LOVE AND HATE

I am seeing a disturbing trend among many Christians today who are choosing to remain silent concerning the very important moral and cultural issues of our time, such as the war on traditional marriage. You’ve heard the saying, “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” or something to that effect. In surveying these Christians, I have found that their refusal to be engaged in this cultural war, and to provide a clear witness of scripture and the gospel, boils down to one thing. They fear rejection and persecution. They fear being classified as hateful, bigoted, homophobic, or just plain nasty evangelical idiots.

There is no question we must demonstrate love in standing up for righteousness and truth and presenting the true gospel, especially when we confront the sins of our culture, but my concern is in how we’ve misinterpreted the expressions of love and hate. In order to truly love something you must hate something else. I love righteousness; therefore, I hate wickedness. I love life; therefore, I hate death. I love health and healing; therefore, I hate sickness and disease. I love Jesus Christ; therefore, I hate Satan. I love traditional marriage as God designed it; therefore, I hate gay/same-sex marriage.

I heard someone say so succinctly that this false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures. The Bible tells us that the love of many believers will actually grow cold, not only because they are personally offended, but because of their desire not to offend others, and wanting to be accepted by all (Mat 24:12). Loving people is certainly a godly virtue, but not at the expense of hating truth and righteousness. The focus of what many call love today is based on accommodating people’s ungodly and sinful lifestyles, and even abominable behavior.

We are in the midst of a huge cultural war and a moral crisis, with homosexuality and gay rights at the center of it, but I believe the greater threat to society and the Church could be this false concept of love. There is such a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding people love and accept others. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people’s behavior. Even many Christians are falling for it.

Recently I was reading the reviews of one of Dr. Dobson’s books on rearing children in the ways of the Lord. I was shocked at how many so called Christians were highly critical of his conservative stance on homosexuality and other issues of our times. Here is a small sample of these reviews:

“These extremists have no respect from me and I refuse to be a part of their hate based on some preacher’s interpretation of the Bible. I will only attend inclusive churches from now on. I’m taking a stand for equality and love. I’ll choose that over hate and bullying any day.”

“There are lots of words I’d use to describe this book and its author, but ‘practical’ is not one of them. Some words I would use would include: ‘bigoted,’ ‘homophobic,’ ‘insane,’ ‘illogical,’ ‘silly,’ ‘sexist,’ ‘Nazi-ish,’ and ‘stupid.’”

“This book is so offensive and filled with such hate….”

After reading many such reviews I realized that most of these readers were particularly offended by one chapter opposing homosexuality, which was based on the scriptures. And these critics were not gay! They were family people, in traditional marriages, and interested in receiving good instruction to raise their children the right way. Thus, the reason they purchased Dr. Dobson’s books.

We are living in a day of which the prophet Isaiah spoke of, “So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Isa 59:14).

One definition of prey is a person or thing that becomes the victim of a hostile person, or an influence, etc. True Christians will be increasingly victimized by a humanistic culture that deifies man and opposes God’s righteousness and truth. One who stands for God’s righteousness and truth in this hour will be persecuted, hated, and some may even be killed right here in America. Don’t worry, or be fearful, because we are in great company.

“You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Heb 1:9).

Jesus Christ loved righteousness and hated iniquity or evil. We must understand that it is impossible to love God’s righteousness without hating wickedness. A love for God and His righteousness is the foundation of true love. True love can never tolerate wickedness. To act indifferent toward evil and wickedness is proof of an absence of a love for righteousness in a person’s life. To say it another way, he who fails to hate wickedness has never known righteousness.

This godless philosophy that claims a love, respect, and tolerance for everyone without the ability to hate anything is paralyzing the bold witness of many professing Christians. People have become so objective that they can’t even be stirred to anger against the gross evils that have permeated our society. These are characteristics of a people whom the Bible speaks of as, “Professing to be wise they became fools” (Rom 1:22); and are “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 3:7).

Hating people is sin, but hate by itself is not sin. Hating righteousness is sin, but hating wickedness is a godly virtue. Hating God is sin, but hating the devil is not sin. It all depends on the object of your hatred.

Human love, which is sympathy, if not balanced with a hatred for evil and a true love for righteousness, disqualifies the Christian for battle in this cultural war. The perfect balance of love and hate can only function in Christ, and in those who truly belong to Him, and are a part of His kingdom. God’s love is capable of loving sinners without condoning their sin. Even wise parents know that to love their children requires them also to hate the evils that could damage them.

This is the reason I am not ashamed to say that I hate murder, lying, stealing, rape, adultery, fornication, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality – because they are evil.

Do not be afraid or intimidated by the word hate. In order to truly love we must truly hate. Be both a lover and a hater.

 

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3 thoughts on “LOVE AND HATE

  1. Right on! I was thinking this morning how much of what we call love and our understanding of love has been influenced by Hollywood. If most Christians haven’t really thought about the testimony and understanding of love from God’s perspective in the Scriptures then no wonder it is so easy to tack on this shallow so called love definition to God and the message of Christ, especially when the world is constantly trying to tell Christians what they are supposed to believe about love.

    The love growing cold I see in a new light after reading this. Love needs to be hot! When it isn’t effective, when it’s unwilling to confront, unwilling to discipline, unwilling to get down on its knees and serve, etc… it is cold, like salt that has lost its saltiness.
    We must start with God and the Scriptures He has provided us and be conformed into His image, not start with us and our emotional understandings of life and conform God and His revelation into our image.

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