Somewhere along the way, in our politically-correct, touchy-feely, walk on eggshells, be-tolerant culture, it stopped being okay to hate. The word “hate” has actually become a banned word. No, there hasn’t been an official ban on the word, but no one is walking around talking about the things they hate.
We can be opposed to something. Resist something. Object to something. Politely disagree with someone. But what we cannot do, what we are told is unconscionable, is hating anything, because hating something means we are operating in black and white. Right or wrong. Good or evil.
The problem, however, is less and less people believe in the idea of good and evil. Black and white makes them uncomfortable. Truth makes them squirm. The in-betweeness of gray, is a much more comfortable place to dwell–the uncertainty of life, as it were.
But, I believe in right and wrong, Light and darkness. Good and evil. I believe in God and God hates. Oh, we don’t like acknowledging that fact. We would rather run a thick, black, permanent marker over those passages of scripture.
But He does. God hates and well, then, so do I.
Christians are suppose to be identified by their love for one another. Not their love for those outside the church even, but one another. If our love for the Body of Christ is to be our identifying characteristic, how then can we hate?
Because genuine love causes us to hate. The love of Christ compels us to hate the things that are not of Him. His love compels us to hate that which would tarnish His reputation or belittle His name. His love compels us to hate the things that draw us away from Him and the things which He Himself abhors.
And so I can freely say:
I hate murder.
I hate divorce.
I hate acts that harm children.
I hate sex trafficking.
I hate addiction.
I hate pornography.
I hate rape.
I hate the ugliness of pride, in myself and others.
I hate idolatry.
I hate violence.
I hate evil.
No surprise, that most of these are the very things that according to scripture, God hates, as well.
And I know this, and I believe this, and yet even as I type these words, a part of me begins to rise up and object. A part of me, the part hat has been raised in this tolerant, mulit-cultural (crock) pot, feels resistant to the use of the word “hate.”
It feels so permanent, so final, so cruel, so un-loving. But one definition of hate says: to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion. And I long to feel this way about the things God hates. I long to passionately dislike and feel an extreme aversion for that which is not of God.
It starts with recognizing that which He hates. It starts by dwelling on the things of God–fixing my mind on heavenly things, thereby drawing a deeper division between myself and the things that are not of God. It starts by not being afraid to use the word “hate” in the first place. It starts by loving that which He loves: justice and righteousness.
It starts by acknowledging that hate is not a bad word, because when we hate what the Lord hates, haters are welcome.