Those who hate us incongruously accuse us of being hateful, even though they themselves cannot recognise the hate in their own hearts! That is how unbelievers act! I find it ridiculous that I have to produce this very short paper, because time and again we have said we cannot hate others. So, the short answer to the question, “May we hate?” is “No!” I can guarantee that though we say this, critics will continue to accuse us of hatred!
The accusations always follow from statements or articles we produce that oppose current sins. Biggest examples right now are; homosexuality, Islam, Islamic terrorism, Migration. In the past, we have also been accused of hatred towards the false Alpha course, charismatics, and environmentalists. In each and every case, we do not hate. Yes, we hate what they do, but not the people themselves.
What God Hates Is His Prerogative, Not Ours
For the life of me I cannot fathom what goes through some readers’ minds! Though we show biblical reasons for our stance, the biblical reasons are subverted by critics in favour of their personalised hypotheses. This we will never accept, nor will they cause us to change anything we have said. Even recently, I received accusations based on wrong biblical references, wrongly interpreted scripture, and personal emotions. This is the usual ‘mix’ we are sent, by people who undoubtedly think their criticisms are always right. When we point out their errors they just stay silent or send us further abuse.
Now this short paper is merely a rudimentary statement saying that we do NOT accept that Christians may hate anyone. How much more plain can we get?
In the Old Testament God had continual dealings with Israel, Judah and ‘others’. There can be no doubt whatever that He had a special hatred for nations and individuals who were idolaters and pagans. They placed false gods in the place of the true God, worshipped them, and sank to low levels of immorality, violence, and extreme forms of human existence. He hated both the actions AND the people if they did not repent. Yes, God hates these things. Only He has this right.
A big example today is homosexuality. Do you think that because time has moved on, God has ‘softened’ towards this grave immorality? No, His attitude and charges remain the same as they were in Old Testament times, when homosexuals had to be put to death, or thrown out of Israel. God hated homosexuals then, and He does so today! King David, at times, says in His Psalms that he hated certain heathen peoples and so fought them. Psalm 26:5, 31:6 are just two citations.
God’s hatred for homosexuals is easily read in the New Testament, alongside His hatred for certain other ‘core’ evils, such as murder and so on. Paul had occasion to write to a variety of congregations about their love for sexual impropriety, etc., and urged them to change and repent. For such he had time, but not for those who refused to repent. God also cursed (in scripture this meant ‘to hell’) those who preached a false Gospel... thus condemning all of Romanism, true charismaticism, and all other cults. In these cases we must hate what is done and said, but we have no mandate to hate those who do or teach them. And this has nothing to do with the saying “hate the sin, not the sinner” (which came from an Hindu source! See the article). Only God can hate both... which He does.
There are also differences between biblically-based heresies and cults, and those religions and beliefs not based on scripture. There are biblical groups that are mainly within biblical bounds, but who commit error. These must repent, bearing in mind that those outside of scriptural models of ‘church’ cannot repent if they remain unsaved. Then there are pseudo-Christian cults, such as Mormon, Romanism, etc. These cannot simply repent – they must ditch their religion altogether before they can repent and be saved. Then there are non-biblical cults. Interestingly, Islam was considered to be a Christian cult at first, so was called an ‘heresy’ needing repentance. But, this idea quickly disappeared when Islam proved itself to just be a military force, abusing scripture... unsaved peoples using religion to inflict harm and fanatical early fascism on those they attacked. Now, we can see Islam as we might, say, Hinduism or Buddhism. They are godless cults, often containing occultism.
Though God hates these people, we may not. God hates them because they are an affront to His uniqueness as the ONLY LORD, and God, the ONLY way to Heaven. He says He hates them. To say He does not is itself a sin. When Jesus Christ came, the Old Testament rules concerning man’s response to godless idolatry and paganism changed. Now, Christians MUST hate anything that removes the superiority of God, replacing it with man’s ideas of what to worship. In summary, Christians MUST hate what God hates, but not fellow human beings.
This separation can be very, very hard to achieve, but it is necessary. At all times I try to separate the sin from the sinner. The sin must be condemned outright, and the same applies to the one who commits it. But, this must not degenerate into hatred for the persons themselves, because such hatred would harm our own spiritual lives. We must respect all people on the basis of their being born as human beings (because each one of us could be as they are... and some of us were as they are), but we must not respect their sins or their wrong religions. It is simply impossible to condone or respect what opposes God! If we fall into the trap, it means we will condone sin and accept worship of false gods, or atheism, etc. So, hate their sins yes, but hate the persons – no. Learn to see the difference! It is very hard not to hate those who do us harm, but it must be done.
© March 2016
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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