We live in a current church climate that has a certain allergy against any concept of the word hate. Perhaps a lot of it comes from a proper observation of the fact that hate is often dangerous and all-consuming. We tend to see all hatred as negative or perhaps even evil, but it’s not. What do you think? Is there still, as there was in the days the writer of Ecclesiastes lived, “A time to hate.”? (Ecclesiastes 3:8). I wrote a letter centered on a similar idea some time ago:

     I will submit to you that there are a lot of things we should hate. This is easy to illustrate by the things most of us would easily agree on. Things like rape, racism or pedophilia are easy to agree on that we should detest. I think most would in fact agree that it’s a sign of something wrong if a man does not hate such things. In a Psalm, for example, we read: “He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil,” Psalm 36:4. It’s a sign of being a “wicked” person (vs. 1) to not abhor or hate evil. It gets hard when we talk about things not so “naturally” hate-able. Things like false religion may not be hated for many reasons. Whatever we know is evil we should abhor. Romans 12:9 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Right after Paul mentions love he mentions hate. It is a sign of true faith to hate evil. The regenerate heart hates evil. This is first and foremost true in us. It’s secondarily true in the world at large.

     We should hate that which is evil. We hate that which distorts the truth. We hate that which robs souls and destroys lives. We hate sin and sinner, but pray for the salvation of all. There will be no lying in hell, only liars. Adultery will not be imprisoned, but adulterers will be. There is no moral character of rape without the rapist. God will not punish rape in hell for eternity; He will punish the rapist in hell for eternity.

     A holy hate is a focuser. It clarifies things for us. Don’t fight it. Learn to control it Biblically. A proper hate is not something, “Of the flesh.” In a culture like ours where the worst sin is offense we do well as Christians to remember that we’re admonished to, “…abhor what is evil.” The Greek word for “abhor” here is very rare. It’s the word apostyge? and means to, “dislike or have a horror of” something. Are you, by nature, horrified by evil? I hope so. By a growing knowledge of the word will come a growing recognition of that which is evil. It’s an attribute of someone who loves what’s good to hate what’s evil. In this we mirror our God.

     Don’t fear hate. Define what you should hate rightly and you’ll do well.

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