Hate? Not us. We’re Christians. We’re not supposed to hate, are we?
I still remember the prof at Multnomah Bible School (now Multnomah University), where I attended for one year before going to college. After class, a few of us gathered around to hear him field questions. “We’re not supposed to hate sin.” He said. “I don’t see in the Bible where we’re supposed to have an emotional response to sin. We’re just not supposed to do it.”
I liked that professor. At the time I thought, yeah, that’s right. No hate. They’ll know we’re Christians by our love.
Remove the moorings of sound thinking from 21st century Christians and the idea of hating something is akin to drowning puppies. We should never hate. And this is exactly what the Bible warns will happen in the last days. People will seek out teachers who will “tickle their ears” (2 Tim. 4:3), which is to say, tell them the things they like to hear.
If you don’t know what the Bible teaches (like that Bible teacher at the Bible school), you’re liable to believe just about anything – like you should never hate. But God isn’t only good with hate, He requires His followers to hate.
Really? I’m supposed to hate?
Yes, you are.
Are we going to be Christians or are we going to be biblical Christians and believe and do what the Bible says, regardless of how it makes us feel?
Most of us recoil from the word “hate” like we just smelled something that has been at the back of the refrigerator far too long. Commitment to being nice is what often passes for being a Christian. But we need to get comfortable with the “H” word because in the Word, we’re not only told, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven . . . a time to love, a time to hate . . .” Ecclesiastics 3, we’re also told, specifically to hate – “Abhor that which is evil . . .” Romans 12:9
If you believe you should never hate, you’re not ordering your thinking according the Bible. If you teach your children never to hate, you’re teaching them contrary to the Bible.
The Christian is supposed to hate evil.
Do you hate sin . . . in your own life . . . in the world around you?
The definition of sin is, essentially, lawlessness. That’s interesting, isn’t it? Sin is breaking God’s law. And, God wants us to take sides, to make a choice – to choose to hate sin. For many of us, we have to retrain ourselves to think biblically.
The practice of sin takes away the guilt of it. The way of the world takes away the sense of it. But for the Christian, for you and me, God calls on us to never get comfortable with evil – to actually hate it.
That’s a different way to think, isn’t it? But, the Bible is like that, challenging us to realign our thinking. Hate is an emotion. The Christian is called to have an emotional response to evil – to lawlessness – to the breaking of God’s law.
In fulfilling the Christian mandate to love others, while remaining nonjudgmental (the Christian is forbidden to judge those outside the Church), we must also never communicate in any way – or by silence, allowing people to believe – that we’re “okay” with evil, for that would be choosing against what God has said we are to do.
Biblical thinking is never comfortable to our flesh. We’re told to hate evil and the anticipated reaction to hate of this kind has a price that many are unwilling to pay.
Where do you stand?
Matt is married to Lisa Jacobson; they are raising their eight children in the Pacific Northwest. Matthew is an author, speaker, blogger, and pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship. Matthew and Lisa are also the authors of the best-selling “his-and-her” marriage books, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.