Does God ‘love the sinner but hate the sin’?

God loves the sinner but hates the sin is a common expression in many Christian circles.  But is it true?  Where does this saying come from?  Though anyone is welcome to add their two cents in on this, it is primarily an in-house discussion.  It might be more fun for skeptics to watch us Christians bicker over the question; especially if you’re not well versed in Christian theology and specific knowledge of biblical concepts — it will only complicate and side track the discussion.

I think this tidbit of Christianese is offered in good intention, but shouldn’t be concluded given the Bible’s message on sin and sinners.  I get the impression that it makes Christians who’d offer this slogan feel as though they aren’t being judgemental of persons, but instead are only assessing the sinfulness of particular behaviors.  I can appreciate this, but in my opinion, it’s not a concept found in the Bible.

I suppose this slogan has its genesis in the idea that ‘God so loved the world…’ and similar passages.  But I don’t think that’s what this, or any thematically similar verses are conveying.  God offered a rescue from the eternal consequences of our iniquities, I agree.  And we also find passages affirming that God loves repentant sinners who have not conquered their sins.  However, I can’t recall any passages which separate the sinner from his sin.  But we do find at least two passages in the Psalms declaring that God hates the person who does iniquity and who loves violence with no caveats.

Psalm 5:5 — The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.

Psalm 11:5 — The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.

From where does the concept of separating the sin and the sinner come?


  1. “Hate the sin but love the sinner” came from that paragon of Christianity: Ghandi

  2. From

    It’s from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase has become more famous as “love the sinner but hate the sin” or “hate the sin and not the sinner” (the latter form appearing in Mohandas Gandhi’s 1929 autobiography).

    • Thanks Kendrick. I didn’t research the origins for two reasons. I don’t think it’s a biblical concept, and I thought it would create more discussion if I didn’t do the leg work. I’m really surprised there wasn’t more action on this postm

  3. I think it’s a saying that evolved(with consideration to Kendrick’s comment on the early church father Augustine) to possibly explain below(there are other scriptures) (Hebrews 12:3-11, NKJV). In other words, we are trying to explain that God’s dislike of our sins is a positive stance of love, liking the sinner, in the same way any father corrects his child:

    For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
    Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;For whom the Lord loves He chastens,And scourges every son whom He receives.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

  4. John I agree with what you are saying in that God is holy and JUST.. Grace and forgiveness is promised eternally. But sometimes He allows earthly consequences to our sins. Moses didn’t go to the promise land and David’s house became cursed. And these are the beloved patriarchs.

  5. I don’t see how anyone can read the New Testament and come away with anything other than “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Jesus certainly didn’t appear to hate the adulterous woman. “Get up and sin no more.” He forgave her.

  6. Not to sound fruitlessly PC, but it’s not clear to me how “hate” is a productive concept in any religion, including Christianity, and certainly if that religion takes significant inspiration from Jesus. And I include hatred of things, even abstract things like sin. Why, specifically, hate? Disdain, disapproval, condemnation, discomfort, several possibilities with different shades. But isn’t “hate” a sort of hyperventilated emotion — and pointlessly corrosive to the hater?

  7. I don’t know the origin of the phrase, but I think one can get into a lot of trouble by trying to interpret ‘love’ and ‘hate’ in the Bible. It’s kind of like trying to interpret ‘life’ and ‘death’. John 11: 25, 26 (‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”‘ ) probably means a host of things depending on how you define the terms.

    I try to get my pictures from the actions. In one sense, God certainly hates sinners. He can’t stand them. You only have to read his scorching take-downs of kings, kingdoms and laypeople in the chronicles and Revelation to see that. He has a very strong intolerance for sins.

    On the other hand, sending one’s son to die for people one hates doesn’t compute. My conclusion is that God loves everyone that he created and he loathes the sight of one of them covering themselves in the refuse that is sin – I would too. But he does not wish them to die – he said so himself. However much they repulse him, he wants them saved.

    In that sense, I would say he most definitely loves the sinner. It’s the sin that he hates. The sinner’s actions makes him angry and offends his sense of justice, but he won’t punish them when he can save them (as hatred would).

  8. paynehollow says:

    I’m not sure what you think is unbiblical about it.

    Do you think God is a God of love?

    Do you think that God loves the whole world?

    Do you think God loves us, even in our sin?

    God DOES love the sinner. That’s just a basic Christian tenet.


    • @dan

      because you are a legitimate heretic, I wont actually discuss this with you.


      I can see where people get the idea. But I had provided 2 examples. What do you make of them?

      For example, you ask would God send his son to die for people he hates? Well, who did Jesus die for, and what does it mean? Did he die for everyone? Does his death mean everyone is saved? If he died for everyone, why are people condemned?

  9. was the adulteress in continuing rebellion? or did she repent? We arent told. I think it is safe to say it is the unrepentant sinner who God hates.

    “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    A constant theme in the Bible, John, is one of love of people and hate of sin. I don’t know where you’re getting this notion that somehow God hates sinners. Why do you think that? Because the Bible speaks of punishment? We punish our children every day for their wrongdoing. Does that mean we hate them?

    I sort of echo what other people have said. “Hate” is not the appropriate word to use.

  10. I thought this whole “Fire & Brimstone” version of Christianity died with Cotton Mather. It’s back. Reverend John “Cotton” Barron. :-)

  11. I think there are some translation problems. “Hate” as humans understand it is lustful and petty.

  12. paynehollow says:

    Hyperbole, John. Jesus tells us to hate our parents and family. Did he MEAN for us to hate our families? Or, was it hyperbole?

    Clearly, hyperbole.

    As to the false and unsupported charge of heresy, short of any support for that slanderous charge, I will give it all the credence false and unsupported charges deserve.


  13. It’s like square circles, John. God loved the world so much that He sent His only son to pay for our sin. How can God love and hate at the same time? It is illogical, I suggest, because the two are incompatible emotions by definition.

    • He doesnt love and hate at the same time. He loved his human creation so much that he sent a remedy for their malady. But just because he loves some or even most people, it doesnt exclude the fact that there are at least some people whom God does hate. Like the truly and most purely evil. Like, say, Kermit Gosnell for example. Unless of course he were to repent.

  14. So, did God love Kermit Gosnell when Gosnell was in the womb? Assuming, of course, Gosnell isn’t a demon.

    • That I couldnt say. If Gosnell will never repent, would God love him before his horror, or not because He knows Gosnell? I would say God has a general ordinary love for people, in that he doesnt destroy them. The sun shines on the righteous and the unrighteous

  15. paynehollow says:

    Really? You’re going to slander me, engage in an ad hom attack, and then delete my defense of myself?

    Are you that unable to defend your positions, John? You know, you have this habit of just ignoring reasonable questions and instead, relying on emotional name-calling and unsupported charges.

    Come, brother, let that go. If you want to debate that false charge, then man up and stand behind it. Or, better yet, remove the slander, admit the error and the ad hom attack, and stay on topic.


    • I didnt delete anything, and if you want me to link to the comment where you give an indisputably heretical answer to a theological question regarding jesus, then I can. But it isnt slander just because you dont consider yourself a heretic.

  16. paynehollow says:

    It is slander because it is false. It is false witness. It is an ad hom attack.

    I made an on-topic and reasonable comment. You responded NOT by dealing with my point, but by making an ad hom attack, making a demonstrably false claim, with no evidence to support it.

    I do apologize about the deleting charge. It wasn’t there when I posted the last comment, I guess some fluke of the computer or just my error. I am sorry for that, feel free to delete that one.

    But if you’re going to make that off topic ad hom attack, then deal with it, don’t just make it.

    You can not point to anything that I’ve said that is heretical. That, too, if a false claim.

    But rather than continuing down that ad hom trail, why not just stick to the topic and apologize for the fallacious claim?


  17. paynehollow says:

    Nor is it true just because you claim it. With no support.

    In support of my orthodoxy, I can point to my belief in Jesus, the risen son of God. I can point to my belief in humanity’s fallen nature. I can point to my belief in salvation NOT by works, but by grace, through faith in Jesus. I can point to my love of Jesus and his teachings – my attempts by God’s grace to walk in the steps of Christ, my Lord; I can point to my love for you and the rest of the Church (“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”)

    John, I can honestly say I love you as my brother in Christ. Can you say the same? Do you love me and others you may disagree with?

    In short, I am an orthodox Christian, by biblical measures, by traditional measures.

    On the other hand, all you and Glenn can point to is, “He disagrees with our opinions on some topics – some non-essential beliefs… some non-biblical measures – on these, he disagrees with us, so he is a heretic…” But that is not heresy.

    But you’re not even pointing to anything, you are just making a claim.

    I have provided evidence for my orthodoxy. You have provided nothing. Just engaged in a demonstrable ad hom attack, rather than dealing with my comments.

    Come, brother, let us reason together, like adults.


  18. paynehollow says:

    That link takes me to a comment by Nash. Why not just put a quote right here, if you think it’s heretical?

    As I recall, you took issue with me not taking the 16th Century Penal Substitutionary THEORY of Atonement as literally accurate description of salvation by grace. But if you are saying disagreeing with a literal interpretation of a 16th century THEORY about salvation, then you’re saying that hundreds of years of Christians were heretics.

    If you have something to say, just say it. Or, better yet, give up this ad hom attack, apologize for going off topic on your own post and just get back to the conversation.

    Again, as noted, you have this tendency to just ignore or dodge direct questions or get involved in ad hom attacks. This is no way to engage in a rational adult level discussion, young brother.


  19. paynehollow says:

    Not taking it hard, John. Just trying to school you on how to conduct adult-level conversations. You still lose, on multiple levels. Sorry.

    1. Ad hom attack. Logical fallacy.

    2. You made a false charge. Moral error.

    3. You did nothing to support the false charge. Logical fallacy.

    4. I demonstrated WHY your charge was false with actual evidence. Lost argument.

    5. When confronted with actual evidence that points to your false charge, rather than admitting the multiple logical and moral errors, you doubled down on defending the immoral and irrational case and made the false claim again – undermined by YOUR OWN admission of the reality that “it’s not [true] just because you claim it is…”

    Strikes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, John. I don’t really care that you make false and unsupportable charges. But since I treat you as a rational adult who is concerned about your own morality and your own rationality, I figure you would be concerned.

    I guess I was wrong.

    Live and learn.


  20. paynehollow says:

    Again, as noted and re-noted, you have this tendency to just ignore or dodge direct questions or get involved in ad hom attacks. This is no way to engage in a rational adult level discussion, young brother.


    • I’m not ignoring the issue or direct questions. I am simply not having this discussion with you specifically because you’re a heretic. That’s all. I’m sorry you’re not ok with that, but it is what it is.

  21. paynehollow says:

    You’re not having the discussion because I’m a heretic. I point specifically to evidence that says I’m NOT a heretic. But you can’t deal with the evidence because you’re not having that discussion because… I’m a heretic!

    Add circular reasoning to your pile o’ fallacies, John.

  22. Add circular reasoning to your pile o’ fallacies, John.

    Not very Christian of you, old brother. Remember Christ’s words: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

  23. paynehollow says:

    Again, IF you have a charge, don’t just make it, support it.

    What circular reasoning have I offered?

    You can’t just make off topic, unsupported charges and be taken seriously. IF I have engaged in circular reasoning, then point out the place. IF I have done so, I will gladly admit it and own up to the mistake, apologizing for the error.

    But you all just make unsupported false charge after unsupported false charge and act as if that is enough in a mature adult conversation. It isn’t.


  24. wiley16350 says:

    I would say God doesn’t hate the sinner. We’re all sinners. He does hate the wicked, however. The wicked are hated not because they sin, but because they love their sin, teach others to sin and hate God and his laws. The wicked are not just limited to lovers of sin or haters of God though. People that believe they have earned righteousness and forgiveness on their own merits and condemn others for not living in a way to earn them are also considered wicked. I would say then that God loves the sinner, the sinner that accepts his sin as wrong and understands that only by God’s grace can he be found righteous. We can never earn righteousness or live perfectly (in this life), all we can do is strive to do the will of God and take Joy in the fact that we don’t have to earn forgiveness from our sins. God has extended us grace, we really should take joy in that, but it’s so hard when you’re constantly told that you NEED to behave.

  25. John, God does chastise non-believers. Otherwise He wouldn’t have sent Jonah to preach to Gentiles in Nineveh.

    For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15, NJKV)

  26. paynehollow says:

    1. I don’t think you understand what “support” means, John. You did not quote my words. You put a link to a 300 comment thread, wherein I have NO idea what quote you find even remotely heretical.

    2. None of my words in that thread were heretical. Offering the opinion that I don’t think a 16th century theory is biblically apt (if that is what you are vaguely referencing), if taken literally is not heretical. It simply isn’t.

    Two suggestions: Look up the words “support” and “Theory.”


    • Actually the link goes to my question and your answer follows.

      Try this, take your answer to my question to a church outside your commune and see what they tell you.

  27. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    I think what John is pointing out, is that you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins. On one hand you say you do but on the other you say that he did so only metaphorically. So it comes off as you don’t believe Jesus did die for your sins because you don’t believe he really had too. That’s why I tried to point out that while the blood sacrifice and literalness of blood paying for sins is metaphorical, the death of Jesus was still a literal payment. If he didn’t literally die, then our sins wouldn’t be paid for. His actions in giving himself up for ransom is what literally paid for our sins, the blood is the representation of that act. Basically, look at it as an agreement. If party ‘A’ completes a certain act, then party ‘B’ will reward party ‘A’ as agreed upon. The biggest problem with the way you have explained it, is that you make it sound as if Jesus didn’t have to literally die and therefore it wasn’t his death that actually paid for our sins. One of the core beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus died to pay for our sins.

  28. paynehollow says:

    I don’t believe in the 16th century teaching known as Penal Substitutionary Theory of Atonement, Wiley, that is, I don’t think taking “Jesus paid for our sins with his blood” as a literal way of understanding salvation. I DO believe in salvation by God’s grace. I DO believe that BECAUSE of that Grace, Jesus poured out his life sacrificially for us. LITERALLY living and dying and raising from the dead for and with and alongside humanity.

    I just don’t believe in magic blood that literally “pays” for “sin debts” or that literally “washes” away “sin stains…” I believe these lines are metaphorical, not literal.

    Does one have to believe in a literal blood debt purchase of our salvation (instead of grace??) in order to be orthodox? This teaching did not come into existence until the 16th century – that is my understanding – given that, does that mean that all the believers for the first 1600 years of the church were heretics?

    Do you think one is a heretic if one does not accept this 16th century understanding of atonement, Wiley? What of all the Christians throughout the ages who did/do not ascribe to that particular theory? Heretical?

    If that is true, don’t you all think you should be able to explain in what sense is salvation literally purchased by Jesus’ literal blood? Who is the blood “paid” to? How does blood literally “wash away” sins “stains…”? How are sin’s “stains” literal?

    These are reasonable questions that point to holes in this 16th century theory. If you can’t even explain how it makes rational or biblical sense, how can you say that one is a heretic for not believing it literally?

    Understand: I’m not saying that Jesus did not literally live or die, I’m just saying the notion of Jesus saying, “Here God, here is an ounce of my magic blood, I offer it to you to buy off John’s sin debt…” is not rational or biblical as a literal idea. As imagery, it makes a great deal of sense – as a SIGN or IMAGE of God’s GRACE, by which orthodox Christians believe we are saved, as do I.

    By the way, thanks for trying to explain what John couldn’t/wouldn’t explain, I appreciate that, Wiley.


  29. paynehollow says:

    John, if it is “clear” that it is “abject heresy,” then perhaps you can point to the lines in the Bible where it makes clear that unless one believes in a literal blood payment for a literal sin debt, one can’t be saved…?

    “Unless thou believest in thy heart that Jesus literal blood literally pays for our literal sin debt, thou canst not be saved…”

    But, you can’t point to it because it does not exist in the Bible. It is a 16th century extrapolation of ideas from the Bible, not in the Bible literally.


  30. paynehollow says:

    If that is true, don’t you all think you should be able to explain in what sense is salvation literally purchased by Jesus’ literal blood? Who is the blood “paid” to? How does blood literally “wash away” sins “stains…”? How are sin’s “stains” literal?

    Are you saying, John, that these questions that you can’t even answer – won’t even TRY to answer – are signs of heresy?

  31. wiley16350 says:

    I think the important thing to believe is that Christ literally died to pay for our sins. Without his death, we would still be in debt. That’s what I’m really questioning of you. I don’t really care about the in depth theory of how that is accomplished. I agree that blood is only a metaphor or representation, but it represents a literal act. The act is what accomplishes the payment so I don’t know why you focus on literal blood paying for sins and literal wiping of sins. 1 Corinthians 15:17 says “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” I would think this suggests that if it wasn’t for the death and resurrection of Christ, there would be no forgiveness of sins. There are other passages I could find but I think the point is made.

    It comes down to 1 easy question, do you believe that you’re forgiven because Christ died for your sins? It doesn’t need to go any further than that. I don’t think people have to understand or believe some certain theory of how it was accomplished, you just have to believe that Christ did what was necessary and God has graced us with forgiveness because of what he did.

    I don’t call people heretics, it’s not my job. You are a heretic of many chruches out there and so am I, but it’s not the opinion of churches that matter. God, through Christ is the all that matters.

  32. paynehollow says:

    I certainly agree with your last paragraph.

    I would say that “the act” is what DEMONSTRATES the grace, by which we are saved. It isn’t the act of the sacrificial life and death that saves us, but grace. Do you think that we are NOT saved by grace, but by Jesus’ death?

    So, where you ask…

    It comes down to 1 easy question, do you believe that you’re forgiven because Christ died for your sins?

    I believe I’m saved because God saves us by God’s grace. Jesus DID come, live and die sacrificially for our sakes, but it isn’t the DEATH that saves us, it is GRACE. This is orthodox Christianity.


  33. paynehollow says:

    You keep making unsupported statements, John.

    Is it the case that you are arguing AGAINST salvation by Grace? And you’re the one that’s call ME a heretic??

    But no, that’s your way of arguing. I’m quite sure you are not taking a stance against Grace. You just believe… what? that I’m doing wrong?

    I will always fall gladly on God’s sweet grace and, on the point of this post, think it is the wise, rational, loving and biblical thing to do.

    Won’t you join me?


  34. wiley16350 says:

    @ Dan
    I don’t think it would be right to say that we’re saved by the death and resurrection of Christ. The more appropriate way to say it would be; We’re saved by grace through the death and resurrection of Christ. Which means God has extended us grace BECAUSE of what Christ has done. This is why Christ is our savior. Do you not see how you’re subtly taking away Christ as our savior? You’re saying that God has extended us grace just because he wants to and that Jesus was just showing us an example of what grace is. In effect you’re saying that Christ is not your savior because his death isn’t the reason why you’re saved. In effect it wasn’t necessary. I’m not even sure if that’s what you actually believe, but that is how it’s coming across. That is why John is calling you a heretic, because you’re coming across as someone that doesn’t believe that Jesus is his savior. I’m pretty sure the bible declares that Jesus is our savior. He is our savior because he met the requirements God set for the redemption of mankind. The part you do have right is that it is all of grace. It was God’s grace to send his only son as the sacrifice, without it we would have no way to earn forgiveness. It was the grace of Christ to be a willing sacrifice, for without the sacrifice no redemption is possible, and it was the grace of God to extend us forgiveness through the obediance of only one.

  35. paynehollow says:

    What CHRIST has done (Christ being God) is extend us grace. Period. Because of that Grace, we are offered salvation.

    The life, death and resurrection are the acting out of God’s grace, the sacrificial pouring out of God’s heart in and with and four humanity.


    You’re saying that God has extended us grace just because he wants to and that Jesus was just showing us an example of what grace is. In effect you’re saying that Christ is not your savior because his death isn’t the reason why you’re saved.

    The death ISN’T the reason we are saved. God’s GRACE is the reason we are saved.

    Answer me this: Do you think that we are saved by God’s grace or by Jesus’ death?

    In effect you’re saying that Christ is not your savior because his death isn’t the reason why you’re saved.

    ? How does that make sense? If I reverse that and say, “In effect, Wiley, you are saying that Christ is not your savior because His Grace isn’t the reason you are saved…” does it still apply?

    If Christ/God are offering us salvation BY GRACE, are we not being saved BY GOD’S GRACE? Relying upon God’s grace for salvation, not human works, not blood sacrifices, but GRACE?

    Do you see how it can seem that you all are undermining the very foundation of Christianity – salvation by Grace – by reducing salvation to a mere financial transaction? Where is the grace in someone giving someone else money (or blood) not to kill me?

    You see, when you say…

    It was God’s grace to send his only son as the sacrifice, without it we would have no way to earn forgiveness.

    …can you see how that might be seen as cheapening and even dismissing Grace? “Yeah, God sorta wanted to save us by God’s amazing Grace, but God COULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT without Jesus being a blood sacrifice to pay what we can’t earn…”?

    Thus, it ISN’T grace that saves us (it sounds like you are saying), but a blood sacrifice/death…?

    Does the Bible anywhere tell us that we must believe in some kind of literal payment for sin in order to be saved OR does God say that IF we repent and fall on God’s GRACE, then we are saved?

    For it is by GRACE that we are saved. For God desires MERCY, not sacrifice.

    I rest upon grace, not payment plans or blood vengeance.


    • Dan

      you should probably stop the off topic comments. I’m ’bout to start making them disappear. I was pretty clear when I said I won’t discuss this with you because of your rank heretical convictions. This isnt off topic for me because I own the site. Your comments after the first one havent been on topic at all, but instead your tantrum about being (correctly) called a heretic. figure out how to form a though about the post or just wait til the next topic.

  36. paynehollow says:


  37. @ Dan
    You completely show a lack of understanding of what i’m saying.
    The death ISN’T the reason we are saved. God’s GRACE is the reason we are saved.
    Answer me this: Do you think that we are saved by God’s grace or by Jesus’ death?

    I clearly said both. Grace is the ultimate reason we’re saved but it is extended to us through the death and resurrection of Christ. If Christ did not die and rise from the dead, we would not receive grace. However, it was God’s grace to provide the sacrifice and Christ’s grace to be the sacrifice. The whole thing was developed through grace, but the sacrifice was still a requirement and a necessary component to receiving grace. The difference we have is that you don’t believe the sacrifice was a requirement of God to extend grace.

    ? How does that make sense? If I reverse that and say, “In effect, Wiley, you are saying that Christ is not your savior because His Grace isn’t the reason you are saved…” does it still apply?

    You can’t reverse it on me because I am agreeing that Grace is the reason we’re saved. That grace to forgive though came through the death and resurrection of Christ. If Christ didn’t die and rise, he would not have the power/ ability to extend us grace for forgiveness.

    If Christ/God are offering us salvation BY GRACE, are we not being saved BY GOD’S GRACE? Relying upon God’s grace for salvation, not human works, not blood sacrifices, but GRACE?

    Of course we rely on God’s grace for salvation because we had no part in the salvation. God offered the sacrifice through grace, Christ became the sacrifice through grace and God has extended us grace because of what Christ did, not requiring us to provide our own sacrifice or having to earn grace through works. God didn’t have to do any of it, but he did because of his love for us.

    Do you see how it can seem that you all are undermining the very foundation of Christianity – salvation by Grace – by reducing salvation to a mere financial transaction? Where is the grace in someone giving someone else money (or blood) not to kill me?

    The grace is in the fact that God gave you the sacrifice to pay for your sins when you had nothing to give. The grace is in the fact that Jesus accepted the punishment you deserve so that you could be extended forgiveness. The grace is in the fact that God has forgiven you when you have no way of earning it. The grace is in the fact that God only required obedience from one rather than the whole of humanity. The grace is throughout the whole story. That is the way grace played out. So you see, I’m not limiting it all to a mere financial transaction. Grace is the reason, but it is ACCOMPLISHED through the death and resurrection of Christ. I am including both, it is wrong for you to try to get me to choose one or the other.

    …can you see how that might be seen as cheapening and even dismissing Grace? “Yeah, God sorta wanted to save us by God’s amazing Grace, but God COULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT without Jesus being a blood sacrifice to pay what we can’t earn…”?
    Thus, it ISN’T grace that saves us (it sounds like you are saying), but a blood sacrifice/death…?

    I’m not saying that God couldn’t have done it without Jesus. I am saying that God required it and set it up to be accomplished through Jesus and therefore it was necessary. Because it was necessary, God accomplished it. Because he is God, there was no doubt it would be accomplished. It can be discussed why he required it, but it is a fact that he required it or it wouldn’t have happened. I believe that he required it to show his love through grace.

    Does the Bible anywhere tell us that we must believe in some kind of literal payment for sin in order to be saved OR does God say that IF we repent and fall on God’s GRACE, then we are saved?
    For it is by GRACE that we are saved. For God desires MERCY, not sacrifice.
    I rest upon grace, not payment plans or blood vengeance.

    I’m not saying that you must believe in a literal payment for sin in order to be saved. The problem that you may have (I’m not saying you absolutely do have this problem) is that you may be denying that Christ is your savior in a round about way. That is my concern. You deny him as savior if you don’t believe he died for your sins. Maybe you do, just metaphorically and not literally. Which makes no sense to me why you have to hold onto a metaphorical understanding. I kind of hold to a mix of metaphorical and literal. The blood payment may be metaphorical and the reason God required the sacrifice was to show us love and grace but the requirement for sacrifice was literal, the death/resurrection of Christ was literal and therefore Christ is our literal savior and literally fulfilled the requirements of God needed to extend grace to those who believe in him as the literal savior. If you understand me properly you should be able to see that I also rest upon grace for my salvation is based on what God has done, not on a payment plan for I know God provided the payment. It is also obvious that it wasn’t blood vengeance that made God require a blood sacrifice, it was to show love and grace.

  38. paynehollow says:


    I clearly said both.

    Wiley, thanks for the thoughts. [SECTION REMOVED BY TERRANCEH. REASON: OFFTOPIC]

    Orthodox Christianity teaches us that we are saved by GRACE alone, through faith in Jesus alone. Not through faith in Jesus’ death or Jesus’ blood or Jesus’ sacrifice, but faith in Jesus and his Way that he taught us.

    It seems to me that you’re saying NOT grace alone, but grace AND… something else.

    Thanks again for the thoughts.


  39. Dan,

    John specifically asked you to remain on topic – and yet you continue to poke at him in every subsequent post. It doesn’t matter why you’re doing it. This is John’s blog and he asked you to stop it. Keep doing it and I’ll keep deleting it. I’m up all night, buddy.

  40. paynehollow says:


    ON topic, I’d just point to the book of Romans, in addition to the other pertinent questions I asked. Romans 5 says…

    “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

    God DEMONSTRATES God’s love for us by dying for us WHILE we were/are sinners.

    Of course God loves the sinner. It’s a basic Christian tenet in orthodoxy.


    • Dan

      This is the only time I’ll engage you on this post. I agree that God does love sinners. Just not all of them. All I am saying is that there at least some sinners God hates. The psalm says he hates workers of iniquity and lovers of violence. The ones who do those, not just the actions.

  41. paynehollow says:

    I’ll note the hypocrisy, Terrance, in leaving other off topic comments (John’s and Wiley’s) and only removing mine. Regardless of that sin of hypocrisy, young men, God loves you. EVEN THOUGH you are sinners.


  42. You expect me to delete off-topic comments made by John, the site owner? Get real. And John asked you to stop, not Wiley. Furthermore, Wiley is responding to your off-topic comments. By deleting them, I’ve successfully stopped both of you from going off topic.

    See how that’s done?

    • I remember when I made a comment that was semi off topic at Dans blog once and he deleted it right away and said “my blog, my rules”. So it’s kind of suspect that he would say my exercising my right to moderate my blog is hypocrisy.

  43. @ Dan
    I agree that we are saved by grace through faith. The death and resurrection of Jesus was provided by the grace of God. It was the grace of God that allowed forgiveness to come through the death and punishment of one. So salvation was given to us by the grace of God, but it was accomplished and completed through the death of Christ. We are therefore saved by grace since God accomplished it all without our input and without requiring anything of us. I guess we just don’t have the same perspective.

  44. Dan,

    I leave your current discussion in tact because I see nothing gravely off topic. My purpose is to stop your assaults on John’s character. John told you why he wouldn’t discuss the issue with you, so let it go.

  45. I’ve really lost track as to what is or isn’t on topic at this point. So I’m just going to offer the following that I stole from another website:

    A. Redemption.
    1. Acts 20:28 – “church of God purchased with His own blood”
    2. Eph. 1:7 – “we have redemption through His blood”
    3. I Pet. 1:9 – “redeemed…with precious blood”
    4. Rev. 5:9 – “purchased for God with His blood, men from every tribe”
    B. Propitiation.
    1. Rom. 3:25 – “God displayed Jesus as a propitiation in His blood”
    C. Cleansing.
    1. Heb. 9:14 – “blood of Christ…will cleanse your conscience”
    2. I John 1:7 – “blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin”
    3. Rev. 7:14 – “washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb”
    D. Forgiveness.
    1. Eph. 1:7 – “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses”
    2. Heb. 9:22 – “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”
    3. Rev. 1:5 – “released us from our sins by His blood”
    E. Access to God.
    1. Eph. 2:13 – “brought near to God by the blood of Christ”
    2. Heb. 10:19 – “confidence to enter Holy Place by blood of Jesus”
    F. Reconciliation.
    1. Col. 1:20 – “reconciled, made pace through the blood of the cross”
    G. Justification.
    1. Rom. 5:9 – “having been justified by his blood”
    H. Sanctification.
    1. Heb. 13:12 – “that He might sanctify the people through His blood”
    I. Conquest of evil.
    1. Rev. 12:11 – “overcame…because of the blood of the Lamb”
    J. Basis of new covenant.
    1. Heb. 13:20 – “through the blood of the eternal covenant”
    K. Lord’s Supper
    1. Matt. 26:28 – “This is the new covenant in My blood”
    2. I Cor. 10:16 – “the cup of blessing…a sharing in the blood of Christ”

    Note D2–I’m sticking my neck out in saying that Hebrews was written at least a few days before the 16th century. I could be wrong. Maybe it was last week.

    As to being saved by grace alone, I believe it is most common to see the concept in Scripture in words to this effect: “saved by grace through the death of Jesus…”. We don’t get the former without the latter.

  46. Marshall,

    I doubt John minds if the discussion is at least within the realm of the topic at hand. Christianity, after all, is the general topic. To my knowledge, an honest discussion on theological issues, like your post, has never been discouraged.

    The majority of Dan’s posts, however, have been assaults on John for his refusal to be sucked into Dan’s little game. Instead of accepting that decision, Dan kept on. He deliberately veered the discussion into a pity-party for himself. John was tired of it – and so was I, so his subsequent whines were deleted. And it takes a lot for me to do something like that. This is John’s blog; I only contribute. But I was tired of it so I moderated the page in John’s stead.

    • I don’t mind that it swings from “does God love the sinner…” to redemption. I thought I was clear enough so that people didn’t think I meant that I think God hates sinners broadly speaking. I don’t think this is the case. But I do think it’s the case that there are at least some, like those psalms states explicitly. Not who qualifies as workers of iniquity and lovers of violence could be debated, but that God hates them really can’t be.

  47. As always when I go somewhat off topic feel free to delete this, but I did a quick search for the definition of heresy, and I have to admit it isn’t a bad fit.

    “Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one’s religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion.”

    As far as this seeming sense that the fact that the Substitution Atonement theory is automatically disqualified because of it’s date, I’m curious. If this particular formulation accurately describes the factual events, then the date of the formulation is a non issue. If however, the date of the formulation is the deciding issue, then most of progressive christianity can be written off because it is an even more recent formulation.

    For a little background, the Penal Sub. theory was actually as an extension of Anselm’s Satisfaction Theory which dates from several hundred years earlier. Dan’s personal favorite (Moral Example), was actually also a relative latecomer as it was a reaction to Anselm’s Satisfaction Theory.

    If early adoption is the prime consideration, then one must hold with the Ransom Theory, which dates back to the Gospel of Mark, and the early Church.

    One other interesting tidbit, the Moral Example Theory, “This theory denies that Christ died to satisfy any principle of divine justice, but teaches instead that His death was designed to greatly impress mankind with a sense of God’s love, resulting in softening their hearts and leading them to repentance. Thus, the Atonement is not directed towards God with the purpose of maintaining His justice, but towards man with the purpose of persuading him to right action.”. I find the interesting aspect of this in that it fits with two currently popular streams of christian thought. 1. A human centered theology, validated by things like experience , and reason. 2. The theology that denies or minimizes Orthodoxy in favor of Orthopraxis.

    Again, sorry if this is too far off topic, but I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of days and have gotten in late.


    Your actual point is intriguing, I’d want to see context before I completely agree, but it certainly seems a reasonable conclusion to draw.

    Also, any interest in a short guest post? I saw a comment on Facebook, that seemed a little off and I’d be interested in throwing it out for discussion here.

  48. Is your e mail address somewhere on your blog?

  49. paynehollow says:

    Interesting. You all are seriously suggesting that God does not love everyone and I am the heretic.


  50. If one looks dispassionately at the definition of heresy provided, then yes a responsible case can be made that you are a heretic. Now before you get your panties in a wad, I’m not saying definitively that you are, just that a reasonable case can be made.,

  51. John,

    What are we to make of Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Given this, you have to believe that Christ only died for some of us. And if that’s the case, then why does God demonstrate mercy to everyone by not immediately destroying them for sin? He gives them the chance to redeem themselves.

    • What did Christ’s death accomplish? Salvation for believers. If it was for everyone, everyone would be saved, which we know isn’t the case.

      His death is sufficient for all but only efficient for those who trust on him.

  52. “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:1

    “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

    “And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” 1 John 4:1

    You’re saying that since some people don’t believe in Christ, they are not saved, and therefore not loved. You’re stretching the whole “not saved” part to include “not loved” and that is not a biblical belief; that’s Calvinism.

    • No I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying that there are at least some people God hates. I’m not saying that God hates all sinners or even all unsaved people. But among them there are some people so evil God hates them, as described in the psalms I provided.

  53. John,

    So then obviously God is not the “savior of the whole world,” despite the above references. God wouldn’t save those He hates, would He? So then salvation is only intended for some people, again despite the above references.

    I think a debate post is in order, John.

    • Sure. I think what is in question is what the writers mean by “the whole world”. I think it’s pretty clear that the NT claims that not everyone is saved. Some of those writers also said God is the savior of the world. That should cause us to think about what they mean when they say he is the savior of the world.

  54. I’ll write up my arguments soon and then you can decide whatever format you want the post in.

  55. paynehollow says:


    The bible says he doesnt. I cited the passages.

    Oh, well, if all we have to do is cite passages to prove something, well, I’ve cited the passages that says God DOES love everyone. WHILE we were still sinners.

    Beyond that, I’ve also cited the passage that says clearly that we are to HATE our family. Does that mean you actually hate your family, or do you recognize hyperbole and metaphor when you see it?

    You all know this: Just because a passage says something literally does not mean we need to take it literally. You all don’t do it any more than I do. You don’t hate your family (even though commanded to), you don’t pluck out your eye, etc, etc. There is much poetic and hyperbolic and metaphoric language in the Bible. We do damage to the Bible and taking it seriously if we simply try to take each line literally.

    How about this: Since the majority of Christendom (I’d wager) takes those passages figuratively (and don’t think God literally wants us to hate our family or that God literally hates some people), on what basis do you want to take what seems like metaphor or hyperbole and insist on literality? Why on those passages but not the passage where Jesus commanded you to hate your family?


  56. paynehollow says:

    John, you cite Psalm 11 as your prooftext that God hates some people. Let’s look at it in context…

    The Lord is in his holy temple;
    the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
    He observes everyone on earth;
    his eyes examine them.
    5 The Lord examines the righteous,
    but the wicked, those who love violence,
    he hates with a passion.
    6 On the wicked he will rain
    fiery coals and burning sulfur;
    a scorching wind will be their lot.

    God not only hates some people, God will “rain fiery coals and burning sulfur” down on them. When has that happened, John? Is God raining down fire on people, sending the violent running by a scorching wind? Or do you recognize that as metaphor?

    You also cite Psalm 5, which is a imprecatory Psalm (probably also chapter 11), which says that the violent and liars’ throats are “open graves.” Since you are taking the detest them part literally, do you also take the “their throats are open graves” literally?

    Are you familiar with the notion of imprecatory Psalms? If not, I’d encourage you to look them up. They are specifically not to be taken literally, as a model of how to pray or literally what God wants, but as an expression of extreme angst and emotion. Or at least, that’s how many people take imprecatory passages.

    So, do you take the other words literally or do you recognize their metaphoric nature? If so, on what basis do you take one line literally, but another line as metaphor?


  57. I see I missed a lot of the party. John:

    Like I pointed out, ‘hate’ does not necessarily mean that you bear ill-will towards someone.It could mean:
    a. You hate something if you can’t stand it. It’s presence repulses you. You want nothing to do with it.
    b. You bear ill will towards that thing or person. You are actively hostile to it. If it were to get hit by a bus, yay!

    Or, as Merriam-Webster puts it:
    a : intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
    b : extreme dislike or antipathy

    I imagine that God is perfectly capable of hating us in one sense but not the other.

    But all that aside, this question is moot. Christ died for us while we were all sinners – all of us. If God hates sinners, then he didn’t love us when we were sinners. And so he didn’t send his son to die for us. That rabbit hole doesn’t look very enticing to me.

    • Tracy, having looked up the word in a Hebrew lexicon, it means hate in the sense that we say we hate something. And I’m not saying God hates all sinners, just that there are some people that God does hate.

  58. If anyone is clueless, I am pretty certain that this is a debate about Calvinism. So saying “For God so loved the world…” won’t do much good.

  59. More definitions. This time from the free online dictionary

    hate (ht)

    a. To feel hostility or animosity toward.
    b. To detest.

    1. Intense animosity or dislike; hatred.

  60. That’s news to me. What other hebrew word is there that could have been used to mean “extreme dislike”?

    And I was responding to your verses.
    “The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.” sound like God hates sinners which we all are pretty much.

  61. I see what you mean. The word is used to denote an enimity. In that case it pretty much makes sense. God is an enemy to all who do iniquity.

    • H8130 is the word used in the Psalm verses.

      • There are several of them actually. At least 3 are used in the psalms, but H8130 seems to be the most common.

        H7852 satam hate, oppose
        H8130 sane’ hate, enemies, enemy, foes, hateful,
        H8131 sĕne’ (Aramaic) them that hate thee
        H8135 sin’ah hatred, hated, hatefully
        H8146 saniy’ hated

        If you ask me, they all sound pretty much the same. We should probably get some scholar to settle it for us.

        Although I imagine he’ll just say that they all mean the same thing more or less.

  62. I think what is going on here is that while God may indeed love all the world, and desires that none should perish, it is not illogical to accept that not all will avail themselves of God’s grace, continue in their sin and thus draw God’s ire and hatred for their rebellion. We all sin, but not all of us are proud of it and lacking remorse. Those that don’t care, have rejected God, or pretend their particular sin isn’t really sinning, I wouldn’t wager are among the saved.

  63. paynehollow says:

    I can certainly agree that God bears enmity towards those who are violent or lie. I just don’t think that is the same concept in the English language of “hating a person.” If I had a loved one who chose to commit evil (kill, for instance), I would bear enmity towards the deed, but still love the loved one.

    John, on what basis would you take “hate the wicked” literally, but choose to take the next lines not literally (ie, his throat is an open grave, for instance). It is saying LITERALLY his throat IS an open grave… do you take that literally? I doubt it. I’m sure you recognize that as metaphor. On what basis, then, would you insist the other line can’t be metaphor as well?


  64. wiley16350 says:

    I agree with John that there are people that God hates and I also believe that God will save all at some point. The way to reconcile the seemingly opposing views is to understand that in general God loves humanity and he desires/wants the salvation of all. Through that love for humanity in general and desire for their salvation he will bring all of humanity to salvation. For the wicked (those that he “hates”) he will poor out wrath during a time of indignation. That wrath is for the purpose of correcting their wicked ways and not for punishing them for being sinners. So through the wrath, he will change them and bring them to salvation. I will add this disclaimer just for Glen: This is not a traditional Christian belief, don’t take my word for it, read the bible and study all views to come to a conclusion.

  65. Reblogged this on Seeking The Truth.

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