If you Are a Christian, then You Practice Hatred. Really!
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
Oh you who love the LORD, hate evil! (Psalm 97:10)
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (Psalms 139:19-24)
You cannot fear the Lord and not hate evil. In fact, Solomon says that the fear of the Lord IS (put an = sign here) hatred of evil. Evil does not exist in disembodied form. Evil is in and practiced by people. Thus Solomon says that the fear of the Lord is hatred of evil people. Yep. Really.
Still not convinced?
The Psalmist in Ps 139 puts it right out there. He prays that the Lord would kill the wicked. He tells the wicked to get away from him, stay away from him, and not to darken the door of his house or church again. Who are these wicked? They are the ones who speak against the Lord willfully and maliciously. They are the ones who take His name in vain – that is to say, who put on a facade of “godliness” but in fact hate God.
The Psalmist’s attitude toward them? He loathes them. He detests them. He hates them fully and completely. They are his enemies.
AND THEN THE PSALMIST PUTS HIS HEART RIGHT OUT THERE BEFORE GOD AND PRAYS THAT THE LORD WOULD SEARCH HIS HEART FOR ANY EVIL IN IT!! What does that tell you? It tells us that hatred of the wicked is righteousness. So get this, and get hold of it firmly – this means that the evil grievous way that the Psalmist wants the Lord to find in his heart so he can repent of it, cannot include this hatred of the wicked. In fact, I would argue that at least one of the wicked ways found in so many people’s heart is their failure to hate the enemies of the Lord.
Now, in most churches the wicked sit in the pews quite comfortably. Unchallenged. Oh, they might hear about external sins – you know, the kind the Pharisees love to point out. But their real, ruling, dark, hidden evil? Nope. It lies unmolested in them. They feel welcome in their pew.
And here is my main point in question form. How is it that so many professing Christian churches do not seem to hate those who hate the Lord? The abuser sitting in his woolen outfit Sunday after Sunday is a prime example. You see, one mark of a genuine Christian, the kind whose heart truly has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, the Christian who knows Jesus Christ and loves His Father and His Word, is that such a person hates those who hate the Lord. And they want nothing to do with them.
So why do we meet so much opposition when we announce to Christians and pastors and church members that the abuser must be put out of the church? Why have they not themselves picked up on the existence (eventually at least) of Satan’s minions sitting among them?
Pretty good question, right?