When you love someone you embrace the whole person.
This whole “Love the sinner; hate the sin” thing should be buried for good — not because it’s wrong, but because it’s impossible. If you’re going to love me and hate my sin, just where does my sin stop, and the “me” that you’re going to love begin?
Or, to put it in clearer terms, how do you love a homosexual if you hate what you believe is their sin? How do you do that? You love the part of them that isn’t gay? Good luck with that.
Have you ever noticed that we use the “Love the sinner; hate the sin” thing only with sinners we really hate and don’t want to be around? We never use “Love the sinner; hate the sin” with our friends. We love our friends and we look past their sins — that is, if we even know what they are. Usually we don’t, because we all keep our sins so well hidden from each other. So we only hate the sin of people we really hate.
Let’s face it, you don’t want someone to love you and hate your sin. That’s what’s called conditional love. And no one is going to ever be completely free from sin on this earth so that means you will never be completely loved.
The love that Jesus gives embraces the whole person. That means I accept them along with their sin just as I have been accepted by God along with my sin. It makes no difference what the sin is because the sin has already been forgiven. Loving the whole person is an acknowledgment that sin has been dealt with on the cross.
This is what it means that love covers over a multitude of sins. It’s like a tsunami that envelopes everything in its path. As one of my favorite hymns states it: “O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free. Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.”
Your sin is no longer a barrier to God so neither is anyone else’s. God’s love on the cross has enveloped my sin — it has made it a non-issue. It’s done the same thing for everybody. Like another hymn says: “Love that is greater than all my sin.” That means the love God gives me for others is the same. It’s greater than all their sin, too.
Nothing can get in the way of this love. If you love somebody, you love them, not just the non-sinning part of them.
Someone sent me a link to a T-shirt with the following inscription. The first line was “Love the sinner; hate the sin,” and “hate the sin” was crossed out. The second line was “Love the sinner,” and this time “the sinner” was crossed out. The last line was simply “Love.” I think that’s it. That’s all we need. There are no conditions on it. That’s the whole thing right there … Love.