Sunday, November 23, 2014

Does God Hate

Does God Hate
November 24, 2014
Revelation 2:6  "But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."

I saw a group of demonstrators, as they were caught on camera for the whole world to see, and they held signs declaring what they were demonstrating.  One sign read: "God Hates [Homosexuals]."  The group who was demonstrating had identified themselves as a Christian group, associated with a specific Bible believing church.  As I watched their demonstration, their choice of chants, the terms in their slogans, I sank in my chair and became embarrassed.  Regardless of my views on homosexuality, I was disappointed and ashamed to be called a Christian alongside those same demonstrators.  We both carry the same badge in the name of Christianity, but we are far from the same type of Christian.  It is correct, homosexuality is spoken against in the Bible as a sin, but no where in the Bible does it say that "God hates [homosexuals]."  But lets take a closer look at the word "hate" and how it IS used in the Bible, because the word "hate" is used in connection with the Lord.

The Lord declared that He hated Esau.  Esau hated the Lord's ways and as evidenced by the Lord's actions toward Esau, the Lord did actually hate a specific person.  After Esau, there were disobedient Israelites in the desert.  The Lord, as evidenced by His actions in putting them to death, hated them, too, using those specific words. Then throughout the book of Psalms and Proverbs, the Lord is described as someone who truly despises and even hates certain practices, hating those who indulge in those practices as well.  This might suggest that God is a hater, but really and truly it is only out of disgust for the evil practices that God demonstrates such feelings.  The Bible never teaches that the Lord is a God of hate.

This would lead one to assume the Lord is a bigot, but not so.  The term bigot is to assign hatred on a random basis, based upon personal preferences.  He is a God of love who cannot tolerate detestable practices.  He hates sin and loves righteousness.  He is very fair and just and clear about it, giving us all full warning of His directives.  It is not random if we chose to indulge in practices which He detests.  The Lord gives full warning as to which actions He does not like.  If we indulged in such actions, then it is safe to assume, in the least, He hates our specific actions as well.  Does this mean we are hated by the Lord?  This is a question I will not answer, as it is the Lord's decision to make.  Let no man lead a campaign of hate, only a mission of compassion motivated out of love.  And any such mission of compassion must be backed by the full message of the Gospel, regardless.

The Lord instructs, actually mandates, us to love our neighbor and if we hate anyone we are in violation of the Lord's will.  To proclaim that God hates anyone is putting words in the mouth of the Lord.  I was not appointed spokesman for God and doubt there are many, if any, appointed spokesmen currently alive.  To declare whom the Lord likes or dislikes, loves or hates, is not for me or anyone else to suggest.  All we can do is teach the Word of the Lord found in Scripture and do so in a loving manner, regardless of how it may or may not offend.  Period.  Adding to it or taking away from it is misquoting the Lord and therefore a condemnable action as well.  The Bible teaches that God is Love and to suggest anything otherwise is a false teaching.  Let the Lord determine in His own mind on such matters and stick to teaching the Word of the Lord in a manner consistent with righteousness and gentleness.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Deut 9:28, Deut 16:22, Ps 11:5, Pro 6:16, Is 1:13-15, Hos 9:15, Mal 1:2-5, Lk 6:27, Rom 9:12-14, 1 John 2:9-11

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