Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hate What Is Bad

After writing about the growing divisive hatred in this world in my “Brotherhood of Mankind” article, it dawned on me that a good follow-up article would be to consider what the Bible teaches about hatred and separation from wickedness.

To reiterate scriptures used in that article, indeed the direction to those claiming to be Christians, is to view all humans as brothers from the same living God. So what does the Bible teach about hatred? Back in the days that Jesus walked the earth, the Jewish religious leaders of the time had veered considerably off the path of God’s direction. They were teaching strict separation from non-Jews and even instructing the common folks to actually hate foreigners and strangers. Jesus countered such divisive teaching and instructed those who would follow him with the admonition to “love your enemy” and pray for him/them. Another object lesson Jesus gave was his willingness to talk to the Samaritan woman at the well. But what initial direction did Jehovah give the Israelite people that became so extremist in application? At Deut.7:22-26 God is essentially telling his people to desire nothing about the people they were about to conquer. Like a father that wants to protect his child from evil influences and have his child grow up to be a responsible and respectable adult, God strictly warned his “child” (the nation of Israel) not to envy the bullies, the drug dealers, the morally corrupt influences at school and in the neighborhood (the national groups around them). But this wasn’t intended to be applied to those that accepted Jehovah is the true God and the nation of Israel was his people. This, again, was demonstrated in God’s allowing the Gibeonites to live and become servants to Israel AND by his allowing Rahab and her family to live because of the faith she demonstrated in saving the lives of the Israelite spies. There were other instances where a wanton destruction was not sanctioned. Instead “terms of peace” were outlined that, if agreed to, would have spared the lives of Israel’s national enemies.

Today, Christians are guided by principals of love and peace. So is there anything they should hate? Although part of Hebrew/Aramaic scriptures, Psalms says godly people should hate “what is bad.” Notice, it is not who is bad, but what. How does this work out in practice? Those acting contrary to Christian ideals are kindly helped to adjust their ways and thinking but, for our own protection, we hate the action, not the person. In fact, hating our “brother” (fellow human and especially those related to us in faith) condemns us as being hypocrites.

Bottom line then, we are to hate (completely reject, loathe as if it were a food that is disgusting to us) anything that breaks the Bible principles of love and respect for all humans. So again, turning my attention back to the Brotherhood of Mankind essay, the actions, ideas, and divisive emotions promoted by supremacists and others is very hated by God himself. They misrepresent the intent of the Word the Bible and thus slander him by promoting hatred. It is not at all what the Bible promotes.

More on the subject of hate.

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