“With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” – St. Augustine.
In other words, love the sinner, hate the sin.
It seems black and white, but it covers an area vast and gray as a Midwest winter. Love? Do we love Hitler? Michael Vick? The Kardashians? All the Kardashians?
And how do you define a sin, anyway? Some people think it’s a sin to start a sentence with a conjunction. Hopefully they hate my sentences, not me. I think it’s a sin to make a turn without signaling, but I don’t want to blow up those drivers—just their cars.
In Indiana we’ve had just a bit of discussion on the subject, lately. I’m not going to address it because, as I mentioned previously, no one cares to listen to the other side. Instead, I’ll address another sin, which is that no one cares to listen to the other side.
There are bad people in the world. Call them sinners, or whatever you want. But here’s the thing: Most of the people you and I disagree with are not bad people. We just have different opinions. You may think there’s nothing wrong with making a turn without signaling. I think it’s a sin, and your car engine should explode and leave you stranded by a dead skunk carcass. Neither of us is bad, even if one of us in wrong. (It’s the stinky guy.)
So, while the issues may be complicated, and the differences may (or may not) be insurmountable, that doesn’t mean we can’t get along. There are more important things than whether that uncaring bum uses his turn signal. I’d like to think that, at the end of the day, he realized the world’s problems were too big for him to worry about why that guy behind him honked and waved with one finger.
The Bible has some pretty strict definitions of sin, and punishment for sinners. Then Jesus came along and said, “Hey, lighten up—good people do bad things. We should still care for them.” (I’m paraphrasing.) I’d be a poor Christian if I didn’t try to live up to that. Besides, we’re all sinners. You think it’s not a sin that I want to blow up perfectly good cars?
On Easter and every day, let’s try to keep that in mind. Debate, but don’t hate. Hey, I like that … I wonder if it’s been copyrighted? I don’t want to give it up to that guy who doesn’t know how to find the turn signal switch.