Category Archives: Episode One

Musings around Episode One of the podcast

Why We Shouldn’t Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner



Salutations,

Told you I’d write this, didn’t I? Oh, unless you’re reading this before the post about being Too Levit to Quit (and you would as it’ll be above that one) in which case I have yet to tell you that I’m going to write about this, but will in the future…

The phrase ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ is a way of saying that we are not judging people by a lifestyle that we consider sinful. When we pronounce X or Y sinful we’re not saying we don’t like you. OK, that sounds alright, doesn’t it? That we’re able to stick to two key principles, not liking sin, loving other. And it’s Biblical, isn’t it?

Well, kinda, and that’s the problem. What we get in the Bible is the commandment to ‘love your neighbour’, but can you spot which bit that leaves out? Yup, no mention of hating our neighbour’s sin.

And I don’t think the Bible teaches it. You see, the phrase is always used in a situation of of dealing with a person (often with people whose sin is a part of their personality) and where Jesus just commands us to love, the tacking on of the ‘hate the sin’ part is simply an addition of judgement.It’s almost an excuse for our continued judgement on others rather than an unconditional love.

Now the Bible does teach two things that are similar:

  1. God hates sin. In a lot of defences for this phrase we are pointed to verses about how God hates sin and that somehow shows that we hate sin. But it’s not the same, God hates sin because it separates us from Himself and leads to our ultimate destruction, for us to try and take such a stance is to try and elevate ourselves into His realm. Just because you agree with your boss’s motivational speech does not give you the right to go espousing and enforcing it around the office.
  2. The Bible teaches us to hate sin for ourselves personally. In fact ‘hate’ isn’t the right word because what the Bible is teaching us is to avoid sin. To hate it as something we want to avoid, in the same way we might say we hate dog poo in the park. We’ll take this further because, well, it’s a Christian/poo analogy, how can we ignore it? We don’t hate the dog poo on someone else’s shoe, we feel bad for them and point it out, nor do we link the two in any way. It’s not their fault they stepped in poo/live-in-a-fallen-world.

Actually, when it comes to other people’s sins we are told to NOT judge them for it. It strikes me in writing the above poo analogy that, in the same way no one wants to step in poo, no one actually wants to sin. Either one is a Christian and doesn’t want to sin or they are not a Christian (or religious) and therefore don’t consider certain acts as sinful, but rather just, well, normal. That’s why as soon as a person becomes a Christian (i.e. realises that God does exist) they try to stop sinning. The only ‘person’ who has ever known God to exist and willfully sin is Satan.

So I think it’s time to retire this man-made commandment and stick to the one Jesus gave us, just to love our neighbours and from there perhaps we can point out that their sin is ruining their shoes and making them smell…

Peace

‘Dangerous’ Walker

(all thoughts are my own and do not necessarily represent those of BT or Beanyman)

Do you agree? Disagree? Want to call me bad names? Start a conversation in the comments and together we can grow further.


What it really means to be Too Levit to Quit



Salutations,

The title of our first podcast is a reference (for anyone not young and hip in the 90s) to the MC Hammer song ‘2 Legit 2 Quit’ which in itself means that someone is too legitimate (real) to stop in the face of detractors. Being too legit to quit is being the real thing and so, yes, our title is a pun. And yes, we’ve shot ourselves in the collective foot trying to keep coming up with pun based titles.

It’s made me think though about what it actually means to be too Levit to quit. If being too Levit to quit is a real thing, can we push it to mean being a real Christian? We could get tee shirts and everything…

Now we need to address the elephant in the room, the verses in Leviticus 18 and 20 about homosexuality. In fact the reason I chose this topic to begin with was because of the defense against these verses. Basically it goes that when a Christian brings up one of these verses, the defense is that Christians don’t follow those laws, yet we select that one to still hold true. And yet what I found in research and recording was that we actually do follow a lot, especially in chapter 18 which is all about not sexing family.

So here was my challenge, I’d always considered that being homosexual was OK because we were simply to love and not judge and because we didn’t follow the OT laws, but realising that I DID follow most of the Levitical laws I had to ask myself whether I should view homosexuality as an ‘abomination’?

How we view these laws was covered in podcast and I’m not here to kick up arguments on homosexuality (though it’s what all the cool kids are doing), rather I want to look at another issue, that of simplification. You see the conclusion I came to was that I could see homosexuality as something wrong and still hold my earlier view towards homosexuals rather than hold a view that seems to say ‘this is wrong therefore we are OK to treat them this or that way’ (if you want my full thought process on the issue you can email unspokenchurch@gmail.com). The point is that we seem to need to hold one view or the other, we need to streamline Christianity so that it works rather than finding ways to bind dichotomies together.

And I’m not talking about ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’, in fact when I’m finished here I might write a post as to why that phrase should be bound in chains of darkness.

Let’s take a cheap shot at Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs, if you prefer), how do we reconcile that book with the Church’s traditional view on sex? I mean we’re a bit more liberal these days, but for years any enjoyment of sex was deeply frowned upon. So what did they do? Perhaps ignore it or try to crowbar in an allegory about Jesus and the Church (though this author doesn’t think Jesus would be talking about the Church’s breasts). Let’s take another cheap shot and go with Genesis 1 and dinosaurs or actually pretty much anywhere when we argue for the literalness of the Bible (and that’s not saying that the Bible isn’t literal, just that we encounter some issues that need to be reconciled, especially in the OT).

How about Philippians 3 verse 8 where Paul uses the word ‘skubala’ that appears to have universal recognition as a cuss word translated in common vernacular as ‘shit’ (I’ll wait while you look up the verse to find out what it says in your Bible. Back again, cool). Sometimes I hear people talk about how the OT is full of sex and violence when denigrating it, trying to show how the OT opposes our claims of peace and love. And yes, I think we try in church to overlook such things, but actually it’s great. It’s authentic, the Bible doesn’t shy away from things such as sex, death, violence or crass language (check out 1 Kings 12 verse 20) and yet we do. We, somewhere along the line, have decided on prurience and then translated the Bible to fit that.

So what does it mean to be too Levit to quit? It means to be Biblically real, taking in all the parts that seem to contradict or not make sense and adding them into our religion. Not whitewashing over the difficult parts of the Bible in order to make our religion work for us nor sanitising it for our tastes.

Right, I’ll go get those tee shirts printed up, how many shall I put you down for?

Peace

‘Dangerous’ Walker

(as ever these words are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of BT or Beanyman)

Do you agree? Disagree? Want to call me bad names? Start a conversation in the comments and together we can grow further.