DOES GOD HATE: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? — PART 2 WITH AN AFTERTHOUGHT

Adolf Hitler is sometimes used as a modern definition of evil.[25] Hitler's policies and orders resulted in the deaths of about 50 million people. (from here)
Adolf Hitler is sometimes used as a modern definition of evil. Hitler’s policies and orders resulted in the deaths of about 50 million people. (from here)
This post continues where DOES GOD HATE: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? — PART 1 left off.

What is the subject? God commands us to love Him and each other.  Is all sin then a failure to love as we should love, and all hate anathema to love, thus sinful? That is what some believe, but what if this belief is untrue? How are those who believe this untruth harmed? Will God punish people for loving instead of hating?

In the last post we asked How Does God Hate? and we defined the following: Children of God; Good and Evil; Grace, Mercy, Truth, Justice,….., and Holy Spirit; Love and Hate; and Sin. Here we will consider when love and hate are appropriate.

A Time To Love,
    And A Time To Hate (from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Because God is Holy, we should always love God, but what about our neighbor? When does our neighbor become as a ravening dog or swine to us, someone so vile we must rightfully abhor their presence? There is no simple answer, but we should not judge others more harshly than we wish to be judged by God.

Matthew 7:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Do Not Judge

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

When we judge another we choose to love or hate something about them. Why is whether we choose to love or hate so critical?

  • Love does not solve problems, but it does motivate us to obey God and help each other. When we love God, we study and try to obey His moral laws.  When we love each other, we strive to be patient with each other, and we help each other. We give our neighbors a helping hand. We participate in politics to protect our neighbors’ rights. We give to charity…..
  • Righteous hatred does not solve problems, but it does motivate us to minimize the harm done by evildoers. When see someone doing wrong, we try to stop them. We blow the whistle. We join the posse. When we see that a war is just, we gird ourselves for battle.

Consider for a moment that image of Adolf Hitler at the beginning of this post. Of course that picture was propaganda, but contemplate for a moment the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis. Millions systematically exterminated. No big deal? Of course not.

When someone does something evil, are we suppose to love what they do? Are we suppose to be indifferent? Or are we suppose to hate evil? With unabashed fervor, that image of Hitler called for righteous anger, hatred. Was it wrong? Before you judge, consider again how many of those millions died (see Extermination camp).

If we love someone won’t we hate any evil that befalls them? If we cannot allow ourselves to hate whatever evil harms our loved ones, how can we say we love them? To not hate requires indifference. To hate requires us to love. Hatred is  another way we manifest our love.

Hatred, therefore, is not always evil. Hatred becomes a problem when we do not  love righteously. Therefore, while God will not punish people just for loving instead of hating, it is quite likely He will punish those who love or hate wrongly.

When we love wrongly, we enable bad behavior.

  • If we love our self or worship some idol of our own making more than God, we will ignore God’s moral law. Think of narcissism, the love of money, or the love of sex. Contemplate the emptiness of a soul indifferent to anyone’s welfare save his own.
  • If we love another person more than God, we enable sin. Think of a spoiled child, the leaders we give too much power because we worship the power of the state, or the sex and drug addicts we refuse to hold accountable.

When hate wrongly we destroy either ourselves or others.

  • If we hate God, we never learn from our suffering. Instead of examining our own behavior and correcting it, we blame God for our foolishness.
  • If we hate our self, we will punish our self with self-destructive behaviors. Think of despair, that lazy fool who has given up trying, or the glutton obsessed with sex, food, drugs, or….
  • If we hate our neighbors, we will destroy our relationships, and we will hurt those we should love. Think of the bigotry, the stealing, the murder, the gossip, and so forth that stems from anger, greed and envy.

The Wisdom Of The Bible

 John 14:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, keep[a] My commandments.

If we want to learn what God loves and what God hates, we need to read the Bible. The Bible provides us the commandments of God. If we wish to obey Jesus and keep His commandments, we must read the Bible.

Consider one of the passages that people cite to justify the notion that Christianity is all about love.

Matthew 22:34-40 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Footnotes:

  1.  Matthew 22:37 Deuteronomy 6:5
  2. Matthew 22:39 Leviticus 19:18

As the footnotes indicate, Jesus summarized the Mosaic Law by referring to two verses in the Old Testament.  Did Jesus say the Law did not matter any more? No. Then what was Jesus’ point? In order to obey the commandments of God, we need the motivation that comes from loving God and our neighbors.

If we truly love Jesus, then we will read His Word. We will do our best to understand our Lord, obey His commandments, and follow His example. We will strive to become wise in the ways of our Lord.

An Afterthought: Why Do Some People Insist That Hatred Is Wrong?

The Bible does contain admonitions against rage (Proverbs 15:18), and it tells us that vengeance belongs to the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:35). Nevertheless, even Jesus grew angry, and He drove the money changers from the temple.

Mark 11:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Cleanses the Temple

15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16 And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?[a] But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”[b]

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19 When evening had come, He went out of the city.

In fact the Bible speaks approvingly of righteous hatred (Psalm 101:3, Psalm 119:128, and Proverbs 13:5 for example). So why do people have a problem with it? Well, none of us can get into another person’s mind and examine it. We can only speculate based upon what we know about ourselves and what people say.

What do I know about myself? I can be quite cowardly and lazy.  When I see someone doing something I know is wrong, I find it easier to tolerate bad behavior than to condemn it and try to stop it. That is especially true if I don’t know or care about the people involved. Don’t we all find it difficult to love a neighbor we don’t even know?

Why do people say they are willing tolerate bad behavior? We have tried to turn Truth into what we each want to believe. At the same time, we have turned tolerance into a virtue.  Therefore, what is right and what is wrong IS NOT whatever is actually right and whatever is actually wrong. More and more our society proclaims that Good and Evil are just our personal preferences, that tolerance is the only “virtue” we must publicly endorse.

So it is we find many things Americans would not have put up with just a few decades ago “tolerable.” At the same time that sort of behavior we say we want to see in each other is becoming less common.  Here are lists of both.

Galatians 5:19-23 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[a] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[b] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

 

10 thoughts on “DOES GOD HATE: WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE? — PART 2 WITH AN AFTERTHOUGHT

  1. I’ve been enjoying this series, Tom.

    When I was much younger, I had a friend who drank too much, partied too much, all the assorted things you do when you’re out of control. She was entertaining, older than me and I really couldn’t see any reason to say anything, I mean she made her own choices and I figured I could just “love” her the way she was. I learned however, that what I thought was love was really indifference, very close to hatred actually. If I had been in her shoes would I have wanted someone to support me in my wrong choices, someone to laugh at the entertainment I provided, people afraid to offend me who couldn’t be bothered to say anything?

    That is the nature of love, it’s complicated, it sometimes requires you to do hard things, it asks you to hate what is harmful to people, it demands that you don’t accept people just as they are, as if what they are is “good enough.”

    Tolerance, the bigotry of low expectations, these are the things we do under the guise of “love that” are actually quite disrespectful. God calls us to our higher selves, and although I hope He laughs at some of our antics, He loves us too much to just leave us there.

    Like

    1. @insanitybytes22

      I very much appreciate your comment. While you were writing it, I attached an “afterthought” to the post above. Your comment provides the personal example my afterthought lacks. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am not too sure the word hate should be considered as a remedy to deal with issues. I prefer when we confront evil, instead of hating the offender, we should just deal with how to make a wrong right again.

    Jesus decided to drive out the money changers in the Temple. I do not recall any statement Jesus made to hate any specific person, instead he stated to love your enemies. Solomon stated to feed your enemies .I am no expert on the Bible, but when you hate a person, there cannot be any love within a person who hates.

    As for Hitler, he used hate to inspire his followers to participate in evil deeds. A good person can use love to inspire good followers to deal with evil, but evil cannot use love to inspire evil followers to do good.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Like

  3. @scatterwisdom

    Love and hate are different aspects of our concern for another human being. if we want the best for someone, that is we love them, then we “love” what is good for them and “hate” what is bad for them. Since we are all sinners, we all sin. So we will hate those traits in our beloved that causes them to sin. If we don’t, we don’t love our beloved the way we should. It would have to be a cold-blooded sort of thing, and that we are not.

    Should we hate another person because their sins are so grievous? Some would argue that there are such times. Nevertheless, vengeance belongs to the Lord. So I don’t see how hating another person generally serves much purpose. God doesn’t want us to hold grudges.

    Yet I do have a bit of uncertainty. Because there are occasions where we have no other option, there are times that we must kill. When people like Hitler and his followers do evil, we have to stop them. Should we hate them too? Perhaps not, but I would have a hard time faulting anyone who does hate someone who did the sort of things Hitler did. I also don’t know where Bible says that such hate would be wrong. What would be wrong is allowing the hate to consume us. We must remember why we hate. We hate because we want to protect those we love, and what is good for those we love must guide our choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand your message. The way I kind of see God to b is as a father figure. As a father, no matter how or what a child does wrong, a loving father can never hate his son. A son may disappoint a father, but a loving father will still love him and hope and pray for his son, as in the prodigal son story.

    Just my thoughts on what i perceive about God being a father.

    For example, true story. I personally knew a father of a childhood friend who I believe was associated with mob figures during prohibition. He had a demeanor to me of being capable to be a hit man. One of his sons was a truly mean selfish son.

    I heard his father tell him during an argument.” If you were not my son, I would kill you with my own hands,.”

    True story.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @scatterwisdom

      Interesting story. Thank you for sharing it.

      God hates Evil. The Bible is quite clear about that, but does God hate people? I don’t know. The prodigal son story certainly indicates how much God wants us to repent. Unfortunately, some do not repent; some people have and do experience His Wrath.

      The Bible speaks of Hell and why God sends people there. God may not hate those He sends to Hell, but He isn’t letting them into Heaven.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Regarding love and hate, I think that in all things, God would like us to have common sense.
    Also, he wants us to forgive each other, and I don’t always find that to be easy. Common sense tells me that sometimes forgiving someone just plain ISN’T easy, and that’s just the way it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Merillion

      We call it common sense. Yet it seems to be an increasingly rare commodity. We even dispute who has common sense. So it is not even clear whether anyone has common sense.

      I suppose I would be willing to settle for uncommonly good sense.
      😉

      When I look back, I feel I have sinned against others more than others have sinned against me. So I worry more about being forgiven than forgiving anyone else, and now that I think about it I guess that is an odd sort of blessing. When we don’t feel the hurt, we don’t have much to forgive. I just pray our Lord will not test my dense mind and thick skin.

      Anyway, I am no Stephen. I doubt I would find it easy to forgive my tormentors even as they stoned me to death. I just suppose Stephen pitied those who killed him. They had taken the wide road that leads to the wrong place. They stood at the gateway to Hell, and I imagine Stephen imagined himself in their place.

      When somebody hates us and sins against us and our loved ones, we should pity them more than anything else. Nothing we can do matches the Wrath of God. Even Saul who became Paul suffered much for the stoning of Stephen.

      Like

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