Love the person, but despise the sin.
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There has been a great uproar over the statement given by a certain chicken outlet exec.
This man states he is Christian and as a Christian, we are taught by Christ to "love one another just as I have loved you." You see, Christians love all people, regardless of their persuasion or religion or lack there of. Loving people isn't hard, because Christ first loved us, sinners that we are.
You see, we are condemed by our sins, but forgiven by Christ's death on the cross. Hence, through Christ, we are blameless and clean; when we stand before God, as everyone will, to answer for what we have done and lack thereof, I will have Christ standing beside me, glowing in his reflection, and seen by God as pure.
But, I am a sinner, truth be told, as we all are. Hence I can love all people, all people are sinners like me, but I have the right to hate the sin, whether theirs or mine. I have that right. I have the freedom to not like sin in other people, as I do not like my sin and try not to put my sins in their paths.
yeah, those Kings and Gandhi's are a real pain in the ass. Give me a good ole racist any day of the week. Preferably a wife beater in a wife beater, swilling beer.
Well, either you are using technical definition, in which case you cannot hang out with a saint, because they have to dead, or your non-technical definition is so stringent, such a person does not exist.
Either way, you are off the hook. Now, where did I put that redneck, and will he fit in this box, so I can send him to you?
#1: I think there'd be a lot more appreciation for "love the sinner and hate the sin" if it wasn't wielded so conveniently. The major anti-gay Christian groups don't argue against divorce or mixing fabrics; greed is practically a virtue among some of them; they don't stress about how we treat the Samaritans--I mean, Mexicans and Muslims--in our land. All this focus on a sin that is really interesting to 3% of the population and completely uninteresting to most of the population. All this focus on a sin that 95% of your congregation would never dream of committing and is hardly the sin most resoundingly condemned in the Bible or worst by human judgment.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is afforded a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church.
But hey, you've got to find a "sinner" to "love" today. True, you may "love" them by wanting to keep them "in their place" so that they don't spread their sinful ways (the back of the bus is still there, so long as there is a bus), but "in your heart" you still "love them."
#1: Hence I can love all people, all people are sinners like me, but I have the right to hate the sin, whether theirs or mine. I have that right.
Well, yes. You have the right to fill your heart with all the hate you want. But the moment you open your mouth about it is the moment you can no longer play victim when others call you out on it.
And what exactly is the "sin" anyway? Is it the violin music on a romantic gay date? A same-sex kiss? The shared commitment to raise a child together? Or is it the anal sex which not all gay people do and some straight couples actually do as well? Would it stop being a sin if they used a cucumber instead?
>1 Vdiane: It's not at all clear what sin is being objected to. Is the sin the making of the statement about which there has been "a great uproar"?
To explain sin: it is anything that goes against God.
None of us can keep 'the law', that is, the commandments of God. I sin, you sin, even "good/godly" people sin.
Disputing that you sin doesn't change it any, just as disbelief of gravity's existence won't keep you from plummeting from a tall building if you jump out a window. It exists whether you 'believe' in it...or not.
I won't condemn you for your sin, but will warn you of the danger of denying sin's existence and the consequences.
There's no hate in that message, not from me or any child of God who tells you about what will happen to you if you ignore your own sins.
Believe or don't, you make up your own mind. But please do not ascribe hate to someone who is only trying to help you see the Truth.
Someone asked about sin, I responded.
Whether or not you meant to, your reply appears to be an attempt to derail the issue.
>17 fuzzi:: Quite right, and I apologize. I didn't mean to derail the topic.
>15 fuzzi:: Thank you for not condemning me for my sins. #1 states, "we are condemed by our sins".
Ah well, back to practicalities; "disbelief of gravity's existence won't keep you from plummeting". Quite. But we have evidence for gravity, so it would be silly to deny it.
Again, what sin is being refered to in #1?
#15: I believe the Bible says something about the spec in your brother's eye and the plank in your own? There are sins that pervade evangelical Christians; greed and pride come to mind out of the big seven. Most Christian groups have forgotten that Jesus condemned divorce, and have turned a blind eye to a lot of crap. But this small group of people come in for a range of attacks completely out of proportion to any sin. American pride and greed are hurting a lot of people in the world, and stopping Americans from finding a way we can live in harmony with the other 7 billion people on the planet. But hey, what 3% of the population does in their bedrooms is the biggest concern today. Not helping the poor, not adapting to global warming, not adapting to limited resources, gay sex is the biggest concern today.
(20) Again, what I said in post 15:
To explain sin: it is anything that goes against God.
The ten commandments can be condensed into two:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matthew 22:37-40
So, Do you love God?
Do you love your neighbor?
If not, then you've sinned.
Guess what? I've sinned!
But I recognize that I have, and will continue to sin despite my efforts to not sin, so I accept God's offer of forgiveness.
It doesn't make me perfect, just forgiven.
#22: Wait. How does the commandment against gay sex come out of that? The gay couple I know are very good at loving the people around (not sexually; as far as I know, they're monogamous).
Because if you love God with all your heart, etc., you will try to do that which pleases Him. And would fornication please Him? Of course not, so we should flee even the temptation to do that of which He does not approve.
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
... But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. - Matthew 19:4-5, 11-12
Not all are destined to marry, but all do have a purpose and a duty to God, whether or not they choose to accept it and do it.
"Guess what? I've sinned!
But I recognize that I have, and will continue to sin despite my efforts to not sin, so I accept God's offer of forgiveness.
It doesn't make me perfect, just forgiven."
Yes. And you really don't have any interest in becoming more perfect, do you? After all, why should you, you will always be forgiven, no matter how imperfect you remain.
#24: Taking for granted that a "sin" is whatever makes God throw his popcorn at the TV and that his "forgiveness" only comes when you have internalized his pet-peeves as self-hatred, none of this has really answered my question.
What makes homosexuality a sin? What makes homosexuals the target of Christian ire regardless of whether they perform sodomy while the total number of straight people perfoming the same act is larger and escapes their condemnation?
>24 fuzzi: fuzzi, I don't think that is a very convincing verse against homosexuality, and I really have no idea what eunuchs have to do with homosexuality.
More generally on the topic of "love the sinner, hate the sin", I think it's a fine theological distinction but very difficult for us imperfect Christians actually to do. In practice it is often abused and used as a cop out. "I'm not really oppressing that person/group of people (or, by my language, encouraging others to do so), merely condemning their sin".
On the other hand, I do see it being put into practice, often by those who are themselves condemned by the established Christian institutions. I think of the Catholic nuns in the USA who are the subject of a crackdown by the Vatican (see the parallel LT thread), or Graham Greene's whisky priest (and all the real "whisky priests" that I know personally), and the many bishops, priests, nuns and laity in my own Church who really do try to love the sinner while leaving it to others to hate the sin. Some people seem to be better at loving while others seem to focus on the hating part of the equation.
>22 fuzzi: : Still doesn't answer my question as to what is the sin that the "certain chicken outlet exec" of #1 is supposed to have committed.
Trying to find out more I googled: chicken outlet exec sin. Guess what? It came up with this thread. Nothing much else. So despite #1 referring to "a great uproar", it seems that the rest of the world aint too bothered about it.
#28: The original poster isn't saying that the Chick-fil-A exec commited a sin. She's saying she and the exec in question have the "right" to hate homosexuality. For now, Fuzzi hasn't been very forthcoming on what exactly about homosexuality is "sinful" and the Bible certainly doesn't prohibit passionate gay kissing or life-long gay commitments and the contradictions about sodomy are things I've already gone over.
>29 johnthefireman:: Thank you for that. Have now read the first 20 or so posts on that thread, and the wiki article on Chick-Fil-A, so this thread is now a little clearer.
>30 Lunar:: The original poster could have made her point clearer by replacing her first 2 or 3 sentences with "homosexuality is a sin". As for the Bible, Fuzzi could easily have quoted Leviticus, but as
Before anyone else posts it, I realise that by commenting in #31 on who takes Leviticus seriously, I was ignoring the geographics (Fuzzi's and Chick-Fil-A's).
Well, my sinning will be more fun than ever from now on, safe in the knowledge that, whatever I do, fuzzi loves me (and I don't actually give a shit what god thinks since he/she doesn't exist.).
>33 Booksloth:: That's where you and fuzzi have the better of me. It's this concept of sin that I just can't 'get'. From all the explanations I've seen it appears that a belief in God is a prerequisite to understanding the concept of sin, as opposed to the old bad, or evil. Bad or evil I can understand, there's a victim. If to cause suffering is to be defined as a sin, then so be it. But that doesn't seem to be what fuzzi is saying.
#34 Sorry, I should have put inverted commas around the word 'sinning'. I'm certainly fairly sure that fuzzi and I don't share a common definition of the word. eg - see #24 "And would fornication please him? Fuzzi clearly thinks not: I'd say it depends on how he's doing it.
(Ed because I hit 'save' before I;d finished)
#24: And would fornication please Him? Of course not
Depending on what dictionary you're reading, two men can't commit fornication, as fornication is an act done between a man and a women. Nor can two married people fornicate with each other, which means disapproving of fornication means you should approve of gay marriage.
(And personally, "fornication" as a word is only a step better than "sodomy". It doesn't really express what exactly you're objecting to, except that it has to do with sex.)
Once again I think that people are misunderstanding fuzzi. When you argue with her (you shouldn't argue, incidentally, it is a bad thing that disrupts unity over The Truth) you aren't really arguing with her. You are arguing with G-d. The way it works is that fuzzi daily speaks to the Holy Spirit (which as we all know is one of the persons comprising G-d). The Holy Spirit tells her what is Truth and what is Sin. She is then kind enough to relay to us what the Holy Spirit has told her. We don't have direct access because we aren't Saved like she is.
So you really shouldn't argue with the person you think is fuzzi, because it isn't. It is G-d you're arguing with, and unless you are a Jew you aren't authorized to argue with G-d.
Is it being homosexual that sends you to hell? committing homosexual acts, whether you are homosexual or not? or not confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior?
Do you have to do both to avoid hell - confess Jesus and avoid homosexual acts to go to heaven? Or can you just confess Jesus and still go to heaven, even if you continue doing homosexual acts?
That is good. Much more respectful tone. Gentiles are allowed to ask G-d questions. But be equally respectful of the answer.
Fuzzi at #22: Do you recall that I quoted Matthew 22:37-40 to YOU in this same context?
If Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself is to be primary -- and if it is to mean anything at all -- it means that your neighbor should be allowed to enjoy the same civil rights that you enjoy.
"I told my Sunday School class we are all Jew and Greek."
You shouldn't lie to a Sunday School class.
(38) richard, in answer to your questions:
Being a homosexual does not send you to Hell, nor does sodomy, lying, stealing, etc.
Just one sin sends you there, and since each of us have committed sin at one point in our lives, the only recourse is accepting God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Of course, God knows if you don't mean it, so don't take this offer lightly.
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. - Matthew 12:36-37
Well good then maybe we can move onto other subjects and let the homosexuals, and all others who are sinners as well, live their conscience.
Sounds good to me. They know what is needful and can decide on their own.
I'm not here to proselytize, but am willing to answer questions about what I believe if someone is interested. And set the scriptural record straight as I feel is necessary.
"Being a homosexual does not send you to Hell, nor does sodomy, lying, stealing, etc.
Just one sin sends you there, and since each of us have committed sin at one point in our lives, the only recourse is accepting God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ."
I am curious, fuzzi, just where do you get the idea that just one sin sends one to hell fire? That is a question. I would like an answer to that question, just as you just offered to supply.
This doctrine certainly did not come from the "Old Testament" or "the Jews," since there is no such doctrine in either classical or current Judaism. There was no such doctrine at the time of Jesus' ministry. It simply didn't exist.
The only place I can find this doctrine is in certain sorts of Christianity. It is, of course, an absolutely necessary doctrine for Christians, since if G_d forgives sins if one merely makes recompense and repents there is no point in Christ. So, of course, Christians had to make up this absurd historical distortion to justify their basic beliefs.
#43: Being a homosexual does not send you to Hell, nor does sodomy, lying, stealing, etc. Just one sin sends you there, and since each of us have committed sin at one point in our lives, the only recourse is accepting God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.
In other words, if someone is a sodomite and doesn't accept it to be a sin before the Jesus, then they go to hell.
So let's stop trying to deflect from the real issue by saying the only sin is to sin against God. You've already said that a sin is anything that God doesn't like, so let's try to stay on topic. Does God or doesn't he object to sodomy? Is it something that a person should or shouldn't ask forgiveness for? And I'm speaking seriously now when I ask if using a cucumber instead counts or not.
#48 And I'm speaking seriously now when I ask if using a cucumber instead counts or not. I think that counts as a sin against the person who has to eat the salad.
I've always agreed with Dr Johnson, "that a cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing", but, whatever floats your boat.
Contemplating cucumbers is sinful: http://www.bikyamasr.com/50403/islamic-cleric-bans-women-from-touching-bananas-c...
>51 CharlotteR: I recall over 25 years ago being in a market in Sudan with a female Australian colleague. One of the vegetable vendors was subjecting her to a lot of verbal sexual abuse, so she stormed over to his stall, picked up a cucumber and snapped it cleanly in two. Immediately the other vendors all started laughing and directed their sexual innuendo towards their now-unmanned colleague.
>52 johnthefireman:: God bless the women, who remind us men just how stupid we frequently are!
Wow, a lot to respond to here.
A Christian does view sin as anything that goes against the will of God. The phrase "against the will of God" speaks to 1- how Christians view God, 2- God's will, and 3- the ability we all have to disregard it.
3. We are all free and able to completely disregard God's will. Even if you don't believe in God, by necessity you agree that you can disregard his will, since to you, his will doesn't exist. (Personally, I believe God had little interest in programming several billion automatons to agree with him. If you program your screen-saver to say "I love you" I doubt you'll know what it feels like to be loved based on that experience alone.)
When the disregard is willful or purposeful, it becomes sin. (As to those that are completely unaware of God, hence, not willful or purposeful disregard, the Bible does speak on that but it is off-topic. For this post, sin is willful and purposeful disregard of God's will.)
2. God's will. Cliched phrase, but could be considered to be his intentions, hopes and goals for humanity. In the Christian view, humanity was created in a state of perfection and set in motion on a path of perfect relationship with God, but given the choice to leave that condition. Inevitably, humanity left it. But God's desire for relationship with humanity did not change. Using people to reach people, it is his hope that two things would happen, as alluded to by a previous poster: that humanity would return to its relationship with him (love God), and also to each other (love each other).
We're talking about humanity as a whole here. Massive. The complexity of that entity is beyond comprehension. People are complex. More people all more complex. All people that have ever existed or will exist is so far beyond complex. God's laws (as they relate to living and family, the subject of this thread) are designed to help humanity reach God's will. Simple "well why doesn't he just" type questions normally fail for me at this point. The goals and subject are too complex for one line question solutions. And this leads to the last point...
1. How Christians view God.
More cliche phrases -- all-knowing, all-powerful, etc. I'll try to unpack them and make it clear why Christians, even inarticulate ones, state what they believe in such resolute terms.
First, consider yourself. How knowledgeable are you? How smart are you? Smart, meaning how creatively you use the knowledge that you have? I think the smarter and more knowledgeable we become, generally speaking, the more we realize how little we actually know. More educated leads to more questions that have been asked about the world, more awareness of prior false answers that led to progress, more current questions still unanswered, and the possibility that many of our current answers will be proven false a hundred years from now, and a thousand years from now even more so, etc.
Millions of questions about existence, thousands have been asked, thousands haven't even been discovered. The collective force of human curiosity, exploration and experimentation over the last five or six thousand years has gotten us to where we are today on our answer list. Human beings have been building upon the work of prior generations, searching researching, studying, contemplating -- and all we've done is show that every answer in just about every field of study leads to more questions.
In the Christian view, all of those questions have answers. And all of the answers have been known for quite some time. That level of knowledge, whether you're a Christian or not, would be astounding.
Example. I'm told that a self-sustaining ecosystem is hard to design. I read about a certain aquarium trying to recreate a coral reef in an enclosed completely self-sustained system of aquatic life. Years of effort kept resulting in failure due to the smallest imbalance that often couldn't be seen until it was too late.
But the entire earth is a self-sustaining ecosystem.
Human beings can barely populate a tank of water with the correct mix of life to achieve sustainability. The magnitude of the global sustainability compared to the tank of water is incredible. In the Christian view, that awesome feat that humans cannot achieve on a small scale with purpose, planning and design, did not come about on such an enormous scale by random chance.
Believe for just a second. Imagine for just a second that such a being existed. That knows all -- ALL -- the answers. Answers far beyond just this small piece of rock called earth. For just a second grasp the magnitude of intellect such a being would have.
It would not be difficult to defer to one who had that level of knowledge and understanding. But it would be impossible to actually understand anything about that one beyond what it decides to explain.
Aside, this is what gets me about certain vampire stories I read. (Since this is a library site...) As people get older, particularly those that keep their mental facilities, they draw from more experience, they learn more, they behave differently, the value differently. They have more insight. Even if a person is trapped in a seventeen year-old body, if he's a 120 years old, had lived through the times of both world wars, the great depression, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, etc -- I can't imagine that person would actually behave like a seventeen year-old. The person should be considerably more complex, more scarred, more something. An actual seventeen year old couldn't possibly relate to the 120 year old -- learn a lot from, yes. But lacking the life experience...
Anyway, rant off. In the Christian view, the difference between us and God is a thousand times greater. In the Christian view, God has observed everything from the beginning. Everything.
This is what only one part of what it means to be all-knowing. To know the answers we've sought for thousands of years and haven't found, to have observed first-hand all of life as we know it and seen all the ramifications of change and impact from all factors. To literally know it all.
I'll forgo other aspects of all-knowing and I'll forgo a discussion on "all-powerful" as this post is getting way too long as it is. But if a person believes that God is all-knowing, that person would logically be willing to try and understand God's intentions, purposes and goals for humanity.
However, in the same way we've studied the earth and universe for thousands of years and do not fully understand them, it is only logical that the being that created them would be even more complex and could not be understood in a study of twice that amount of time. Compare studying a watch to the watch-maker -- a simple mechanical device compared to a complex, thinking biological being.
God is beyond the comprehension of humanity as a whole, much more so the comprehension of an individual.
Now this is the part that bothers even me. The bible makes two points about those seeking to know God and those who will actually find him. First, it says the road that leads away from God is wide and well-traveled, and the road that leads to him is narrow, far fewer will find it. There are many reasons, I won't go into them. The second point is many people will believe they are on the right track and only find out too late they never were. In the bible, Jesus himself confronted the religious leaders of that day and told them they were way off.
The way I see it, where there are people, there is a possibility of corruption. The more people, the more the chance of corruption. This is true in corporations, governments, churches -- any organization of people, none are immune. For this reason a person can seek guidance from others but must ultimately seek God directly as an individual.
So for the Christian this seeking must happen on a personal level. It is priority number one, and it affects nearly all aspects of life.
Ok, my wife told me I've written way too much lol. I'll was working towards sincere heart, truly seeking God, forgiveness, humility, loving God, loving others. The straw man the media hold up as Christianity isn't. Nor is homosexuality the only topic discussed in church. It rarely comes up in mine, nor any others I visit. Christianity addresses a lifestyle.
Sorry for the lengthy ramble. This is a topic that isn't easy for me to discuss in short one-liners. I'm just not that good or precise of a writer yet and I find subjects relating to humanity and God to have a lot of nuance and complexity.
>But the entire earth is a self-sustaining ecosystem.
But not a stable, steady-state one.
#55: If you program your screen-saver to say "I love you" I doubt you'll know what it feels like to be loved based on that experience alone.)
When the disregard is willful or purposeful, it becomes sin.
Here's the thing; when I don't program my screen-saver to say "I love you", I don't get pissed at it for not saying "I love you". Heck, there are humans I want to say "I love you"; my society has made it clear I need to let it go. My society has said that should I not let it go, and should I not leave her alone, they do have a jail cell waiting for me, and they don't in any circumstances consider that love.
This whole God loves us, but hates sin, which is when we go against his will, and he's going to punish us eternally for going against his will? That's twisted. If we talked about the Man Speaking Softly with a Big Stick, we'd understand; let the wookie win. But the talk about love really really makes it creepy.
In the Christian view, humanity was created in a state of perfection and set in motion on a path of perfect relationship with God, but given the choice to leave that condition. Inevitably, humanity left it.
That's contradictory. If something inevitably left the path, it was never set to travel that path in the first place.
(55) Wow, that was a response, and a well-written one to boot. Thank you.
#55: Ok, my wife told me I've written way too much lol.
And yet it answers nothing. That was just an expanded version of what's already been said and continues to evade the practical matter at hand. What aspect of homosexuality does God object to? I'm not asking why or to dare to understand his amazingly incomprehensible (and imaginary) mind. I'm asking how do I know if I'm doing it "wrong." More importantly, how do the opponents of gay marriage know? 'Cause the Bible only says no butt-secks and unless you've wired up their homes, you don't know if a gay couple's marriage involves butt-secks or not.
#59 Good luck with getting an answer to that one! It's a question I've frequently asked homophobic aquaintances and I've never had a reply yet. It seems to be one like 'Please give us one teeny, tiny scrap of evidence that your, or anyone else's, god actually exists'. They can talk around it for hours but no-one seems able to give a direct reply (apart from, in the second case, 'because the Bible says so' or 'My auntie prayed and her gout went away') . (I'm thinking of compiling a book of 'questions religious people never answer'.) Next you try suggesting that they themselves might well enjoy something between the sheets that someone , somewhere on earth also thinks is 'disgusting' - you'll find that's not the same thing at all. I am normal; you are quirky; he/she/it/they are disgusting.
"It seems to be one like 'Please give us one teeny, tiny scrap of evidence that your, or anyone else's, god actually exists'. They can talk around it for hours but no-one seems able to give a direct reply (apart from, in the second case, 'because the Bible says so' or 'My auntie prayed and her gout went away') . (I'm thinking of compiling a book of 'questions religious people never answer'.) "
I guess it depends on which "religious people" you ask. If you ask all fundamentalist Christians then you are likely to get pretty incoherent answers, because their religion is based wholly upon "faith," specifically faith in the "literal inerrancy" of the Bible. So, I guess your question would be a self-fulfilling prophesy with them.
But that whole enterprise seems sort of like going to a meeting of the Flat Earth Society and asking about the shape of the Earth. You are looking for an answer that would be unacceptable to you. You find some people that will inevitably give that answer, and you ask the question. (Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.)
Everyone's a sinner. What I hate, is one the church has favorites. The church! I don't like the SINNERS that act like SAINTS, but at the same time don't act like saints. Does this make sense to anyone? What I am trying to say is those sinners/ you may fool everybody else but you don't fool me or God!
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