Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Why Christians hate


This morning, Kelly asked the world on Facebook: “Why do deeply religious people hate Halloween? Honestly, not all of us are in a cult. It’s just having fun. Freedom of religion is good, but I think you’re going overboard.”

And In reply to her comment, someone named Shawn said: ‘Why do the so called "loving" Bible thumpers HATE anything? Why do they insist upon trying to tell people how to run their lives instead of concentrating on the principles of love, imperfection, and forgiveness? ...questions I have been asking for years! Hypocrites every one!’

Well, Shawn, I have no idea what you mean by 'the principle of imperfection,' but I agree that there are a whole lot of hypocrites out there trying to pass themselves off as Christians. 

And I apologize if I’ve ever tried to tell you how to run your life.

However, I am one of those people who HATE Halloween. Does being a Christian really mean I’m not supposed to hate anything?

Not at all. Here’s what the Bible says about us hating things:
  •  “[There is] a time to love, and a time to hate.” (Ecclesiastes 3:8)
  •  “You who love Yahweh, hate evil.” (Psalms 97:10)
  •  “Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment… Jehovah, the God of hosts, will be gracious unto [You].” (Amos 5:15)
Now, it's true, those are all pre-Christian texts. Does the New Testament teach the same standard for Christians? Yes:
  •  “Hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
  •  “To others show pity, but with caution, hating the very clothing polluted by their touch.” (Jude 23)
Notice there is no approval of hating people; that certainly is not for Christians. Nor are Christians ever justified in adopting an attitude of superiority toward others. The principle of that text in Jude is that you can hate practices without hating the person committing them.

According to the Bible, even God hates. And, unlike us imperfect humans, God can read people’s hearts, so He hates not only bad practices, but, in some cases, the people who do them:
  •  “The Lord …hates the lover of violent acts.” (Psalms 11:5)
  •  “I the LORD love justice, I hate robbery and wrong.” (Isaiah 61:8)
  •  “Do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the LORD." (Zechariah 8:17)
  •  “’I hate divorce,’ says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘and him who covers his garment with violence!'” (Malachi 2:16)
Actually, the Bible lists dozens of things God hates, including lying, scheming to cause hurt to others, and pride. His followers are expected to hold the same standards. “O LORD, do I not hate those who hate You? And am I not grieved with those who rise up against You?” (Psalms 139:21)

This idea that God - and by extension, a Christian - is some all-loving, all-forgiving namby pamby poindexter who is all about sweetness and light and love, is self-serving slop from false Christians who don't want to believe that God has any requirements for humans.

So, that said, is it proper or improper for Christians to HATE Halloween? That will be the subject of my next column.

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