“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16 – 19.
Human beings commit the aforementioned abominations all the time. They are nothing new, neither to man nor to God. The writer of the above proverb makes it abundantly clear that God is not at all pleased with these seven weaknesses attributed to us humans. Quite matter-of-factly we’re told God hates them. Strong word hate, especially when attributed to a loving and merciful God. We might be confused after reading such an account about God our Savior; it just doesn’t seem to fit who He is. God hates? I’m perplexed. Yet most Christians know that God’s word is true, and as such we can, and should, realize He does hate all He considers abominations.
Equally puzzling for the non-believer that is, is a reaction of hate or even borderline hate from a follower of Jesus Christ. The analysis of a Christian’s hateful attitude by nonbelievers whenever they encounter said hateful Christian would be one that would most assuredly condemn the whole of Christendom.
Christians should also find all that God refers to as abominations just as offensive even admitting to “hating” all that God abhors. But never are we to hate the people whose lives are consumed with committing these abominations. An attitude of hate displayed by a believer in Christ would certainly be offensive to God.
Was there ever a time during Jesus’ ministry when He exhibited hatred toward another person? What about Jesus’ enemies? “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary , there they crucified him..., Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do...” Luke 23:33a-34a. Jesus, during His ministry, was intent on leading everyone He could into an understanding of what the Kingdom of God was all about. During His ministry Jesus encountered hate everywhere, but since He is God he never displayed the slightest hint of hate. He was adamant about forgiveness even to those who nailed Him to that cross.
What then should we do when people display hatred towards us? “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matthew 5:43-44. If Christian’s haven’t learned this simple truth by the time they are off milk and have moved on to the meat of the word then they had better go back and start again. The command to “love thy enemy” is one of the foundational tenets of our Christian faith. It’s one of the first things we learn as a new believer in Christ, never to be forgotten or half-heartedly adhered to. We don’t go around murdering abortion doctors because they are murdering babies in the womb, that would be repaying evil for evil. We should pray for them and ask God to convict and change their hearts.
Shedding of innocent blood can certainly be referring to the wholesale murder of babies in the womb. Just imagine how this atrocity must grieve God; followers of Jesus Christ should be just as incensed at this evil. We should hate this atrocity and be involved in movements that are trying, through peaceful means, to stop such action. But we should never take such desperate action against a fellow human being as to kill them for their participation in these atrocities. Such an extreme response would mean we were allowing hate (Satan) to have authority over our minds and bodies instead of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
Hate is ugly, it’s an ugly word and it’s an ugly reaction. Hate will permeate the body of a believer and destroy their very soul if it’s allowed to fester like an open sore. Many people hate Christians, nothing new in that statement. But how should a Christian react to hatred when it is aimed explicitly at them? The knee jerk worldly reaction is to strike back with everything we have as we defend ourselves.
As believers, if we are being physically harmed or attacked we should defend ourselves and our families; we would be remiss if we didn’t. But hatred expressed verbally is only words, and if that be the extent of our harassment our reaction should be one of piety accompanied with prayer. Even if we find ourselves capable of outwitting an antagonist through superior intellect, love for that person should be expressed through whatever actions we display. Nothing good can be accomplished through an attitude that even remotely resembles hate.
Over the past few years we’ve probably all become painfully aware of a Christian cult based in Kansas which can’t seem to keep their church and its members out of the news. Why? Because they seem to be filled with hate. This group of individuals, who erroneously stake claim to the blood of Christ, continually spew hatred at funerals of fallen military personal as they are being laid to rest. They actually turn up at these funerals of our fallen hero’s and chant and wave ugly hateful signs while disrupting the service and offending the loved ones who are of course grief stricken. This Christian Cult has taken hatred to a whole new level, all the while denying the love of Christ through their deplorable actions. If one can call these folks Christians then they would be the embodiment of Christian hate.
God watched as man beat, spit upon, humiliated, and then murdered His only begotten Son. Most humans would retaliate against those who participated in that horror of hate, but not God. God doesn’t hate His creation, He loves us. People who promote hate towards others are not of God. As a matter of fact they can’t possibly even have read and understood God’s word and still spew hatred. It’s not possible for born again believers to follow God’s precepts and hate anyone. To love our enemies is a commandment not a suggestion.
Some people hate for no reason, others have a ton of reasons yet none of them valid in God’s eyes. If God tells you to love those who hate and persecute you then love must be the key. Have you ever tried to hate someone you love? It’s not possible. Yes you can have arguments, even long disagreements, you can become discouraged and even get mad and frustrated with them, but if you love them you can’t hate them. God knew that simple truth and that’s why He commands us to love our enemies. Hate cannot grow or even survive in an atmosphere of love.
“Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.” Psalm 34:21. God is our defender and protector and as the verse above states, God will take appropriate action against those who hate us. There can be no continual blessings from God for those who hate the righteous. If they hate us they must also hate God. Imagine the horrible eternal punishment they will receive if they stay in that mindset until death. They need our prayers not hate.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven:...” Luke 6:22-23. Here Jesus tells us it’s a blessing to be hated for His name sake. Rejoice and leap for joy? How is that possible? By knowing your reward is great in Heaven. God Almighty promises you and me great rewards when we get to Heaven. That should be worth enduring all the hate people can throw at us.
“Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” 1 John 3:13. The Apostle John is basically saying it should come as no surprise that the world hates those who belong to Christ. Why do they hate us so? Because they hate being convicted of sin and just hearing the word Christian or Jesus Christ convicts them. People want to be able to wallow in the muck and the mire of sin without any consequences. They especially don’t want to be told they are doing something against God.
Without a doubt Christians are being killed every day for one reason, many people hate Jesus the Messiah so much that they need a release for that hatred and Jesus’ followers make for a perfect release. Until they come to realize Satan is behind their hatred manipulating their actions they will remain in that murderous mode.
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:17-18. Love and hate make impossible bedfellows. Hate in a Christians heart will nullify the precious Gospel of Christ. Get rid of hate before it festers. Christians are to live peaceably with all men. How is that possible if we allow hatred toward our fellow man to rule our hearts? Besides that the enemy will build his stronghold in a Christians life where hated is allowed to dwell.
My dad had a great way of contending with people who displayed hatred toward him. I would say “Dad are you going to let that guy get away with that remark?” My dad’s response was always “Just consider the source and forget it Ron”. Great advice but I would go a step further. Consider that that person is probably not saved and pray for them.
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” Romans 12:20. In other words, by loving your enemy you might just help bring him to the Lord. It’s all about loving others the way God loves us, unconditionally. People, for the most part that is, will respond to loving kindness with kindness. What’s that old adage? “You can attract a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
The cult I mentioned above would do well to embrace loving kindness instead of spewing hate. There’s no way for Jesus to be found in the middle of such an outlandish attitude. What those folks are doing is convincing the unbelieving world that Christians are full of hate. Witnessing, as we are commanded to do, is our opportunity to promote the Gospel of Christ by sharing it with unbelievers.
Using a false gospel (one filled with hate) as a witnessing tool as the aforementioned cult provides is, simply put, folly. If hate is the message, non-believers will stay away. They already live in the world, which is full of hate, why would they want to jump from the frying pan into the fire? The lost are searching for something different, something set apart from that which they already have.
To feel anger or entertain thoughts of resentment because someone has horribly wronged you is a normal worldly response, but Christians are no longer in that category. For Christians to take a harsh stance against another person who belittles them, even during a fleeting moment of frayed emotions, is wrong. We should pray about any such situation then submit those emotions into the Holy Spirit’s most capable hands and allow Him to take control. Recompensing evil for evil is contrary to God’s word. A believer’s life is to be filled with a loving and caring attitude toward our fellow man, evil hateful attitudes are worldly. We believers have been born from above, from God; we are no longer of the world.
Is there such a thing as Christian hate? Should there be hate in a Christian’s heart? As I’ve just laid out, hate disrupts lives and destroys the love we hold for one another, even our enemies. My answer then is no. If you are a Christian today and you have hate in your heart, repent and ask the Lord for His help in removing that hate. It is God’s good pleasure to fill you with His love and joy, and in doing so He promises you peace, a much greater possession, in lieu of hate.
My final thought is this, even using that offensive word to describe something that you detest should be discouraged. Jokingly proclaiming I hate this or I hate that can give rise to an attitude of condoning instead of condemnation of a more severe and less jokingly hateful attitude. There are plenty of other ways to express one’s self without using that particular offensive word. For example, I love this and I love that. Allow love run supreme in your vocabulary.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV