I really do. I was brought up in a conservative tradition and I wholeheartedly believed being gay was wrong. I would trot out the old ‘Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin’ trope and feel like I was successfully balancing my inner conscience, asking me why my friend’s homosexual crush was less valid than my own heterosexual one, with the knowledge that I could not fully accept it but still be loving to him anyway.
Then life went wrong. I married for eternity, yet merely 7 years later I found myself alone. I was getting divorced, and the struggle to stay married had almost killed me. I faced so much ‘Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin’ I could have screamed, and regularly did – at a lit candle, one of my Vicars advised it and it was amazing, try it! I wasn’t a sinner, my divorce wasn’t a sin, it was rescuing me from a destructive life course and allowing me to pursue an incredible promise from God to Their child. You can’t love me and hate the fact that I’m divorced, it doesn’t work that way. If you don’t understand the reasons for the marriage, the divorce, the paths I took, the decisions I made and that God was with me during every.single.one. then we need to talk more!
At my darkest time in my life, I had to completely re-evaluate what I thought sin was, what I thought covenant was, forever, biblical rules, forgiveness, acceptance. Who I was. It was scary, almost impossible, painful, liberating, beautiful and divine. I didn’t have to hate anything! For Jesus own recorded teachings explicitly told me it was not my job to call out what I thought was sinful (Matthew 7:1-6). It was my job to love (Matthew 22:36-40)! As the people in the Church I found who didn’t give two hoots about my background did. As the friends I made who have stood by me from my crash right through to the present day and who love me for every inch of my being. As my dear, amazing husband does, who looked right through my trauma to the core of me and adored what he saw even when all I could see was a mess.
Love the sinner, leave the sin to God.
Peace be with you.