Let's talk about hate

Look around you and if you haven’t noticed, everybody is talking about love.  People adore it, idolize it, romanticize it, sing about it and write best selling books about it. But what about hate? Why is hate treated like the bubonic plague, like some alien concept no human being should ever be associated with? Why is love treated as the great uniter, while hate is seen as the great divider?  Perhaps the only time you publicly hear about hate is when the homosexual movement and its hypocritical allies are in serial screed mode screaming “thou shalt not hate” at the rest of the world.

In contrast, the contemporary church and in particular the image whores who psychobabble on Christian television every week would NEVER talk about hate because it would ruin their carefully manicured images of love and acceptance.

But what does the Bible teach about hate? Are we allowed or even expected  to hate certain things and certain people? Does God hate people? Is all hate a sin? You’d be surprised to find out that hate has gotten a bad rap by bible haters.

Have you noticed that while those who continuously call for “NO H8” and put silver tape around their mouths then take model shots don’t have a problem showing their hate and disdain for truth and those who advocate for the truth about homosexuality? Remember the popular bumper sticker  —“Hate is not a family value”— that the political inclusionistas sported when the nation was debating a constitutional amendment against same sex marriage? It generally was put on a gay rainbow flag background so there was no mistaking who the so-called “hate” was being directed at. And the unspoken inference was that homosexual “love” was a family value  Proponents contended that people “hated” homosexuals because they feared what they didnt understand. If that logic is good for one side, shouldn’t it be applicable for the other? The reason homosexuals hate and fear the truth is because they don”t understand it.

Because people use the word hate in ways that seem only to benefit their presuppositions, it has spawned all types of language weapons such as: “hate crimes”, “hate speech” and the dreaded “homophobia”.

Desplendering hate

Truth is we live in a world system that misunderstands and misapplies hate primarily because they misunderstand God and his word. Jesus said,  “The world will hate you because they hated me” (Mt 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17, John 15:18).  And isn’t it interesting that he used the word hate, not dislike. And isn’t it interesting that he said the world would never love us because we identify with and tell HIS truth?  The world eschews hate only when its to their benefit to do so.

Hate has various uses and definitions which must be applied appropriately if we are to have an honest conversation about it.

Its impossible to list all the shades, variations and nuances of hate.  Like legion, they are many. Some hate is morally neutral while some hate is morally sinful. For  example, I can say that I hate cole slaw (and I really do) and no one would blink an eye. But if I said I hate Barak Obama (and I don’t), some people would be ready to call the secret service. Some hate causes people to stay away from dangerous things while some hate causes people to commit dangerous acts.

Thus, not all hate is wrong. The variations of hate can fall into one of the following three main categories:

1. Relative preference/consideration or judgment of one thing over another. No man can serve two masters, he will love the one and hate the other (Matt 6:24)
2. Malicious and/or unjustifiable feelings against another whether innocent of guilty.
3. an extreme aversion towards that which is evil or the acts of people which are considered evil

Its always wrong to hate people (whether their actions are right or wrong) but its never wrong to hate the actions of people which God has said are sinful. That’s a perfect place to segue to loving people and hating sin.

True or false?: Love the sinner, hate the sin

You have heard it many times before that we should love the sinner, hate the sin. Perhaps you have said it yourself. Personally, I put that statement in the same category as “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. Both are trite cliches and I hate them, however both are true in context.

We may all have our opinions about what constitutes hate and what should or should not be allowed, but what does God say and are we willing to accept what he says?

“Through thy precepts [God’s Word] I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalm 119:104)

David’s words form the foundation and orientation for how and what we should hate. We do not have unfettered liberty to hate as it is closely confined to only “what God hates”. And here we discover that God hates every false way. How do we determine what is a false way? The only way to determine what is a false way is to compare it to God’s true way as stated in his word. We know homosexuality is a false way because God did not create the male and female and tell them to find someone of the same gender and have sex with them. That simply does not exist. Thus, all sexual activities that are outside of what God commanded and blessed are false ways and false roads. We know where a false road leads to.  And we have liberty to hate them as he does.

Yet, we must be careful that our hate is not prejudicial or motivated by personal vendettas apart from God. The scriptures are clear on that.

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

Such hatred is malicious and does not reflect the divine nature rather it reflects the nature of satan. John frames his words with the story of Cain and Abel who represent humanity.

Hating the deeds of the sinner is well within the realm of our biblical responsibilities. It is not a sin. If it was then Jesus himself sinned. In Revelation 2:6, he praised the church at Ephesus for “hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I hate also”.

The deeds of the Nicolaitans have been seen as any teaching that would enslave others to false teaching. False teachers and their false teachings enslave others and the Lord Jesus Christ hates that! As David said in Psalm 119, we should hate every false way.

Its important to note that Christ didnt say he hated the Nicolaitans, but their deeds (actions). Our posture towards sin (even in us) should be antagonistic. To attempt to coexist with what God hates is dangerous for the spirit. Already we have seen the devastating effects of what happens when the church embraces and tolerates what God hates.  God hates and it is not a contradiction of his love essence.

Do some people actually hate homosexuals? Of course they do. They are full of sin and hating people is a product of that sin. Do some homosexuals hate people? Of course they do and in addition to their sexual immorality, they too are full of sin and hate is a product of sin.

But as followers of Jesus Christ, we should hate what he hates and only love what he loves. He hates all sin and loves all people. Everything we do should be motivated by love of God, his Word and God’s plan for humanity.

Share your thoughts about hate and the bible in the comment section.