Okay, Evangelicals: What’s My Sin? Who I Am or What I Do?

A response to Dan Foster’s “The Problem with ‘Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner’”

Rand Bishop
6 min readAug 15


Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

I grew up in the church. I was an Episcopal altar boy, sang in the choir, and was confirmed by the Bishop as a devoted soldier in Christ’s army. I loved the ritual of Sunday services, the call and response, the hymns and the chants. I vividly recall the rapturous thankfulness I felt, gazing up at the image of Jesus on the cross, the Son of God, who sacrificed his earthly body to make it possible for a lowly sinner like me to someday be redeemed and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

I became disillusioned with organized religion in my late teens.

Still, I never lost my hunger for spiritual fulfillment. This innate curiosity led me to study world religion, to discover the commonalities shared by all faiths, while discarding religiosity and dogma inconsistent with the core values of love, forgiveness, charity, and grace.

Ultimately, I landed in a comfort zone, accepting that some things are unknowable. I learned to embrace the mystery. I’ve come to believe that absolute certainty acts as an impenetrable roadblock obstructing the pathway to true spirituality.

“One of the functions of formalized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.” — Carl Jung

You can stop thinking for yourself now.

Formalized religion (as Jung puts it) provides its followers an excuse not to think for themselves. Having clergy and scripture to tell you what’s right and wrong eliminates any need or reason for questioning the powers that be, or the very meaning of life.

Behave a certain way and you are guaranteed an all-access backstage pass to blissful eternity in the clouds. Defy the rules, eschew repentance, and you’re doomed to spend the afterlife in a fiery torture chamber. Pretty simple choice.

A moral compass…

My moral compass informs me that certain human behaviors, including behaviors denounced by Christ in the Gospels, are…



Rand Bishop

Rand Bishop is a Grammy nominated songwriter, activist, and the author of five books. His latest is TREK: My Peace Pilgrimage in Search of a Kinder America.