Why “Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner” Isn’t Working

This post isn’t a plea for clicks, likes or views, but instead a valiant cry for help in a world that paints Christians as the “God hates f*gs” militia. That’s not Jesus. That’s not me. That’s not most of us.

It’s sad to sit back and watch the media cover nothing but the faults and failures of proclaimed “Christ followers,” instead of getting down to the truth of what many of us do differently than the percentage who make us look bad. If what the media portrays is the world’s view of a Christian, please don’t call me one. I’d rather call myself a Christ follower than been thrown into the twisted and construed view of what we’ve made “Christians” out to be. I understand that Christian means Christ follower, but you get where I’m going with this.

The Word “Christian.”

The word “Christian” has become shallow, repetitious, and too common over the years. Not for the sake of Kingdom multiplication like we’d hope for, but instead that of comfort and ease. People say, “I’m a Christian” as easy as they would, “I love hamburgers.”

This isn’t a debate of theology, doctrine or philosophy, but instead of love. The reality is that Jesus called us to love one another as he has loved us. This means we are to relentlessly, passionately, and fervently love one another no matter the circumstance. Did you read what I just said? NO MATTER THE CIRCUMSTANCE. Let that sink in.

Regardless of what the Bible says about cursing, drinking, homosexuality, cheating, lying or stealing, we are still called TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It’s that simple. No questions asked, regardless of how you interpret.

The ideology of, “hate the sin, not the sinner” has NOT converted well in today’s culture. If you take a moment to look around, you’ll notice that we are very good at showing hate to the people whom God has called us to love. Shame on you. Shame on me. Shame on us.

Does this frustrate anyone the way it frustrates me? And before you say anything about seeking to keep your brother or sister accountable, please remember that you and I both sin as much as the next person. The goal isn’t that we are to look away when someone is struggling, but instead engage and embrace people in a way that reflects the loving comfort of Christ. A way that shows the love of Jesus. A way that strays from anything to do with hate. Period.

“Hate the sin, not the sinner” isn’t working. Frankly I don’t believe it ever has. When hating the sins of others, people just simply don’t know how to separate the sinner from the sin. I encourage you to instead “Love the sinner, not the sin.” Remove the word hate from your vocabulary as it pertains to individual attention, and start reflecting an image of Jesus that portrays him differently than a man standing on a soap-box wielding a megaphone.

I can’t ever recall a person who came to faith because of hate. Learn to love like Jesus, serve like Jesus, and forgive like Jesus. Let’s start a movement of people who are willing take hate out of the equation, and love people regardless of their sins.

The more we would love another, the less people would revert to sinning. CLICK TO TWEET

—Jarrid Wilson


What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below.

Published by Jarrid Wilson

Husband, Father, Pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship & Author of a few books.

209 comments on “Why “Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner” Isn’t Working”

  1. I agree! Loving people and God is our primary task(Matthew 22:37-38). I don’t think acceptance of a person has to mean acceptance of their sin. Part of the definition is “[love] does not rejoice in wrong-doing” (1Corinthians 13:6)

    1. Wow! “Love does not rejoice in wrong-doing”… plain as day, read over and over and over but had not grasped that until now! Thank you!

  2. This made me think. That phrase has been an easy out for a long time. If we can love the sinner, and not the sin, while living an example of Christ without neglecting to mention the “depravity” we were delivered from by “God’s mercy and Grace” then we allow the Holy Spirit to convict. It’s not our job as so many believe.

  3. It’s an interesting thought, but it’s also dead wrong. Point me one person who came to a true faith who didn’t realize the depths of his depravity and the power of God’s mercy and Grace.

    1. Romans 2:4, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” These are the things God uses to bring repentance from both wayward believers, and the lost. It is His revelation of such kindness that gives us the courage and ability to look at our depravity honestly. Should we not emulate these things? Instead we too quickly sometimes, whether with believers or unbelievers, focus on what we see as wrong, and skip right past the power of the Healer to reveal it in a much more effective way than we can.

  4. Really enjoyed reading this man. I too have found it difficult on what it meant to separate the sin from the sinner. Could it be that this saying or mentality could lead unbelievers to believing that God will not take them as they are and that they need to fix their sin before coming to Christ? It would make sense. Thanks and God bless.

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