An Appropriate Adage: “Don’t Crap Where You Eat.”

D L Henderson
3 min readAug 24, 2023

August 24, 2023

A Response to Some Critics of the adage “Hate the Sin; Love the Sinner.”

Jealousy was the main ingredient of the religious leaders’ unrestrained, murderous, resolve to kill Jesus. Even Pilate knew. “He knew very well that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.” — Matthew 27:18, New Living Translation. They also were only thinking about self-interests, of losing their positions with the Caesars of Rome and the esteem of the people of Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, after being severely tortured and hung on the Roman cross to die, He called out, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 (ibid).

I noticed many of the criticisms of the phrase “Hate the sin; love the sinner” are quotes from the Old Testament.

People need to understand that from the beginning God had unfolding purposes, developed throughout all of the Old Testament Books of the Law, History, and the Prophetic revelations. However, this particular adage is based on the dictates of the New Testament — revelations of the principles taught by Jesus the Messiah.

For example, Matthew 5:27–28(NLT) quotes Jesus saying such things as “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The old principals have changed somewhat.

Another example is found in Matthew 18:21–22 (NLT), “Then Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’ “ I’m not quick with the arithmetic, but I’m pretty sure Jesus knows that, too, and means for us to lose track of the number of times we forgive…

The old principals have changed somewhat.

So too our attitudes must change to reflect the new ones.

The New Testament has overridden the Old in fulfillment of God’s unfolding purposes begun in the Creation.

Yet, Jesus remained steadfast against sin: “Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, ‘Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.’ “ — John 5:14 (ibid).

Maybe this excerpt at the conclusion from the passage in John 8:1–11, the story of a woman caught in adultery, will enlighten the critics: “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Where the Old said “Stone her!” Jesus hated the sin, but loved the sinner. You see, but He also warned the sinner when He said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

For those who have forgotten or never experienced this, it is called the mercy and grace of God. It is about Mankind’s salvation, the redemption from sin. (Please note that the concept of sin is “harm,” that is, harmfulness for oneself or for harming another. God hates sin for two reasons, but importantly, He hates to see us harming ourselves. We do so much harm, there is so much harmfulness in the world, and so, God hates sin.

His dictates are for our benefit, not His own.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” — John 3"16 (ibid)

One more bit of advice, “…[Paul,] speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.”

Don’t slice and dice the Bible. It is a feast that must be eaten and enjoyed slowly and methodically, and it must be finished entirely to appreciate the superb dining experience, its elegance and glorious beauty…

Don’t forget to thank the host of the feast.

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between