Godly Hate and How It Should be Expressed
When Indiana Jones says, "Nazis. I hate these guys." No one viewing the film ever says, 'Oh, the hero of the movie shouldn't say he hates anyone.' Yet there seems to be an idea that Christians should never hate anyone or anything. However, the Apostle Paul wrote that he hated the sins that he still committed (Rom 7:15), and the Lord Jesus Himself commended the Ephesians for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which He also hated (Rev 2:6).
The Psalmist hated every false way (Psa 119:104), but he also hated those who lived deceptively (Psa 119:113); furthermore, he hated those who hate God (Psa 139:21). [Importantly, I think: it does not seem that Scripture ever mentions God or his saints naming any specific individual as one who is hated, other than Esau (Mal 1:3; Rom 9:13), the hatred of whom seems to be best defined in terms of covenantal rejection.]
There are people-- groups of people-- who are committed to oppressing others, committing gross acts of injustice. And Christians should not be too timid to say, "I hate these guys." If we love God and love people, we must hate those who would seek to oppose God and slaughter those made in His image. We must hate al-Qaeda, the Assad regime, Nazis, NARAL, etc. But how should we express our hatred? We must remember that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual (2 Cor 10:4). And the gospel expresses a conquering love. As God is love (1 John 4:8) even when He expresses wrath (Rom 1:18; 2:5-8), we cannot-- in expressing holy hatred-- forget the self-sacrificial love Christ commands us to have for our enemies (Matt 5:43-45). And so we pray, for example:
Lord, by all accounts it seems that the Assad regime is unjustly slaughtering the Syrian people. I pray that You would take out this regime and replace it with a more just government. First and foremost, I pray that you would end this regime by raising up modern-day Jonahs: those who could go to this modern Ninevah and preach repentance to Assad and his men. We pray that You would vanquish these wicked men by making them new creatures in Christ, so that they would turn their backs on violence and follow the Prince of Peace.When God answers this kind of prayer [as He has in the past, and can do so again!] our holy hatred for the wicked is replaced by a holy love for our new brothers in Christ.
Labels: Christian worldview