Thanks Gandhi, You Just Had To Say It …

Shon over at Following Jesus Sucks tackled one of the sayings I just cannot stand that is thrown around “Christiandom”, and I am pretty damn sick of hearing it.  I am with Shon, let’s dump this saying already. 

Go to his post to have a peek.

I wanted to add my thoughts on the subject of “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”.

Many Christians keep throwing around this ridiculous statement, and it is a saying that goes against the very scripture they read and put their faith in.  I wonder why they keep spouting it off like it is written in stone?

It was actually a quote by Gandhi, not Jesus.  Thanks a bunch for this one Gandhi!

In the bible there is no separation ever between the sinner and sin.  You cannot separate them out.  It is impossible.  If you love someone (and you should love everyone), you cannot hate how they are to themselves.  If you do, you are judging.

This cliché relates to sin as a general concept.  The problem with trying to narrow this generality to particular sins is that we have a habitude to perceive sins differently.  For instance, why is it that this saying is always geared toward homosexuality, but we rarely hear it talked about when it comes to other sins like pride or greed, or really any other sin.  I believe the fact that this cliché is rarely used outside the context of homosexuality proves ungodly partiality, and how those that spout it relate to those around them.

I feel when people use this saying in their “Christian” circles, the claim to “love the sinner, hate the sin” usually only applies to sins the person doing the hating DOES NOT commit. 

Isn’t it convenient how that works?

It is basically saying.. while I am busy hating YOUR sin, I seem to have forgotten about my own.

I think Jesus had something to say about that… hold on I think I have something in my eye 🙂

So, while you cliché users are busy hating the sin in the lives of others, what you are really doing is focusing on those sins.  The fact is, in the act of condemning homosexuals (which this adage is so often used for), people who are quick to point out their hatred for the sin of homosexuality are, in effect, dealing with what they perceive as sin in the lives of others, when Jesus commands that they be concerned about their OWN sins instead.

Maybe we should make a new saying …  Love sinners, hate the clichés! 

But, I do like Shon’s suggestions too!

19 thoughts on “Thanks Gandhi, You Just Had To Say It …

  1. Lulz. You should email folks you know who use that quote, and tell them it’s from Ghandi. I bet you get some pretty interesting responses. XD

    I don’t know why, but sex stuff always seems to inspire/tick off people more than any other kind of sin or activity. It’s bizarre to me. I agree with you that we should endeavor not to sin at all, rather than focus on a particular sin that makes us ridiculously uncomfortable.

  2. Liz – I am pretty sure most of them that spout that quote think it is in scripture somewhere, because their pastor has said it a hundred times.

    However, I do like your idea 🙂

    It is like another saying that many people think is in scripture.. Money is the root of all evil… not it is not, it is the LOVE of money silly people …

  3. Hey Swanny. Glad you took this topic a little further. C.S. Lewis really struggled with this cliche as well. Then one day it dawned on him, he hated his own sin but loved himself. He couldn’t stand his own sin, but somehow managed to feed and take care of himself. He did all the things for himself that he’d want any loving person to do for him. So in that sense, the cliche made sense. But that sense is very self-focused. And exactly as you have stated, when we apply it to others it ends up showing our ungodly partiality. We become the determiner of which sins are worthy of grace (usually ours), and which sins must be condemned. And this latter part is always evolving, because it depends on what areas our own sins have ventured into. Divorce used to be on the “unworthy of grace”side, but because it’s touched so many of our lives in some way, it’s now made it to the worthy category. Man! This topic is absolutely worthy of your blog, because it’s full of B.S.! But yeah, I agree with what you’ve said about homosexuality. It’s as if it’s become Christendom’s final crusade. Well, other than gettin’ Obama and them damn liberals. If we could just get “those” sinners out of the way, boy we’ll be enjoyin a little heaven on earth!

    1. Shon – The Crusades in history was an evil event that people look at as how so-called loving people could hate and harm others, and a lot of them cannot grab a hold of Christ because of the Crusades.

      This modern day homo crusade and/or liberal crusade is not going to help the Body of Christ. It is the same hatred in a different form.

      1. Couldn’t agree more! Unfortunately, people aren’t seeing that carrying a sign that says, “Homo sex is sin, repent or perish!” as just as evil and jacked up as burning someone at the stake is.

      2. Couldn’t disagree more! Unfortunately, people aren’t seeing that there are more ways of preaching. People carrying a sign have scripture backing as much as people “love” preachers do. Who gets to decide who is leading people away from Jesus or who is watering down the gospel. Rather than fighting among yourselves, why not just do what either side is doing without telling others that they are evil.
        Shon carrying a sign is as evil and equivalent to burning someone on the stake? Well, you just told someone he/she is evil. So you can’t say homosex is sin, but you can call a person saying that evil?

  4. Hey pakman – glad to see you stirring the pot on someone else’s blog. So, why would I equate carrying a sign that says “Repent you homos, or perish!” to burning someone at the stake? Because it’s the exact opposite of what Jesus does with sinners – sinners like me. The “Repent you homos!” is no different than the teachers of the law dragging the adulterous woman before Jesus to be stoned. The new covenant, the way of Christ, the way of the cross isn’t “Repent or perish, you divorcee, you homo, you tax cheat, you….whatever,” that’s sinful man pointing out the sin of another as if their own sin is nothing compared to those “other people’s” sin. Jesus didn’t shout from the cross: “Repent or perish, you filthy sinners!” So my question is, why didn’t he?

    1. Like I said in the post above…. “It is basically saying.. while I am busy hating YOUR sin, I seem to have forgotten about my own. I think Jesus had something to say about that… hold on I think I have something in my eye 🙂

    2. I hear what you are saying, but with that logic Christians should toss most of the Old Testament (prophets preaching repentance), and most of the New Testament (sinful man pointing at the sins of others and telling them how to live), in the trash. Who was Paul to tell the churches and gentiles that they have sin amongst them, or other NT authors to tell people what is sin.
      I understand your comment and agree with you to some extent, but my point is totally different. Sign guy is judging homos (us against them), you are judging the sign guy (us against them). He said “repent or perish”, you said “evil and witch hunters”. My question to both you and Swanny is that why can’t the sign guy get the same love and “sensitivity” that you are demanding for a homosexual or any other “sinner”? Oh! because he is acting all self righteous. You don’t even know these people, you just judged them by one sign they are carrying, you decided that they have forgot their own sins. I carried a sign once, and I never had a self righteous thing in me, in fact, that sign might have humbled me more by talking with people and sharing with them. Or is it that you can only judge Christians, and prove that your way is the Christian way? I have a lot more going in my mind, but I leave it at this.

      1. pakmanfjs – Thanks for the comments.

        First of all, at no time am I ever judging another person in this post or any of my posts. My writings are for open discussion about the organization of the institutional church. I do love the sign bearers as I do anyone else. I am just disagreeing with the use of a quote by Gahndi that has been used way out of context. I am in no way saying that people cannot be strong in their beliefs. If someone wants to hold up a sign to show others they are against homosexuality, so be it. I personally think they are focusing on the wrong issue, but what they are doing is not sin (unless they are doing it out of hatred for the other person, which I have no way of ever knowing).

        And about tossing out the Old and New Testament. That is silly. It comes down to the way people see and interpret the Bible. I take the whole book as a whole. I do not cherry pick verses to prove a point. The only point of scripture is to reveal God’s son to us… beyond that everything else is up for interpretation.

      2. Pakman, this conversation here on Swanny’s blog as well as on my own blog is making my head spin! I pretty much addressed this in my reply to you on my blog. But I really like Swanny’s reply to you, especially the point of scripture being to reveal God’s Son to us. As you know, I don’t have a problem with street preachers or signs. I have a problem with an “us against them” mentality, because it doesn’t reveal God’s son to us. Of course I don’t know the heart of Mr. sign guy. I don’t even know who the sign guy is. I’m not making a judgment on any particular person, but I am calling out an attitude – the same attitude that wants to creep up inside of me. The same attitude that wants everyone to be gracious with my sins, while lacking grace towards others. God reveals his Son not only through his Word, but through His body. And when His body is judgmental, it’s not revealing Him. That’s why I completely agree with Swanny that the crusades were evil, and our modern versions, while maybe not physically bloody, sure are gory spiritually. When we come across as hating “the sinner,” we’re completely off track.

      3. Sorry Swanny, the judging comment was on Shon’s comment about “evil…burning on stake”, I should have addressed Shon.

      4. Shon, after reading your blog, I felt that you are bashing people, for bashing homosexuals. To me Mr. Sign Guy will have the same argument that he is calling out something that he think is not right, as you said that you are calling out an attitude. I don’t know but if I’m the sign guy, and don’t know your heart, I would say you are judgmental (even if it’s on my attitude towards homosexuality). I try to read your post like someone who don’t know you, and comment likewise with my agnostic point of view.
        I understand what you are trying to say and communicate, but it’s hard nowadays to say something without been labeled judgmental or racist or whatever. I personally don’t think Christians should be condemning non-believers for what they don’t believe is sin. I agree with you that relationship building and addressing root causes should be the primary motive, helping people to see for themselves what relationship with Christ means and look like. But if someone chooses a different path, we should build relationships with them and help them to see what relationship with Christ means and look like.
        I also believe that as a nation if you keep tolerating anti-christian things, you get to a point where killing children is not a big deal anymore. Now people react differently to stop it, and I’ll say do what you can. But if the people as a nation want God out of everything, so be it. Saul was people’s choice, they’ll get what they asked for.
        You are going to regret the day you met me.

  5. I think this section of the Bible pretty much covers why as believers we don’t stand around condemning homosexuals.
    1 Corinthians 5:9-12:

    When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”

    I have a dear friend that is homosexual. She said for years she didn’t think she could approach God, which is a lie. I think she felt this way because that has been the message of condemnation from so-called Christians. We were all sinners when we were found by God.

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