Where did that phrase come from? The Bible? Nope. Jesus? Nope. But many Christians sure do spout it like it is God-inspired scripture – especially concerning the LGBTQ issue. Usually to justify judgment, condemnation and rejection of gays… in Jesus name.
So here we are, a cultural crisis, a church crisis, a family crisis. Marriage equality gains support, churches empty, and churchgoers wonder where it will all end.
There is much truth to find, and personal experience to move our hearts, but the non-affirming church seems to ignore that. So, where does the non-affirming church go for guidance? Where do Christians get their byword?
Jesus! Oh wait… no, Jesus didn’t say anything about LGBTQ people. (Actually he did… and it was positive… He basically said, don’t worry about eunuchs – which is some kind of sexual minority that society rejected – and whoever is mature enough to hear this, go ahead and hear it… Yeah, so won’t use Jesus.)
So, who can we quote?
Gandhi! Yes! Makes perfect sense. We’ll take our catchphrase from Gandhi (who morphed it from Augustine’s, “With love for mankind and hatred of sins”), instead of Jesus (since he didn’t denounce gay people) – not because Christians agree with Gandhi on anything at all, but because he conveniently said: “Hate the sin and not the sinner.”
Finally, a life motto we can internalize. Now we can hate the sin with a vengeance, which has been the desire all along, really. I mean, who wants to give up hatred for something if they can get God’s support to go ahead and hate it? Hate the sin, by all means! We’ll even bump the other part to “LOVE the sinner!” Because we are Christians, after all!
Yes. Now we’ve got it. Hate the sin, love the sinner. It makes perfect sense.
Except for a couple of little problems…