Monday, 10 October 2011

It's been too long, blogger friends!

Hello World!

I say, it's been a long time hasn't it! It seems that I haven't posted since May, and that wasn't even a real post that was just me bragging about my, frankly, amazing essay! From that success, I start writing an essay called, '10 easy steps to becoming as humble as Stephen Neal', but I thought it was too obvious a think to write about so I stopped.....

Since we last met, I have graduated with a Divinity degree from the University of Wales, don't worry I worked for mine (get me with my current affairs), and have been away to Albania. I am now safely back in Bangor working in Costa Coffee and working for Hope Church Bangor. I shall chat about that in a bit, but for now let's talk about Albania!

Albania 2011

For those of you who don't know, I have been going out to Albania over the last few years to teach and help out on Church run English camps. The camps are run by the members of the Albanian Evangelical Mission (AEM) and this was my 4th time going out spread over 5 years.

This year has been the best yet. As soon as I got there I felt settled, I knew what I was doing and what had to be done and how to do it! This meant that I could focus on other things, like making friends and hopefully extending the Kingdom of God.

I was there for two full weeks of camp. The first we had younger campers (12-15ish) and it went very well. We had some great lessons which we used 3 years ago. We looked at Great British heroes. We looked at:

Alfred the Great
Florence Nightingale
William Tyndale
Michael Faraday
George Muller (Not strictly british, but he did his magic here)
Eric Lidl
And one other person who I can't quite remember, maybe someone will remind me....

These went well. I had a middle group and their English was pretty fantastic. They remember the memory verses, known as keywords, and I pray that the seeds that were planted will continue to grow over the months and years.

On the second week, we had the older ones (15-17ish). These guys were great! Really great! Many had been before and knew the ropes already, so it was an easier week in many ways. There was a much higher level of English on this week and the lessons were less vocabulary based and more discussion based. We look at the concepts of:

Ethics and Morality
The end of the World
And one more, but I can't remember what again.....

There were some great kids in this group and we saw some spiritual seeds growing. I won't mention names as I haven't asked for their permission about talking about them.... Over the years there have been some teenagers come to faith and it has been fantastic! One girl became a Christian this year a week after camp. Before camp she was not aware of Jesus' love and Salvation..... NOW SHE DOES!!! It is really great to see fruit coming out of the work that we do, and it encourages us to do more!

In your prayers please pray for the new Christians as there are different situations and some are awkward. Pray for all the seeds planted in the hearts of all the teenagers, that they would grow and become fruitful too.

Working life

I am now back in Bangorland! I work in Costa still which is constantly busy now! We have had a refit and it looks really good. We have a brown marble counter. I am always very tempted to slide over it, instead of walking around the counter through the entrance... One day.... maybe when we are closing!

The more exciting part of my life happens in Hope Church Bangor. I do not have an offical job title but I like to think of myself as a 'Ministry Apprentice'. I am involved in several different areas of the church, I have been organizing events such as:
  • Engage: A community outreach program. We usually do this in the summer (June time) but it didn't happen this summer so we are doing it now before the weather gets even worse. It is a two week thing, and we have just finished the first. We have been out litter picking and have done a bit of weeding around the roads. We are offering to do odd-jobs for people (free of charge) as we would like to get to know people in the local community. The aim of the outreach isn't directly for evangelism, but to remind them that we are part of the community and that Hope is their church as well! Pray for the rest of the week, that we would make contacts and potentially change someone's life.
  • Alpha Course: Alpha is a 10 week program that introduces people to Christianity and to Jesus. It is good for non-Christians and for Christians. It is such a great course, I am thoroughly convinced that God is using it around the world for the furtherance of His glory and kingdom. We are starting this on the 26th October at 7 at Fat Cat in Bangor. If you are around you are very welcome to come along and to spend the evening with us. There will be food etc.
  • Sunday Night Music at Costa: We haven't thought of a snappy name for this yet. Some are already taken like 'Sunday Night Live' which is a great one. Someone has suggested 'Live Wire @ Costa'. I am not 'hip' enough to think of a better one. This will be a social music night for the public with a hint of faith. This will happen on the 30th Oct. Again it is not a way to ram the Bible down people's throats while they're trying to sip their latte. We are there to make people aware of Hope Church and to show people that we're normal people and good to know. Emily Bacon is going to pull together a jazz band for the evening. They are known as 'Bacon and the Butcher Boys'. I look forward to playing the bass for that.
In church, I also do admin stuff like notice-sheets, even though this sounds mundane I really enjoy it. I get a strange sense of satisfaction in doing anything with Church at the moment.

I will also be preaching once a month-ish. I preached last week on the Adam and the Image of God. There is a recording at this url:

That is enough blogging for now. Things happening in the future are:

  • Working for Costa at 8:30am tomorrow: I need to get to bed.
  • Buying a Motorbike for easier travel: At the moment I live slightly outside Bangor (about 3 miles) and buses can be frustrating. The Bike will give an extra slice of independance. I bought my helmet, gloves and jacket today. Safety first and what not. My next step will be to complete the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) which will allow me to ride on the road with 'L' plates. Then I shall buy a bike and ride around. I can see several reasons why you don't want to fall off your bike. 1) Because it'll hurt! 2)Because it'll ruin your beautiful jacket. It's such an awesome jacket!
That's all folks!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Essay feedback from the God in Film module.

Hello all!

Written and submitting essays on time is one thing but receiving feedback is another thing. My usual protocol is to assume the worst and hope that they have given me above 50% (2.2/C- threshold). Often enough it works out well and I receive a nice 2.1/B grade which is perfectly acceptable in my eyes.

I have been taking a module looking at the portrayal of God and Religion in Film. The essay deadline clashed with various other things going on and I had no idea what to expect from the quality of the essay. Nevertheless, I enjoyed written the essay and if you want a copy you can have it to read.

Yesterday, it was time for essay feedback on this essay. I set up my usual defenses and expect a low mark. When I got in to Dr. Tollerton's office he hand me a piece of paper and on the bottom it has a little A-! This is excellent. This is a 1st class essay this grade tells me. The A- band stretched form 70%-77% which is quite a broad spectrum.

I was very excited about this and many of you who read this are family and are often interested in my academic progress. Also, I want to immortalize this feedback incase I lose the piece of paper.

I'll write the comments given [Square brackets are my own contextual fillers]:


"This is a well-argued, interesting and original exploration of the ideas of liminality and adherence to gospel text."

- [I discussed the ideas of the Gospel texts being good for films. The pattern is that those films that stick close to the texts are not as successful as those that add bits in. I also discuss the religious theme of 'liminality'. See essay for more information.]


"This discussion is well introduced and soundly concluded. The essay's progression is clear throughout"


"The essay is based on a good level of research and the focus on a few key commentators in details helps the discussion."

- [I was told that I really engaged with the commentators and argued well.]


"Despite the occasional typrographical error, the essay is clearly written. The footnotes and bibliography are well-produced."

This is not the usual feedback I get. Often my essays are very mediocre and standard but I am very pleased with this one.

Thanks for Reading


Monday, 11 April 2011

Productivity central!

Hello World!

I hope I find you all well. I am feeling very productive at the moment, and I shall tell you about what has been going on in my life and studies recently.

The Mark Drama
Last week we had our 'Mark Drama'. Over the last few months were have been charged with the task of learning the events found in Mark's Gospel. The person who invented the system, Andrew Page, split the Gospel into 6 sections. We had to memories them as the drama was a representation of the whole of the Gospel. I shall reproduce section 5 for you from memory.

Section 5:

  • Jesus enters Jerusalem.
  • Jesus curses a fig tree.
  • Jesus clears the temple.
  • Jesus teaches a lesson about prayer from the cursed fig tree
  • The Pharisees question Jesus on his authority,
  • The Parable of the tenants,
  • Questions about paying taxes to Ceaser.
  • Marriage at the Resurrection.
  • The Greatest Commandment.
  • A question about the Messiah,
  • Beware the teachers of the Law,
  • The widow's offering.
  • Jesus talks about the destruction of the Temple and the signs of the end times.
Imagine that another 5 times. I can remember pretty much all off it still at the moment, but I am sure over the weeks I will start to forget which is a great shame. Fortunately as I remember acting it out I can remember the order of events.

I played the part of the disciple Peter. This involved a lot of 'rowing', 'high kneeling' and 'improvising' lines to fill in the gaps in dialogue. It was a great experience. I have never experienced the gospel in such a way as this. Seeing the flow of the Gospel and the huge contrast between the great welcome reception of Jesus in to Jerusalem and the crowd mocking and shouting at Jesus only a few days later. It is incredible.

God in Film

A part from the drama side of my life, I have had an essay to write for my 'God in Film' module which I handed in last Thursday. It was an interesting essay to write, all about how successfully religious themes are handled in films (using two or three films as examples). I wrote about the Gospels as the basis for good films stories as one of my themes. It is an interesting discussion. Many scholars think that they make terrible movies as so much has to be added that you lose the original essence and purpose of the Gospel. There are examples of films which have stuck to just the text but these have proved to be pretty unsuccessful in a financial way, yet successful in their fidelity to the text. Other films which have been highly successfully in the box office, such as The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson are unsuccessful in the realms of scriptural accuracy.

Greek Texts

Over the Greek Texts module we have been translating Philippians which is a 4 chapter long letter found in the middle of the New Testament. If you get a chance this is a great letter and well worth studying. In our lectures we come and discuss what we have translated in the week. Our translation workload has ranged between 10 verses to a chapter depending on our progress through the module. It has been fascinating translating the words which Paul wrote; and examining the language used and the meaning of the passages has been mind-blowing at times.

My assignment for this module is still incomplete as it is not due for a while and my dissertation is more of a threat at the moment. The assignment is to write an exegetical paper on a small passage from Philippians. The word exegetical is quite a large one, but it is fairly simple to explain. Exegesis is finding the original meaning of something. I must find the original meaning the passage given to me. I can see this being great, the hardest part will be come at the passage with out my own beliefs influencing my discoveries. Since I have been translating the passages I have not had to change my beliefs so far and in fact I feel that my own doctrines have been reinforced by what I have studied.

I can see this being a great assignment to do.


At the moment I am taking a break from my work to write this blog. I am studying for my third (and final) chapter of my dissertation. This is very encouraging. I completed the draft of my second chapter on Saturday. I am currently sat on 6000 words with only 4000 words to go. The plan is to have 3000 for chapter 3, which leaves 1000 for the introduction and conclusion.

My third chapter is looking at the hymns of William Williams, Pantecelyn (1717-1791), and my goodness! some of them are amazing! I have been looking at Charles Wesley's hymns for a long time and many of them are great, but Williams has such a freshness about his hymns.

Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones said in a conference, 'The hymns of William Williams are packed with theology and experience... You get greatness, and bigness, and largeness in Isaac Watts; you get the experimental side wonderfully in Charles Wesley. But in William Williams you get both at the same time, and that is why I put him in a category entirely on his own. He taught the people theology in his hymns...'1

I am very passionate about some of his hymns. They capture and refresh things that I have either taken for granted or not understood properly. I shall display an example of his poetic hymns here:

'Unseen, yet loved, my God, my friend,

I sing the wonders of your grace,

that in this stubborn heart of stone

has won a quiet-resting place.

Sweetly from the earth's beguiling charms

you drew my restless soul away;

in one bright moment heaped on me

ten thousand blessings more than they.'2

I really love these verses. Such lovely words of such amazing truth. Williams' hymns are so personal and heartfelt that it easy for all people to empathise with them. You can put your names in the verse.

'in Steve's stubborn heart of stone,

has won a quiet-resting place'

And here is just one more:

'Invisible One, I love you,

wonderful is the power of your grace,

pulling my soul so sweetly

away from its choicest pleasures;

you did more in one brief minute

than the whole world ever did,

winning for yourself a quiet seat

in this heart of stone.3

Praise the Lord that He, does indeed ever so regularly, pull my soul away from my 'choicest pleasures'. My choicest pleasures lead to destruction and shame, but as this hymn displays my God did more in one minute than the whole world ever did, has won a seat in my heart of stone.

I am sure that this third chapter will be a beautiful one to write. I value all your prayers concerning my studying and my extra-University activities and I hope to see you all soon.

Much love!

Stephen Neal


1. D. M. Lloyd-Jones, The Puritans, Their Origins and Successors, (Banner of Truth, Edinburgh, 1987)

2. Faith Cook, Our Hymn Writers and Their Hymns, (Evangelical Press, Darlington, 2005) page 133

3. Cook, Our Hymn Writers and Their Hymns, page 133

Monday, 28 March 2011

What a load of Skubalon!

Hello world,

It has indeed been a long time since I last blogged. This is largely due to one of the following reasons:
  • Nothing interesting to write about. (I'm sure you may be thinking that this didn't stop me writing my previous posts.)
  • A non-justifiable use of my time. I have a lot of other work to do, and should probably be doing that instead of writing a non-essential secondary piece.
  • Plain laziness.
Anyway, I am writing one now. I shall explain the history and occasion for writing this particular post. This semester I have been studying in a Greek Texts module. This has involved translating sections of the New Testament from the original language into a modern day English version that captures the original meaning but is a easy to comprehend.
We started by translating John 9, as John's style of writing is much simpler than that of other writers such as Luke (Author of Acts and Luke's gospel) who was a physician or Paul (author of many NT epistles), who was a highly educated Jewish convert to Christianity; who originally led the persecution against the early Church before his miraculous conversion which turned him into one of the most influential people in the Christian faith.
After we had warmed up our translating skills we moved onto translating Philippians. We have been working on this for the last four weeks. Each week we have been set a chunk to translate at home with questions to answer on different verses. Some questions covering issues in the grammar others covering inconsistencies found in various Greek manuscripts. This variations can come down to innocent mistakes made by the scribes who have been copying the manuscript out and misread a line, or if being dictated to mishearing a word. Other times there can be a more sinister reason for the variants such as people not agreeing with the doctrine portrayed in the earlier manuscript.
This week we have been translating the whole of chapter 3. I suggest you read it as it really is fantastic stuff. While translating the chapter I came across a word in verse 8. The Greek word is 'skubalon'. The various nuances that this word has has produced several translations. This post will hopefully look at the different possible ways of translating it and attempt to suggest a suitable version in the context of the passage.

Here are a few current mainstream versions of Philippians 3:8b :
  • King James Version (AV): I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung, that I may win Christ.
  • English Standard Version (ESV): For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ.
  • New International Version (NIV): I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.
  • The Message: Everything I thought I once had going for me is insignificant - Dog Dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ.
  • Steve's Almost Literal Translation (SALT): Thereby everything is loss and counted as waste in order to win Christ.
As you can see there are several different words used for skubalon. I am not adept in kakalogology (the study of bad words, kakos meaning bad, logos meaning word and ology being the study of).

A dictionary definition of Skubalon is:
  1. any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs.
  2. of things worthless and detestable
It is obvious that translating such a word is not as simple as looking at the dictionary and copying it. This word had caused people to justify their bad language. 'Paul swears in the Bible swearing must be okay.' Did Paul swear? Was skubalon used in a vulgar way?
Let's see what Paul is talking about. If you have a Bible turn to Philippians 3, in the verses preceding v. 8 Paul has just explained that if any has any reason to be confident in their own flesh and works to secure their salvation he has more! Then he lists a load of qualifications that by the Law of Moses make him pretty much excellent. He tells us that he counts all of this as loss through Jesus Christ. Knowing Christ is worth so much more than being faultless according to the Jewish custom of the day. He tells us that he has suffered the loss of all things and counts it as 'skubalon' for the sake of gaining Christ.

Some scholars (I can't use footnotes to reference here sadly) such as Moises Silva, (Lexicologist) suggest that a more vulgar term was a likelihood. Silva goes on to say that the word“crap” would certainly communicate worthlessness, but is probably not strong enough to communicate revulsion. She thinks that Paul was trying to
shock his readers to show them how important Christ is.

The article on this word written for says that the word was probably somewhere between 'crap' and 'S***', but personally I don't feel that this is a suitable use of the word. I know that I am going against the grain of some high rollers in the lexilogical world but I feel that other translations work just as well, such as rubbish. Here are some reasons why I think that it could be this.

  • If Paul wanted to cause shock and or refer to excrement without a doubt he could have used the word kopron, which literally means excrement. Instead he used a word which can range from table scraps to offal to dung and to refuse.
  • Things being counted as loss also works as long the lines of throwing it away. Paul left behind his previous life of being a brilliant Pharisee by responding to Christ's call. It is possible to interpret it as he threw away his old life, like yesterday's rubbish, in order to take up the Cross of Christ.
  • If Paul used a vulgar word (aka a swear word) then it would not only contradict other scriptures but he would also contradict himself. Colossians 3:8 (a verse from another Pauline epistle) says, 'But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and flithy language.' As a believer of infallible scripture I don't think that Paul would have gone against himself let alone the rest of scripture.
  • The term skubalon is used in other Greek classic scripts. But not in a vulgar way. Places where it would be expected for a vulgar term to be used such as Greek comedies it is not. In the hellenistic era it seems to not be present as a vulgar term.
  • If it does refer to excrement it is used in reference to animal feces. The AV translates skubalon as dung.
These are just a few reasons that I feel justify a less vulgar reading of the verse. I am not a fan or a promoter of foul language and looking at the history of the Church and the Bible feel that it is out of place and out of context to be found in the Holy Scriptures.

You may disagree, but I feel that an interpretation of rubbish is more appropriate for the context as he has just described what he has thrown away and also because I don't think a vulgar term is in keeping with Paul's own teaching.

In my translation I translated the word as 'waste'. This is to cover many bases at once mainly, but I feel that it still captures the original meaning.

I hope that you have found this blog post interesting. I know that it may not interest many of you, but I found this interesting and though I'd share my thoughts with you all.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing a lot of words for my dissertation which is just over half complete and writing two essays and translating the remainder of Philippians. I'll speak to you soon.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Coming Soon

Hi All,

I am sorry that I haven't been posting much recently. I have been quite busy recently with exams and work. I shall be posting something interesting soon. In this short blog I'll tell you how the exams have gone and what I am going onto do now in my studies.

I have had two exams, one on the 10th and the other on the 20th. The one on the 10th was from my 'Abraham to Exile' module and I answered questions on 'dating the Exodus', 'theories of concerning the Conquest of Canaan' and on 'Josiah's Reform'. This one went particularly well.

The second was okay, but not as good. It was on the history of Judaism after the fall of the Temple in AD 70. It isn't my personal area of interest so I found it more difficult. I answered questions on the 'development of the concept of a messiah' and on 'the problems raised by the emancipation and enlightenment of the Jews in 1789'. Fun stuff eh?

Next up, is my final semester of University life. After which I shall graduate with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD). The modules I am taking are Greek Text and God in Film. God in Film will involve watching films to see how the Divine is portrayed. Greek Texts will involve taking chunks of the Greek New Testament and Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) then translating them into English. Also, it will involve exegesis which is the interpreting the meaning of the passage. This will prove to be a very difficult module but I really love Greek.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Star Trek: the Original Series or Star Trek: the Next Generation

Hello World,

Only a short one this time, mainly for any Trekkies out there, but I'm sure others will like it too. This is a bit of an obscure post, but as I'm getting into blogging I may as well write my thoughts on various subjects.

In the post festive sales, box sets of Star Trek: the Original Series (ST:TOS) have been very cheap compared to their normal extortionate prices. I have been a fan of Star Trek:the Next Generation (ST:TNG) since I was a small boy. To me ST:TNG is the true Star Trek because that's what I was exposed to first. Knowing this I have purchased series one of ST:TOS to even out my bias.
So far, I have not seen many ST:TOS episodes but what I have seen is many parodies and references to the series. Naturally, I thought they were funny due to the sheer exaggeration and ridiculousness of the parodies. Little did I know that the actual series was (at times) more ridiculous. It is quite amazing to see something that had originally set out to be serious become a parody of itself. Sadly, the original series was not very popular and only lasted for 3 series. The cast of the original series did much better with the post series films that were made.

In the 80s, the spin off series the Next Generation was quite a risk after the unpopularity of ST:TOS. It was taken on by Hollywood which gave it a huge budget and they managed to hire a decent cast. The series was a breath of fresh air with it having quality special effects, creatures, story line and directors.

The main problem with the original series was not with plots or the acting but with period in which it was recorded. If it was recorded with the same detail and resources to ST:TNG I am sure that it would have been excellent.

For me when it comes to ST:TOS or ST:TNG it's going to have to be ST:TNG every time. This is due to the superior plots, characters and effects. ST:TNG was what I was brought up with and it is familiar to my childhood. As for ST:TOS, under no fault of its own, the parodies have damaged my expectations of it. I have been unfairly bent towards it by seeing people highlighting the corniness of it all.

Live long and prosper, y'all.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

"Elton John becomes a father at 63" - The Guardian

It is well known that Christmas day is a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. On Boxing day it is rare that a piece of news is released that shatters all the merriment and celebration for some people. Sadly this year was one of those rare times. The festivities were interrupted with the news that Elton John and his partner David Furnish have adopted a child who was born of Christmas day.

The majority of the News Papers (and some of comments on their sites) were very sympathetic towards the couple, but it is obvious that there are people against it from many of the comments on the websites. To my surprise there are a several comments that are against the fact that he is adopting a child at the age of 63. One comment says, "Absolutely disgusting - there should be a law against anybody over 45 having a new born".

From a Christian point of view the main issue is not about the age of the parents. After all Abraham was 100 when he has Isaac and the pre-flood ancestors lived for centuries having babies as they went. The dominant issue for Christians here is homosexuality. Christians are against homosexual relationships and naturally are against the couples adopting and raising a child in a homosexual environment. People call the intolerance of homosexuality homophobia. We neither fear nor hate gay people, but we are opposed to the practice. Why? Because in our biblical interpretation of the issue we see that it is wrong.

I am what is known as a conservative Christian, which is a Christian who believes the Bible to be the word of God. It should not be altered or added to in order to suit a person's life style or time period. The creation account (Gen 1-2) tell us that God created man and woman in his own image (Gen 1:26-27). He then blessed them and commanded them to '"be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Gen 1:28). This instruction is only applicable to couples containing a man and a woman. We fill the earth by have children which come from a relationship between a man and a woman. A man and a man cannot achieve this naturally and neither can a woman and a woman. God created man and woman in his own image and blessed them.

That is the first point. God made Adam and Eve. Why did God make Eve and not Steve? God saw that Adam was lonely and needed a helper (Gen 2:18-20). There was no helper suitable so God, in his infinite wisdom, made a woman for him. We know that God does what is best for his children. Romans 8:28 says, "God works in all things for the good of those who love him." God does what is best for those who love him and Adam loved God. What solution was the best? The best solution was to make woman for man to have as a companion.

Secondly, to some people, the above argument may be opposed by someone claiming that God doesn't say it should happen. This confirmation by silence is a terrible way to justify oneself. If a clearer reference is needed from the Bible we don't have to look far. Still in the first five books (the Books of the Law) we find specific commandments stating that it is a sin. Leviticus 18 is very clear about unlawful sexual relations. Leviticus 18:22 says, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." This from the English Standard Version. The 2010 New International Version translates this verse even more clearly and says, "Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable." The new translation is phrased this way because it clears up any interpretation that 'to lie' means 'to sleep next to'.

The Mosaic Law tells that is it wrong. Creation and God's Law agrees with our natural moral conscience that it is wrong.

This is a rant I know, but it is the Bible's truth. Our main concern should be able the homosexuality promoted in the nation.

A final note is needed I feel. The issue of homosexuality comes up quite often and the Christian voices ring out which cause people the think that we are solely against homosexuality. This is not true. Homosexuality is a sin. Lying is a sin. Drunkenness is a sin. Premarital sex is a sin. Killing is a sin. All sins are equal. A single sin keeps you from heaven, that is why we need God to sort it out for us, which he did in sending Jesus to the Cross. Some people think that some sins are not as bad. We hear about little white lies (opposed to the big black ones) but the truth is all sin is a bad as each other. We are not picking on one particular one. We are just trying to prevent another sin from becoming universally accepted in the nation.

I hope this hasn't offended anyone. Remember we don't hate the sinner but the sin. We do not hate liars, murders, thieves etc. We are commanded to love them. If we did hate the sinner we would hate everyone one as we all commit sins. We are to hate to the sin and we should want to flush it out of our systems and to prevent other people from committing them too. For us all, God is the only person who can free us from our guilt and sin.