Somewhere in church this weekend someone will speak the phrase, “Hate the sin and love the sinner”, or something similar.
Anytime I have ever heard this phrase spoken it made me angry. Mainly because I assumed, and I am afraid, most likely correctly, that the person who spoke it had no idea where it originated. No idea.
Many probably think it is in the Holy Scripture. It is not.
It’s actually from St. Augustine. His letter 211, roughly 424 b.c. and contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly as “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”
Now the way St. Augustine phrased it I can understand. We should detest anything that pulls ourselves or others from the pursuit of God.
But to use the phrase, “hate the sin, love the sinner”, I am sorry, but that is only a few levels away from the Westboro Nutball Church where they hate everything. Why God allows them to continue I do not understand, but He does.
We are not called to hate anything but to love everyone.
What we are really saying when using that phrase is, “that’s as close as we can get to saying we hate certain people and still maintain an air of religion.”
Please, preachers, teachers and spokespersons for God, (of which I think God has more than enough, too many actually), research your phrases. If it ain’t in the Bible, quit throwing it up and out there as though it is.
We are to love, never to hate.
It’s kinda the main message of Christ dying.