Monday, July 28, 2008

Loving the Sinner

It's much easier to say we love people whose actions we reject than to show true love for them. Overall, I think the histories of mankind, Christianity and Mormonism all show our difficulty living what we teach as the ideal in that regard.

In "A Time to Kill", the White lawyer tells the Black man he is defending that they are friends. The Black man's response is, essentially, "We're not friends. You've never been to my house. Your daughter doesn't play with mine. You might see me as equal under the law, but you don't treat me as equal outside this courthouse." (OK, the last sentence is my own addition.)

In summary, it's hard to claim love for someone whom you never serve - whose house you never visit and whose children (or friends) don't play / associate with your children (or friends). With respect to this thread, I think it's hard to say you "hate the sin, but love the sinner" if you don't embrace and spend time with the sinner. In my mind, that's a fairly bright line.

4 comments:

Christy said...

"it's hard to claim love for someone whom you never serve" - I had a wonderful learning experience in regards to this statement, Ray. I had been attending play groups in town for awhile with my children. At some point I remember feeling that I had a lot of acquaintances but not real friends. Later, I began giving a ride to a mom and her baby daughter - this mom had been hit by a car while crossing the road and as a result had vision problems which prevented her from driving. I had to put the baby seat in the car each time I picked her up, which could be a bit of a pain. After some time, I came to the realization that this particular woman had become a real friend - because what she had done for me was allow me to do for her.

Papa D said...

Thank you for sharing that experience, Christy. It is a wonderful example of what I meant in the post.

backandthen said...

This is what I have experienced from my ward. they never cared about my membership status and even more I had visiting teachers until one of them got really sick.
When I was still having hard feelings and was clearly showing signs of it I happen to mention that I wanted to move out. One brother rushed and told me to remember that I could call on the priesthood if I needed help.

When the relief society president told me that she would be my visiting teacher I looked at her in disbelief and I told her "Er? Don't you know I have been excommunicated?" to which she replied with a shrud "it does not matter".
It is not what brought me back in the church, it is what allowed the door to remain open thus making it easier for me.

Papa D said...

backandthen, Thank you for sharing that. It's good to hear a real-life example of how it can work.