confession2I’ve been troubled recently while pondering the spiritual bromide “We hate the sin, but love the sinner.”

Here’s the problem: how do you separate out the sin from the sinner? Isn’t that a kind of dualism we don’t really believe in?

We say, for example, that the human person is a unity of body, mind and spirit. Our bodies are not simply vehicles for our souls. We’re not pots with souls inside. We’re a body, mind and spirit unity.

We acknowledge that what we do with our bodies affects our soul’s salvation and what we do spiritually can affect our bodies.

So, on the negative side, if I commit adultery with my body I am in danger of losing my soul’s salvation. Furthermore, should I lose my soul’s salvation I also lose my resurrection body.

Furthermore, at the Last Judgement we don’t “condemn the sin but save the sinner.” Huh uh. The sinner is condemned to hell for his sins. The distinction is no longer made between sin and sinner.

On the positive side, we also say that the good actions we do with our bodies can contribute to the necessary co operation with God’s grace for our salvation. We are saved body, mind and spirit. The physical mortifications, the corporal works of mercy and the sacrifices in the physical realm all contribute to our salvation.

This was hammered home to me when I heard a person with same sex attraction criticize “Hate the sin. Love the Sinner” by replying, “The way I love is the way I am. How can you say you accept and love me when you condemn the things I do?”

He had a point. Continue Reading