This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Hate the sin

John Longhurst (North of the 49th, July 18) tells of his friend James Toews’ desire for the church to “move past the statement to ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’.” Toews goes on to say, “Jesus loved sinners — period. [He] went ballistic on those who drew lines to keep wounded and broken people from entering the kingdom.” Not everyone will enter the kingdom (Matt. 7:13-14, 21). It can be argued that those who won’t are among the “wounded and broken people.” None of us draws the lines that determine where people will ultimately go. Only God can do that. His hatred of sin is well-documented throughout the Bible. Jesus went so far as to say that if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out, and if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better to maim your body than to miss the kingdom and go to hell. This requires us to recognize sin and hate it. If we don’t do this, we won’t seek justice for victims and avoid the same sins ourselves. If Jesus “went ballistic,” he surely must have hated the sin but loved the sinner. If you love me, I invite you to hate my sins.

Scott Smith
Greensboro, N.C.

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