What sin? How do you know, if it’s so obvious? The fact is, you have no idea whatsoEVER how individual LGBTQ people live their lives.

          Take myself as an example. I am a virgin. In this contest, talking about the LGBTQ community and my supposedly “sexual sin” (which would kind of be impossible, wouldn’t it, as virgins haven’t had sex yet).

          So name my sin, I dare you.

          Also, I’ll point you to Romans 2:1-4

          You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4. Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    • I don’t know how you gleaned all that from this blog. Acceptance of homosexuals doesn’t equal hatred of heterosexuals. It’s not a zero sum game. There’s plenty of love for everyone.

      • @soulfeeder777 Apparently, according to the “enlightened” people on this site, it’s no use quoting Bible verses, because to them the Bible isn’t worth the paper it is written on. And, to me, if the Bible isn’t true, and the writers of the Bible didn’t mean what they wrote, and they were not inspired by the Holy Spirit as Jesus said they would be, then everything in it is false, and there is no God and there was no Jesus (look it up on archaeology websites. There’s absolutely no evidence he ever existed in extra-Biblical historic records) and nothing in it is relevent to today’s problems. So, there is no need fro Christianity, and there’s no need for the Bible and there’s no need for pastors like JohnDPav. We all have a moral compass regardless of our belief or lack thereof. He and his sycophants are just blowing smoke at this point. None of it matters. We can all do whatever we want to do, regardless of whether some think it’s a sin or not. We don’t need to believe in a god to be saved. The whole being saved by the Holy Spirit things is pointless. It’s all irrelevent.

        • The ancient historian, Josephus, wrote about Jesus Christ. His record is extra-biblical.

          It is good to be extra careful not to pass judgement on truth of this kind of significance relying entirely on scholarship. Especially when that scholarship is at best incomplete. There is an important spiritual means for seeking spiritual truth which is just as important as the scientific method is in seeking scientific truth. And true science and true religion always agree.

        • it is way too easy to refute your comments, Terry. However, Jesus tells us what to do when it comes to people such as yourself. It’s not hate, and its not ‘proving I’m right and you’re wrong’…..

    • To say that “love the sinner, hate the sin” is only used to refer to the author’s group is wrong. If you’re a sinner (and we all are) you should be glad for it. You can love yourself and others and at the same time be aware that a behavior is not in line with God’s will.

    • Wow thats a bit over the top – which is the problem with most (so called Christian) responses to these sorts of articles. Where is his ‘hatred of traditional families’ and ‘persecution of heterosexuals’? Where does he say the “only worthwhile form of human love is homosexuality”?

  2. Your statement as put forth in point #2 of your post… “Whenever any Christian uses the phrase LTSHTS, it’s never in the context of anything other than gender identity and sexuality, which itself is an indictment of the term.” Does not ring true to me. I know many Christians who use the phrase LTSHTS outside of the context of gender identity and sexuality.

    • She is right on that point John. Before you were even born, I heard pastors using the LTSHTS with other sins and just sin in general. However, within the context of your own blog, I have noticed that gender identity and sexuality seem to be the focal point of this famous saying from commenters. That is probably what you meant to say.

      • Then you have been very preoccupied with gender/sexuality issues to the exclusion of others. Perhaps this is due to the fact that over the past few years, society has forced Christians to face gender/sexuality issues more than ever before.

      • I not a pastor and have used/heard it used to refer to all types of sin-from when I was young till now. I think that was the point of one of my previous comments. Even though you are a pastor, you don’t speak for me. Im not saying you said you did. but I have found a lot of generalization In The article and comments. Some Christians… some in the LGBT… community…said or thought or experienced would be more appropriate.

    • I agree. I find it disturbing that the author references scripture about love, but ignores the scriptures regarding homosexuality. He needs to read the following and then talk about how God feels about homosexuality: Genesis 19:1-11, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:18-32, 1st Corinthians 6:9-11, 1st Timothy 1:8-10 and Jude 1:7. God does not reference each possible sin in the bible, but some are specifically referenced and homosexuality is one of them. I am a firm believer that it is a spiritual influence that only God can deliver someone from. It’s a cowardly spirit that attached to children as well as adults, in order to give the illusion of being “born that way”. Do your research on spiritual warfare and the spiritual causes for homosexuality. It’s very interesting. I hope the above scriptures will open the eyes of some who are suffering from this lying spirit and will turn to the Lord for complete deliverance and healing. Love the sinner hate the sin applies to anyone who has sin in their life, and we all do. If you’re going to reference God’s word, then you must take it all…not only what makes you feel better about your own sin. Love in Christ.

      • Wow, everyone, hear this lady, Shannon Lees. She’s the expert on homesexuality it seems. She knows all 7 of the clobber Scriptures, but nothing about the original languages of the Bible and that the word “homosexual” was never there in the original languages. So she has added all her theories and opinions from her prejudice and wants us to believe her. Shannon, you really show your typical Christian prejudice and ignorance and don’t do your study of the Bible to show yourself approved. How can anyone take you seriously?

        • Shannon provides you with direct passages from Scripture, and yet you call her prejudiced and ignorant”. The words “sodomy” and “sodomite” are used liberally throughout the Authorized King James Bible, and the verses provided above are quite clear. When will gay enthusiasts stop expecting Christians to disregard what is clearly written in God’s word?

      • Jem, Shannon is exactly correct in what she has said here. These are not clobber verses; they are simply passages where God, through his inspired writers, has indicated declared homosexual acts to be sinful. It is incorrect to say that the word homosexual does not occur in the biblical languages; other words are used, which some modern translations render as “homosexual”; and the acts described in these passages are definitely homosexual acts. She can be taken seriously because there are, indeed, a whole host of biblical scholars on both sides of the debate, both pro homosexual acts and anti homosexual acts, who admit that the biblical texts universally and unequivocally denominate homosexual acts as sinful and analogous to idolatry. These passages have to be taken into account.

        • As you so rightly point out, there are strong arguments both for and against the question of Biblical condemnation of homosexuality, but you choose to support the one side, I the other. The definitions and the use of words is very questionable, as is the context. Modern translators, because of the trend of the church in their day, chose to translate an obscure word which experts are unable to define with any accuracy, as “homosexual”. It was a huge leap in the dark to do so, and has called untold damage and grief and misery to many god-fearing souls.

          • Jem, thanks for your comments here. Of course, we disagree. But let me clarify a bit what I said earlier. Two of the most reputable scholars who have written tons of material on this issue are Robert Gagnon and William Loader. Gagnon is against same-sex relationships, and Loader is in favor of them. Yet, both these men are agreed, that as far as the biblical material is concerned, the Bible is completely and unequivocally against homosexual acts. And they both recognize that in the contextual background of the day, in ancient Greece and Rome, there were a variety of same-sex relationships, including long-term, committed relationships between men whose orientation was homosexual and were not heterosexual. Paul, in Romans 1, is not making any differentiation here. As a first-century Jew, there is absolutely no way he would have condoned homosexual acts in any possible arrangement. The act itself was an abomination and sinful in God’s eyes, and there were no circumstances in which they would have been condoned. Additionally, in Romans 1, Paul spends so much of his discussion focusing on the homosexual act because he considers it analogous to idolatry. Further, Paul considers a society given over to homosexuality to be evidence of God’s righteous judgment against that society.

            One more thing, some of the translations which uses the word “homosexual” are the NIV, ESV, NLT, and the NET Bible. Other translations, such as the NRSV, use the word “sodomite.” Some of these translations are more evangelically-oriented; but others are more mainline. But they basically agree with what the words mean. They translate this way, not on account of pressure from church groups, but because their translation committees are made up of Greek scholars who recognize that this is what the various words mean. I hope this helps.

            • “Paul, in Romans 1, is not making any differentiation here. As a first-century Jew, there is absolutely no way he would have condoned homosexual acts in any possible arrangement. THE ACT ITSELF was an abomination and sinful in God’s eyes, and there were no circumstances in which they would have been condoned.”

              Please explain what “the act itself” refers to? Is it gay sex? Is it a person’s attraction to someone of the same sex? Is it their desire to find companionship, love, affection there? Is desiring someone of the same sex an abomination? or kissing?

              Does God hate the gender identity or sexual orientation of an LGBT person, or does God just hate the sex act? If the former, what can they do about it? If that latter, how do you determine that from this verse?

              Paul really doesn’t speak to these nuances or complexities in any meaningful matter, because he isn’t speaking about gender identity or sexual orientation here. This is where your use of the Scriptures is rather lazy and irresponsible. Just because you can quote it, doesn’t mean it means what you would like it to.

              I would like to hear your understanding of how this verse applies to actual people, their gender identity, and the sexual orientation, not just what they do in bed.

              • One of the major problems you have here, John, is that are continually making assumptions about the people with whom you are conversing. On the one hand, you say that my use of Scripture is “lazy and irresponsible.” But actually, quite a lot of study has gone into this. There are major monographs on this topic, as I mentioned above, by Gagnon and Loader and a host of others. Additionally, scholarly commentaries on Romans by people like Douglas Moo, C. E. B. Cranfield, N.T. Wright, and a host of others treat this passage and topic extensively, and they are convinced that Paul is addressing the homosexual acts in their entirety, and was fully aware of a variety of possible scenarios, including that of those whose orientation was homosexual and were involved in long-term committed relationships. Indeed, this is well-documented from the literature of the time period. You, on the other hand have not discussed any Scripture: that is what falls under the category of lazy and irresponsible.

                How does this apply to real people? The same way it applies to all real people. We all have an orientation and bent toward sin; and sin is what Jesus came to save us from. And it is our responsibility to count ourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

                “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” (Rom 6:11-13)

                • But, as Johndpav says, these scholars are not Jesus or God? Why would their opinions (and that is what they are) have any more weight than the rest of us? That is simply THEIR interpretation.

                • If this is what it is like to worship Christ with you, I want no part of it. Where is the love in all this Scripture bashing? You are evidencing exactly what John is criticizing in LTSHTS. It’s an insanity to want to wash everybody and scrub them clean because you think that’s what you are required to do. Only He can do that, and he surely doesn’t do it by quoting Scripture endlessly. Thank God!

                  • Jem, I and millions of other Christians do exactly what John says can’t be done. We love sinners, because God in Christ Jesus first loved us. We show mercy, because God showed mercy to us. We speak the truth in love, because that is what God has done with us. Also, God sent people into our lives speaking the truth in love. And by God’s Spirit, we were convicted of our sins, and repented. But to say that you love someone, but are not willing to call attention to sinful things in which they are engaged — well, that is not love; that is hate. To let someone continue on the path toward destruction and not talk to them and try to stop them–that is an incredible act of hatred.

                    • John, homosexual acts are specifically referred to in three lists in the New Testaments. They are mentioned in Romans 1 along with such sins as idolatry, murder, slander, malice, and inventing ways to do evil. They are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6 along with idolatry, murder, theft, drunkenness, slander, and swindling. They are mentioned in 1 Timothy 1 along with slave trading, murder, and sexual immorality. So, here’s my question for you. Can you have true fellowship and community with murderers, thieves, drunkards, and slave traders who are completely unrepentant of these acts?

                      For those Christians who refer to themselves as LGBTQ, and who recognize that these practices are regarded by Scripture as sinful, and are trying to overcome them, yes, I can truly fellowship and have community with them, even as I hope they can with me as I deal with my temptations, faults, and failures. Indeed, I would no have problem having one of these Christians as an elder or pastor in my church. But for those who refer to themselves and Christians and as LGBTQ, but are unrepentant, then no–I will still love them, try to befriend them, and do everything I can to help them. But this would not be the same as fellowship and true community. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

                    • Why you insist on reading the translations that put the word “homosexual” in I don’t know. It was not in existence at the time of the original writings, and the definition of the original word is anything but clear, but more probably refers to sexual abuse, and not to homosexuality which is simply attraction to the same gender and has nothing to do with abuse.

                    • Jem, the reason why I refer to translations that use the term “homosexual” is that these are very good and standard translations. Take 1 Timothy 1:10, for example. For the Greek word (arsenokoites), the more recent NIV (2011), ESV, NASB, NET, NJB, LEB, HCSB, and NLT, all translate as “homosexual.” These translations represent a range of confessional groups, including both Catholics and Protestants, primarily evangelical ones. Other translations, such as the NRSV, a more mainline translation, uses the term, “sodomite.” Other translations are “perverts” (older NIV); “them that defile themselves with mankind” (KJV), and “those who have sexual relations with people of the same sex” (NCV). Why do I insist on reading these translations? Because they are the standard translations! And these translations are made by translation committees comprised of very fine Hebrew and Greek scholars. You would be very hard pressed to find a translation that says anything different.

                      The term “homosexual” was first coined back in the 1880s. It simply referred to those engaged in same-sex sexual acts. It makes no sense to object to the use of this term in English Bibles. Languages coin new words all the time, and these words can definitely refer to already existent practices. “Homosexual” is simply a coined term to describe sexual acts between persons of the same sex–at any stage in the history of humankind.

                      And contrary to what you say, the meaning of this term (arsenokoites) is quite clear. It simply refers to someone who is engaged in same-sex sexual act or practice. There is no hint here, either in the word’s definition or usage, that it refers to coercion or abuse. This understanding has, in modern times, been suggested as a way of trying to avoid the clear meaning of the biblical texts, but these are really desperate attempts to redefine the term. The word itself, as wells as its usage, is quite clear. There is no hint in any of the biblical texts which proscribe same-sex activity that coercion was the problem. Rather, the problem is the unnaturalness of the act itself. Indeed, in Romans, the very mutuality of the act is emphasized. And I have given evidence of the fact that same-sex relationships which were both committed and long-term were certainly known in ancient Greece and Rome. These relationships are the ones condemned in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy 1.

                      The evidence is really quite overwhelming.

                    • Do you personally know anyone who is homosexual? Do you know the pain and the struggle? Do you know how much some have prayed (without answer) for deliverance, believing as you do that it was a sin denounced by the Bible? You are so keen to beat one over the head with what you believe, but it is so tragically heartless and has no love in it. It is the reason why I have concluded that there is something wrong with the translations (no matter how hard you try to convince me otherwise). And I also have to say I come to such conclusion, not quickly (my whole life struggling with this), nor lightly, but after much deep anguish of the soul and much wrestling in the spirit. I’m not sure whether you can grasp this or understand it. My faith has become strong enough to resist your beating, but I do know for others that faith has been lost as a result of the impossible battle to overcome homosexual attraction. And for some that loss of faith has ended in a loss of life as a result of loss of hope.

                    • Hi Jem. Yes, I do know and have homosexual friends. I do not beat them over the head with Scripture. And the reason for that is that they are too honest and have too much integrity to believe that they have the right to interpret Scripture the way they want to. They know that to interpret Scripture according to what one hopes it says is not the same thing as interpreting Scripture according to what it actually says. I socialize with them, dine with them, and pray with them. And they know that I love them. Some of them have struggled with their homosexuality, and can testify that they have no longer have homosexual desires. Others have not been able to come to this point, but they have decided to be celibate. But you place yourself on very perilous ground when you interpret Scripture along the lines of what you wish it would say. It is much better to be honest with the text.

                    • I am being as honest as I can with the Scripture, but I do not accept the more recent translations that labour this “homosexual” issue, since it wasn’t there in the original languages. But you seem to ignore that and accept that these “modern” (last couple of hundred years) translations must be correct and accurate. Why do you insist on that? Is it just because they are called the Holy Bible or something like that? Have you yourself bothered to do any research into the original word/s used that are now translated “homosexual”? I’m very glad you have some gay friends though I do feel sorry for them as you no doubt never miss an opportunity to bully them with the Scriptures that you so avidly follow.

                      I also do not believe that your friend has overcome his desire for same sex. He might have subdued it. That’s not the same thing. And if he has “overcome” it then it was probably never there in reality. Some people think they are gay because they were abused as a child, but in fact they are not; or perhaps he is bisexual. More recent research of students at college level seems to be indicating that very few of are completely gay or completely heterosexual. The vast majority slot into the mixed group and can vary from very little of one or the other to much of one or the other. Though I guess you reject this too.

                    • Jem, as I have already detailed for you, the term “homosexual” was already there in the original language. That is what the Greek term arsenokoites (ἀρσενοκοίτης) means. And, yes, I have done the research. The standard Greek lexicons (Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker; Liddell, Scott, and Jones; and Louw and Nida) confirm this. And that is why all the English translations of the last several centuries translate it this way. And I insist on that because the evidence is overwhelming, and there is no real credible evidence to the contrary. The translators who have worked on these translations are Hebrew and Greek scholars who have done their work diligently and as objectively as possible. If you have real evidence to the contrary, then you should present it. But to simply dismiss all this evidence with a wave of your hand is not being honest with the evidence.

                    • in response to jshepherd53:
                      Jem, I and millions of other Christians do exactly what John says can’t be done. We love sinners, because God in Christ Jesus first loved us. We show mercy, because God showed mercy to us. We speak the truth in love, because that is what God has done with us. Also, God sent people into […]

                      You wrote:
                      I’m guessing this doesn’t include real fellowship and community with LGBT people.


                      John, the point is to be able to have fellowship with those folks throughout eternity. That has to be done in terms of G-d’s word, not your (or my) opinion. Repeatedly, you have responded to Scripture with some variation of “Well, that’s your opinion.” You present some version of a warm-n-fuzzy who just loves everybody and dismisses sin off the cuff.

                      The problem is that the Jesus you describe IS NOT the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus is part of the Trinity of G-d, the “Echad” (unity) of the Shema (Deut 6) and the Elohim of Genesis 1:1. He is one Person of the Creator-G-d. He is also (see Jude) part of the Echad, of the JHWH who destroyed Pharaoh’s Egypt. He is described in Jude as both Kurios and Despotes. He is worthy of honor and fear. Just ask Ananias and Sapphira. Wait, you can’t do that. He struck them dead. I don’t think you really realize Whom you’re messing with. We don’t have 3 different gods running off in different directions doing their own things … an OT “Smiter-god”, a NT “Patsy-god” and a dotty spirit-god who spends his days giving people flaming tongues. We serve the JHWH Who created the worlds, Who spoke to His people, Who means every bit of what He said (heaven and earth shall pass away but not one jot or tittle …) and Who will, in the last days, judge the quick and the dead by the standard of His own righteousness.

                      There’s a meme that floats around the internet, perhaps you’ve seen it?
                      Q: WWJD?
                      A: I don’t know, but it might involve whips and overturned tables.

                      What idol do you serve? The god you describe is NOT the one of the Scriptures.

                    • That’s where you just don’t get it because your so-called love never comes across as love at all. That’s why it is not possible to tell someone you hate their sin but you love them. It’s a contradiction in so many ways. You become more concerned with the sin than with the person. That’s not love.

                    • Jem, that’s where you just don’t get it, because this love does in fact come across as love; and millions of people have come to faith in Christ because some Christian was willing to love them enough to not let them go on in their sin. Your false idea of love goes against both Scripture and history.

              • N. T. Wright:

                “As a classicist, I have to say that when I read Plato’s Symposium, or when I read the accounts from the early Roman empire of the practice of homosexuality, then it seems to me they knew just as much about it as we do. In particular, a point which is often missed, they knew a great deal about what people today would regard as longer-term, reasonably stable relations between two people of the same gender. This is not a modern invention, it’s already there in Plato. The idea that in Paul’s today it was always a matter of exploitation of younger men by older men or whatever … of course there was plenty of that then, as there is today, but it was by no means the only thing.”

            • Not really. I am not convinced. You can choose the so called scholars you want to choose to “prove” your point but it doesn’t do anything other than say that they of that opinion. I think you need to research the word all these Bibles have translated as “homosexual” or “sodomite” and you will find that Paul uses a very obscure word that it is impossible to trace its meaning and validity with any accuracy. Also you are not able to speak for Paul nor for Jews of the time – did you live then? Were you there? Whoever you take as the authority of the day is again an opinion, not proof. Sodomite is another complete misnomer for homosexual too since the sin of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality. Even the Bible itself won’t support that one. Do the research.

              • Sodom and Gomohra had nothing to do with homosexuality? In Genesis 19 (and yes I’m quoting scripture) is says, “3 But he (Lot) insisted so strongly that they (the two angels) did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” It is apparent there was a huge problem with homosexuality and that Lot saw it as being wrong. I never understood, however, how he could offer up his two daughters instead. But, the fact remains. This is from the NIV, by the way.

                • It was intended rape of men by men. I don’t classify that as homosexual, or rather gay intercourse or relationship. It was raper that was designed to humiliate and degrade, and it was (and still is in some places) done by a conqueror to his enemy as the highest form of insult. By all means classify this as sodomy, but don’t call gay love sodomy. The two things are as different as chalk and cheese.

                  Elsewhere in the Bible where it talks of the sin of Sodom there is no mention at all of this attempted rape, but the sin is to do with how you fail to treat others with respect, and kindness, and concern. That is why I consider the modern term “sodomy” to describe male to male intercourse a total misnomer. Just my opinion.

                  • Jem, you are correct here in what you affirm, but you are wrong in what you deny. Sodom and Gomorrah sinned on multiple levels. You are correct in calling attention to the sin of rape and lack of hospitality. But you are incorrect in claiming that the homosexual perversion of their acts is not referred to in the rest of Scripture.

                    Ezekiel 16:46-58 specifically refers to what Sodom did as “lewdness” and an “abomination.” Remember that Ezekiel was a priest. And a huge background for the book of Ezekiel is the book of Leviticus, which twice refers to homosexual acts as an abomination. It is unthinkable that the priest Ezekiel, when he used the word “abomination” would not have been thinking of the homosexual component of the Sodom and Gomorrah story,

                    In 2 Peter 2:6-10, as Peter talks about the sin of Sodom, he specifically refers to their “depraved conduct.” The Greek word used here refers to all kinds of sexually licentious behavior. This would include both the attempted rape as well as its homosexual nature. Further, Peter also mentions the “corrupt desire of the flesh.” Commentators are agreed that this refers to the sexual sins of the people of Sodom, including the unnaturalness and lewdness of their desires.

                    In Jude 5-7, in a passage very similar to the one in 2 Peter, an analogy is drawn between the angels in Genesis 6, who unnaturally wanted to copulate with humans, and the men of Sodom who went after strange flesh. In fact, there is a kind of reversal here. In Genesis 6 angels want to unnaturally copulate with humans; in the Sodom and Gomorrah story, humans want to unnaturally copulate with angels. Of course, the men of Sodom do not know that the two that the two men are angels; they simply want to commit homosexual acts with what they believe are simply two men, acts which are characterized in Jude, in various translations, as “sexually immoral,” “perverse,” and “unnatural.” The terms certainly encompass what you have mentioned as the sin of attempted rape, but they go beyond this and also address the perverse and unnatural homosexual component of their sexual deviation.

                    Further, this was very definitely the understanding in the Jewish literature at the same time as that of Jesus and the New Testament, in the writings of Philo, Josephus and other Jewish figures. So it simply incorrect that the sexual deviancy of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah is not mentioned in subsequent biblical literature. It is actually abundantly mentioned in both biblical and extra-biblical literature.

              • Jem, the problem with your response is that I have done the research. And I did not “choose” the scholars I wanted to; the two men I mentioned are probably the most reputable scholars dealing with this material today. And I purposely chose two scholars who take opposing positions on the same-sex issue. And yet both scholars are agreed that the biblical material, in itself, is completely against homosexual acts. No, the words are not very obscure. The meanings have only been called into question by the vain attempt to lessen the impact of the very clear declaration of Scripture. And, no, “Sodomite” is not a complete misnomer. There is both biblical and extra-biblical evidence from the time period that the total package included everything the people of Sodom did and wanted to do–being inhospitable, rape, and the “abomination” of same-sex acts. And this is abundantly evidenced in the scholarly literature.

                • You are welcome to your opinion, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is your opinion, and your interpretation. I am glad to stick with mine. Bless you.

                • You remind me of many Christians who boast they have gays who agree with them, but agreeing that something is in the bible doesn’t make it right.

                  Because a book says something, and some scholar believes it to be true, doesn’t make either a fact. Nor does someone being inspired mean they are not capable of exaggeration out right manipulation.

                  How easy it is to believe in a book that doesn’t target you for special condemnation and acts of violence in the name of this god.

                  Not to mention that this same god is guilty of horrendous acts toward his own creation and expects otherwise from them. I can only conclude that it is the fear of this god that motives such blind faith.

                  The bottom line is that you have no evidence, you have hearsay and so called scholars that have a vested interesting passing it on and you are all to willing to oblige as many Christians, with out proof. Making .
                  you especially frightening to young people and even old like me.

              • What do you think “thou shalt not lie with mankind as you would with womankind” means? How plain can the implication be? You’re straining at gnats trying to justify homosexuality as acceptable behavior to God when you must know that it defiles the created order. Even Jesus himself said, “One man, one woman”; not the possibility of 2 men or 2 women. He made no exceptions. And that includes a man marrying multiple women. You could argue that the latter was what he was referring to, but he did say, “one man, one woman”, and that takes care of all the questions. Very much to the point. Jesus never minced words. Now say that HE was a hater.

      • Jem, I’m very sorry that you have an issue with me pointing out scriptures directly addressing “a man lying with a man, or a woman lying with a woman”. Doesn’t matter what you call it…we know what it is. No, I’m not an expert, but am an Apostolic (following the Apostle’s doctrine) whose son is also battling this spirit. So it hits very close to home for me. I’ve been a Christian for the majority of my life and do my best to love all, although I admit I have had my own struggles. If you take out my “opinions” from my post, what do you think about the words of God? That’s all that really matters anyway? Please respond, I’m curious to hear your answer. Thanks and Love in Christ. Shannon

        • Hi, Shannon! Sorry for your struggles. Welcome to the club. Whether you are gay or love a person who is gay, you are in the club. I am not an expert on this either but struggle too. I can but refer you to sites that I have found helpful in my own struggles. Lots on GayChristianNet and also a book written by Justin Lee called Torn; GayChristian 101 also has some very helpful articles. If you do a search on GayChristian you will find a lot of helpful information and many of the sites that deal with the Scripture. Praying peace for you and your son.

      • Shannon. I never wanted to be Gay, never chose it. I just realised that I was attracted to males not females. I desperately wanted to be heterosexual. I was prayed over, I prayed, I was celibate and not involved with men for years. I did the Living waters course. I don’t believe it is possible to change my sexual attraction to males. It IS possible to change behaviour. However then one becomes even more perverted I think because you are not anything. Unfortunately there is no ‘complete deliverance and healing’; that is just a fantasy by people who are not gay. It is another form of put down. It says ‘you are not good enough, or trying hard enough’. Watch ‘Prayers for Bobby’. I have read loads and different scholars and peoples opinions on various scriptures and what they mean and why they are there. I have had to come to a completely different understanding of scripture, and God than what I started with. However I believe I am now stronger as a Christian and as a person. I start with GOD LOVES ME and I move on from there. My sin is not homosexuality, my sin is allowing my sexuality to get in the way of Gods love for me and my ability to witness to that love to others. God set us free from the power of sin. We need to love God and love one another. Are you doing that? Am I? Are we?

        • The point is, homosexuality is no worse sin than any other. The scriptures say, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Each person has issues with sin they grapple with, but the fact you try and don’t just give in to it is testimony in itself. I wish I wasn’t lazy, which is spoken against in the Bible as well. I wish I didn’t lust after men I have seen that are married. What a sin that is! I never followed through with the lusts, but the desire was there in my heart, which is as much sin as doing the act. That’s why we all need Jesus. There is no such thing as a “good person”, or else “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” would be meaningless. We are all tempted, but God always is there to see us through, just as He did with Jesus as he was tempted of Satan. It may be a lifelong struggle with you, as all Christians have to struggle with temptations all their lives. I hope I have helped in some small way. God bless you in your struggles.

  3. Jesus gets credit for a lot of things he didn’t say or even talk about. I recently read the SBC position paper on capital punishment. Among the justifications were some from the Old Testament and the New. Missing were any references to Jesus, who, of course, was unjustly executed by his government..

    • Correct. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have embraced violence as part of their militancy just like ISIS has. I still say, sometime 30, 40, or 50 years hence when the fundies plainly see they are not getting their way with all of American society and have been thoroughly marginalized and nearly silenced by wiser men and women, they will turn to their own violent jihad against the rest of the American people just as the terrorists have in the Middle East. Physical violence against men, women, and children is where the various fundamentalisms of the world all evolve to eventually. It is only a matter of time—and we already see those numerous fundie hatreds and unjust actions they take that will lead to that violence even today. Of course, just as is the case with ISIS, they will do what all fundamentalists eventually do, which is to claim that they are the soldiers of God and that they are justly killing the enemies of God. Unfortunately, as was the case with Osama bin Laden, I will never live long enough to see the Navy Seal helicopters descend at 3:00 a.m.on the secret hideout of the President of the Southern Baptist Convention (chief master terrorist in exile).

      • I studied history in college, and much of what I learned about the story in western Europe is of the marriage of religion and government. Such a union always comes out badly for people. Some of the history of the Christian church is no better than the current story of ISIS, and anyone who doesn’t believe that just needs to start reading. I am astonished how far from the simple message Jesus brought so many Christians are.

  4. Thank you for this post. As with all your posts (at least those I’ve read) I read someone who desires to be like Christ and urges others to do the same. (btw – Church of the Hurting is currently my all-time favorite) As far as “LTSHTS” (and I love the way that pronounces…) – I try to always remember Jesus taught to remove the plank in my own eye before trying to get at my brother’s splinter. And, since I have enough planks to keep myself busy for a life time – my brother’s splinters are no business of mine. I’m glad you are posting.

      • I am just wondering what the IQ in LGBTIQ is? Obviously I am out of touch with something that strikes a cord for many. The only thing I am uneasy about is people crassly flaunting their own personal persuasion in an unseemly way… this includes closeminded Christians….and transgendering athletes who turn something excruciatingly private into a media circus.

  5. I dont understand how u judge other people based on this comment. I love all of gods people through Jesús Christ. I stand by hate the sin love the sinner because i am a sinner we all our. You can love someone and disagree and hate there behavior. Now i am not saying that there are some people to pass judgement /condemn people for there sin and say that which i agree is wrong. But do i hate sin yes i do because it separates me from Jesús Christ. Now i have committed many sins, Jesus did say to follow my fathers teachings given i the old tesimant. I dishonor god by disobeying him but as long as i strive to honor him god has bless me in jesus’s name. Should not love the murderer but not the act of murder itself.

    • Yes, but that is not what we do. We hate Charles Manson, and we hate what he and his girls did. We hate Kim Jong Un, and we hate what he does. We hate Hitler, and we hate what he did. It is very hard for humans—all humans—to live out this aphoristic dichotomy—and it seems to me that very few to none actually can live out this dichotomy. Its just another version of the sick guy on the street corner who desperately needs to go to the doctor. Everyone can plainly see he needs help—but they just walk by quickly and say, “Hope you feel better.” What good does that do. None. What good does this ridiculous “love the sinner but hate the sin” accomplish. None.

      • It is an imperfect world. I am an imperfect person. However that does not excuse me from pursuing Holiness (see I Peter 1:15) including loving others, and abhorring sin (Romans 1:18), because it separates me from God.

        My desire is (or should be) for the glory of God. When I see a person that does not know Christ, my desire is (or should be) for that person to come to know the same God that I know. Not that they would stop doing some action (sin). The action is not what is at issue. It is a rebellion in their heart against God that separates a lost person from God. I must try and show them the love of God not “fix” what I think is wrong with them. Now, do I find their sin offensive. Yes, because God finds it offensive. If you don’t think so, please go back and read some of the things Christ said about the Pharisees. I would certainly say that Christ found their actions offensive (i.e., hated their sin), but I am certain that he loved their person.

        When you say “that is not what we do” you discount the power of Christ in a Christian to live as he lived. Do I draw from this power every moment of every day and never sin. Of course not. However, just because I am not perfect is the solution to pretend that there is no sin and go with the “I’m OK, Your OK” philosophy?

        Finally, I leave you with a word from Jude 1:23
        “save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

        Sounds like love the sinner hate the sin to me.

        My whole discussion above assume that we are starting from a common point of accepting the Bible as absolute truth. If you aren’t starting there, then I absolutely see how you could fail to see the comprehend the possibility of Love the sinner, hate the sin.

        • The Christian faith is all about sin, repentance from sin, receiving the Holy Spirit, and then the Holy Spirit gives you the power to do what you were not able to do before—get busy making yourself Holy by turning every verse in the Bible into a law—and then spend the rest of your life keeping score on how well or poorly you are doing it—and if you sin—you get really worried and scared God is going to walk out on you. I can plainly see that you have left out about half of the Bible in your sick fundie scenario.

          And no. The Bible is not absolute truth. It contains numerous factual errors and internal contradictions. It is neither a science textbook nor a history textbook—and any idiot can plainly see that if they dare to look close enough. But I will tell you where you are going to make a big mistake one day. You are one day going to walk out on God when you find that his perfectly thorough and factual Bible is not thoroughly perfect or thoroughly factual. When that moment comes, I just want you to remember as a fundie that God never says that the Bible is “inerrant” in the sense your stupid and inept religious leaders have imposed onto it from the outside. And on that final day, Jesus is going to ask you why you walked away. You will tell him it was because He lied to you about the Bible. He will then respond that He did no such thing—and that Biblical inerrancy was a tradition of men rather than God. And then do you know what He is going to do to you? He’s going to fry you black-crisp just like that little fragment of stray French fry that gets away from the other fries in the basket and gets refried over and over and over again in each new batch of fries. Black-crisp Jeff. Remember well my words. God is using me to warn you. This might be your last chance.

      • Psst. (Whispering) Hi everyone. I just wrote that last little bit of my response for Jeff because most fundies are scared to death of what God might do to them if they fail in some way while in this world. When I attended a Baptist church back in the 1980s, we had people who walked the aisles to get saved 3, 4,or even 5 times. You would think once would be enough. However, it just shows you the all-pervasive fear and need for absolute certainty in all things in this life that pervades the fundie mind—and is set at constant tension with the sins still in their lives. Fundies are scared to death of God and only come to him because they want to save their own skins from the French fry oil. Coming is neither an act of love for Jesus nor an act of repentance. It is an act of personal selfishness—with ME FIRST fire insurance as its goal (Dover 3:17).

        I just wanted Jeff to torment himself with worry all night because of his sins—and maybe have to call in sick tomorrow. (It’s all right Jeff. His grace is far more sufficient than you might think, and i would bet you money God does not have a piece of card stock headed with “Jeff’s Daily Sin Report Card.”

      • it tries to accomplish one thing: do NOT judge another person because of their behavior. People are flawed, and they need help when dealing with their flawed emotions. Jesus used the term ‘blind’ many times, and for good reason. We are all blind at some point- and on both sides of this argument. Failure to recognize this simply proves that point…

  6. Pingback: 3 Reasons “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” Is An Abomination | Pots, Pans and Proverbs

  7. Thank you for this post! It is very important for Christians to understand how hurtful LTSHTS is, and how un-Christian it is.

    I have one thing to add. LTSHTS is also un-Christian because it assumes a distinction that is contrary with some important statements by Jesus. LTSHTS assumes a distinction between people’s words/actions and their core identities that is not present in Jesus’ sayings. Just the opposite. To Jesus, your actions and your spiritual core identity are one and the same:

    Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Trees are identified by their fruit: If the fruit is good, the tree is good; if the fruit is useless, the tree is useless. (Luke 6: 43-44 || Matthew 7: 16-20)

    If a tree is sound then its fruit will be sound, and if a tree is bad then its fruit will be bad: The tree can be told by its fruit. (Matthew 12: 33)

    Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the badness stored up in their hearts. What you say is the overflow of what fills your heart. (Luke 6: 45 || Matthew 12: 34b-35)

    It is clear from these statements that Jesus is drawing a parallel between people’s words/actions and a tree’s fruit. And so, saying “Love the sinner, hate the sin” would be like saying “Love the vine but hate the grapes.” (Or, for that matter, “Love the thorn bush but hate the thorns.”) It doesn’t make sense. In fact, the contrary is true: The fruit and the tree are part of a whole which cannot be divided; they share a single nature. So people and their actions are inseparable and share a single nature.

    Does this mean that if you follow what Jesus said and believe that same-sex intimacy is offensive to God, that your attitude towards those acts of intimacy and the individuals doing those acts should be the same? I don’t know; it would require a clear understanding of who Jesus was talking to here and why he said what he did. (I don’t believe that acts of same-sex intimacy are offensive to God so it’s not an issue for me.) But it is clear that LTSHTS is totally foreign to Jesus’ way of thinking.

    • Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

      Romans 1:26-28

      • I love that verse. When God is talking about STRAIGHT people sleeping around with the same sex, he wants them to stop. But the kicker of the verse is the word unnatural which describes the straight person that he is describing. For instance. Tell that red head to quit kicking the ball! He is not talking about the blond although sometimes people think that red and blond are in the same color profile depending on the shade. I can see how any verse in the Bible can be misread when the whole is left out. There is something you should be a ware of with gay Christians, they know the bible too. They are also empowered by God to accept his love and to know that they were created by him just as they are. Their beings were designed by him for what ever reason and many of them glorify him in leadership within the church. For you to take any of the verses used against gay people in such a way as to hurt them is down right nasty. Have any of the people who say such things against the gay brother or sister really went to prayer with God over this? Good Christians will show Gods mercy even though they were born straight and were not given the inner knowledge of why God made gay people. To hate the sin is to hate the sinner. You can’t separate the two. God calls us to remove or block our own sin and to love others and not sit in judgement. If we could hate the sin and love the sinner then we would hate our sins even more so. Is that possible? No one HATES the sin. The word for that kind of emotion is not hate. Maybe guilt. Maybe frustration in alcohol addiction or lusting after the neighbors wife. To hate the sin would mean that we hate ourselves because we were born sinners! God calls us to him so that he can protect us and forgive us, not to use clobber passages and not for us to say that Our way of life is at risk or that our way of worship is at risk due to gays coming to church and feeling good about themselves. Go to church, worship God in fellowship, welcome all, practice what you preach and mind your own business.

      • You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

        Romans 2:1-4

  8. i experience the energy and force of your writing in this essay; and the abomination comes through with such clarity. Lest we ‘become them’ you might consider your last line to read something like this: “I love you Christian, but I really don’t like you language: “love the sinner, hate the sin.” That is a sentence of violence and revenge. To learn to stop using the word hate is practicing non-violent language is important in our new discourses. We can be disgusted, angry, discouraged……but hate is such a violent word to me.

    • The most hateful expression in Fundiedom is: “I am praying for you.” It is almost always used as a final statement of personal disgust with a person who is wise enough to not buy into the full realm of fundie nonsense.

  9. I recently read your piece John “Dear Youth Pastor…” Although I have 15 years of ministry experience with youth and adults, I will be meeting with a young person later today or tomorrow struggling with homosexuality. Although I appreciated the spirit of advocating we see people as real people who need acceptance and love, I was disappointed with how that blog explicitly discourages (makes an unnecessary dichotomy, between love and truth.) I don’t want to be insulting, but I find it shallow to not give a solution that can embrace both. This blog on LTSHTS is also shallow. “Whenever any Christian uses the phrase LTSHTS, it’s never in the context of anything other than gender identity and sexuality…” The root of the original quote is attributed to St. Augustine. A more popular, contemporary version is from Gandhi. You think those men and the millions of people who have held to some variation of that quote for many centuries (a) were/are always referring to sexual orientation (Gandhi was not, perhaps Augustine in Roman Empire was, at times ?) (b) everyone using this is wrong, has attitudes that are an abomination? I wish your blogs would interact more with Scripture (I admit I have only had a small sampling). We are broken people in a broken world but there is hope and healing in Jesus (and his Word.) There may be much malpractice when it comes to biblical counseling &/or pastoring but it is still the ideal that the Word of God is meditated on, walked and talked as we go out and love this sin sick world.

      • Stephanie,
        I’m glad you said “virtually” impossible. The article claims Gandhi says “impossible”, which he does not. He says it is “rarely practiced” (I, in fact, in my first analysis conceded it is probably subject to “much malpractice.”) However, I find much of (perhaps most of) Christian living is attempted but “rarely practiced.” Yet I would still say it is worth the effort. Truth and love is what the Lord Jesus embodied and advocated. Reading Gandhi’s extended quote and considering Gandhi’s life I still think he advocated the same– love the sinner, hate the sin. Furthermore, ultimately Gandhi was paraphrasing Augustine. In summary, I concede (and already conceded in my original analysis) in agreement with Gandhi there is probably “much malpractice” (i.e. rarely practiced) of this principle but it is also a vital truth we must seek to live (notice I didn’t say just quote but live.)

        Finally, Stephanie, a question. Are there sins you hate? Oppression? Abuse? Addiction? Do you ever hate those sins yet still love the perpetrators (i.e. addicts, oppressors, abusers)? The quote for Gandhi and Augustine was not just an easy catchphrase but both very difficult and very practical.

  10. Although I agree with the author 100%, I found it interesting that he never mentioned whether homosexualitupy is an an abomination or not.

    Just curious.

    • I don’t believe someone born lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is inherently sinful because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

      As for the term “homosexuality”, (as you probably know), it wasn’t coined until the 1940’s, and the Scriptures have nothing to say about either of the above topics with any clarity.

  11. Relationship killer; yep. It’s like hitting someone over the head with a 2×4 and then wondering why they are rubbing their head and won’t talk to us.

  12. Thank you, John. I’ve always had a hard time trying to explain this to people. They never seem to hear what is wrong about “love the sinner; hate the sin”. I’ve always hated that phrase! It always seems to sound like it suppose to give me the right the decide how I should love sinners. People keep telling me I’m blinded by my own sin; but I can tell they can’t see their own blindness, or their own sin(s). Personally, consciously knowing everyone is a sinner, it makes it easier for me to love unconditional, without reservations or exceptions, without added the word “sinner” into my vocabulary.

  13. thank you for this. I’ve been hearing a lot of this from family and church members ever since my adult child came out as transgendered (F2M) and it’s just plain hurtful for me because of the harmful effects I’ve seen it have on my child. I really hope this makes people get it through their damned heads that LTSHTS is nothing Christ like at all!

  14. I don’t know if my comment made it through, as I got redirected here…

    Every time I hear the even older catchphrase, “I don’t judge.”, the same tasting little bit of throw-up comes to my mouth…

  15. Jesus most certainly modeled the concept of LTSHTS, maybe we are getting thrown off by the strong word “Hate” – He modeled that with the Rich Young Ruler, the Pharisees, the woman caught in adultery, and the list goes on and on – Jesus was not shy to call out people’s sin(s) and challenge them to forsake sin. The scripture says that Jesus loved the Rich Young Ruler and offered him a discipleship position, but the Rich Young Ruler went away sorrowful, because he wasn’t willing to forsake his “sin” and follow Jesus, so their relationship was certainly hindered and probably non-existent after that. And yes, clearly the Bible says Jesus loved him, and yes, he loved him even after he walked away in disobedience. We are never told in scripture to love sin, we are to hate sin, we are never told in scripture to hate people, we are to love people, so I guess I’m not seeing the biblical or logical point to the post. Sorry 🙁

    • We are supposed to hate sin in general, but I think one of the points is that we shouldn’t be going around spouting “I love you but hate your sin” because that is a way of being self righteous and putting yourself on a pedestal. However, I don’t agree that the only context this phrase is used in is relating to gender or sexual identity. I agree that it is not a phrase Christians should use; the problem I have is that the very last line of the article, while attempting to make a point, invalidates the author’s credibility. He spent the entire article telling us why it is not Christlike to utter the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin”, and then ends his rant with a statement that means just that.

    • You and I are not Jesus. We are not the ones separating sheep and goats. Jesus also cautioned against separating the wheat and the tares before the harvest is ready. As The author has written, each Christians has the responsibility to forsake the sins in our own lives. Nowhere are we called to emulate the pious men who brought the alleged adultress before Jesus

      • We are not Jesus, true, but neither was Peter, Paul, John, James, whose writings are constantly challenging us to forsake sin and follow after God. Now, I know we are not Peter, Paul, John or James either, but there is a place for honest encouraging, exhorting and even admonishing, in love of course. It seems like we are thinking there are only two options – being a self righteous sin and sinner hater, or leaving it all alone, to each their own, but there is a middle ground, which is truly loving people and sharing the truth in love with a desire to be a blessings. Yes, Jesus did say, at it is excellent advice, FIRST deal with the plank in your eye, but he did say – After you have done that, you’ll be able to help your brother with the speck in theirs. So helping your brother overcome sin is a biblical patter.

        • Jesus said nothing about now removing the speck in your brother’s eye after you’ve deal with your log. I don’t know where you get that from. You put a lot into the meaning of FIRST! Lol! As though now that you did the “first” (and did you really get the log out of your eye?) you can go back to what you tried to do first, and that is sort out your brother’s speck. I don’t think it is saying that at all. My experience is that we are so busy with the logs in our own eyes that we don’t really have time to deal with other’s specks, but you seem, of course, to have it all sorted, tied up, neatly bundled and dealt with so that now you can go around sorting everyone else out. How very self-righteous! Well done!

    • If I may be so bold, I think you miss the point because you are so busy looking at the sin instead of at the people, perhaps. If you do as you say, and love the people, leaving their sin out of it as it were (since it’s not your business anyway, as you only supposed to be concerned with your own sin and not everyone else’s) then you will see why LTSHTS goes so wrong. Hope that helps!

      • The writers of the New Testament total violated what you said – They did not just look at their own sin, they, in love, were constantly telling others to forsake this, quit that, stop this and then to do this, pursue that. Now one could say – We are not new testament writers, true, but isn’t there a place of lovingly helping our friends forsake sin, which is so destructive. According to Jesus, we should FIRST deal with the plank in our own eye before we are all concerned about the speck in our brothers, if we don’t do that we are a hypocrite, according to Jesus, yet, Jesus said – AFTER we have removed the plank from our eye and are now operating in love and humility and not hypocrisy, now we can see clearly to remove the speck from our brothers. Galatians tells us that if we see a brother caught in sin, we are to what? Do nothing, because it’s none of our business anyway – No, we are to help restore him. We are our brothers keeper in a right way, not an abusive way. It appears that very few on this post think we can sincerely, lovingly, without hypocrisy help others, the Bible says we can. Yes – If we are setting ourselves up as the Holier Than Thou Goodness Guru helping all the rotten sinners be like us – sure, that’s disgusting, but there is a biblical middle ground – Hate Sin – as the Bible Instructs, Love People and if you can, help yourself grow in your walk with God and help other too, with a spirit of humility and love. Blessings.

      • See Jude 22 and 23 please.
        22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

        • The concept of Hell didn’t even appear in the Old Testament, and is largely absent from Paul’s writings. As a supporter of the “full counsel of Scripture”, I’d say that the “flames of Judgment” are certainly up for debate, and that to selectively use this verse here in this response to this thread, is an example of the kind of “cherry picking” you might accuse others of.

          Be careful that you don’t indict yourself as you condemn others.

        • SHOW MERCY, SHOW MERCY, SHOW MERCY. Go and study to see what that means since you so obviously are intent on missing that phrase as though it were not there.

          • Jem, soulfeeder777 has repeatedly noted in his posts that he loves sinners. When you attempt to call attention to his ignoring “show mercy” in this passage, you are really harping on something that is not accurate. The problem is not that he is ignoring “show mercy”; the problem is that you are ignoring “hating the sins.” The point he is making here is that this is not an either/or, but a both/and. One can “show mercy” AND also “hate the sins.”

            • And here you are missing the point again of the blog, that you can’t claim to love the sinner while hating their sin. No matter how much you justify your point Biblically, t is not possible to do that and it never comes across as separate things. If you judge someone’s sin they never feel you are doing it out of love at all. They feel judged and condemned – Satan’s role by the way! Not supposed to be the fellow Christian’s role at all. And this is the big problem with Christians like you and your churches. You are so intent on trying to make everyone conform to your way, your righteousness, your truth, your Bible, that Jesus is forgotten about, and mercy, love and compassion are flown out the window. You are like clashing symbols and sounding gongs that make lots of noise but can’t show love. And when you say your judgement is love, it just does not cut it, my friend, at all.

              • Jem, after your rant, you are still left with the problem that you are not dealing with the Scriptural text. What does it mean that Jude tells us that we are to show mercy AND hate the sin? What does it mean that Jesus commends the church of Ephesus for hating the sins of the Nicolaitans which he also hates? Until you actually engage the biblical material and the very clear and very plain words of Jesus, your rant is nothing than that.

                • My concern is that we should not be following the letter of the law (whether backed by Scripture or not) but should rather be reaching out to each other is the spirit of Christ which is, as I understand it, primarily motivated by love, and concern, and helpfulness, and kindness, and goodness. All these things seem to me to be swept away in the onslaught of your battering one with Scriptures about sin, and blame, and shame, which is what the LTSHTS seems to epitomize.

                  • I appreciate your reply here, Jem, and, to be sure, we should not be so literal with Scripture, or as you put it, the “letter of the law,” that we miss the spirit of Christ. At the same time, it is all too easy to project our own likes and dislikes on what we think is the spirit of Christ, and ignore who Christ really is as presented in the gospels and Scripture. Actually, the “spirit of the Christ” seems to be pretty taken up with the letter of the law: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19). Are not these words of Jesus also reflective of the “spirit of Christ.” Jesus expressed these words very strongly. The person who teaches others to ignore the commands of God is someone who will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. The biblical proscriptions against homosexual acts are given in the Old Testament, and they are reinforced in the New Testament in those passages that you derogatorily referred to as “clobber verses.” To go against these passages, and to teach others that they can safely ignore them, is to put oneself in a tremendously precarious position.

                    • Very well said. This rebuke of the LTSHTS as being an assault on the LGBT community is, quite simply, warned against in Scripture. It saddens me to see so many ‘leaders’ of the Christian faith that have watered down message so as to fit within the sins of the masses. And John can post all he wants about why people are leaving the church or how we need to reach people, but the worst form of outreach is that which ends with a message that sin is okay, or that it is not really sin, and that shames Christianity for its exclusivity of righteousness. Sorry John, but Christianity is not a democracy.

                      I appreciate your well-reasoned fight for Scriptural truths in response to many who are posting on this topic. Keep up the good fight.

                    • You miss the whole point again, just like the guy whose comment you praise. Nobody is condoning sin here, but just commenting on who has the right to be judging other people’s sin and constantly throwing it in their faces. I don’t see Jesus doing that, except maybe with the Pharisees as they were being so totally blind to his message, a bit like you fundamentalists. You can’t see the truth of Jesus message because all you can see is law and sin, and sin and law. Shame on you!

                    • Jesus clearly indicates in another passage that the law is fulfilled by love in that he regarded two commandments as fulfilling of the whole law – love God with everything and love your neighbour. And he criticized the Pharisees (the law keepers) for insisting on keeping a bunch of trivial laws and ignoring the weightier matters. I cannot see how loving a person of the same gender is going against the highest and simplest of commands that Jesus gave.

                    • Jem, of course, everything Jesus said has to be interpreted and understood with the total context in mind. First, of all, it has to be remembered that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount gave a very stern warning: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:17-20). You cannot refer to the passage you have called attention to, and yet act as if Jesus never said this as well. To ignore this passage is simply to create a Jesus of your own liking.

                      Second, it is not fair to treat the passage you have referred to as if Jesus was saying, “Love God, love people, and forget about the rest.” He was saying that these two commands summarize the law; he was not by any means saying that these two commands replace the law. His point is that our obedience to the laws of God are to be carried out in love–love toward God and love toward our neighbor. But Jesus was by no means saying that we can ignore the rest of the law. That is demonstrated in a passage where Jesus castigates the Pharisees: ““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” (Matt 23:23). Notice that Jesus tells them to exercise “justice, mercy, and faithfulness,” but also not to “neglect” the other laws. The point is that all the laws are to be carried out in love.

                      Third, the problem with the Pharisees was that they had added to Old Testament law their own set of rules of regulation, the “oral Torah,” which were way too burdensome. And, in fact, sometimes these additional rules and regulations actually turned out to be attempts to contravene the actual laws in the Torah. That was also a huge part of Jesus’ concern. These extra rules and regulation should not have been elevated to a status where they were placed on a level equal to the actual Old Testament laws.

                      Fourth, and finally, when you say, “I cannot see how loving a person of the same gender is going against the highest and simplest of commands that Jesus gave,” my simple answer is that the reason why you cannot see this is because you are taking these verses in isolation, and not reading them with the larger biblical context in mind. Jesus would not have considered it a loving act toward God to break one of God’s commandments, and to teach others to do the same.

                    • You are yourself so intent on the letter of the law that you have ignored “the weightier” matters, particularly those pertaining to love and mercy. Please see my comment and questions to you elsewhere here. You, like the Pharisees, place a burden on homosexuals that is impossible to bear, and if these dear folk, who have no control over their same sex attraction anymore than you do over your opposite sex attraction, were to heed you they would have to either live a lie (pretending to be heterosexual, which I did myself for most of my life) or have to reject the faith that teaches such impossible burdens. I have come to believe that I can still live as a homosexual and retain my faith and I will do all I can to protect and preserve that and help others to do the same. I hope you can respect this, but if you cannot, it seems rather pointless our continuing a discussion.

                    • Actually the faith doesn’t throw up impossible burdens or barriers. It tells you that you “can do ANYTHING through Christ who strengthens me”. The answers to your prayers may not be what you want them to be, but God knows better than you what is best for your life.

                    • I do not believe that God places any burdens on us at all, and that the burdens we do face are definitely not insurmountable. The Bible says that you “can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. No, you cannot do it alone, but you can do it through Christ. There are many men in the Bible who had huge burdens placed on them, sometimes multiple seeminlgy insurmountable burdens, yet through their faith in God they were able to maintain their faith and ovecome those burdens.I’m not saying at all that it’s easy, just that it’s very possible.

                    • Again, Jem, as I have already said, to pay attention to the weightier matters of the law does not to ignore the rest of the laws. Jesus did not tell the Pharisees to pay attention to the weightier matters and ignore the lesser. He told them to pay attention to the weightier matters, WITHOUT neglecting the lesser. Love does not replace the law; it sums up the law, it upholds the law, it reinforces the law. It is not a loving act to tell someone that it is okay for them to violate God’s commands. Jesus never did that.

                    • I know, I know, I know. Sometimes I think we are at cross purposes. I did not intend to imply that it was the weightier matters only that must be attended to, but I did wish to point out that you are intent on applying law. The whole purpose of the Bible, the NT too, is to show that we ourselves cannot ever, will not ever, be able to keep the law. But that doesn’t seem to stop you thrusting the law down people’s throats. No one I know ever came to Jesus by the law. Lol! But only by love, and mercy and His wonderful grace. Make every effort yourself to keep the law, but remember you will always fail to do so. That’s why you and I need Jesus. Jesus never forced the law on people! Check that out if you will without quoting all the Scriptures on law!

                    • Actually, Jem, if you’ll look at my comment again, you’ll notice that I wasn’t quoting the law; I was quoting Jesus. Yes, of course Jesus displays mercy and grace. But that mercy and grace and forgiveness is extended toward those who confess their sins. So, I am not thrusting law down anyone’s throat or beating them over the head with Scripture. Rather, I and others are simply pointing out that homosexual acts, which Scripture does designate as sinful, are nevertheless sins for which there is mercy and grace and forgiveness.

              • Again, Jem, I am not missing the point of the blog. Rather, I am saying the point of the blog is wrong. And what you say just isn’t true, either to Scripture or to experience. Millions of Christians over the last two millennia have come to Christ because caring Christians loved them too much not to call attention to what was sinful in their lives. Christ did this, and he also expects his followers to do this.

                “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses” (Prov 27:6) It is more faithful, and more loving, and more caring, to point out how someone’s behavior goes against Scripture, than it is to simply affirm what they are doing. In fact, to say that you love someone without being willing to show them how might be overtaken in a fault (Gal 6:1) is not an act of love.

                By the way, when you say, “And this is the big problem with Christians like you and your churches. You are so intent on trying to make everyone conform to your way, your righteousness, your truth, your Bible, that Jesus is forgotten about, and mercy, love and compassion are flown out the window. You are like clashing symbols and sounding gongs that make lots of noise but can’t show love,” that makes me curious. First of all, I disagree with you that that is what either I or the churches are doing. But, secondly, it sounds to me like you are in strong disagreement with what you describe here. So, let me ask you this. Do you disapprove of this behavior? Do you think it is wrong? Do you think this behavior is detestable? Do you hate it when someone does this? Do you still love them? Just curious.

                • Not sure what you asking here. Are you asking if I hate your behaviour as I understand it? I sure don’t approve of it, but hate is a bit strong in my vocabulary. And is what you doing a sin? Is that what you asking? I’m a little confused to say the least, about what you asking or implying here.

                  • Jem, it’s really very simple. Can you still love someone who does something that you consider to be wrong or sinful? If you can, then you are doing the very thing that John says can’t be done. In fact, John’s whole article is evidence of the fact that you can hate what you consider to be someone’s else’s sin. Even the very title of the article does this. John says that there are three reasons why LTSHTS is an “abomination.” Well, the word “abomination” is simply a term which is interchangeable with words like “detestable” or “disgusting.” Indeed, that which is abominable or detestable in the Bible is referred to as that which should be hated. The article is really a self-defeating article. It is a nonsense article. The article disproves the author’s point. John actually does hate the sins of some people. I know John was trying to be clever and sarcastic with the last sentence; but I think he actually did betray himself. He thinks it is an abomination to use the LTSHTS formulation. He detests it. He hates it. John proves that one can still love the sinner and hate what the sinner does–unless, of course, John doesn’t actually love those who use this “abominable” phrase!

                    • Ignorance and sin are different things. What we’re talking about here is a phrase which seeks to justify the former, not speak to the latter.

                      I believe using this phrase is ridiculous, foolish, mean-spririted, and cowardly. I don’t claim it is some moral dealbreaker (as you would with someone being LGBTQ). You and I both know I use the term “abomination” as it is the oft-quoted Scripture and it’s disingenuous to act as if the word supports your contention. It’s a silly argument.

                      The fact that you continue after all this time, to fight for Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin, speaks volumes about your desire to justify the phrase instead of realizing and admitting the damage it does to people and the way it actually compromises our testimony in the world.

                      This will be my final response to you on this thread. Your desire to use LTSHTS is clearly noted, and my belief that it is far from reflecting Christ to people is as well.

                      Thanks for commenting.

                    • Indeed, John. Your continual rejection of both the example and the words of Jesus in loving the sinner, but hating the sin, does indeed speak volumes.

      • Hey Jem – you said to one of my posts – “Jesus said nothing about now removing the speck in your brother’s eye after you’ve deal with your log. I don’t know where you get that from.” I got that from the Bible passages on the topic, it says. . .

        Matthew 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, AND THEN you will see clearly tTO REMOVE THE SPECK from your brother’s eye.

        Luke 6:42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, AND THEN you will see clearly TO REMOVE THE SPECK from your brother’s eye.

        I feel the love from you when you state “How very self-righteous” 🙂

        Because surely, there is absolutely no way anyone could ever desire to help someone with genuine love care and kindness, if someone is wanting to help a brother with a speck in their eye – they have to be self righteous. Hmm. When I read the letters that James, Peter John and Paul wrote in the New Testament, they were constantly challenging us to remove sin (specks) from our lives – they must have been the ultimate self righteous holier than thou swine of all time. They surely could not have actually wanted the best for those they were writing too.

        • Thanks, TMac. I see what you saying, but I think the Scripture is an admonition to look to your own plank rather than an exortation to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. I think the last bit is somewhat tongue in cheek that you will be able to see any speck in your brother’s eye. Just saying. Lol! But if you want to believe your plank is out, great on you! Just don’t start on my eye. It’s got enough to handle without you poking around in it too. Lol!

      • Soulfeeder 777, John’s response to your post is completely off base. It is not “cherry-picking” to call someone’s attention to passages they have failed to deal with. John, in his construction of this article, failed to take into account passages like this one, as well as other passages which I and others have called attention to. Cherry-picking does not refer to citing texts which others have failed to take into account. Rather, it refers to what John did in this article. “Love the sinner, but hate the sin” is entirely a biblical concept; it agrees with not only the entire tenor of Scripture, but also with specific texts like Jude 22-23; Rev 2:6; Rom 12:9; etc.

        • That you continue using “Love the sin, hate the sinner”, knowing that it causes us in the LGBTQ community pain, as we’ve told you that it does. That you would knowingly and willingly cause us pain, then claim to be a loving person. That baffles and scares the living Hell out of me .

    • First of all, the rich young ruler did not choose to follow Jesus because he owned a lot of things and did not want to give them up. You are first going to have to mount an argument from the comfortable den in your $300,000 house that it is always an absolute sin to own a lot of things—and bring David and Solomon into your argument. Secondly, He posed a question to Jesus, and Jesus merely gave him an answer to his question—one he did not like. Jesus provided him with an invitation to follow as a Disciple (one of the 12 while forming I would guess), and Jesus was simply stating the price of doing that. Jesus did not command him to follow. It was an invitation. It is not a sin to turn down an invitation to serve in a high office. How do you know that the young man did not otherwise serve in the beginning Jesus movement through simple faith like you do? John Milton was of the opinion that “they also serve who just stand and wait.”

      The point you are not seeing is this. The Bible does emphasize loving people and hating sin in various locations. However, the thing you miss is that ONLY GOD has the actual power to do that. We humans are deeply flawed and do not really have the power to do that. As a matter of daily practice, human beings, despite what they might say, will end up hating both the sinner and the sin. It is just the way human beings are. The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have clearly and unequivocally proven that point several millions times per day in their treatment of numerous categories of sinners—usually taking the stance that “I am a Fundie and that makes me better than you spiritually”—without remembering that you and your sorry asses all stand before the Lord in dirty rags just like all the rest of us sinners on the planet. So go on out into American society and do what you do best:


      • Hmm, interesting reply. You started out making a thought provoking point and then you spun off into a tirade that kind of sounded like you were “hating the sin AND the sinner” 🙂
        First, I don’t think it is wrong to have lots of possessions or be rich in money and stuff, so I’m not sure how you got from my post that I thought that. You made an excellent point of the right to turn down an offer to a high office, well said, then as I said – you digressed. It seems like there are many/most folks who post on here who think there is no such thing as actually being a kind, loving, caring person who would like to grow in Christ and help others grow too. It was said that Benjamin Franklin like George Whitefield because when he preached on hell he did it with a “tear in his eye”. Can we help others overcome sin with a “tear in our eye”? Are the only two options to ignore sin or be a self righteous pig in our treatment to others. I think Jesus taught another option and it was this – FIRST deal with the plank in your own eye, if you don’t you are a hypocrite, BUT, once you do, you can then in love and humility help remove the speck from your brothers eye, much like we are taught to do in Galatians – restoring folks who are caught in sin, if we are allowed to call anything sin anymore. I think you were insinuating that I hate the sinner and his sin, much like what you just did to me. Blessings.

      • That is so unfair an assessment. The same people who would cry from the mountaintop, “Do not judge! JESUS says do not judge!” stand in judgment of so-called judgers and “fundies”. I love sinners! As i matter of fact, i dont love anyone who is not a sinner, because “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”… including me! My gay friend, my adulterous father, the gossipping first lady at my church, my drug addict cousins–i actually truly love them all. Because I recognize that Jesus loves me and loved me when i was/am a gossiping, same-sex attracted, lying, food-addicted, adultery-in-my-mind sinner too. I don’t struggle with the same sins anymore, but different ones have crept up–btw, does anyone here believe in sanctification, spiritual growth, character change thru Christ? Anybody? Ever read Jesus say “Go and sin no more”? (But I digress…), but i know that doesn’t mke me better or worse than anyone.

        I dont see what the big offense is over LTSHTS –Jesus had that “John 3:16” kinda love for us that kept him nailed to a cross he easily could have eacaped, because he so hated the separation caused by sin in our lives. If he loved the sin in us, he wouldnt have had to die. He also commands us to be perfect, and what Jesus speaks comes true. We’re overlooking the power of God to actually transform sinners into righteous people (hello, Saul to Paul?), to amputate stone hearts and transplant flesh hearts in (i’m talking about gay into straight, liar into truth teller and *also* self-righteous legalist into lover of Christ and of men. Some ppl here like the story of Jesus contrasting the evil Pharisee against the justified sinner, but now proudly proclaim “I thank you, oh Lord, that you did not make me a self-righteous legalist!” It’s all the same, people.)

        I know it’s possible to LTSHTS because I ask God to produce this in me and he does. I ask him to give me a love for “unlovable” people and he has produced feelings, words and actions of compassion I didn’t think were possible. Yet no love, justification or desire for their sin.

        The reason you hear LTSHTS used more in regards to sexuality and gender identity more than any other place is because there is a general consensus that dishonesty, gossip, murder, theft, etc. are harmful and sinful. We continue to “harp” on homsexuality because the new consensus has become that it’s acceptable, good, a normali variation in humanity, and even an expression of diversity created by God. Again: what is your theology? Is there no degeneracy caused by sin in the world? Is there no father-of-lies Adversary who comes to confuse, steal, kill and destroy?

        I wish no harm, death, or damnation on anyone (neither does Jesus), “but that all should come to repentance.
        Oh btw: Do you think that because one believes you can LTSHTS, it means we go around aaying it to people? I live my life by this principle but i have never said it to a target “sinner”. God forbid! (And forgive me if i have said it inadvertently). I can see how explicitly saying it to someone you are ministering to would leave them fewling alienated. But it is still possible & biblical to do so.

        • You, whoever you are with no real name, are full of self-righteous bullshit, no matter what you say. And you glibbly throw out the turning of gay into straight as though you know all about this. You prig! You know nothing but religious garbage. I have studied Scripture too and really tried to live it, but it is not possible to change gay into straight. Tried all my life and it does not work. That’s why this LTSHTS is so damning and so knife-sharply cruel, just like all your “loving” comments. You don’t know how to love. Makes me so mad to read your bullshit. You the very one this is addressed to and you so full of shit that you can’t see the Pharisee in you. Get another life!

      • You are so wrong, when you say you can’t love the sinner , and hate the sin! My grandaughter is a lesbian, and she knows that I dissaprove of her lifestyle, but she also knows that I love her! I could never hate her, and she knows that! Besides, last time I checked in the book ofGenesis, I saw that God created a man, and a woman, not two men or two women. He didn’t create Adam and Steve, He created Adam and Eve. He told them to go and replenish the earth! Two men or two women can’t do that. When God created yoy, He didn’t make a mistake. If He created you as a woman, that’s what He intended you to be. If He created you to be a man, that’s what He wanted you to be. The way He made our bodies gives evidence enough for that argument. God made a man’s body to fit a womans . Think about it!

    • I’ve read each of your posts on this topic TMac and you are one of the few voices of biblical reason and a clear understanding of the ministry of Christ (not excluding the OT either). There are many clear examples where Christ separated the sin from the sinner in his parables, stories and examples of ministering. Sin is only of the devil (sometimes described as ‘good that has been perverted’) and what is of the devil cannot be tolerated whether it is in our own life or in others’ lives. It doesn’t mean we love people any less. We can love someone without endorsing their bad behavior/choices. Someone earlier on said that the idea of loving the sinner and hating the sin is impossible. And, without Christ, they are absolutely right. This is the point we move from the natural to the supernatural and this can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit, who Christ told the disciples had to come and He (Christ) had to leave ‘for their own good’. I’m saddened at the acceptance of a lifestyle that the Bible clearly states is wrong. So many Christians are taking the easy path of non-confrontation and acquiescing or assimilating to societal pressure under the guise of ‘being more current’ or ‘progressive’ in thought. Keep using your voice of reason and biblical truth TMac. Please.

      • This is the problem – that you want to believe the Bible says something that it actually doesn’t and you can’t yourself be bothered to research the matter and see how perverted the Scripture has been. No such word as “homesexual” existed at the time the passages in question were written and yet you regard this as being the sealed-in-cement word of God on the subject. Study to show yourself properly approved if you going to throw Scripture around.

  16. Mr. Pavlovitz,
    Thank you for this reasoned, understandable response to LTSHTS. I have never like this phrase and now have some words to answer to those around me that use this phrase. There is one other arena that the phrase has been used and that is in the incarcerated populations both male and female (having worked in that arena for 30+ years). I love you inmate but hate that you are a drug addict, thief, murderer, etc. didn’t work there for the same reasons. Again, thank you and may many hear your words of truth.

    • Karen, I don’t think anyone is rationally suggesting that you blatantly tell someone you hate their sin. Simply, love the sinner (which we all are) and hate the sin that is affecting the lives around us. I can justifiably hate the fact that someone is a drug addict because I know that satan wants to afflict and destroy and that is one of the tools he uses. I can hate the sin that is causing the drug addict so much pain and torment. I can hate the sin because it is keeping the addict from being everything that they can be in Christ. There is compassion in hating the sin that afflicts someone, yet showing them unconditional love. It may be a silly statement (LTSHTS) and not one that is necessary to quote, but that does not make it inaccurate.

  17. Hear the Word of the Lord:
    Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)
    11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

    1 Peter 2:11–13 (ESV)
    11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

    1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV)
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    2 Timothy 4:1–5 (ESV)
    4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    You judge; shall we obey men rather than God?

    • “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.”
      ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭14:34‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      “But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved.”
      ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      “Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.”
      ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:14-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      “As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;”
      ‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

      Oh look, I can selectively quote scripture as well. Now what?

      • Sinner, you quoting culturally relevant texts concerning the hebrew law contrasting wisdom regarding how to manifest a culture of honor that can span any cultural barrier does not negate God’s call in those verses. If someone is in a destructive habit we are called to help them in love. This requires confrontation. Just because some cultural verses do not apply does that mean we dismiss the words of Christ himself ? Are we not to become more like Him ? Are we given discernment from the Holy Spirit to out of love help others become aware of destruction they do not know, then to humbly and lovingly guide them out, as one might do with a more apparent physical problem like a drug addiction ? Do you not believe the bible is divinely inspired ?

        Again, picking the verses that are not seen as culturally applicable to try and negate the original comments argument is fallacious and comes across as bitter.

    • Hg, please explain to me where in the bible it says we do not have to follow these scriptures due to them being simply a matter of culture.

      You will find that it is impossible to do, because Paul believed those things were right, and any way other than what he prescribed in the text was wrong.

      Why would he even write those things if he was not laying out a system that he felt God was calling him to communicate? Is that not what the bible is all about? Are you saying that those words in particular are not God-breathed? Just the ones that other people have linguistically and culturally analyzed that you use to demonize and condemn very happy and healthy homosexuals are God-breathed?

      I’m really confused, because if you are going to say that the bible is God’s message, then it is all God’s message. You cannot simply cherry pick what you believe to be or not to be culturally irrelevant.

      • We all cherry pick from the Bible. If not, you would be in favor of adulterers and disrespectful teens being stoned. As it is, you’ve probably had to do some selective verse enforcement regarding the Bible. It’s disingenuous to take that stance toward someone else, that they to take an all or nothing attitude toward Scripture. God tells Joshua to destroy whole towns, including children. Tell me how your response here, works regarding that portion of the Bible. Is that ever something we’d say today that is “God-breathed” and useful today toward those who we believe to be the enemy?

        Paul certainly believed what he was writing was from God, but nearly every pastor, Christian speaker, and author feels the same way. How is their “inspiration” different from Paul’s?

        But yes, like all of us, Paul was a product of his culture and time. He was fully human; just as prone to bias, preference, and subjectivity as you and I, (unless you believe that Paul was a robot who God spoke exclusively through). Paul was not God. He is not infallible. He was not devoid of his humanness as he served, ministered, and listen for the voice of God.

        Be careful speaking in broad strokes about religion, especially when they apply equally to one’s own life.

        Here are some thoughts on The Bible.

      • Hello John!

        All of your articles have given me tons of hope, and I am very appreciative of your intellectual understanding of scripture.

        I have read that article that you posted before. It’s a great one.

        What you are saying in response to my comment is precisely what I was trying to portray, albeit probably unsuccessfully. I tend to make arguments by questioning other people’s logic and using it against them.

        I myself am gay, and have struggled with coming to terms with that ever since I was a child. I know what scripture says, but in my heart I do not see how I am this degenerate, lustful pervert I am made out to be by other fellow Christians. This way of thinking has hurt and destroyed my self image in ways I cannot even put to words.

        Growing up a Christian, I have clung on to Jesus, because I feel his message of love has been the biggest source of hope in my life.

        My initial point was that the bible is fallible because it was written by fallible beings, and it’s not as clear and decisive as a lot of Christians would like it and use it to be when they are quoting scripture. Quoting a scripture on aggressive judgment and violence and using it as the end all be all is disingenuous because there is just as much scripture, if not more, that speaks of compassion, non-judgment/violence, and grace.

        We are all sinners, and we all consciously make choices to sin every single day. I wish this was more understood within the Christian community. I feel it would solve a lot of the implied self-righteous, hierarchical structure that alienates those we label “others”. There should not be an us (Christians) vs. them (sinners/non-Christians) way of thinking, because we are them.

        I am still learning to accept who I am, in spite of all the self-loathing I have experienced. And I feel a little more peaceful every single day.

      • They are cultural because they refer to religious practices of the time (Roman & Greek) which Paul was addressing. Read the whole context. You quote them out of context. They are similar in some ways to Paul’s insistence that women don’t speak and make sure their heads are covered, plus a few other such admonitions that are not regarded as culturally acceptable today, like jewellery, hair, dress, make-up.

      • With all do respect Jem, I have read them in full context. I am not an idiot, and I have done my research. All of the people claiming they are only a matter of culture are being subjective and inserting “cultural” meaning that is not at all referred to in scripture. I believe the meaning and message is very clear. Paul would not have written these words if he did not believe they were what God wanted for the Church.

        • But what is Paul referring to? Even the words used are in some cases not properly understood. It is my understanding that he is addressing some form of malpractice that was common in the day, but not likely homosexuality in the case of a man loving a man. Perhaps it was some form of sexual aberrence which was practiced in Roman and Greek religious ceremony of the time. Also some of the passages are a clear reference to a hetero-sexual man not indulging in homosexuality. Very interesting. Not a homosexual man not indulging in homosexuality.

          I must apologise to John here too. We seem to be taking the discussion off, perhaps at too much of a tangent, and this whole discussion on Scripture and homosexuality should perhaps be another topic entirely.

      • Also just to clarify, I obviously do not believe that women should be silent. My point is that people tell me to “contextualize” and “read in” to these scriptures, but then get mad when others have linguistically analyzed and culturally contextualized scripture condemning homosexuality. Both scriptures regarding these two separate issues are pretty “clear” about what God wants. Why does one issue get contextualized, deemed a matter of “culture,” and ignored, but the other does not?

      • Jem, just to put that scripture in context for you, the bible says the following right after Paul writes that it is disgraceful for women to speak in church:

        “If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.” – 1 Corinthians 14:37-38

        • This really proves that it is not a good idea to take Scripture literally as applicable in all times and ages, since you can’t really be serious about refusing women a voice in the church, can you? Anymore than you would seriously advocate slavery today, since Scripture is clearly in support of that too.

      • Sinner, John’s reply to you is not a fair one. When he says that “We all cherry pick from the Bible. If not, you would be in favor of adulterers and disrespectful teens being stoned,” he shows no awareness of the tons of scholarly material produced by biblical theologians that deal with these very issues. There is such a thing in the Bible as progressive revelation, and biblical scholars recognize this and treat these texts appropriately.

        Furthermore, his attitude toward Scripture is by no means an evangelical one. When he says, “Paul certainly believed what he was writing was from God, but nearly every pastor, Christian speaker, and author feels the same way. How is their ‘inspiration’ different from Paul’s?” he is completely misrepresenting the situation. Evangelical preachers and biblical theologians recognize that the inspiration of the apostles and prophets is of an entirely different order than what me might casually refer to as inspiration today. No evangelical pastor would regard his sermons, writings, etc., to be on an “inspirational” par with the apostles and prophets. John’s statements here are reflective of a very inferior understanding of what Scripture is. To be sure, the words of the prophets and apostles are human words, but they are also divinely inspired words, and they are inspired in a way which ours are not.

    • He did a pretty poor job and left his argument full of holes. It was not at all doctrinal and easily refuted. I can understand why he feels the phrase is so annoying (and I agree) but it is not biblically inaccurate.

  18. Reblogged this on darren's thinking and commented:
    “The bottom line, is that it is a phrase that injures, demeans, judges, and bullies people who are made in the image of God, and those are things that should never be on the agenda of someone claiming to be following in the footsteps of Jesus.”

  19. Not to mention the quote came from Gandhi and was completely taken out of context. The rest of the quote goes on to explain that LTSHTS doesn’t work because it spreads poison in one’s heart.

  20. Jude 22-23
    22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

  21. Sin is judged by God on an individual bases; not by man. It is the measure of a person’s deliberate disobedience of God’s WILL, which is spiritually directed by the Father Fragment (Holy Spirit, Mystery Monitor, Though Adjuster) , given to us for the purpose of discerning our Father’s will, which varies from person to person. It’s difficult to judge what you cannot measure but the more one allows themselves to be led and directed by the Father Fragment, the greater one’s chance of ascension.

  22. you have it wrong.. it is love the sinner.. not the sin. and the concept is no different from say.. cancer. it is a horrible disease that I would venture most people hate. yet those who suffer from its effects require compassion and service. choice or not.. is irrelevant. the simple issue here is that some people believe we were put in this world to learn.. and help others to learn important lessons. a key issue is that of self control and compliance with a greater plan. to that end each of is faced with challenges to facilitate growth. for one person it might be diabetes.. for another a father who was never there. while others might have an unnatural attraction towards the same sex. and others are may have untold wealth but lack all social skills and lI’ve isolated from the world. all are simply challenges. one no greater than the other. because like beauty.. difficulty is always gauged in the eye of the beholder. the issue arises in the concept of.. are you your brothers keeper… and do you accept that he is yours? if there is no agreement on that point.. no level of wordly logic will ever reconcile the two groups. which is why Christ sent apostles.. missionaries.. into the world to teach his principles and cry repentance.

    • Matt. I do not subscribe to the notion that the sole purpose of our presence in this world is to go through a bunch of preformulated and preplanned tests (made just for each of us individually) to determine our fitness for life in some world to come. God has bigger and better things to do with his time than dance to this old fundie tune. Maybe you should started dancing to his tune—starting with all those red letter sayings of Jesus you guys are always running from and pretending do not exist.

      • thank you for proving my point. when we disagree on the point of existence.. it is hard to come to an accord on how to go about it. for example.. the idea that a parent has anything better to do than see to the development of their children into flourishing adults speaks to a fundamental difference in the importance of the family and how that plays into the eternal view of things.

      • Matt. Are you aware that you are not very clear in your writing? Can you make your point in one or two concise sentences because I am apparently not picking up on what you are trying to say. Thanks!!!

  23. “I love you, Christian, but I really hate the way you, “love the sinner, hate the sin.””

    So, wait, you hate something I’ve done? But you don’t hate me? ABOMINATION.

  24. I have used this statement, but never with LBGT. I have no problem with LBGT. So, that part of your message I don’t agree with. However, the rest of it hit me right in the heart! Love, love, love what you had to say!! Thanks for saying it!

  25. Amen. Amen. Amen. I still maintain that it is impossible for human beings to love the sinner and hate the sin. In practice among human beings, it almost always ends up as hate the sinner and hate the sin.

    In fact, if you want to do selective cherry picking of scripture and ignore what the Bible says elsewhere, which most fundies deny doing but clearly do anyway, the Bible actually lends more support to “Hate the sinner and hate the sin.” One of my old Southern Baptist preachers (John Keith) had a phrase from the Old Testament that he just loved. One day I payed him a visit, and he quoted it to me and told me how much he loved it. Paraphrased, it was: “God is angry at sinners every day.” This was taken to mean all day long. It calls up visions of a pure and perfect God who hates all sin in the lives of people, and He is angry at the people who are sinning all day long. Notice that He is not angry at the sin. He is angry at the sinners. God hates both the sin and the sinner. The Old Testament also teaches us ” Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One.” The New Testament elaborates on that by making the point that God the Father. Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit are the three entities who make up the One. As the first couple of verses in the Book of Hebrews says, “God is like Jesus.” The New Testament also says this: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

    So, mathematically, we end up with something like: If a = b and b = c, then a = c.

    If God hates sinners so much that he is angry with them all day long 24/7/365—and you really gotta hate humans badly to keep that up 24 hours per day for the millions of years humans have existed in some form on Planet Earth, Jesus and God are the same in mind, and we humans a required by God to have that exact same mind in us, then it only follows scripturally—we are talking the Bible here and what it very simply says when literally read, that we followers of Jesus Christ are required to be angry 24/7/365 with sinners and their sins and hate both the sinner and the sin just like God does.

    You also have to look at the story of Noah in the Book of Genesis, which is a perfect example of God hates both the sinner and the sin. God decides to kill every human being on Earth except for the members of Noah’s small family. He says He is doing it because humans are so bad. Clearly, God hates the sinner and his sin—enough to kill both with a single stroke of floodwater.

    The populations of the Earth is about 7 billion right now. Reading the Bible literally, God plans to torture nearly all of these 7 billion people in Hell forever and ever because they either rejected Jesus or never happened to hear about him. The Bible calls it the “second death.” Is God going to torture all these people because he loves them? Hell no!!! The Bible makes it clear that he will toss them into this second death because He hates their sins and hates them too because of their sins.

    Some fundie out there is saying, “Well, I never thought of it like that. Them scriptures do say exactly what you said. I read’ em myself. Maybe you are onto something there?” This is how fundies go wrong with the Bible 24/7/365 and come up with patent bullshit like “Love the sinner and hate the sin.”

    But you can also look at the issue in other ways that are just as scriptural:


    My point here is basically the same as yours John: “Love the sinner and hate the sin” is one of the lamest pieces of crap that ever spewed forth from a preacher’s mouth. For the most part, it is little more than an old Southern Baptist aphorism along the lines of “Lips that have touched wine will never touch mine.” In other words, It is what Jesus referred to as a “tradition of men” in Matthew 23. You can cherry pick scripture to make a MUCH STRONGER argument that God hates both the sinner and his sin. But in the end, the saddest matter is the cherry picking of scripture to support the evils that arise in our own hearts. This is the typical fundie pattern:

    Evil arises in the fundie heart. Fundie goes to scripture to find something Biblical to support it. Fundie cherry picks the Bible to craft an argument in favor of his sin. Fundie becomes convinced God is on his side. Evil is now good.

    • Just to give you an example of this, the Republican Party apparently asked David Barton (down in Texas) to craft some new theology showing that God is against the minimum wage. He went and did it, and I saw the film clip where he presented this new, Bible based argument as to why both the Republican Party (and now God himself) are against the minimum wage for working poor people. It was a disgusting perversion of the Bible calculated to hurt “the least of these,” but it showed just how so much of the Bible can be twisted to support evil in the hands of any really smart, sly, and cunning person.

      Whenever someone does this or is appearing to do this though, you can ask one question. Would the Jesus of the New Testament oppose a minimum wage for working poor people. Hell no!!! No way!!! The criterion of what Jesus said and what He did easily unravels these cleverly crafted Biblical arguments to support evil.

      • If you are a fundie and you were bleeding on the side of the road, I would pick you up, bind your wounds, and pay for your upkeep at the inn—and check on you when I came back. If I really hated you, I would probably kill you instead (were it legal). I have never killed anyone so far and certainly have no plans to do so. The problem with true hate is that it leads, eventually, to killing people. Fundie hatred causes LGBTQ kids who are confused and scared to commit suicide. You and those like you may think you are doing God and the world a service—and the more of the little shits dead the better. Rather, I think of myself as being more like Paul Revere—warning the people over and over and over gain that “The fundies are coming!!! The fundies are coming!!! The fundies are coming!!! However, I really do believe that a seed of true hatred exists in Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism and that it will one day lead to massive violence because this is where all fundamentalisms lead to culturally on this Earth. Now go giggle somewhere.

      • @dover1952 I agree that a seed of hatred exist through out too many Christian organizations. I also believe you come across with hatred in your tone toward some. You said, “you and those like you” well, I’m not a fundie so to quote what JP replied to David Arzouni. “I’m glad that you are able to evaluate my relationship with God from where you’re standing, with almost no reference points. This was the position of the Pharisees as well, and they completely missed God in their midst. You seem to be reflecting the humility, compassion, and decency of Jesus well here. Apparently you’re quite content with your expression of the Gospel.”

  26. 1. JESUS never said it. HE lived it. “Your sins are forgiven you. Go and sin no more.” John 8:11 and “Your sins are forgiven you. Sin no more lest soemthing worse befalls you”. John 5

  27. 2. Real born again believers come into contact with sinners of all types every day. The difference is, adulterers, liars, whoremongers, murderers do not brag about their sins. When we as believers are directly confronted by demonicly inspired humanity, direct confrontation is required. JESUS did it. Remember the pigs, the temple tables, the Sadduccees, the Pharisees and satan’s attempts? HE, THE LORD, directly confronted and spoke out against sin. We do too. We are not cowards or inconsistent. You just want us to pat you on the back and sing Kumbaya. Nevah happen, dude.

    • Those “other” sinners don’t brag about it!? Are you joking? In 2015 never has it been more popular to brag about being an adulterer (come on, even many of the people that preach against it are constantly being outed as adulterers, thieves and liars), or whoremongere (have you turned on the news, in like, the last 50 years?). The people who listed are not the least bit secretive or ashamed by what they do; it is blasted on our face every time we read the newspaper, turn on the news or check facebook- and much more so than the LGBT group. Where have you been (at church, no doubt) if you think that the LGBT are the only ones who outwardly sin? People always turn this around by saying things like “Jesus judged, therefore I can judge; or Jesus turned the tables over in the temple, setting the example for us to judge”….but there is something very, very flawed in your argument that you have blatantly overlooked: Jesus IS the judge. He IS God, our Lord. He is the creator, and ultimately he will judge you and me and all the rest of the sinners (everyone who ever was and is to come).

  28. Hot off the press today!!! Here is a pretty good example of hating the sin and hating the sinners:


    It is not enough for this county clerk in Kentucky to just be opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons. She wants to take her unique personal religious viewpoint out as judgement on the two men that wanted a now legal marriage license. She is misusing her official office in local government to punish the two men for violating her personal religious beliefs—as if she has a right to use a local government office to do that in direct defiance of a federal court order.

    What would I do if I were the federal judge? I would send a couple of U.S. Marshals down to her county in Kentucky with an arrest warrant, convict her of contempt of court, and slap both a fine and jail time on her. All Liberty Counsel is going to do is use this woman as a pawn to raise a huge PR stink about the evils of same sex marriage and how it violates the religious rights of Christians. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the early 20th century (long before the so-called culture wars) that American citizens DO NOT have ABSOLUTE rights under the Bill of Rights in the united States Constitution. This is why people who have free speech can be arrested, charged, and legally convicted for yelling “FIRE” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.” This woman’s claim to use her religious freedom to punish two gay people who apply for a marriage license is going to meet with disaster for her—and it should. She has no right to use her office as an instrument of judgement against two people just because she feels it is the right religious thing for her to do.

    • dover1952, You seem to only see what you want to see. Seriously, you come across as having much hatred. The Ky clerk has to defend her religious belief! It would make life easier if she would just change positions but Ky clerks are elected officials. It’s not like swapping chairs.
      I agree with this statement from a newspaper article “…county clerks with religious objections are also protected by the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act as well as a state version of the law. They can ask another employee in their office to issue licenses…”
      Talk about discrimination! Why does a man with a ball cap have to remove his cap when entering a bank yet one that is dressed in hijab..is ok? It is supposed to be removed for safety.
      Yet why are we allowing this?
      “…legal cases in which a Muslim woman successfully sued Abercrombie & Fitch for denying her a job because of her head scarf; pharmacists won the right to refuse to sell contraception that went against their religious beliefs; and employees fired for refusing to work on Saturdays won the right to be offered different shifts…”

  29. I haven’t read that LTSHTS is an abomination in the Bible but I have read where the act of homosexuality is… so this article is not based on Biblical standards in my view but is more about being PC and not hurting the LGBT’S feelings. What I say or believe won’t matter on judgement day (other than answering for my own actions) but what the Bible says will and that’s between you and God… If the goal of this article is to convince me that hating the sin of homosexuality is itself a sin then the author missed it. If it was meant to convince me to change my views from what the Bible says to accepting/condoning a sinful lifestyle, he still missed it. God will have the last say and I pray that all sinners will be saved before HE judges them. And yes, that includes those who engage in the abomination of homosexuality. All i can say is: Repent! Today is the day of salvation! Prepare ye the way for the Lord! Make straight paths for Him! And lastly, prepare for the persecution of being a true Christian as we draw closer to His return. .. God Bless! 🙂

    • Ah!!! Another person who knows how to quote every verse in the Bible as a law—but would not understand the weightier matters involving the spirit of that law and the love of Jesus if it came up from behind and kicked him in the ass end. Congratulations on the enormous, pharisee-like spiritual pride you take in being a so-called “TRUE” Christian.


      Justan Ordinary Christian (with many flaws)

  30. Well said, couldn’t agree more. It is an arrogant statement only meant to pass judgement on the person to whom it is directed.

  31. Jon! Aha! At last. You articulate what I have suspected, nay thought all along. I just thought maybe, since I was in the minority that I was on the wrong track. Thank you for clarifying and supporting my viewpoint.Recently I raised this question on fb and had many friends uphold the LTSBHTS approach. Embrace the whole person with love like Jesus taught. Makes sense.

  32. Preach it Brother John! You nailed it perfectly – thank you. From a Christian Lesbian who loves her God, her spouse, her family, her friends, and all others as best she can every moment…I love what you share and your voice speaks for me, too. Thank you. Love to you and yours.

  33. One of the most troubling things about this article is that it is Scripture-deaf. Danny, above, has already called attention to the failure to listen to Jude 22-23. Another important passage to deal with is the letter of Jesus Christ to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2. After both praising them and calling attention to their faults, he then goes on to commend them for one more thing. And here is the commendation: “But you have this in your favor: You hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Rev 2:6). Not only is it right to hate the deeds of others; Jesus absolutely praises them for doing so.

    What makes this Scripture-deafness all the more troubling, is that when you raised this same point in a previous article, there were commenters who called attention to these same passages, and yet, now, you repeat your same point, without taking these passages into account. It is almost as if there has been a policy adopted: “See no passages that do not support my point; hear no passages that do not support my point; speak no passages that do not support my point.” You are trying to defend a point for which there is absolutely no scriptural defense.

    Put very simply, to refer to a Scriptural practice, indeed one that Jesus himself commends, as an abomination, is to put one’s self in a very precarious position. Indeed, not to hate the things that Jesus hates–that is the abomination.

    • Ah!!! Another strictly legalistic fundie who is LOVE DEAF. Congratulations on your affliction, and you may now go take your seat with the other similarly learned legalistic men in Matthew 23. How’s that for quoting scripture? Enjoy your time in Hell with your friends.

    • I find it remarkable that you and others here are unable to find anything in the Gospels that supports your position, and that rather than examining whether your position might be wrong, you scour your Bible for text you can interpret to support your position.

      I appreciate the work of John Pavlovitz. He appears to be honestly calling people to examine whether their life stands in accord with, or in opposition to, Jesus’ life.

      • Chris, I appreciate your comments; but there are deficiencies in your perspective.

        (1) “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” was formulated based on what we find in the gospels and the New Testament. The exact statement is found nowhere in the Bible; but our summary formulations of biblical teaching rarely are. Several commenters above have already shown how the concept of loving the sinner but hating the sin is demonstrated in the life of Christ himself. Additionally, it is also important to recognize that Christ expected his followers to emulate him, and he gave them the authority to go into all the world and teach people to obey Jesus’ commands and teachings; and these commands contain both positive imperatives as well as negative prohibitions. Furthermore, he gave them the authority to forgive sins, or to withhold forgiveness. This calls for a process of discernment. And the Christian church and individual Christians exercise this authority when they practice church discipline, and lovingly but firmly speak to sins in the lives of individuals (1 Cor 5:12-13; Gal 6:1). This is simply New Testament Christianity.

        (2) I didn’t have to do any “scouring” of the Bible to support my position. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that the overall tenor of Scripture supports the idea that while we love those who sin, we should also hate what is evil. If you’d like, I could write you a dissertation on this. But you can do it yourself by simply reading the Bible. No scouring is necessary.

        (3) The words of Jesus in the book of Revelation are as authoritative as are the words of Jesus in the gospels. Beyond this, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus told his apostles that he had many more things to say to them, and that after he ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit would come and communicate these things to them. The result is the New Testament; and the words of Paul, Peter, James, Jude, and John are as authoritative as the words of Jesus; through their words Jesus still speaks authoritatively to the church.

        I appreciate your appreciation of John’s ministry; but in this article, he was working with an incomplete data set. Those who are going to call a biblically commanded and demonstrated practice an abomination, without being more familiar with the Scriptures than is evidenced in this article, put themselves in very precarious position.

  34. There’ve been a lot of comments already so I don’t feel obligated to make anyone read one more, but I just have a couple thoughts that I want to put into words.
    1. I totally agree that this can be a hurtful statement, and that is what we need to watch out for in this.
    2. However I think it’s a theologically sound idea.
    I think it’s ludicrous to call yourself a Christian and say that you are inseparable from your actions (I don’t know if all of you are arguing this, but I saw one guy say it), what in the world do you think Jesus does for us if not take the weight of our past actions upon himself and free us from the sins we have previously committed!? That’s the foundation of our faith: that I am not bound to my sins thanks to the depthless mercy of Christ. Also I’m pretty okay with saying I hate sin. The theological concept of forsaking God in one’s heart (if not verbally) is an okay thing to hate in my opinion. I hate that it plagues peoples’ lives and hearts. I hate that it wreaks havoc in families, and I hate that people experience so much pain and sorrow because of it. The idea behind the LTSHTS statement is that we strive as a community to bring people out of brokenness and idolatry by giving them a place where they experience care and exhortation. Of course there is grace, and condemnation of others does not belong in church… And that’s my point. We really don’t need to be shoving so much condemnation at people who use subscribe to this idea, because I’m fairly certain that God does in fact hate sin. And yet He still manages to love us all perfectly. What we should be doing is watching for the people in our own lives who abuse this statement, and lovingly address their exploitation.

  35. I’ll also say that I by no means subscribe to the idea that forgiveness from sins requires no repentance. I’m all about that idea. Bonhoeffer all the way!

  36. All you Christians who love the sinner and hate the sin… My son has a challenge for you. Stop sinning and he’ll stop being gay. That means your secret gay porn, your murderous thoughts of the gay preacher down the street, your affairs with the church Secretary, all those extra helpings at Sunday dinners. Smoking. That cuss word you just thought. That red light you barely ran. All of it. Every sin. Every second of every day. He’ll stop. He promises.

  37. Jude 1:22–23 “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

    Sin is to be hated, not excused or taken lightly. We love sinners by showing them respect (1 Peter 2:17), praying for them (1 Timothy 2:1), and witnessing to them of Christ. It is a true act of love to treat someone with respect and kindness even though you do not approve of his or her lifestyle or sinful choices. It is not loving to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. It is not hateful to tell a person he or she is in sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true. Sin leads to death (James 1:15), and we love the sinner by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). We hate the sin by refusing to condone, ignore, or excuse it.
    All evil, including the sin in our own lives, must be hated (Romans 12:9). I think one of the reasons LTSHTS is an oft heard refrain is that Christians need reminding not to become apathetic toward sin anywhere (whether in the church -1 Cor 5:6; or in the world -2 Cor 6:14ff), lest it spread and overcome us. Rather, through love, we overcome sin, not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others (Rom 12:21). But this can only be done if our message of gospel love includes a message of abhorrence of sin; regardless of how counter-cultural such a message may be.

    • Yes—but fundies are apathetic to sin—the one’s within themselves. They have an amazing ability to concentrate on the sins of everyone else and blind themselves to their own sins—which they must do—for to confront within themselves the things they most hate about others would be to make their lives on this Earth unlivable. I guess my point here is that if you are going to hound other people to suicide, you are equally required to hound yourselves to suicide. The problem there though is that all of you are too much cowards to mete out to yourselves the lack of Christian love and the downright meanness you mete out to your fellow man.

  38. It would appear that you have fallen for one of the classic blunders…. in this case, making a blanket judgement against something that is true, but has been misused in such a way as to create the perception that it is untrue.

    1. The Bible clearly, repeatedly and unequivocally states time and again that the One and Holy God despises (or hates or abhors) sin (or iniquity or evil deeds). This point is not even subject to debate, it is that plainly and oftly written (see Isaiah, Psalms, Deuteronomy, Jude, Titus, Revelation, Romans, Corinthians, etc.) It would be prudent to understand WHY God hates sin, but for brevity, sin is incompatible with God’s nature. We were created to commune with God, but sin now prevents that from happening. It therefore stands to reason that God would hate the thing (sin) that separates Him from His creation (us).

    2. The Bible also clearly, repeatedly and unequivocally states that God loves us. In the context of the LTSHTS phrase, perhaps a verse from Romans says it most succinctly: “… but God shows His love for us, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Sinners – those who commit sin.

    (2) proves that God loves the sinner and (1) proves that God hates the sin.

    Now comes the hard part, for Christians. We are called to speak the truth… in love. We are not called to sit in judgement – and that is the real sticking point for people who use this phrase. Christ’s example with the woman at the well was approach her, show love to her, forgive her and admonish her to turn away from her sinful past. Too often, we confront instead of approach, show disgust or fear instead of love, pass judgement instead of introduce to Jesus, and condemn instead of leading to repentance.

    In that way, the LTSHTS phrase has been hijacked and used as a vehicle to allow some Christians to feel justified in acting in a way that is totally at odds with Jesus’ perfect example(s).

    However, that misuse does not render the truth of the phrase invalid, rather the truth, as it always does, shines it’s light on those who twist it to their own sinful means.

    Where would each of us (Christians) be now had God not made a way to deliver us from sin by sending His Son to die to pay the price on our behalf? That is the ultimate, literal and perfect example of loving the sinner and hating the sin, and one that we should never stop being thankful for, or ashamed to share.

    • I will AMEN you on that—and add—that the one thing we humans forget is that WE ARE NOT GOD. God truly can love the sinner and hate the sin. He has the perfect talent and ability to do it and do it with just the right balance. We humans are really, really, really lousy at it—and Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals appear to have nearly zero ability to do it as a matter of practice. Each one of them needs to sit up on the side of the bed each morning and say:


      This world would be a hellavu lot better place if you could just find it within yourselves to do that—but I know you will not—because too many of you secretly already think that YOU ARE GOD—down in that dark and closed off little corner of your unconscious hearts that you are very careful to never visit.

  39. In reference to the Phrase “Love the sinner hate the sin”, Let me start by saying, “I think that phrase should stop at Love the sinner.” Sin does not exist as a gradient. There are no levels or degrees. It is simply an act that separates us from relationship with God. That being the case, a single lie is as destructive as a sin that society considers more despicable. The thing to remember is that we as people do not get to gauge the qualifications of sin. That venue is God’s alone. He is pretty clear in the New Testament about what things will separate us from relationship with him. From where He stands there are things that you can not reach and stay in his presence. To put sin within our reach we must move ourselves from his acceptable will to outside of his acceptable will. He has made his decision on what he deems acceptable for his relationships. If we function outside of that, He is not then saying “I don’t want you”, but we are saying, “We want different things in a relationship”. This results is a separation, sin. There is also a difference in having sinned and living a lifestyle of sin. When you “have sinned” , you have taken an action or thought that is inappropriate for the relationship that your in. Usually this doesn’t end the relationship if there is remorse and promise of future action with more consideration for the health of the relationship. With these caveats there is hope for the union to continue. A separation and eventual divorce occurs when consistent violations of trust, love, and acceptable relationship boundaries is compromised in an unrelenting manner with no intent of correction. No one has time for that, nor should they. That is a “lifestyle of sin”, when put into context within a relationship with God. I hold a view that is somewhat controversial with both sides of the communities I interact with. I believe in nature and nurture both being a reason for the sin and the lifestyles of sin that we wrestle with. Truth bomb time! We were built in a way that facilitates the very essence of sin. We live in bodies of flesh with desires based on fulfilling it’s want. We filter all of our interactions through minds filled with ego and cunning. There is nothing with more destructive Power than ego, just ask Lucifer. It got him kicked out of the house. There is however a monumental hallmark of equality in this knowledge. God expects us ALL to function in a manner inconsistent with our natures. I was made this way, but i aspire to be more because more is what he is looking for. You see we as humans have so much conflict within us because there is a third part to the Mind, Body equation. The third part is spirit. Our spirit is often in direct opposition to our mind and body. It longs for relationship with God, and does so with vehement resolve. The conflict and upheaval in our lives all stems from this choice……..Please him or please me. The root of please me is ego, the progenitor of sin. The root of please him is love, the progenitor of salvation. So again I say “love the sinner”.

  40. “We don’t get to play middleman between Christ and another human being.” – That is the very reason why true Christians are left in this world after accepting Jesus as their savior. True Christians understand the need for a tough message and are willing to say what needs to be said, whatever the repercussions may be.

    Romans 3:10 says; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

    Every sinful man inherently shies away from from the True Light of this world to hide his true nature. There has to be a faction that lets others know of who they really are, who God and Jesus are and what they have done for them. True love for your fellow man is telling them their exact situation in this life. Anything less is just evil.

    Every man needs to know just who they really are, as seen in God’s eyes, myself included. Without the knowledge of a consequence of rejecting God and his plan of salvation for man, no one would know what to do about their situation. Without that knowledge, they will never seek a Savior.

    Doing away with the true gospel message undermines all that God has done for man to reconcile man towards Himself. If we do as John suggests and remove this message, we might as well just let everyone live their lives as they see fit, and forget this business of God totally. Does anyone but me find this type of message coming from a pastor ironic? I do.

    • A TRUE Christian Ed? I am reminded of what Winston Churchill said:

      “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

      All people who classify themselves as so-called TRUE Christians need to understand that this act of self congratulation is little more than an expression of human vanity. You cannot and may not accord an exclusive status to yourself that lies only with the right of God himself to accord you—and his final word on the matter is not in yet.

      The only thing that makes you exclusive right now is your own pride and vanity.

      • I’m only resting in the promises of God himself as stated in His own words.

        Ephesians 1:11-14 says – 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

        12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

        13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

        14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

        1 Corinthians 1:22 says – Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

        Romans 10:9-13 says – 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

        10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

        11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

        12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

        13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

        …and lastly… 1 John 5:13 says – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

        You see it as vanity and pride, I see it as confidence.

    • No. You have your own fundie theology wrong. You are not supposed to hate what sin does to you. You are supposed to hate your sin and then hate yourself because you have the sins welling up within your own heart. You will recall what Jesus said: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you hate the sin in others and hate the people with the sin, then you are required to do the same to yourself. Have fun!!!

      • So then by your own reasoning if you overlook the sin in someone else’s life you expect them to overlook the sin in your life as well? So where does that leave you with God then? Two blind sinners which are unwilling to acknowledge their sin because of mutual exclusivity and God powerless to help because of each others stubbornness. That doesn’t sound like a fun predicament to be in at all. But hey, at least you don’t have your neighbor calling you out on something, and that makes it all right??

  41. I’ve seen plenty of gays use this quote.

    Secondly, I can love my brother without loving the language he uses around his kids or love my friend without loving the fact that he’s an alcoholic. Comparing tiny things like having freckles with a Christian’s belief who is trying to meet you halfway seems “apples to oranges” to me.

    I’m gay and I’m more worried about how people treat me than trying to control the nuances of their love. I don’t need people to love my homosexuality. I need them to respect it.

    “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is used for three different things that I can think of;

    1. By anti-gay Christians who try to make themselves feel good about trying to force gays to not be gay.
    2. By gay people who haven’t really thought about spirituality and their sexuality.
    3. By people who don’t agree that homosexuality is natural, but aren’t going to treat you differently because of that disagreement.

    You can’t MAKE people love an aspect about you. So this article doesn’t make much sense to me.

  42. From a logic standpoint, these are two true statements, therefore putting them together cannot make a statement that is untrue, therefore drawing a disparity is illogical. I suppose if Christians do not know how to do either (I think you’re picking up on a real problem), then your words are warranted. But if people truly know how to do both, then it is a perfectly accurate statement of our calling.

  43. How do you explain what Jesus said to the adulterous woman? Yes, He said to those trying to stone her, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Yes, He said to her, your sins are forgiven. But then He said to the woman (listen carefully now), go and sin no more. Did you hear that? He said, go and sin no more. Christ is very clear about the inviolability of marriage between one man and one woman, and chastity for those not married, and even chastity of heart for those who are married. Listen once again. Go, and sin no more.

  44. I think you absolutely missed the boat here. LTSHTS is EXACTLY what we’re called to do. The problem is that the church doesn’t seem to be willing to do it well.

    • I agree! God cannot look at sin. Does he not hate the sin, but love the sinner? Sin is MORE than being gay, or even Bisexual. Lying, cheating, murder, adultery, etc. Sin is still Sin NO MATTER WHAT. We are called to treat Pagans differently than Christians, but fellow Christians are to make each other aware of their sin, and loving them still- hence the phrase “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”. If a Christian says that they do not hate sin, and what it does to us and what it keeps us from, then they have some growing to do in their faith and spirituality.

  45. All in all, a very good article. Except you are wrong. It was not necessary to focus on sexuality because, let’s be honest, if you think that is the only thing Christians use as an excuse to get all excited and hateful then you haven’t been around many of them. Or, if you are one (I am thinking you are) you have lived a very insulated life, or you are focusing on your own pet cause, or…something. I do admit though that using that phrase in reference to people’s sexuality is the loudest most obnoxious manifestation of it right now. But I promise, if you pay attention, you will find the same self-justified hatred directed at people for all kinds of character “flaws.” Even those you will be surprised to find are flaws as opposed to character traits or personal beliefs.

  46. Just to clarify, do you believe that it is possible to love someone, but disagree with their lifestyle or choices. Lets take the term ‘Hate’ out of this, just to make sure we are not hung up on semantics. Is it possible to strongly disagree with a persons choice and still love them in your opinion?

  47. This is all out of context. First off, Jesus isn’t the person who hates sin. God hates sin. And God uses Jesus to sabe people from the sin they are in. Church is all about “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” But they never stop to understand what God is even like. What he does and who he is. They never even complete repentance and by far are the worst people to take opinions from. “Love the sinner” means that you love the PERSON no matter what they do. Hate the sin means that you hate sin itslef. The manifestation it has inside of people and in the world. To think that sin is who someone is, is beyond stupidity. Sin is what makes us who we are. We are all an embodiment of sin. Therefore God hates us. But he loves who we CAN become and uses Jesus to help us repent our sinful nature. The only times God ever directly says he loves someone is when they were already saved by my and free of sin. Jesus said it to everyone who he knew would listen because everyone who follows Jesus is automatically free of sin. When Jesus said what he said to people who forsake him, so be it. Those people went to hell and Jesus went to heaven and that will always be the end of the story.

  48. I would just like to thank all of you Pavlovitz-hating Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals who come to this blog every day to warn the world about the greatest living threat to TRUE Christianity—that being in your minds and hearts—Reverend John Pavlovitz. I read all of your your posts regularly, and you are a never-ending source of inspiration for my blog “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism” at


    This particular thread of comments and your posts on it have been a really special inspiration for me this evening, so much so that I hereby dedicate today’s lead post on my blog to all of you who know the Bible well and know it as nothing else but law—always reading it and hearing it—but always misunderstanding it and missing the gospel of Jesus Christ in the process because Satan has blinded you. The Evil One has used you to achieve much in this world—having showed you how to make your own lives as miserable as possible and how to make the lives of your fellow human beings as miserable as possible. Jesus said it best of your kind in Matthew 23:

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

    In short, you have become short people—minion people. Now, I will be the first to admit that I may often show myself to be a short person in many of my curt comments on this blog. However, at least for now, I retain the ability to recognize my shortness—and can admit it. You guys have so much spiritual puff-up and pride that you have lost all ability to recognize how small and insignificant you already are and how you are becoming even smaller with every passing day—not because you are filled with righteousness and the world is evil in the face of your glow—but because you have no LOVE and have become the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals in 1 Corinthians 13: 1. The day of your own annihilation in American society that you so much fear is fast approaching, and their is a good reason for it. Your thoughts and deeds on the American stage have shown your houses to be DESOLATE. People see you—but when they do—they do not see Jesus in you—they see something ugly, conceited, cold, heartless, merciless, and loveless. Remind you of anyone in the spiritual realm? Nope? That’s what I thought.

  49. Pingback: 3 Reasons “Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin” Is An Abomination | dkobaso

  50. The writer has missed the point. We are all sinners but God still loves us…. So, this rubs the whole podium of the many wishful thinking. Luke 16:15

    Watchman on the wall

    • You and I are not God. That’s why Jesus tells the stone-throwers to leave and leaves only himself an another human being. We don’t get to judge, condemn, or morally evaluate. We get to love and to point people to God, and trust him to work. It’s not a matter of sin, but a matter of what we are called and trusted with doing, and what is outside of our pay grade.

      • When Jesus tells the stone-throwers to leave, there are several things going on.

        1. The Law indeed requires stoning for adultery. In fact it calls for BOTH persons to be stoned. So Jesus, as the Author of the OT Law, notices that the guy’s not there. The folks in the crowd clearly state that she was caught “in the act”. So, without getting graphic, the guy was there when she was caught, but not when she was accused. One of the items described as abomination in Proverbs (twice, actually) is the use of dishonest (or “unfair”) scales/measures. Jesus didn’t set the Law aside. He obeyed it very specifically and demanded that the crowd do the same. He was not going to tolerate unjust application of it.

        2. Capital punishment required two witnesses. When the crowd dispersed, there were no witnesses. Therefore a legal conviction is rendered impossible. We have no indication that Jesus actually witnessed the adultery, and you’d still need one more.

        3. Jesus could see her heart, her shame. He didn’t overlook her sin. He judged it (or, sometime hence would judge it, in His own body). He forgave her sin. You only forgive a genuine offense. What she’d done WAS sin, and He addressed it appropriately.

        4. Then, He told her to stop doing it.

        He never ignored it. He never set the Law aside. He obeyed it, and He fulfilled it in fine “not one jot or tittle” fashion.

        He hated sin, He hates sin, and He calls us to do the same.
        He sacrificed Himself for sinners … “laid down His life” … we’re to make our lives available to those around us as well. In short, LTSHTS. Love the sinner enough to warn him that the Lawgiver is both Kurios and Despotes (Jude 4).

      • 1) The Bible story here says nothing about her partner in sin or a theory of unfair scales. You are hypothesizing here at best and reading this into the text. You do not get to do this kind of thing out of one side of your mouth and then say to us “The Bible Says” out the other side of your mouth. Remember. “Jesus is the lamb of God,” which means that Mary had a little lamb.” That is what the Bible literally says, and you are required to take it that way—or all of you are liars about what you do with the Bible.

        2) This Bible story says that she was caught in the act. It does not say whether she was caught and witnessed by one person, two, persons, or 7 persons. You cannot just assume that a certain number of witnesses were in the gather crowd. How do you know this was not an unjust mob action like a southern Jim Crow lynching. The fact is that you do not—and the Bible story does not spell that out for you. The question of whether any witnesses were present after the crowd left is irrelevant because Jesus had already dispersed the crowd. You can only address what the Bible literally says, and you are required to take it that way—or all of you are liars about what you do with the Bible.

        3) This Bible story says nothing about Jesus choosing to see her heart or see her shame. Certainly, He could if he wanted to do so, but it does not say that He did. The text here says absolutely nothing about Jesus judging her sin. How do you know that Jesus was not just extending his Godly right to show mercy to a person who had supposedly disobeyed the law. The fact of the matter is that you do not know. You can only address what the Bible literally says, and you are required to take it that way—or all of you are liars about what you do with the Bible.

        4) Yes, He did tell her to stop sinning. Did she? No one knows. You appear to think that showing mercy is setting the law aside whereas God, according scripture, reserves unto himself the right to show mercy to whomever He pleases. That is not setting aside the law. Jesus fulfilled nothing in this story. The Bible story here does not say a word about “fulfilling” anything. That was done later on the cross and with the resurrection. This Bible story says nothing about the woman not knowing the law and Jesus having to warn her about what she does not know. You can only address what the Bible literally says, and you are required to take it that way—or all of you are liars about what you do with the Bible. He knows a little Greek—well whoopie doo.

        YOU CANNOT SAY, “THE BIBLE LITERALLY SAYS”—and then go off on your own thought journey that adds enormous, extra-Biblical content to the story. This is precisely the thing you people accuse so-called apostate Christians of doing. Because you are a legalist, you can only see this story in legalistic terms. It never occurs to you that Jesus could have simply been showing mercy to someone, which is also perfectly in line with scripture.

        The next time you see Paige Patterson and Paul Pressler. Tell them that the time of their natural deaths is fast approaching and that God is going to roast each one of them alive for what their sin did to the Southern Baptist Convention and the church vision God gave to Roger Williams. That is called prophecy.

  51. Pingback: How Do You Fill the Vacuum Created by Rejecting Scripture as the Word of God? | The Recapitulator

  52. I think just because people heavily butcher the phrase and don’t grasp it’s implications does not make the phrase an abomination. The people you speak of are the ones that don’t consider acceptance as one of its main principles. As the phrase is a mindset, I personally never need to say it; as long as you’re not a serial killer or a rapist, we can become best friends.

    • It is not a theory Eleanor. As annoying as some may find it, it is biblical. See Jude 22-23. “22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” Sin destroys people and it is from the devil. Because of that we should literally hate it, but deeply love those who are being afflicted by it – meaning everyone. We are all sinners. The phrase annoys me too, but it is accurate. But because it is accurate doesn’t necessarily mean it should be quoted. Definitely should be practiced, just not quoted so much.

      • Interesting that the verse/s you quote repeat the phrase “show mercy”. Seems that is the key, not the rubbing of sin in people’s faces. The whole point about this article is that Christians are very good at forgetting about the “show mercy” bit and far too intent on pointing out everyone else’s sin.

      • I feel like “sin” needs to be clarified.

        As John pointed out, the phrase is often used against LGBT people. Not against other sins.

        Do we say “hate the sin, love the sinner” to drink drivers who kill people? Or pastors who turn out to be child molester creeps. Or thieves.

        Cuz we should, really. It should apply equally to all “sins” or all “sinners.” Not to a specific group of people viewed as sinners.

        • Elaine, this phrase, “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” has been around for decades. I remember hearing it in the church I grew up in, and it definitely was not being applied to same-sex issues. It was used to refer to adultery, drunkenness, criminal acts, etc. John Pavlovitz is simply wrong when he says that it is only used with regard to LGBTQ issues.

          • You aren’t being honest here, because all live in the world and we all know exactly when it is used.

            And regardless, it is a phrase which is responsible for nothing good or loving, and smacks of self-righteousness. It has nothing of Jesus in it. You’re more than welcome to it, but it isn’t theology that reflects Christ.

            • John, this is a horrible response. As I said, I grew up in a church where I heard this phrase used many times, and never in the context of same-sex relationships. I am being completely honest when I say this. To be sure, it has come more recently to be used with regard to LGBTQ issues as well. But even then it is not used for these issues exclusively. It is used with regard to anything that would be displeasing to God. And it is phrase that has everything of Jesus in it. It is descriptive of what Jesus himself did, and of what he would expect his followers to do, as evidenced by multiple passages in the New Testament.

              • I disagree with you. You disagree with me. I’m OK with that. You would like me to sanction your behavior toward LGBT people and I won’t. You use this same tactic with LGBTQ people.

                You’re more than welcome to believe differently than I do. I don’t need your consent to believe it.

                I stand by my post and your disagreement with it is noted and shared here. Take care.

    • I read the article in your link Jerry. I am a fairly critical reader and I found your blog to be dead on. Great response to an unfortunately irresponsible post. It seems sometimes that John wishes to curry the favor of his followers and popular cultural opinion rather than taking the more difficult stance of standing by the inerrant and God inspired scripture. God’s word can be tough to swallow sometimes, but that doesn’t mean that we just call it subjective and pick the parts we are more comfortable following. The battle of self-will is a brutal one. I sadly understand this all too well. 🙂

  53. I have read many sources that say that Jesus might have been himself gay. There is evidence that he and John had a very close relationship, even to the point of romance. I really do not think Jesus would see homosexuality as a sin.

    • Terry, I can confidently say that none of the many sources you have read were the Bible. You don’t find it odd that you think Jesus might have been gay when God, His Father, explicitly said that homosexuality is an abomination? And remember that the Trinity is expressly God in 3 persons – which includes Jesus and kind of makes your argument a bit circular. Please list your many sources. It may help your argument. Nothing in the Bible states that Jesus and John had a romance. There are men in my own life that I love yet have no romantic interest in them at all. You are making quite a leap and so are your sources.

  54. 5 Refutations to this Blog Post

    1. God loves sinners. God hates sin. Maybe Jesus never said that exact thing to his followers but, come on, it’s true.

    2. Jesus exhorted his followers to be like our Father in heaven… So if #1 is true, we should LTSHTS.

    3. I can’t believe the author of this article assumes that the ONLY situation that we ever apply the principle of LTDHTS to is the issue of sexuality. Really. What about people who abuse you? What about friends who are addicts? What about terrorists? Or cruel dictators? What about the people in our lives who are compulsive liars? Manipulators? Thieves?

    4. We have brains in our heads to assess right from wrong behaviour. I think the author meant to criticize judging as condemning, but he mistakenly ends up criticizing judging as assessing, saying we should absolutely not judge (assess) others’ actions. Don’t judge their sin, don’t say it, don’t think about it, don’t even let the thought enter your head…. Just love without reservation. Which would be fantastic, but have you ever heard the term “enabling”? Are we to support their drug habit? Are we to kiss their face as they kick a dog? Seriously, is he suggesting that we turn a blind eye to all the terrible things people do and never again address these things?

    5. Finally, his very last sentence is totally contradictory to the rest of his argument. He ends up doing the very thing that he is criticizing.

    • Exactly. That’d be like if we didn’t eventually stop Hitler. He was flat out murdering people, and he was PROUD of it. If we would have ignored that, kept it out of our head, off of our HEARTS, it would have gotten so much worse.

    • No. But if you knew anything about clinical psychology, you would know that people change from evil behaviors, addictive behaviors, etc.only when they decide to change. An outside person has ZERO POWER to change another person’s life if that person refuses to change. The thing you don’t seem to get is that some people do not want to change and some people are in so deep they cannot change no matter how hard they try. It is not up to you. Your fundie harassing of people does no good with most of these people because it is not up to you. Only the person can change themselves when they decide that this is what they want to do or have to do.

  55. When I read this piece, I went back to make sure one obvious error wasn’t mine; that being, that this LTSHTS always applies only “in the context of gender identity and sexuality.” Well, surely you didn’t mean to say that because of its gross inaccuracy.

    With that said, I think your piece is another attempt to ‘unisex’ biblical teachings. Your world would be a better place if we just pooh-poohed this whole ‘sin’ idea as a concept that, now washed away, is no longer of any significance. Putting it into the context of your obsessively LGBT issue, now that God has given us all a much easier path to salvation via Jesus, He would just as soon have a do-over on that whole Adam and Eve, man and woman distinction; so yesterday.

    The Scriptural teachings of sin are still a vital and necessary maturation process for every Christian, with an emphasis on ‘necessary’ if we truly appreciate the sacrifice Christ made for us. Many Christians who, like me, love the sinner not the sin – and contrary to your statement that my disgust for sin only applies when and if I show it to the LGBT community, I have my own share of sin that disgusts me and it has nothing to do with LGBT – I don’t share that sentiment to our LGBT friends and loved-ones, primarily out of respect for them to choose the lifestyle they shall choose. If they ask, then as nicely as possible I will most often, if I feel they sincerely want my opinion, express how I believe God wants them to live. That is how I believe, based on Scripture to voluminous to set forth, that God has instructed me to profess His teachings. Whether it is my sin or their sin, it is still sin. And again, like it or not, God’s Word could not be clearer on this issue; He was not a unisex kinda God.

    • God has no sex—idiot. Check your Bible. God the Father does not mean he is a man with a dick. In heaven there is no marriage and no need for sex organs, sexes, or gender. It is a spiritual realm devoted to spiritual things.

  56. It seems hypocritical to me for the author to say that, “LTSHTS is about as sinful as we can get, friends.” and then a few lines later say, “I love you, Christian, but I really hate the way you, “love the sinner, hate the sin.”’ Isn’t he doing the same thing that he is criticizing? Isn’t he being judgmental when he accuses those who oppose this like gay marriage of hate? And one other thing: just because Jesus never uttered the words “love the sinner but hate the sin” is not an argument against the practice. Jesus never condemned wife beating either, but I think we can be sure He doesn’t condone the practice.

  57. Pingback: What’s So Wrong About ‘Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin’? Lots. | Bondings 2.0

  58. I partly agree. I think the the issue with LTSHTS (apart from being a horrible phrase) is when it comes to things like gender issues which are not separable from the person, it becomes severely personal. However I think I better way of putting it is saying, “love someone despite what they have done.” This is applicable to all issues – for example murder or rape – We can agree that murder and rape are terrible things but can we LOVE the perpetrator? That is tricky but what we’re asked to do. I think the problem, as you say, is “tunnel-visioning” love and sin into these petty arguments around sexuality.

  59. Lemme try this again … didn’t seem to make it through the filter last time.

    1. It’s exactly what G-d does, and did at Calvary. “In that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”
    2. If G-d’s standard of righteousness is to be followed (“be ye holy for I am holy”), then that call to LTSHTS extends to us, too.
    3. It happens on visitation day at every prison in this country: People show up to be with those loved ones who did stuff that the visitors hate. If those people, who don’t necessarily have the Holy Spirit indwelling, can do that, certainly the Spirit-filled church of the Living G-d can.
    4. Just because you’ve never seen it done well (after all, I clearly concede that it can be difficult), that doesn’t imply that it (a) can’t be done or (b) isn’t our calling.

  60. I’m concerned about you my brother. I find this blog a little irresponsible and lazy in preparation/valid argument. It comes across like a lot of subjective opinion. Keep in mind James 3:1 – ‘Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.’ I am not saying you should not become a teacher, but I am saying be very careful what you teach. There is great responsibility in it, and even stricter judgment.

    • Everything is subjective opinion; your understanding of the Bible, my understanding of it, the words in the post, the response you’ve written here. I would say even Paul’s writings contain as much of him and they do God. How else would a human being function? God didn’t take over his faculties and dictate the words he wrote. He was a flawed, failing human being, who sought to hear God’s voice—as we all do. Every pastor, author, speaker, and Christian has had to differentiate God’s voice with their own, and we each are as susceptible to bias and preference.

      Anyone who claims monopoly on The Truth, or that they speak on matters of faith objectively is either diluted or lying.

      This post is my perception of how Christians have grossly mistreated people using the Bible to justify it. I don’t need it to be objective.

      You may be “concerned” all you want. I am concerned about hateful people using Jesus as an excuse to be hateful. I am concerned about bigotry and violence and bullying that we who claim Christ feel sanctioned to inflict on people.

      I am very concerned about people who would write a complete stranger to tell them they are “concerned” about them.

      I would respectfully offer that you might seek a bit more humility and some examination about how your faith is subjective.

      • Everything is not subjective opinion John, if it were then everyone’s own truth would be their valid truth and we would fall into the trap of overwhelming situational truths and situational ethics. There is certainly subjectivity in the post I wrote and in some aspects of my understanding of the Bible (it can’t be avoided – I think we agree on this), but there are objective truths that are also irrefutable (and, respectfully, please don’t say my statement on objective truths is my subjective opinion – anyone can argue from that false foundation). I don’t think anyone was claiming a monopoly on the truth, but it sounds like you are saying that all of the authors in the Bible were being subjective and that ‘God breathed’ or ‘God inspired’ becomes somewhat irrelevant in the author’s own subjectivity. Do I understand you correctly here? I’m ok if you tell me I’ve misunderstood you. I may have touched a nerve in you because you took my first sentence to be a bit haughty – yes? It was not intended to be and now that I have reread it, I can understand why it may have sparked a little irritation. It sounds priggish to be honest. But it should also be said that just because you are a stranger doesn’t mean I can’t be concerned for you. That may be your own pride speaking, and a point on which you may need to ‘seek a little humilty’ as well, no? Can you be honest about that? I’d truly be interested to know. I am concerned that you think LTSHTS can’t be done. Maybe not in our own natural effort, but the Holy Spirit in us can take us from the natural to the supernatural, and what it impossible to accomplish on my own becomes possible to accomplish through Him. I am concerned because I think the message in your original post takes away from biblical truth (objective truth – not subjective and not interpretive). I’m actually ok if you are concerned for me and my view, even though you don’t know me. I will understand that you are basing it solely on my post and not on the whole of me because you don’t know the whole of me. You only know me based on my posts and I will understand that. I will also thoughfully consider your concern.

        As annoying as some may find LTSHTS, it is biblical. See Jude 22-23. “22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others,but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”
        Sin destroys people and it is from the enemy. Because of that we should literally hate it, but deeply love those who are being afflicted by it – meaning everyone. We are all sinners. The phrase annoys me too, but it is accurate.
        I don’t think anyone is rationally suggesting that you blatantly tell someone you hate their sin. Simply, love the sinner (which we all are) and hate the sin that is affecting the lives around us. I can justifiably hate the fact that someone is a drug addict because I know that satan wants to afflict and destroy them, and the particular sin that afflicts us is one of the tools he uses. I can hate the sin that is causing the drug addict so much pain and torment. I can hate the sin because it is keeping the addict from being everything that they can be in Christ. There is compassion in hating the sin that afflicts someone, yet at the same time you can show them unconditional love. It may be a silly statement (LTSHTS) and not one that is necessary to quote, but that does not make it inaccurate.

        You said, “You may be “concerned” all you want. I am concerned about hateful people using Jesus as an excuse to be hateful. I am concerned about bigotry and violence and bullying that we who claim Christ feel sanctioned to inflict on people.

        I am very concerned about people who would write a complete stranger to tell them they are “concerned” about them.

        I would respectfully offer that you might seek a bit more humility and some examination about how your faith is subjective.”

        We have the same concerns, you and I. I am genuinely saddened and concerned by the hate a ‘Christian’ can spew in the name of the Lamb of God, simply because they come across someone who lives differently, has made mistakes in life, or challenges their thinking and makes them uncomfortable. But I am not concerned about people who don’t fully know me being concerned about me. If that happens, it makes me legitimately wonder what I did or said to cause them concern. I will give it consideration and not find offense in it. It certainly would not carry the same weight as the concern of my wife, or my sons, or my parents.
        You are a teacher (as am I), and James 3:1 causes me concern for both of us. You have influence, you have a platform, you have an audience and because God has given you this you also have great responsibility. Maybe I am naive or ignorant to have concern for you, but you are a brother in Christ who is a teacher and you will be held to a higher and stricter standard. I pray every time I teach that I will do so in a way to points people to the truth of Christ (not to me and my potential for subjectivity) and that the Holy Spirit will be a filter on my mouth and the audience’s ears and understanding.

        LTSHTS may be annoying (it honestly is for me) and abused, but it is biblical, and that is not subjective. 🙂

    • Oh Wow! You who don’t even acknowledge who you are think that you have the authority to bring John into your line of thinking somehow. How is this? And what, pray, might your concerns be for John? Seems you tell him to be humble and yet you have the arrogance to bring “correction”. Somethings not right here! Who needs to do the self-examination?

      • Sorry Jem, but we are all subject to correction. You, me, John, the rest of the world. It’s just as biblical as LTSHTS. John corrected me in my approach and I actually agreed with him, part of my response sounded haughty and priggish. He also suggested I needed to ‘seek a little humility’, and based on his response, I felt he ought to do the same. In previous blogs he suggests he struggles with pride just as much as anyone. Just like you, just like me.
        Correction does not necessarily equate with arrogance Jem. I have as much authority to point out what I believe to be errors in John’s arguments as he does to point out what he believes are errors in mine. That is why he has a public blog. Read through the whole thread Jem. I’m not the only one posting dissent to his opinion. John is quite good at defending himself and I am pretty sure his shoulders are broad enough to handle the fair debate going on here, and he is quite aware that his posts are provocative and will elicit strong responses. That is what he is hoping for. He looks to stimulate dialogue and debate or he would not be blogging.
        It’s interesting though that you call into question who has ‘authority’. What qualifies authority? How does John have any more authority to correct me than anyone else does? How do you have the authority to correct me as well? Frankly, you have just as much of a right to correct me as John does. Just because I correct John, or you correct me, or John corrects you doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is claiming authority. I simply saw something I believe to be fundamentally incorrect in John’s original post. I’m not calling into question his Christianity, just his line of thinking on that particular topic. It would be a far worse offense to ignore it than to thoughtfully and respectfully challenge it. I would bet that John feels the same way. Appropriate correction is good for us. Have a look:

        2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV
        All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

        Proverbs 12:1 ESV
        Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

        Proverbs 29:15 ESV
        The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

        Proverbs 15:32 ESV
        Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.

        Hebrews 12:11 ESV
        For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
        And these are just a few.
        Do you have the right to correct me? Of course you do. But your line of argument was wrong. Does John have anymore right to bring me into his line of thinking than I do to bring him into my line of thinking? No. We share that right equally. Just as you do.

  61. It’s actually very clear that the last sentence is full of sarcasm. I failed to understand why so many people used that last line to aid in their argument against this post. Lol. It’s OBVIOUSLY sarcasm. Does anyone have any humor or is that a sin as well? Nice post Rev. John!

  62. Pingback: Love the Sinner. Period. | Christianity 201

          • John, the problem here is that I and others have pointed out that your article is not reflective of what is actually going on in the New Testament. There are several passages that call attention to the fact that we are to hate sin and in general, and we are to hate the sins of others. And you refuse to engage those arguments. Again, I reference Rev 2:6, where Jesus commends the church for hating the sins of the Nicolaitans which he also hates. There are many, many passages of Scripture which indicate that we should hate sin. There are absolutely no passages (nada, nil, zilch, zero) which says we should not hate sin. Sorry, John, you do not get a free pass here.

              • John, this response is irresponsible. It is not my opinion that Jesus tells the church in Revelation that he is commending them for hating the sins of the Nicolaitans. That is not my opinion. That is simply what is in the text as the words of Jesus. You cannot hide behind a “that’s your opinion” statement. And, frankly, I am quite unconcerned as to how you respond to any of my opinions. The question is: How will you respond to the words of Jesus? After so much ignoring of these words, after a while it certainly begins to look like you only like what Jesus has to say if it agrees with what you think he should say. And that is highly problematic.

                  • I agree with you on some points and disagree with you on others. And, as you said, everyone’s entitled to their own opinions. If a person’s going to talk about politics or religion they surely need to develop thicker skins. When you talk about those subjects you’re going to be a lightning rod for your opinions on them, good or bad. Just reply in love and try not to reply in a haughty way and I think ya’ll will get better responses, whether you agree with them or not. 🙂

      • Wow. Now we are getting into name calling? I respect your opinion John, and even have complimented you (see a couple of posts above). Your post above is just juvenile and bush league. It shows cracks of insecurity. You are much better than that and if you are secure in your line of thought then you wouldn’t feel the need to start calling people names. I am honestly a little disappointed in this approach (not you – just the approach, though you may not care – not sure at this point). I appreciate debates that challenge my way of thinking or my my previously held beliefs. I just did not expect you to turn tail and run, which is essentially what you did when you called me a name,. I respect you too much to call you any kind of name John. You may not think so, but I do. I would not have engaged you in this friendly debate if I had not thought you were intelligent and thoughtful. Just because I don’t agree with you does not mean I would call you a name. You just refuted half the blogs I read by you. For your sake, your readers’ sake you have to be stronger than this.
        And how did jshepherd53 treat anyone terribly? His responses and linked blog were soundly written and littered with scripture in context. Something, quite frankly, I have not seen from you. Stating concepts and supporting them with opinion brings a weak argument when debating scripture. I don’t have all the answers which is part of the reason I read your blog and engaged in debate. You can’t digress to schoolyard name calling and accusations and maintain your integrity. You are way better than that. I hope.

        • You and jshepherd53 want Scripture to justify or align with something that doesn’t feel or look at all like Jesus or the practice of his ministry. I’m sorry but I do not accept that.

          You can prooftext and rationalize all you want, but the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is and will be a loaded, morally superior, judgmental statement that does nothing to allow the recipient to experience the character of Christ. It is used almost exclusively with the LGBTQ community and it is always a relationship-killer.

          You can patronize me and critique my response all you’d like and I will still contend that hatred and discrimination justified by twenty Scripture verses, is still hatred and discrimination. That’s the bottom line here. Christians have been using the Bible to rationalize or sanction all sorts of bigotry and violence.

          A Christian never needs to utter the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” to reflect Christ. If you’re that dug in on that phrase, I think it is very telling.

          • Translation: “I have my own ideas as to what Jesus should have done and said, and I’m not going to let any one challenge them with what Jesus actually said and did. I am not under the authority of Scripture.”

            • You are supposedly “under the authority of Scripture” yet you use it to conform to your likes, biases, fears, and stereotypes and disregard context (Romans 1) to do it. I think you want ammunition for bigotry, in this case. If you find it there, great.

              That’s fine. I know what LGBTQ people receive when they come through our doors. I’m quite sure it feels like Jesus.

              Have a nice day.

              • This is the context of Romans 1. In the first half of the chapter, Paul talks about the how the righteousness of God is revealed through what God has done in Christ Jesus. This is the gospel. But in the second half of the chapter, Paul talks about how the righteousness of God is revealed by his wrath from heaven. The discussion proceeds in the chapter till Paul talks about idolatry, in which people exchange the glory of God for idols. Then in Romans 1:24-27, Paul states that God’s judgment on a wicked and idolatrous society is to give them over to all kinds of shameful behavior; and the flagship sinful behavior of that of homosexual activity. As people “exchanged” God for that which is not God, society “exchanged” legitimate sexual behavior for that which is not legitimate. The punishment fits the crime. That then becomes the lead-in for all other kinds of vile behavior: envy, murder, slander, hatred of God, insolence, arrogance, pride, disobedience, faithlessness. He then goes on to note that part of the shame with regard to all these sins is that not only are there those who do them, but there are those who approve of them and celebrate them. That is the context of Romans 1.

                Understanding this, believing this, and acting accordingly, even though one might personally feel differently–that is what it means to submit oneself to Scripture.

                • The context you claim is entirely slanted by your interpretation of what Paul says, so it is limited to your view only and not to an open discussion of what Paul might or might not have been referring to. I disagree entirely with your interpretation so have to reject your argument as a result, also in its entirety.

                  • Jem, the problem with your response here is that it is ill-informed. This is not just “my” interpretation; it is the interpretation of dozens of both scholarly and popular commentaries on the book of Romans, as well of that of hundreds of articles in journals and major monographs written on this first chapter. I brought all this to the table when I responded to John’s statement about the context of Romans 1. You are certainly free to reject this interpretation; however, I must note that you have brought nothing to the table as to how the chapter must be interpreted. Until you do, your rejection rings fairly hollow.

                    • I did mention the context, but you chose to ignore it. That’s ok. You welcome to your opinion, but it leaves me stone cold unmoved in mine. Your trouble is you think you so right and the more you add others who think like you the more you think you are right. I may not be right, but I sure don’t want your righteousness either. Bless you!

              • You can be as much like Jesus as you want to, and you can be as nice and loving as you want to, but if you do not identify sin as sin then how are they going to be able to repent and be truly saved? Repentance is a key tenant in the act of being truly washed of your sins and “becoming a new creature”. Any sinner is called to repent regardless of their sin. If they never do, then how are they saved? Just acting nice and kind and loving around them is not going to tell they what sin is, and it’s not going to tell them how to be saved.

                • Salvation, and repentance to receive salvation, is, in my book and my understanding of Scripture, a repentance of rejection of Christ and an acknowledging of a need for Him. I am not saved by repenting of every single sin I ever did and will do in the future. I am not saved because now I am free from sin. Jesus does cleanse me and restore me, but being sinless is not the prerequisite condition of salvation. If it were none of us could claim to be saved.

          • As I read the what feels like hundreds of posts regarding the statement “Love the sinner, hate the sin”, I must reflect on my own children’s lives. I have not always liked what my kids have done, but regardless, they are mine and I love them. We are God’s children and the concept is no different. The Bible does say to hate sin, that is possible without hating the person. I will tell my children when an action of theirs contradicts God’s word. That is my job as a Christian and a parent, to teach them the same words of Jesus that I live by everyday. No one with an argument against this phrase or for homosexuality has address the scriptures pointed out through this entire debate. Only referred to them as “clobber scriptures”. Why do you refer to them as that? Why are they in the Bible if we don’t have to abide by them? They are the words of God/Jesus, so when you say above that the words do not reflect what YOU think Jesus should do whose opinion is that? I have no desire to argue. I have been dealing with this issue with my son for several years. I love him with all my heart but cannot and will not condone this lifestyle. What I do know is that only God can deliver someone from this and I hope that many do find that deliverance. I will continue to thank God everyday for my son’s deliverance, and he will be delivered. I believe in repentance, baptism in JESUS name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. God is the same yesterday, today and forever…and so is his WORD. God bless.

            • It is so sad that you insist on deliverance being the answer. It never worked for me and I do not know of a single case where a person has been delivered from genuine homosexuality. Those cases where cure is claimed were never really homosexual, but only thought they were because of some abuse they suffered. Others have been tortured mentally and physically to “overcome” the homosexuality, usually with direful and tragic consequences. It would be so much better for you and your son if you just accepted him as God made him, and loved him as a homosexual. Your insistence of the Scriptural condemnation of homosexuality, rightly or wrongly, will in the end cause a severance of your relationship with your son.

    • One can reflect Jesus without needing to quote Scripture, and one can quote all the Scripture they want and still fail miserably to reflect Jesus. Our community is one where all people are treated individually, lovingly, and with dignity. We “preach” with the lives we live and the way we function as a community.

      For all the Scripture quoting I’ve seen here in this comment thread by you and others, my suspicion is that LGBTQ people and their families would probably not feel like they encountered Christ or are feel very valued in reading in your assessment of them, nor in the welcome they likely receive in your churches, but only you know that.

      Our community is pretty special. It doesn’t need to be defended, it needs to be experienced. People don’t need to hide behind the kind of cheap phrases that you seem so intent on defending, which is unfortunate.

      Again, you want justification of a statement and practice that I do not believe reflects Christ nor his teachings. I will not give that to you.

      • Aren’t we supposed to “model” what Jesus said and did in during his life in our lives as well? Is that not what the whole context of the New Testament portends? To model Jesus and be as Christ-like as possible? No one is saying they are, or pretending to be, Jesus himself. Yes, he was compassionate to all people, regardless of their sins. Yet, he called them to repent of their sins. If we are simply compassionate and understanding without teaching that sin is sin, no matter what kind, then are we not failing these people and leading them down the wrong path? Does the Bible not say that the wages of sin is death? And, I’m not saying I am not a sinner. Jesus said we are ALL sinners. But, when I sin I repent, I ask for forgiveness and rely on Jesus promise that the sin is forgotten and never looked at again. But, the first step is repentance. Without the understanding that one is sinning, thinking that what they are doing or how they are living is right and then this way of thinking being reenforced by New Age Christians, how can they be called to repentance and be saved? That is what I’m not understanding in this whole discussion.

  63. Richard B. Hays is a well-recognized New Testament scholar, and dean of Duke Divinity School. The link below will take you to an article of his, which is an excerpt from this book, The Moral Vision of the New Testament. The article not only provides a scholarly discussion of Romans 1 and the issue of homosexuality; but it also demonstrates tremendous pastoral sensitivity in the narrative of Hays’s relationship with one of his gay friends who was dying of AIDS. This is well worth reading, and provides a much more nuanced take on the issues.


  64. I have to agree with you John (and I’m not patronizing you – I have only been genuine, though I understand that is actually very hard to distinguish by reading text – no offense taken by your accusation. And yes, I have critiqued you) LTSHTS is loaded and comes across as self righteous and heavily biased – not carrying the love it supposedly purports. But that bias only happens when it is used irresponsibly and unlovingly. My argument is not against that in any way. My argument is primarily with points 1 and 2 in your blog and secondarily with point 3. There are many things Jesus did not say that are quoted by Christians today that are biblically and theologically correct and no, it is not cowardly or morally inconsistent. The statement itself, when it stands alone (and that is how it should be analyzed), is incredibly consistent with scripture and filled with love and compassion. I have friends who have been afflicted with addictions, poor choices, etc. whom I love unconditionally – yet I hate the sin that plagues them (but I would never blatantly tell them that I LTSHTS) because it makes them less than God intended. Just like when I sin (which I hate) and I fall short of what God has intended for me. The compassion LTSHTS is in my concern for their spiritual and godly well being – that I am sympathetic with their failure and recognize the same failures in my own life. I don’t think anyone here is saying it is ok to walk up to someone who is struggling and blurt out “I can help you and love you because God taught me to love the sinner but hate the sin.” That would be a relationship killer for sure (your point #3). It would also be insensitive, arrogant and callous. But genuinely putting into practice LTSHTS is exactly what Christ calls us to do.
    One more thing. I have remained silent to your accusations that much of the scripture I have quoted is directed at the gay community (LGBT). You have leveled that accusation at many of your responders and it seems to be a convenient and inflammatory response to hide behind. I have not one time in my responses to you mentioned the gay community and LTSHTS. I have gay friends and gay co-workers that I have personally hired. I love them dearly and some are counted as close friends. I may not agree with their lifestyle but I can love them through the eyes of Christ. I have a lot of compassion for the gay community because of the abuse they face and severe prejudices they have had to deal with historically and presently. I think one of the greatest modern church tragedies was how the body of Christ handled the AIDS crisis at its peak. It was a tragic approach that has had repercussions for almost 40 years now. But it does not change God’s word. How can anyone effectively share Christ with someone they cannot even allow themselves to have a relationship with? If I can’t genuinely care for those around me – all of those around me – then I cannot effectively further God’s Kingdom. Christ calls us to seek his righteousness above all things, to love one another as he has loved us and to make disciples of all men. I can’t make choices for people, but I can love them deeply and hold them accountable as well. It is my responsibility as a Christian (follower of Christ) to do that. I can’t love people and because that is what is comfortable to me and feels good to me, just stop there. I also have a responsibility to share all of the gospel, all of God’s commands and all of His promises. Not just the ones that make me feel good.
    You have called me a pharisee and patronizing. You have suggested that I hold hatred for the gay community and likely discriminate against them, or at the very least make them feel unloved and unwelcome (when I never mentioned them in my discussions with you – and besides, how do you know that Jerry is not gay, or I am not gay?). I have not called you any names and I have told you that I respected you and highlighted that you (and I) will be held to a higher and stricter standard because we are teachers (that is biblical) but you clearly did not like that and questioned how I could have any concern for you – for someone I did not know. You have also referred to me as a hypocrite – which I am sure I have been many times in my life and maybe even on these pages.

    I don’t question your love for the people you defend John (it is self-evident), but I don’t see a lot of love toward your dissenters. You tend to lash out at them instead. You have also made a lot of assumptions and defenses. I was actually shocked that you did not have any concerns that the NRCC website had no references to scripture, but plenty of links to strict New Age believers who have little interest in Christ or the absolute authenticity of the Bible. Even John 3:16? It is about the greatest love you and I will ever experience and it mentions that God so loved the WORLD. I welcomed your criticisms and I have even admitted fault where you have pointed it out, and I am aware there is likely much more fault that we have both missed.

    The one thing I find starkly absent from your responses is a willingness to admit error, misunderstanding or that you just might be plain wrong about something. One of the greatest leadership qualities we can possess is being able to openly admit when we are wrong. It is painful but necessary and I unfortunately have missed the boat on that one too many times in my own life – enough to know how to recognize it when I see it though. I know that sounds harsh, and it makes me a little uncomfortable to even type it. But I am concerned for you my Christian brother. Like it or not, that is what you are. I do respect you. I am concerned about you. I do care about you. I am seeking the truth (the truth found in the inerrant words of an infinitely loving God and His Son Jesus), not the path of least resistance or the culture that is most popular.

    • You have a pretty strong and pointed opinion of me, (someone you’ve never met) and yet I allow that opinion here. I’ve also allowed plenty of dissenting opinion. I don’t have to love someone’s opinion to love them.

      In nearly every post I’ve ever written, I clearly claim that these are my reflections and opinions and perspectives. I just refuse to conform them to your or anyone else’s liking. You seem to want to argue that your opinion is God’s because you reference the Bible more, and I believe that to be much more dangerous.

      The comments by you and others on this thread seem to assert the belief that quoting Scripture ultimately makes someone right, but I do not. In fact, if being what you or they might refer to as heretical, unorthodox, or unBiblical, leads me to treat people with more dignity, to build real relationships with them, and to be a more loving presence in their lives, I’m totally OK with that.

      You’re ultimately fighting a battle to be right with the Bible as your proof, and that’s fine. I’m fighting a battle to be more loving, with Jesus and a little common decency as my guide. You want me and all people to use the same barometer to measure faithfulness and that isn’t going happen.

      I am completely fine with that. I have no ill will toward you or anyone who disagrees with me. I simply refuse to use the same rules.

      You accuse me of acquiescing to what is the popular cultural opinion is today, and I would contend that regarding this issue, you are do the same using a culture that was in place two thousand years ago.

      You’re free and welcome to post any dissenting opinions here. Just never assume that posting more of them, makes them more correct, or that strong disagreement equals a lack of loving response. I know you would respond this way to LGBTQ people who see you as unloving and mean spirited. That’s why this is all so difficult to talk about.


  65. Speaking as someone who has been on the receiving end of LTSHTS far too many times (and oh how appropriate a summary of the concept when one pronounces the acronym) – here’s another reason to drop the phrase:

    It NEVER communicates what the speaker thinks it does. What I hear is a polite-sounding lie the speakers tell themselves so that they can proceed to treat me with utter contempt and maintain a clear conscience about so doing. LTSHTS, in my experience, has nearly always been pronounced just before the speaker then utters or does something calculated to break my heart, break my spirit, and – you utterly nailed this on the head – breaks my relationship with them.

    LTSHTS figures prominently in how this once devout born-again Christian evolved into an atheist, with a PTSD-ish response to anything remotely spiritual.

  66. Someone said ‘Scripture bashing’. No, its called quoting Scripture, and just not saying what itching ears want to hear. Jesus DID say ‘GO AND SIN NO MORE’. Homosexuality/ women with women is all through both the Old and New Testaments talked of as sin! You can’t twist Scripture to say otherwise. That is one of quite a few sins mentioned, and the Scripture does point that out specifically. Love the sinner hate the sin applies to all sin, not just homosexuality. Jesus is calling everyone to repentance, not everyone to repentance, except those who are homosexual. Stop trying to pick and choose. Of course love those who are LGBT, but love them to repentance! Scripture that clearly states. You can not justify particular sins! Quoting Scripture that I have just seen quoted in previous comments is not being hateful at all. If you think so, then you must hate the guidebook God has set for us. It sounds like all who are upset by that have not experienced Holy Spirit conviction! That can be uncomfortable, because it exposes our sin, and draws us to repentance, the way it is meant to. Stop being comfortable in your sin! All sin.That’s how much Jesus loves us. Go and sin NO more, not go and sin no more, except those of you who are LGBT. You also can’t make the argument of it being like God saying having freckles is an abomination, because He never said that. He did say, however, that homosexuality is a sin. One is not being ‘hateful’ by stating that. If you think so, then you are calling God hateful because He says that in His word.

  67. I don’t want to sound rude, but you’re not really looking at everyone here.
    While I agree that many people use it incorrectly and condescendingly, especially people who hate on LGBTQ+ people, I don’t think everyone does – I’d advise you not to use such broad generalizations as “everyone”.
    When I LTSHTS, I love a person even though I don’t approve of their sin (no matter what the sin may be; you know all of us have some sins more obvious than others). For example, if a friend tells me he/she is addicted to porn, I tell them I still love them, even though that’s not a good thing, and I’d like to help them get away from that sin however I can.
    “I love you, and I’d like to help you draw closer to God.”
    I can’t be the only one who sees LTSHTS in this way, can I? I mean, we’re not supposed to love their sin. We’re supposed to love them and not judge them for their sin. The trouble is that many people who LTSHTS “love” others DESPITE their sin, which is different and not Godly.
    “I love you even though you’re a dirty sinner.”
    See the difference?

  68. Jem, but what about continuing to sin knowingly, committing the sin we know is wrong. Is that what you mean? God’s grace covers that, too? Could you please clarify because I don’t see how someone can continue in known sin ‘just because’.

    • You need to focus on love rather than sin. Most people are not sitting there in known sin and loving every moment of it, though I must say some Christians might drive one to want to do that just out of sheer bloody-mindedness in response to their continual heaping of judgement. Most folk are striving to do the best they can with what they have, and struggling valiantly through this difficult life, giving it their best shot. If they’re caught in some sin, it’s not usually through lack of trying to get free, but through not coping with the things life has dealt them. You help them best by not judging them, but loving them instead, which means you don’t harp on the sin, but do what you can to make their lives better and easier. Telling them their sin is not loving them. They probably know better than you what sin they dealing with anyway. It’s always easier to look at another and point out their sin, than it is to own up to one’s own sin. I think too many of us love doing this because it makes us look better. But we committing a worse sin when we do that, in my opinion.

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    • Well, I guess that leaves you in a pretty bad spot since you are accusing those of being judgmental who accusing those of being judgmental who accusing those of being judgmental. Oh dear. Three times more badly off than before. Never mind. We still love you, even in spite of your sin of judgmentalism.

  71. God hates all sin, totally and completely, to the point that God will cast all sin into hell. But God also loves all of mankind so much that He was willing to give His only begotten son, Jesus, for all of us as a ransom for our sins; for all of us have become sin because of Adam’s sin; for by one man’s sin, Adam’s sin, all have become sin; all of us have all gone astray, there is none righteous, no not one. John14:6 Jesus is the only Way, and the only Truth, and the only eternal life; no man can come into my Father’s heavenly kingdom except they go through me(Jesus). For Jesus had accomplished everything that was needed to legally remove all of our sins from us so that God the Father can pick up all of your sins and cast them into hell by themself and you are then free and clear to go to God’s heaven. So yes, God the Father, and God the Lord Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit does hate all sin to the point that no sin will be allowed into His heavenly kingdom. But God the Father, and God the Lord Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit does love all sinners to the point that God the Lord Jesus was willing to become a flesh and blood man named Jesus; so that God the Father would have a sinless man to place all your sins upon this man Jesus and punish all of your sins to the point that He died on a cross paying that death penalty in your place; and was buried in the grave for three days and three nights with all of your sins; and God the Father had removed all of your sins from off of Jesus and He had set them aside in that grave of Jesus; and at the same time God the Father had raised Jesus back to eternal life again because there was no sin of His own that could hold Him in that grave, and no sin that could pull Him to hell. An Jesus has been alive even to this very day. And he is standing at the door to your heart right now, wanting to come into your heart with His innocent blood to wash away all of your sins. But Jesus will not come into your heart by force, He will only come in by faith and He waits for you to give Him permission to come into your heart. For even though that first part of God’s law states that the wages of sin is death; the second part of God’s law also states that there is no remission of sin, no separation of sin, and no forgiveness of sin unless innocent blood be shed and applied to that sin; well Jesus has already shed His innocent blood that can be use on your spirit and soul to break that stronghold that all of your sins have on your spirit and soul; and all you have to do is just say “yes Jesus, I give you complete permission to come into my spirit and soul with your innocent blood to wash away all of my sins; I accept your salvation plan; and you are now my Lord and My God. Thats It. And if you had just prayed that little prayer just now, and while you were praying it; God the Father has reached down into that grave of Jesus, and He had just picked up all of your sins and cast them into hell an you didn’t go with them; and you are now free and clear to go to God’s heaven when you do die your physical death here on this earth. So Again, Yes, God does hate all sin, But He loves all of mankind, and all of mankind is the sinners that He loves so much as stated in John 3:16 & 17.

    • How can a God supposedly of pure love Hate anything? It’s disgusting to me when I hear people claim God hates this or Jesus Hates that- if the devil is responsible for hate- does that mean God struggles against Satan? I find all of this to be very human, and not divine at all.

      • Only because of your lack of willingness to consider all the evidence, and because of your desperate attempts to defend an undefensible thesis. Really quite sad. The Bible is full of examples of loving the sinner and hating the sin. But, of course, this evidence doesn’t resonate with you. It’s amazing how you refuse to deal with the actual biblical text.

  72. I’m pretty sure you will moderate out my opinions and questions as you have all my others. So, don’t expect this to get to the main blog. But, it’s the truth, and you know it….or maybe you don’t. Not sure how you became a preacher of the Bible.

    • I’ve never “moderated out” any opinions. Any view of my comments section will make that perfectly clear.

      I’m not particularly concerned with you assessment of me. Thanks for reading.

      • That just shows your arrogance. Nor am I particularly concerned with your misguided assessment of the Bible and all the supposedly (by your estimation) hateful Christians that you constantly bash on this blog.

          • Great! I will! Just trying to let those dutifully following your misguided teachings know the real truth. Hopefully you won’t keep doing what your doing. A lot of innocents are stumbling due to your teachings. Apostasy is the name of the game for modern pastors, which unfortunately includes you. It’s foretold in the INERRANT word of God.
            2 Timothy 4:2-3
            2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and CAREFUL instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it).

  73. No, God and the Bible determine those things. Not the watered down versions of God and the Bible that you follow. You water down the gospel in an effort to refrain from hurting someone’s feelings. You conform to the things of this world instead of what’s right in God’s eyes. You’re causing the world to stumble and that’s a dangerous proposition.

  74. You open your argument by saying that LTSHTS is an abomination, and further state that it is an embarrassment, and not found in scripture. Perhaps by your own reasoning I could conclude that LTSHTS can’t be an abomination because it doesn’t exist in the scripture. You further mention that it was never intended to police someone else but rather mirror a conscience that would help us to police our own. While the later half of that statement may be true, reiterating the Word can’t be simply broad brushed as policing another. The Apostle Paul proclaimed in Romans 1 your contention and he wasn’t Jesus. Further he proclaimed to be the chief of sinners. My point is that he was another person, a sinner like you and me. Speaking the Word doesn’t have to imply that anyone is trying to act as a third party as to police. After all, isn’t it clear that in order to hear, that someone must preach? You associate LTSHTS with LGBTIQ as to make the two terms equivalent in an attempt to glue them together. There is no similarity. Sin and sinner doesn’t equate to LGBTIQ, but rather to all of humanity. You insist with a broad brush that LTSHTS at its core is equal to gender identity or sexual orientation. Did you ever consider sexual orientation, or gender identity to be a potential result of a corrupted creation? Isn’t it written that the whole creation is cursed? Is LGBTIQ be excluded? The harsh reality is that love isn’t always pretty and all of us are part of this corrupt creation. It wasn’t pretty when our Saviour was crucified as ransom for our sin. Perhaps now, it doesn’t seem pretty that Romans 1 is still being preached. But the truth is that love is spoken in the Word to preserve and protect humanity from the dire consequence that follows sin like night follows day.

  75. I have to disagree with you. In Revelations 2:6, Jesus specifically says to the church at Ephesus, “But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I hate also”.
    He didnt say they hated the Nicolaitans, but their practices…..which were sinful.
    We are born with a sinful nature. For most men, that is lusting after women, for some men, it’s lusting after men. Either way, God said it is sin. To equate a choice with whom a person has sex with to skin color or eye color is absurd.

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  77. I wrote the following when hearing of some Episcopal and Methodist clergy blessing an abortion clinic. It is applicable here as well.

    After Jesus said to the crowd, ‘He, who is without sin cast the first stone’, they slowly dispersed, without throwing a stone. It is seldom noted that Jesus let loose a strong suggestion to the recently exposed sinner, ‘Go and sin no more’. When he instructed listeners to, ‘pluck out their strong eye if it caused them to sin, or cut off their strong hand if it causes them to sin’, he was not encouraging people to dismember themselves. He was indicating that resisting sin was more important than preserving ones senses or limbs. We have a duty to resisting sin and in this duty we sometimes fail. The truly blessed are sinners, who know Jesus. Sinners require Jesus, the only worthy advocate for a sinner’s soul. If sinners are encouraged to feel vindicated for their sin, they may heed the encouragement and fail to seek the Light they require. The world is a beautiful place. The world is a lecherous place. Oh, how much more beautiful and how less lecherous it would be, if we more sincerely resisted sin. What better way is there for one to show his appreciation for our heavenly advocate, Jesus Christ, than to resist sin? Sin is amplified by the uncharitable and minimized by charity. Those who encourage abortion, discourage women from the charitable motherhood to which they are called. The choice to abort, dis-empowers women and empowers sin. Calling the sin of abortion a blessing makes the sinfully compromised more comfortable with themselves. Compromise-rs replace forgiveness with tolerance. Calls for tolerance are too often calls for sin to be tolerated. Tolerance is not a virtue. Forgiveness is a virtue. The full virtue of forgiveness is only felt where sin is acknowledged. Jesus did not say to the woman caught in adultery, you did nothing wrong. He just pointed out to her and her accusers, that they were all sinners in the same boat.

    To love the sinner and hate the sin is much like saying one loves the patient, but hates the cancer that afflicts them. Unlike cancer, In the case of sin, the patient often has affection for the sin that afflicts them.

    • “To love the sinner and hate the sin is much like saying one loves the patient, but hates the cancer that afflicts them. Unlike cancer, In the case of sin, the patient often has affection for the sin that afflicts them.”
      A lot of us get that we are to try and strive to live a good, sinless life.
      God knew we would, and all do, fall short, thus, he sent his son because he knew MAN would not be able to handle living sin free on Earth. It has been fulfilled.
      Unless you are a woman who has been raped and have become pregnant as a result of that rape, or you become pregnant from your dad molesting you, I personally do not feel we can tell folks what decision to make. It is easy for some to say how they would and wouldn’t handle things. Until one stands in a pair of shoes, one really needs to be careful what they say.
      Cancer and abortion are different animals. One is a disease and one is an action to end a pregnancy.There are different reasons people end pregnancies. I judge no one who has had an abortion. NO ONE!! It is not my job to. It is not my job to forgive them either. They have to talk to God about that, lets let it stay there.
      I doubt any one who has had an abortion, feels comfortable in it (your words). They will carry it the rest of their lives.
      I think you as a man can’t honestly even speak to a woman who is thinking about or has had an abortion. I too doubt that a woman who has had an abortion has affection for what she has done.
      No one loves sin, but do you understand some are so lost, they do not even know that they are?
      Life happens and some times bad decisions do too. In the case of rape or incest, I can’t imagine the psychological turmoil for the woman. What if it is an adolescent child, say, 15 years of age?
      I personally am tired of all the self righteous Christians, speaking to others about their authority in the sin business. I am glad they blessed the clinic, God is needed every where, and what better place then an abortion clinic.
      For many Christians who speak of sin, disease, abortion, gay people, mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, I want to tell them to work in the medical field……….that will open a person’s eyes to being a Christian and just “Loving God and Loving PEOPLE”….casting judgement to no one, but fulfilling the greatest two commandments we were instructed to follow!!! This will bring people closer to Jesus or hopefully to him, if they are not already there!!!

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  79. I’m not religious even religious but I use LTSHTS to refer to any number of “sins” aka things that people shouldn’t do.

  80. Jesus does hate things and people. Are we not to be like Jesus? If we love someone or something God hates, we are going against God.
    We are to hate:
    Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

    Here is more proof Jesus hates:
    Leviticus 20:23 Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.

    Revelation 2:6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also

    Psalm 11:5 The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.

    Proverbs 6:16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

    And it doesn’t matter if it’s old or new testament, Jesus is the same yesterday today and tomorrow.
    John 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.
    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

    • Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere.Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
      (Yes, hate evil, not people.)

      Leviticus 20:23 Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.
      ( He abhorres the Customs, not the people.)

      Revelation 2:6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
      ( he hates the practices of the Nicolaitans, not the people.)

      Psalm 11:5 The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
      (Read that whole Psalm. He is talking about demons and such.)

      Proverbs 6:16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
      (He is talking about the things, not the people, again.)


  81. …in Augustine’s letter 211, written around 424, is the phrase, Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which roughly translates as “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”

    Context is vital to our understanding. Part of the problem for Christians is that we seem to have lost the Biblical meaning of the word “sin.” Sin doesn’t mean “bad” or “bad things.” In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word is chatta’t and it means, “separation.” In the New Testament, the Greek word hamartia, is translated “sin.” It’s a term from archery that literally means “to miss the mark.” It’s when you let the arrow go and it fails to hit the target. So sin is both a condition – one of separation from God, and a missing of the mark – aiming our lives away from God.

    This Biblical understanding of sin helps us understand St. Augustine’s use of the phase. Prior to his Christian conversion, Augustine had lived a pretty sensuous life – lots of women, lots of drinking and partying and all sorts of self-indulgent behavior. During that phase of his life, he didn’t hate his sins at all – he was actually enjoying them! And so, when Augustine writes, “with love for mankind and hatred of sins,” he calls to rid ourselves of anything that separates us from God and neighbor. He is actually reframing Jesus’ command to “love God and love neighbor.” And here’s the really fascinating thing: he is referring here to hating our own sin, yet when the phrase is used today, most commonly it is used to refer to the sin of others.


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  83. Seriously? LORD HAVE MERCY on this earth! We are in BIG TROUBLE when you have a PASTOR advocating homosexuality. What Bible are you reading?

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  85. Christian defined: “A follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings”

    1. Your first statement speaks to judgement as though God alone is able to judge. With regards to this, Jesus gave his disciples power to judge. (John 20:23). Numerous versus in The New Testament speak to judging RIGHTEOUSLY.

    2 Timothy 2:25
    1 Corinthians 6:1-3
    Matthew 7:1-5 ( many people like to quote verse 1 out of context without reading to verses 4 and 5)

    Every instance of Christ saying not to judge, in context, was him saying that we need to clean our own homes first so that we can be effective in passing people to Him when the time came for us to bring their sin to them if they were unable to see it for themselves.

    This alone is the very staple of “love the sinner, hate the sin” it is absolutely Biblical.

    2. You stated that this is only said with regards to gender identity and homosexuality. Yes, it is PREDOMINATELY used in this context (although true Christians apply this to murderers, thieves, adulterers, drug addicts, liars, and more) presently but is done so for good reason. We have a world of people claiming Christ whole promoting and celebrating the very things he was tortured and killed for! You say that LTSHTS is destructive with the implication that it is destructive because it pushes people away from God and The Bible. Do the things you say trump what God says?

    Ephesians 5:10-11 [be careful to do what passes the Lord. Have nothing to do with fruitless redd of darkness but rather, expose them.]

    How will a person avoid being trapped inside of a building about to be demolished unless they are told about the? Not one of those people who are given a fake gospel will be saved by it but if even one person is saved by the truth, praise Jesus. Appearing to be of God means nothing and a group of people, living in sin, pretending to be Christian, now THAT is destructive. How many people will they influence to do the same? How many lives will be lost?

    Your article highlights the concerns of men AT THE EXPENSE OF THE CONCERNS OF GOD. There is this popular notion that Christianity brings peace because we are called to be peaceful. Luke 12:51 in context refers to Jesus being one who will divide families and people because true believers who follow Christ are by nature offensive to those who have rejected Him.

    “[The world will hate you…it hated me first]” paraphrased from Matthew 10:22, John 15:18

    The message that we need to accept what is popular or condone it or be quiet about it “to bring people to christ” is like getting a bunch of people around a liferaft on a sinking ship and telling them they will be saved if they stand next to it. They need to GET IN to be saved.

    So…that’s what The Bible has to say on the issue. I urge you, if you are in fact a follower of Jesus Christ and his teachings, to get into daily Bible study, prayer, and meditation. Ask God to remove your will from the occasion and to show you his will no matter if it is contrary to your desires. If you do this, honestly, openly, and from a place of humility, God will show you what you’ve already been looking at. His Word. In black and white. Plain and simple. The Bible.

    Read it. Love it. Get it. Wap diddly doo wop. 😀

    Luv ya brother. I’ll pray for you.

  86. John, I have to strongly disagree with your interpretation of this phrase. Being able to love the sinner allows us to remove judgement from lives which will put us in a position to minister to the sinner and, if its God’s will, allow them to repent. If we harbor hate, we disassociate ourselves from them.

    Jesus’s entire ministry was built on moving among the sinners and casting out their demons based on their faith. He fought with the “righteous” who failed to understand the teachings of the prophets. In 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 it is explained that you are not to associate with those sinners who claim to be a fellow believer, but that outside the body of Christ, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one, so no way to avoid associating.

    In your narrow application concerning LBGT, they are not to be judged by the chruch (meaning body of Christ) unless they claim to be a Christian. But to not associate doesn’t mean to deny them hearing the word of God, but they must repent. In a broader application, it would apply to those cheating on their spouse and even those who harbor lustful thoughts.

    LTSHTS is a tool that allows us to let God and Jesus do the judging – as it should be. Our responsibility is to minister to them or dust off our sandals if they don’t wish to hear.

  87. Like others before me, I disagree with your interpretation of this phrase. HOWEVER, there are points in your article I agree with. If we tell somebody “I love you, I hate the way you sinned” then we are putting ourselves above them by saying this
    In my personal, limited, opinion I prefer a different phrase that I think Jesus would most definitely agree with. “Love the sinner, UNDERSTAND the sin.”

  88. This article is way off in left field. The real cowards are the ones who refuse to call sin what it is. It may be the fear of man or fear of what people would think of you. Whatever the reason, it has nothing to do with the holy fear of God. These are the same people who take “Judge not” totally out of context or pretend that the separation of church & state is in our Constitution. The author of this article is very deceived & if “knowing” the truth is what sets us free, then he is also in bondage.

  89. Hello brother: I disagree on the basis I am a sinner. I was born that way. Though I try through faith, which means to believe, trust, obey, and love my Lord, to be a follower of Christ. Do we all believe what He says, trust what He says, obey what He says or love Him or what He says all the time? Be truthful, I believe not. Please remember it is through faith you are saved according to [Eph. 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, (through faith)—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God]. Sure you are going to say that you are saved by grace and you are partly right but according to the scripture you don’t get grace unless you have the faith talked about above. So in around about manner, How can you love your brother if we don’t tell him about his transgression. Gal 6:1 even commands it. [Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.] I am of the school who believes that Jesus is our role model. What He does, I believe I would benefit also. Jesus hated sin also but loved the sinner. Read John 3:16-17. I believe that is why He came into the world. Praise God that He believed that way or brother I would have no hope. I know that people do not like to be corrected or is it politically correct but you can read in Proverbs 17:10-[Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.] We can only try so save our brothers. Not all will listen.

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  91. So yeah, judge me for being gay. But be prepared for me to judge that giant log sticking out of your eye too. The last perfect man on this earth died on the cross 2000 years ago.

  92. Hahahah, “Jesus never said it.” Jebus never said anything, since non-existent Joshua bin Joseph was – NON-existent. There is no such thing as sin. There is only societal moral constructs. Sin is just another concept to control those deluded by mythology.

  93. This was as much a reply to some of the comments here as it is to you. Thank you for helping to keep my faith alive by letting me know there are more Christians who interpret Christ’s teachings with love as he commands and not with judgement. When Christ judged, it was his right to judge. We are not perfect like Christ. We are all sinners and even Christians are continuously having to ask for forgiveness and if they are not, they must be saints or in denial of their own human fallibility. It isn’t our job to try to force others not to commit sin – especially in the case of LBGT, which is not as simple as a choice. It is our job to show Christ’s love and work on our OWN lives. Understanding how to show Christ’s love is so much better than trying to show His “love” by pointing fingers. I’ve always found it interesting that the only people Christ ever lost his temper with or spoke most sharply of were those who considered themselves holy while defiling the temple and there were the pharisees, who stood on street corners and shouted out their prayers to God trying to prove their righteousness. Jesus took issue with that, as well. Our relationships with God are personal. We should show Christ’s love and allow God to deal with the “sinner” as well as their “sin”.

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  95. Guess what? The word “trinity” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Bible – but it’s true. Love the sinner, hate the sin is what the cross of Jesus is all about. If God didn’t hate sin, he’d tolerate it. If he didn’t love the sinner, he’d let us all perish. You missed the whole point of the cross.

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  97. I came across an article or two of yours that a friend posted around the time Trump won the presidency. This friend is homosexual, and I disagree with her lifestyle because I believe the Bible calls it a sin. However, we are still friends, and I love her very much.

    Doing some research for my ministry class, I randomly came across this blog posting. I realized it was by the same blogger as I had seen earlier.

    I just wonder… who has hurt you? What pain have you experienced to make you so passionately against any Christian calling homosexuality a sin?

    As a Christian who believes the Bible teaches homosexuality is a sin, I am not out to hurt homosexuals and their families.

    I always felt that LTSHTS comes from the fact that God loves people and God hates sin. I always try to be more like God and I have applied this motto to people, no matter what the sin is. The bottom line is, we are all sinners in need of God’s grace.

    • You are absolutely correct. Sexual immorality is not just an LGBTQ problem. God also hates adultery, pedophilia, bestiality, and pretty much all sexual behavior that takes place outside of marriage. That covers pretty much the majority of humanity.

      We’ve only begun to scratch the surface for all of mankind’s sins here, but the main point is that even though God hates sin if He didn’t love us, He would never have sent Jesus to take our place at the cross. So, yes, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”.

  98. hate a bad man’s actions but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. …I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life — namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.
    C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  99. Matthew 22:37-40
    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    1 Peter 4:8 
    8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

    James 4:12
    12 There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

    Matthew 5:43-44
    43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 

    Matthew 9:36
    36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

    Romans 5:6-8
    6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Matthew 5:47-48
    47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    1 John 4:7-11
    7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 

    If you can argue with the Bible and still think that you are right, here’s another one for you:
    Psalm 18:30
    30 As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless

  100. John, Jesus *did* say it – on the cross. The cross is God’s definitive statement of hatred toward sin and love for the sinner. Think about it. Remember, thinking is a lost art these days worthy or recapturing.

    • Michael Anthony,
      With all due respect, it’s hard to be conscious and not be aware of the amount of thought that had to go into creating this article.
      I agree on the thinking part of your own comment, however it might be refreshing if people thought long hard about making assumptions about what a man called Jesus said at any point in his life, or making assumptions about the mind of God which can so directly affect the life of another human being in the only life he can be relatively sure he has because he is alive to see it.

      Especially considering that no human on this planet now, was there. And man was no more reliably trustworthy then, than they are now considering the horrific things that were done to others in the name of god by Christians themselves. And some of those things being advocated by Christians even to this day.

      We all should know from experience that something said on one end of a room is almost entirely different once it’s reached the other side of the room. And man has always had a vested interest in furthering his own agenda, then and now. I think that if a god exists, and we are held responsible or how we treat another, we risk making gods of ourselves and using the hearsay in the bible to justify our actions.

      I tried out the Love The Sinner, Hate The Sin on a group of christians one time that were in the habit of using it themselves and their reaction was swift, that I should mind my own sins. To which I replied, Indeed!

      They themselves took offence at the very saying that causes so much grief for the targets of their biblical bigotry and condemnation.

      They didn’t seem to get that you shouldn’t have to be gay yourself to know how hurtful and counter productive the phrase actually is. One should only have to know the pain of thoughtless comments coming from loved one’s to empathize with the pain of a stranger.

      If we do not have that empathy we can’t say with love with a straight face. Well we can say it, but it won’t be genuinely received.
      There is little we can’t justify, religious or otherwise.

      • Jesus had tremendous empathy when he hated the sin and loved the sinner, by going to the cross. It’s hard to ignore the tremendous amount that God poured into the cross. Until a person does, they don’t understand either the severity of their sin, or the depths of God’s love. God does indeed hate the sin and loves the sinner. The cross proves it.

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  102. I always thought that if could say, “I love _________, a victim of cancer, but I hate cancer”, then I could also say I hate sin for it is very much like a cancer.
    You say “He never let anything about a person’s life keep them from intimate fellowship with him” but doesn’t the story of the rich young man show a little different aspect? Jesus didn’t put anything between them, but He did point out that there was something that already exists that MUST be corrected. When the rich young man couldn’t do it, Jesus just let him go. I think that love is a relationship that, by definition, has to be reciprocated or it isn’t complete and whole.

  103. As soon as I read his opening comment, I stopped reading, since he made an incorrect assumption – that the phrase is ALWAYS applied to gender identity. Wrong. Maybe that’s the only way he’s heard it, but that doesn’t make it true. It is frequently applied to ALL sin. I am not LGBTIQ, but I am a wretched sinner saved by grace. The concept is a wonderful one, that all Christians should aspire to. And how do we know just how wonderful it is? Because God Himself provided the perfect demonstration of it in practice (Romans 5:8). If God demonstrated His love for me by Christ’s atonement on the cross, shouldn’t all Christians follow His lead?

    • And when you cross over and meet your Maker, you will not be asked about my sins, but about yours. You will be asked how YOU lived your life and did you wrongfully judge others, when it was clearly stated and written in your holy book that was God’s task and not yours. Just a hunch. Jesus teaches. People judge.

  104. The Bible clearly teaches that God is love. First John 4:8–9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner; hate the sin.”
    How exactly does that work? We hate sin by recognizing it for what it is and refusing to take part in it. Sin is to be hated, not excused or taken lightly. We love sinners by showing them respect (1 Peter 2:17), praying for them (1 Timothy 2:1), and witnessing to them of Christ. It is a true act of love to treat someone with respect and kindness even though you do not approve of his or her lifestyle or sinful choices.

  105. I couldn’t agree with you more, John. Using this phrase mocks Jesus’ death that set us free from the law of sin. It also mocks the intended purpose for the Holy Spirit. It mocks the Father and elevates man’s self-centered reasoning above God’s truth.

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