A sin conscious Christianity


Love the sinner. Hate the sin.

I’ve probably heard this quote from Ghandi a million times. I used to say it all the time. I’ve seen it on bumper stickers, posters, signs, Facebook posts…well, pretty much anywhere and everywhere there are Christians. It’s become one of the most-used slogans in this generation of Christian culture.

And I don’t like it.

I’m not saying it’s wrong at all. I hate sin. As a Christian, I hold myself to certain moral standards that don’t always align with the world’s thinking. Well, they never align actually. I’ve decided to completely die to my self, my flesh, and live in righteousness (right standing with God). Jesus paid a high price to give me an opportunity to live that way. I don’t want to waste it. My sins have been washed away by His blood. As far as the East is from the West…

Saying love the sinner but hate the sin is just a sneaky way to demonstrate how bad a person is, basically judging them, while attempting to convince them of our unconditional love. What we’re saying is, “You are a very bad person. What you’re doing is not right, and you will go to Hell if you don’t stop. Oh, by the way, I love you like Jesus.”

This post has nothing to do with Matthew 18:15. (Yes, I’m going to make you look it up. Lol) I’m talking about people who aren’t believers, and may have never heard the Gospel before.

We don’t need to point out the sin in other people’s lives. They aren’t going to care if we think their lifestyle is wrong. It’s not going to bother them one bit if we frown on their sexual preference. If we try and convince them of how wrong they are, it will only push them further from the Gospel.

It’s inside the moments where we practice true, unconditional, unbiased, unassuming, selfless love that change occurs.

And it’s not us making them change. When we love, we aren’t invoking a method or following a script to make them drop to their knees and seek forgiveness. We aren’t causing them to feel so guilty about their wrongdoing, they can’t stand themselves anymore. We can love someone, nothing happens, and we walk away. It could be hours, days, or years later when the Holy Spirit lands on them and BOOM, their life is radically changed.

I don’t believe it’s our duty to attend a gay rights convention just to hold up signs condemning them to Hell.

I don’t believe it’s our duty to sit outside of an abortion clinic until the police come and haul us away.

I don’t believe it’s our duty to post on Facebook or sign petitions against everything that is sinful.

Are those things done out of true love for the sinners, or because we have the need to be right? To prove our point? Do we think that sets us apart and makes people search after what we believe?

People need to know who they are. They need to know that their true identity lies in the fact that we were all created in God’s very own image. Man ate the fruit in the Garden thus causing separation between God and man. Jesus had to die in order to reconcile us back to our one, true Father. The One from Whom all of life came forth. We can now boldly stand before God as if we never ate from the tree. Jesus said “It is finished”, not “To be continued…”

We need to be God-conscious, and show people the radical love and grace that saved us while we were yet sinners.

Remaining sin-conscious only keeps our attention on the faults of others, and not on their true identity in Christ.

They need to know who they were created to be, not who the enemy wants them to be.

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15 thoughts on “A sin conscious Christianity

  1. Everyone sins, even those of us who want to live for God. We would never think of murdering someone, but what if you murder an idea they have, call them stupid and tell them it will never work? It’s wrong to rob a bank, but what if you steal time from your boss when you take too long at lunch? Most people don’t think a “little white lie” is a sin, but a half-truth is still a lie.
    We are human, we are not perfect. Each circumstance requires a different approach and only God can lead us in the way to go.
    Most people know when they’ve done something wrong; some even know they’re going to hell. It’s better if we share God’s message of love and forgiveness with them and show them they can take the road to heaven.
    I loved all of the comments. They are all great, but the ones from whispersfrommyheart, chrllrobb.blog and Faith Simone really spoke to me. chrllrobb and I have a lot in common. I’m trying to be an author, but have trouble saying what I mean–in person as well as on paper. 🙂
    Thank you for such a thought-provoking article.

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  2. I think you are aiming for balance, and your heart is to reach people through grace. But you can’t say you will never confront someone with their sin. The New Testament tells us to confront our brother if he is sinning (I get that the command was for brothers and not the lost). Jesus confronted the religious leaders for their sin. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to sin no more. There is a time and place for presenting the fact of sin, but maybe that should happen infrequently and not immediately with the lost. A good example would be Jesus with the woman at the well in John 4. He effectively witnessed to her, and that included letting her know that he knew she was living with a man outside of marriage. It wasn’t the first thing that he discussed with her, but he didn’t avoid it when the topic came up.

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  3. I once heard a story which really resonated with me. There was a woman who had had a hard life, you name it she had done it, sinned like a trouper, and was at her lowest point ever. A Christian turned to her and said “why don’t you try going to church” and the response was “because I don’t need them to point out how badly I have screwed up my life, to judge me, to make me feel worse about myself than I already do!”

    Wasn’t it Jesus who came down and made friends, without judgement of the tax collector, the prostitute…. I remember the often over looked “let him who is without sin throw the first stone”.

    The world is not black and white. it was created in glorious multi-colours and so we should not try to make something that isn’t black and white like abortion fit into a right or wrong. It is far too complexed a subject for that. Like-wise gay marriage you are going to tell me that God disapproves of a loving relationship but celebrates an abusive, controlling relationship between a man and a woman?! If he does then I don’t want any part of a relationship with that sort of God.

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  4. I should mention, too. I have gone to protest PEACEFULLY at abortion clinics. And, what we do is walk around Hope Clinic in Granite City, IL. and pray to ourselves. Then we’ll stand in front of the building on the sidewalk and sing. We never shout. We never condemn the girls going in. If one of the girls talks to us, we direct them to the ultrasound machine where they can get a free ultra sound. 99.9% of the girls who take the ultra sound end up having the baby.

    We have had some of the escorts thank us for being respectful, and the security guard tell us where we could go to get warm during the winter.

    We do hold signs. But, they aren’t signs of dead babies. They are a silhouette of a baby’s face with the words, “I want to live.” We’ve done this for about 10 years now.

    We also pass out tracks and try to get into conversation with people on the street. We also help out at the local shelter.

    Our church is called “Church Without Walls” because we don’t have a building. Each Sunday we meet at a nursing home, or shelter, or some other place where the pastor gives a sermon and then we talk to the residents.

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  5. I’m going to have to ponder on this one for a while, Chris. Usually, I am right there with you, but I’m not so sure that not warning someone sin will destroy them eternally is the loving thing to do. I love my children and because of that love, I told them if they continued doing certain things there would be consequences. With love comes responsibility.

    I agree there are some who use that line to justify their condemnation… they forget about the log protruding out of their own eye while trying to get the speck out of their brother’s eye…

    I also agree that we don’t need to point out sin and make the person feel less than human, because we all struggle with sin (If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8) while we live in this human body– we are no better a person because our sin is different. Sin is sin, and all sin separates us from God.

    What you say sounds good, and everyone will jump in to the “Amen” band wagon, but, what good is our “be a friend” if our neighbor dies without Christ? But, how can we say we love the sinner if we fail to warn them?

    If you, or any other person on the earth, were walking into a trap, and that trap would surely cause you great bodily harm, would you be happy with me, if knowingly I allowed you to walk that path without telling you of the hidden danger? Or, if someone poisoned your drink, and I knew about it, would I just reassure you of how much I loved you, or would I warn you not to drink the poison?

    What is the difference?

    One has absolutely no eternal value and the other does. The trap or the poison will hurt your physical body, and while that is sad, what would be sadder is, if your eternal body is cast into hell because no one loved you enough to warn you about the danger of this corrupt generation.

    We are told in Jude 1:23 to, “Save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” I agree we should hate sin, and, to me, I feel as though hating sin makes me more compassionate because I know firsthand how destructive it is. I know how much of my life had been destroyed because of it.

    Even God, the Author of Love and Grace, explained the consequences of their actions when putting Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden after they sinned.

    John the Baptist called out Herod Antipas for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias. He told both of them it wasn’t lawful for them to be married.He did so more than once and for that he was beheaded.

    Peter, in Acts 2, on the Day of Pentecost stood in the public square and recounted how the people had Jesus killed, “36“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”

    The Holy Spirit brought conviction when Peter preached repentance from sin, Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

    Peter continued to warn them…. 40With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

    The scriptures tell us that some accepted, while others did not… 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” I’m sure the ones who refused to accept Peters call continued making fun of the Apostles as they did in the beginning.

    Paul incited a riot when he preached. Practically every where he went there was trouble. He was beaten, whipped, imprisoned, left for dead…etc., when he preached.

    Throughout history, people have been getting angry at Christians because they hold to the truth of God. They expose sin for what it is… Eph 5:11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” People in sin do not like their sin to be exposed.They like to remain hidden.

    Jesus told us, forewarned us, that because He was hated we, too, would be hated. It doesn’t matter how nice a Christian you are, or how compassionate you are, someone somewhere will take offense when the gospel is preached. Jesus is a rock of offense (I Peter 2:8) and people will stumble over him.

    I don’t believe in being hateful. I do not advocate condemning anyone. I think we should be respectful, even in the face of anger. And, I believe we should tell those who are lost and dying in their sin that there is a Savior who took their sin upon Himself. Who can., through the work of the cross, bring them back into the relationship with God that was meant for the human race from the Garden… if they repent. There is no salvation without repentance.

    I’ll end with this.

    Jesus sent us out to preach the good news. He didn’t instruct us to just be a loving neighbor. He said to expose sin and its consequences. And do it because of love. Do it because you know how devastating and exhausting sin can be. Do it because you love that person so much you don’t want them to end up in hell. Tell them even if they hate you, or spit in your face. Tell them because you don’t know if anyone else will ever tell them. tell them because you do not want to see them go to hell.

    We are called to be seed sowers. That’s all. We plant. We water. But the only one who can cause the spiritual growth is God himself. 1 Corinthians 3:6 It isn’t our job to convert people, it’s just our job to tell them.. Only God can draw someone to himself.

    Romans 10:14 “But how can people call on him if they have not believed in him? How can they believe in him if they have not heard his message? How can they hear if no one tells [the Good News]?”

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  6. This is a different way of putting things. I don’t necessarily like the picket lines. I don’t participate in any. It can cause things to go either way. I like the phrase Hate the Sin, not the Sinner myself, but not because I am trying to make them know they are bad. The Lord knows I am a sinner, as we all are. And I need all the prayer I can get. Old habits are hard for me to break. We all fall back now and then. Until God calls us home we always will. But, it is a good way of putting things. Makes me think when I get stagnant. Thank you for your post. I hope I made sense with this response. Sometimes I know what I want to say, but can’t say it right.

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  7. Hey, sorry about that “Anonymous.”
    That’s me.
    Just didn’t get everything filled in before I hit the button.
    But I absolutely do want my name attached to my Amen!!

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  8. This is so true! The greatest commandment is to love God, then to love our neighbors as ourselves. Some extremist seem to forget that this is the foundation for every action. When you mentioned that it is not a Christian’s job to stand outside of an abortion clinic and condemn people to hell, that resonated with me. For some reason I pictured what would happen if Christians gathered to protest in love: offering to pray with those going in and/or coming out. That would be an act of ultimate love. To state clearly that I don’t agree with your decision, but I want to show the love of Christ to you no matter what. I think that would resonate and make more of an impact on people than judgements and accusations. Great article!

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    1. What an entirely different atmosphere that would create, huh? Can you imagine a young girl walking out of a clinic, maybe she went through with the procedure or maybe she didn’t, and into the arms of people who just want to pray with her? Not to point out what she did was wrong, but to simply say that God loves her, and then pray for Him to bless her.

      Whew. I just got chills thinking about that. So awesome.

      Thanks for the great comment. God bless.

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