Hating (Others) Sin


Over the last few days I have been thinking about sin…

…and I have been sinning.

If any of you have been reading my blog, even on a semi-regular basis you will know that I consider myself a “sinner” with no claim to any righteousness or holiness ouside of Jesus. So even when I post something I realize that my motives may not be all that altruistic from time to time.  That being said….here is my lastest contemplation.

I have tried to come up with passages in the Christian Text that support the idea that we are suppose to run around and tell non-believers about their sin. For some reason I cannot. maybe I am just not seeing it, or maybe I am not interpreting the text correctly, but I cannot find any.

I find passages that speak of the Holy Spirit convicting people of ther sin of not believing in Jesus…Peter repremanding the Jewish crowd on Pentecost for rejecting Jesus and killing Him, Peter before the Jewish Council/high priest that as disciples of Jesus they must obey God (in speaking to people about Jesus), rather than man and again reminding the Council again of their sin of killing Jesus. I see Paul apologizing to the high priest for disrespecting him, and the  respect shown to  King Aggipa, and to the men of Athens in his Mars Hill dialogue (not once does he call them idolators.

Then there is Jesus healing the man at the well, the blind man, touching and healing lepers, the woman with the issue of blood, raising the widows’ son from the dead, feeding the multitude, having a conversation with the woman at the well and a multitude of other healings, eating and drinking and partying with “sinners”, eating at the house of a known tax collector…you get my point. I can only think of one instance where He tells someone to go and sin no more..but I am sure I miss something.

The point I am trying to make here is that we believers have an obsession with sin, and we are not afraid to confront it. There is a problem with this approach though, because it cuts off  any other opportunity to love a person into the Kingdom. And we forget that the Holy Spirit is the one to bring conviction of sin, not us. 

The other point I want to make is that we love to hate sin…others sin, sins we do not have in our own lives, sins that tend to be outside of the church (or so we think). So we spend an inordinate amount of time telling “outsiders” how sinful they are but conveniently forget that our church pulpits and pews are filled with sinners… that sin… every day!

And finally, we demand non-believers quit sinning, but shut the door to further conversations about love and grace. And we forget that we as believers only stand before God because of the unconditional love and grace found only in Jesus.

Jesus was a friend of sinners…why aren’t we?

We desperately need a new approach.


13 thoughts on “Hating (Others) Sin

  1. thank you for writing this, mark. jesus DID hang out with many sinners. he treated people with respect regardless of their sin. he loved everyone and didnt judge. it makes me sad that more people cant practice the kind of christianity that JESUS DID. (sounds weird when it’s put that way, doesn’t it?) it makes me feel bad that people have such little self esteem and so much obsession with material objects that they end up practicing a kind of “christianity with no soul” (that is what i am choosing to call it.) it is like the people outside of the clinic hurting young women going in for an abortion when they have kids at home that they don’t care about. we should all be loving and helping each other rather than measuring each other’s sin. peoples need to TAKE THE LOG OUT OF THEIR OWN EYES!

    1. Its sounds weird, but it is true to say that Jesus practiced another Christianity because He did. And thanks for the great thoughts.

  2. But if we stop focusing on other people’s sins, then we might actually have to face our own sins. Then we would have to actually rely on Christ and we like to be self sufficient….
    Great blog, Mark! Your words ring true.

    1. Thanks Leanne……it is nice to get an endorsement from a “woman of the cloth” (do people still say that these days?).

      Anyway, I think that our american spirit of independence has infiltrated our spritual life…. It is a sad thing.

  3. Agree with you totally. Also, the term “fruit inspector’ really aggravates me, my gma has used it, saying that she and fellow believers should be going around inspecting ‘fruit’. uhm, that just bothers me to the core! It is God who is the Judge. It is God who can see the person’s heart, and can see true motives.

    Also, Jesus is the Great Physician, He came to heal the sick (“sinners”) not tend to the well. Right? I think that’s somewhere in one of the first few New Testament gospels.

    Its like that one guy who was attacking me on your fb (I won’t put the name), — he was so self arrogant, and so … RUDE, unloving and critical…. He couldn’t see that he was sinning himself — even if it was just in his thoughts and very rude words.

    ~Jeanne

    1. i appreciate your support Jeanne…and you are right Jesus came for sinners, like me and like you and like everyone else in the world.

      The “fruit inspector” line is a load of …crap….There is nothing that says that we put ourselves in the place of an “inspector” to look at and judge other peoples works. There is a word for a person that does that, t Pharisee.

      Don’t worry about that guy on FB. I am sorry though that he treated you with disrespect.

    2. i appreciate your support Jeanne…and you are right Jesus came for sinners, like me and like you and like everyone else in the world.

      The “fruit inspector” line is a load of …crap….There is nothing that says that we put ourselves in the place of an “inspector” to look at and judge other peoples works. There is a word for a person that does that, t Pharisee.

      Don’t worry about that guy on FB. I am sorry though that he treated you with disrespect.

  4. Mark, I agree with you I think Christians forget that there are no degrees of sin, all sin is sin and separates us from a Holy God. I think that some not all Christians want to feel better about there own sin by pointing out others sin that they think is far worst then theirs . We need to remember that our own personal sin put Jesus on that cross and HE went willingly because he Loves us all.

    1. It is a sad state of affairs Kathy when we see ourselves as better than “those sinners”. We have lost touch with the cross if we think this way. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Thanks for living in a glass house, friend. We are indeed all sinners who will never find a point in this life where we need the grace that comes through our Savior any less than when we first believed. As Paul taught Timothy, “Preach the Word,” and nothing more. The greatest difficulty we face as believers is presenting the Gospel without presenting ourselves as something more than we are; sinners saved by grace. Sinners that continue to sin, even though we despise it. The Gospel is Jesus crucified and risen for the sins of God’s image-bearers. We will never be worthy by our own efforts, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves so.

    1. We will never be worthy by our own efforts, no matter how much we try to convince ourselves so.

      Thanks for your thoughts too….and I love the above line from your message! It is so true. Peace brother.

  6. I’ve always been impressed that Paul called himself “chief of sinners”.

    Of the people that persecuted him, got i his way, or even helped him, he reserved that title for himself.

    I think that should tell ALL of us who seek to follow Jesus, something.

    1. I think too many times as believers we forget that we are no better than anyone else, we forget that we are all still sinners…..
      Thank you for your insightful comment. Peace to you.

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