. Mardi Robyn: God Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin Mardi Robyn: God Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin

Saturday, April 13, 2019

God Loves the Sinner but Hates the Sin

One time I heard a teacher teach a lesson and in his lesson he was illustrating a good point. He talked about God being love.  

1 John 4:7-8 reads, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."    

It is true, God is love. I agreed wholeheartedly with what the teacher was saying. It wasn't until his next statement that I had a problem and I will be honest I tuned out the rest of the teaching.  He went on to say that God cannot hate.  The teacher said the author of the lesson he was reading from should not have used the word hate when he wrote "God hates sin." The teacher said that to say God hates is not biblical.   I disagree....   God says the following in the book of Proverbs, 

"These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19

It is wrong to say God cannot hate. God does not hate people.  His word says  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved." John 3:16-17  If he hated people he would not have sent His son. He sent His son because He loves us.   

God does not hate people. He loves us.  It is not wrong to say God hates though. God hates sin. He loves the sinner and hates sin.   His word clearly says in Proverbs 6:16-19 that the Lord (God) can hate. He hates a proud look, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are fast to run to mischief, a false witness and people that sow discord among others.   

This has been bugging me since I heard the teacher teach false doctrine. If you are going to teach the Word of God, make sure you are teaching the Word of God and not the word according to you. God's Word does not lie.   God loves the sinner, but he hates the sin.  



  1. Amen. You are exactly right, Mardi! Not only does God hate sin, but He must hate sin, if He really loves people. Sin is not wrong on the grounds that God makes some arbitrary rule that has no relation to reality. Sin is wrong (among other reasons) because it hurts *us*. And precisely because God loves us, He hates whatever hurts us. If He did not hate sin (that is, what hurts us), He would not love us. But, thankfully, He does love us, and, consequently, hates sin.

    OK, that was a rambling way of expressing my thoughts, but....lol. (Sorry!)

    BTW, here is Augustine's quote that is the origin of the "Love the sinner, hate the sin". (In context, he is referring to the attitude we ought to take, but it also can be seen as applying to what God does as well).

    "Wherefore the man who lives according to God, and not according to man, ought to be a lover of good, and therefore a hater of evil. And since no one is evil by nature, but whoever is evil is evil by vice, he who lives according to God ought to cherish towards evil men a perfect hatred, so that he shall neither hate the man because of his vice, nor love the vice because of the man, but hate the vice and love the man. For the vice being cursed, all that ought to be loved, and nothing that ought to be hated, will remain."

    -St. Augustine (354-430), The City of God, Book 14, chapter 6

  2. Thank you Mike! I don’t think you were rambling at all. Me on the other hand, I made this post while I couldn’t sleep. I may rewrite it because I repeated myself and the words don’t have a smooth flow to them.

    I did not know Augustine is to be credited for the saying “Love the sinner and hate the sin!”

    1. What are you talking about? You always write well. I hope I learn how to write as well as you do when I grow up. :-)

      Yep. He's also involved (though not the actual source) of another common saying:

      "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

      Basically, before Augustine was even a Christian, he nevertheless asked on behalf of his mother Monica a question of the great bishop of Milan, Ambrose about whether or not to follow the local fasting practices of the church of the city they were living in, or those of the place they came from. Ambrose gave the reply that has been paraphrased as "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

      To give the actual source, however, here is how Augustine describes it:

      "When my mother followed me to Milan, she found the Church there not fasting on Saturday. She began to be troubled, and to hesitate as to what she should do; upon which I, though not taking a personal interest then in such things, applied on her behalf to Ambrose, of most blessed memory, for his advice. He answered that he could not teach me anything but what he himself practised, because if he knew any better rule, he would observe it himself. When I supposed that he intended, on the ground of his authority alone, and without supporting it by any argument, to recommend us to give up fasting on Saturday, he followed me, and said: 'When I visit Rome, I fast on Saturday; when I am here, I do not fast. On the same principle, do you observe the custom prevailing in whatever Church you come to, if you desire neither to give offense by your conduct, nor to find cause of offense in another's.' When I reported this to my mother, she accepted it gladly; and for myself, after frequently reconsidering his decision, I have always esteemed it as if I had received it by an oracle from heaven." (Letter 54, A.D. 400)


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