“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner”?

Gandhi_smiling_R“Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner.”

That’s not from the Bible. That’s actually a quote from Mohandas Gandhi. Funny how conservative Christians treat the words of a Hindu as if they came straight from God. I like Gandhi, don’t get me wrong. He was a very wise and moral man. But, being human, sometimes he got things wrong.

The quote is actually anti-Christian. Here’s what Jesus really said:

Judge not that you be not judged.” [Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:37]


“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” [John 8:7]


“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” [Luke 6:42]

As Christians, we are not qualified to judge the sins of others. Judging (and repenting) our own sins should be a full-time occupation. By judging others, we are exalting ourselves in a superior position above them. That is only for God to do.

We may complain that others are violating the Law of God but here’s some examples of what Jesus thought of that:

The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. [Mark 2:27]

There is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man [Mark 7:15]

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. [Matthew 22:37-40]

So, love the sinner? Yes, definitely. “for we all have sinned and fallen short of the grace of God” [Romans 3:23]. Hate the sin? Not so much, unless it is your own and it encumbers you from loving God and/or your neighbor.


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Are You a Good Christian?

Willem_de_Poorter_-_A_Woman_Praying_-_WGA18150Sorry, but that was a trick question. In actuality, there is no such thing as a good Christian. Jesus said that only God is good (Mark 10:18, Luke 18:19).  To call oneself a “good Christian” is to directly contradict Christ himself. Now, that doesn’t sound like something a good Christian would do. 😉

Perhaps what people mean when they say they are “good Christians” is that they are Christians in good standing with their church (for whatever that’s worth). I don’t know. But at least to me, it doesn’t come off sounding like that.

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“Real Christians”

Jan_Luyken's_Jesus_33._Last_Judgement._Phillip_Medhurst_CollectionHang around Christians long enough and you will eventually hear one of them say that some other persons, groups or denominations are not “real Christians”.

To them: Hmmm… is that so? Are you absolutely sure that you are the one who gets to decide that? If not, let’s hope and pray that when your time comes, the real guy is not quite so picky about you!  [Matthew 7:1]

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You Do Not Have the Right To Kill Yourself

suicidal__pills__by_saccharinesmileSome people think that suicide is a victimless crime. It isn’t. Suicides are not just killing themselves. That would still be very tragic. They are also killing every person they are to other people:

  • They are killing their spouse’s spouse.
  • They are killing their children’s parent.
  • They  are killing their parents’ child.
  • They are killing their siblings’ sibling.
  • They are killing their friends’ friend.
  • They are killing their loved ones’ loved one.

No one has the right to murder all of these people. Even if you hate yourself, there are probably still people who love and respect that person they see in you. You may think that no one knows the real you but that doesn’t matter. If you kill yourself, you are killing a very real person to other people. If you believe this identity they have created for you is another person entirely, then all the more reason that killing this person is indeed murder. You must admit that you do not have the right to murder another person or persons but that is exactly what you would be doing should you decide to take your own life.

It has been said that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are depressed, your problems probably don’t seem temporary at all. I know from personal experience. However, everything changes. This too, shall pass. In the meantime, talk to someone. Get help. Put off killing yourself for one more day. Believe it or not, it gets easier.

[1 Corinthians 6:19-20]

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Why Live?!

Passing_out_groceriesYour life is useful. If you don’t want it, don’t throw it away. Give your life to others who can use it. Volunteer. Look for opportunities to help wherever you can. A life spent solely in the service of one’s self is wasted. Become important to someone else. That is the true reason for living. [1 Peter 4:10]

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Understanding God

1024px-Healthy_Human_T_CellThe simple truth is that no single individual can possibly come close to understanding what this ‘God’ thing truly is. That would be even more inconceivable than a single cell in a person’s body understanding the whole body to which it belongs. It is a part of something greater and it exists for the greater good. What more can it/we really know?

We do not even fully understand ourselves. How much more incredibly complex is God  than ourselves? [Isaiah 55:9]

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A Higher Self

higher_selfBelief in a higher self is essential for normal human beings. I believe that few true atheists (loosely defined) exist. Most people who think they are atheists merely have a problem with the definition of God. The label ‘God’ is loaded with all sorts of dogmatic implications. The term ‘Higher Power’ is used by 12-steps groups but is not without its own problems. I sometimes prefer thinking of God as a ‘Higher Self’. Anyone who believes that there are things in this universe more important than themselves believes in a higher self. Anyone whose sense of self extends beyond their immediate individuality – such as family, community, humanity, life, totality – believes in a Higher Self. Perhaps only sociopaths can be atheists in this sense. [1 Corinthians 3:16]

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Decisions, Decisions…

fence_signSometimes decisions are hard, especially if you suffer from major depression and indecision like I do. Here’s a little checklist that might help:

  • Are you of sound mind and body? Are you currently able to make a relaxed, informed decision?
  • Does it feel like the right thing to do?
  • Is it something that you believe you are really capable of doing?
  • Have you considered all of the foreseeable consequences of your decision, both desirable and undesirable.
  • Are you willing to accept all of these consequences?
  • Is failure a real possibility? If so, is it acceptable to you?
  • Keeping in mind the least desirable consequences of your decision, including failure, is it something you think you will be glad to have at least attempted to do, long after it is over?

If you’ve answered “yes” to all of these questions, then quit procrastinating and just do it already! [James 4:17]

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Sex and Violence In the Media

weapon-424772_640Why is America so violent?

Could it be the values we inadvertently teach our children?

We sometimes allow children to view the most disturbing images of sadistic murder and violence imaginable with little more than a tacit warning.

And yet, it is literally unthinkable to allow a child view a graphic depiction of two married heterosexual adults making love in the missionary position.

Some may argue that sex is a private act. But then again, isn’t murder even more so? And yet we callously flaunt that in all its gory detail.

It has been argued that graphic violence encourages violent behavior in children. It has also been argued that graphic sex would encourage promiscuity in children. Perhaps there is truth to both arguments. However, it is consistently the sexual content that is most heavily censored.

How can anyone logically argue that this does not send a confusing message to our children that sex is somehow worse than violence?

Perhaps reexamining our cultural values (and rating system) is long overdue. [Luke 11:34]

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Is Time Consistent?

time-430625_640How do we know time travels in one direction at a consistent pace? If time went backwards we would forget the future and all evidence of it would be undone. If it sped up or slowed down our awareness would be accelerated or decelerated along with it. After all, we measure time by occurrences which are inseparably tied to the rate and direction at which it passes. [2 Peter 3:8]

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