Does God “Hate” Sinners?
As I was hanging out with a bunch of friends at In-N-Out a few weeks ago a friend of mine told me about a sermon she recently heard. In the sermon the pastor, of whom I always here great things, was said to have told his congregation that God hates sinners and that is a basis for God’s amazing love for sinners. It really didn’t sit right with me. I am a proponent of total depravity, but honestly I couldn’t believe anyone could say that. It is not true, and even if I am wrong, it not wise.
In a few follow-up conversations my friend shared some scriptures with me that seemed to support this view. As I started to look into it, the easiest way for me to capture my response was in a short paper. I decided to attach it here. (It has a few Hebrew words that might not show up correctly if you don’t have the fonts installed, but honestly you don’t need them to get the gist of it unless you know Hebrew.)
In the paper I analyze the 174 occurrences of the word “hate” in the Bible and conclude this…
From the analysis above I must conclude that it is neither biblical nor wise to say or believe that God “hates” sinners. This is not to undermine the theology of total depravity, we are certainly deprived and dead in our sins (Eph 2:1), even by nature were objects of wrath. These are all true statements that are the very words of God. In our acceptance of depravity we must draw a line between our falleness and being “hated” by God. For God does not “hate” sinners.
If you would like to read more, here is the paper: