Thursday, September 18, 2008

God Loves Even Those Whom He Hates

I have been informed that another word has been banned from my vocabulary. I am no longer allowed to say “hate” because I now have grandchildren who are not allowed to say it. OK so I'll guard my tongue around them so they don't pick up any inappropriate verbal habits.

But what about this thing called HATE?

I have heard over and over again and again things like, “Christians should not hate,” “It is a sin to hate,” “God is love and He loves everyone,” and “God hates the sin but He loves the sinner.”

Sure, God loves everyone but His love for the reprobate is a different kind of love than that for the redeemed. Phil Johnson has an interesting and helpful post on this subject at PyroManiacs. He says, "I believe Scripture plainly teaches that there is a true and significant sense in which God loves even those whom He hates."

Now I know this will really irritate some people but, if your god does not hate, then your god is not the God of the Bible. But without appealing to someone else's writing or even my own opinions about what I think God is like, I will just offer some verses of scripture and let God's Word speak for itself.

God HATES evil.

  • “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, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,” Proverbs 6:16-18
God HATES those (people) who do evil.

  • “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

  • “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” Psalm 11:5

God is sovereign and just in choosing whom He will HATE for His purpose.

  • “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9:13
    “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction
    :” Romans 9:22

There is a time to HATE.

  • “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” Eccl. 3;8

Those who love God must HATE evil.

  • “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:” Psalm 97:10
  • “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Psalm 101:3
  • Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104
  • “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 8:13

It is reasonable and right for God’s people to HATE God’s enemies with perfect hatred.

  • “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.” Psa. 139:21-22

In a philosophy class I took in college, the concept of love was presented in a way that must be balanced with hate. Love and hate are opposite ends (they say) that coexist on a continuum of sorts. It is impossible to have one without the other.

I really don’t know anything about philosophy and I know very little about theology BUT, I do know that it is wrong to present a lopsided view of God to a world going to Hell.

The real Gospel is not a message about poor Jesus, standing outside of our hearts, waiting for us to open the door and let Him come in. It is not about what He can do for us. It is not about inviting Him to share our lives so that He can be our lover, our best buddy, or our homeboy so that we can go to a fun place when we die and get lots of good stuff.

The real Gospel is the good news that Jesus suffered a brutal and horrible death and was forsaken by His Father who exacted His wrath for our sins on His Son instead of us. He is a God to be feared. He is a fierce and mighty God to be reckoned with. He is a God who, with perfect justice and in perfect righteousness, will condemn all, who will not come to Him on His terms, to eternal damnation.

The God of the Bible is a God of perfect HATRED as well as perfect love.


Anonymous said...

So many of those who want to speak only love and other "positive" things have no problem with HATING THE TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I suspect most people who hate the word "hate" also hate the use of "sarcasm".

Anonymous said...

“God hates the sin but He loves the sinner.”

This phrase is so overused. I think most people think it is a Bible verse.

There are about three dozen verses in the Bible that speak about God's hatred. Only about one third of them refer to His hatred for actions (sin). Two thirds of those verses refer to His hatred for those (people) who sin.

Daisy said...

(whining voice)....Buuuut, Mr. Petersen, thaaat doesn't give me warm fuzzies.

Anonymous said...

I would advise you to be careful in your use of hate in Romans 9. Any study of major commentaries will show that this is written in a covenantal context, and that what is meant by "love" and "hate" really carries the connotation of "chose" and "rejected." If you disagree I would recommend Douglas Moo's very convincing argument in the NICNT Series Romans Commentary.

Ralph M. Petersen- Always Right;Sometimes Wrong! said...

In response to Anonymous; Regarding the advise about Romans 9, - I will not disagree with you about the covenantal context of these words or their meanings.

The main points of this post, albeit somewhat sloppy and certainly sarcastic, is that God is not just the one-dimensional, warm, fuzzy, all-loving teddy bear that some people imagine Him to be AND that there is a difference in His common grace and His redemptive grace (some He chooses and others He rejects).

But frankly, I have to admit that usually I don't have the foggiest idea of what I am talking about. Thank you for pointing this out and keeping me on my toes.