YOU CAN’T TRULY LOVE UNLESS YOU HATE
Just as there needs to be a balance between love and holiness, so there must be a balanced understanding of love and hate. This is especially true in the cultural war of “gay rights.”
One major cause of the gay community’s madness, and even the displeasure of some professing Christians toward Biblically sound views of homosexuality, is what they perceive as a lack of love in addressing and even accepting this sinful behavior. There is this smug arrogance among some people today, many of whom are half my age or younger, who claim to be such experts in love. Ironically, it’s these same proponents of love who vehemently curse and ridicule those who are outspoken in expressing Biblical views of homosexuality.
Human love is so fickle. This natural kind of conditional love is always based on what it can get. It loves only those who love them. But God’s love is unconditional. He loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom. 5:8). He loves sinners today. He loves homosexuals, even those who stick their nose up at Him and defame His name. It is His infinite mercy and long-suffering, along with His desire that none perish, that allows Him to wait for repentance (2 Pt. 3:9).
People, even good Christian folks, forget that the same Jesus who loves all mankind and is moved with compassion is also the One who rebukes sin, pride, and hypocrisy, and speaks the truth without compromise. He laid down many judgments in the Scriptures upon those who rejected Him and who refused to come to repentance and obedience.
Let us not forget that it was Jesus who said, “He who does not believe will be condemned” (Mk. 16:16). Does that sound like love? How can a loving God let people be condemned? They reject His words.
He also said this: “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk. 13:3). Does that sound like love? Again, would a compassionate God let people perish? If they do not repent, yes. What do people need to repent of? Sin and all that is displeasing to God and in opposition to His moral laws. Homosexuality is on that list.
Jesus healed a crippled man and then told him: “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (Jn. 5:14).
Jesus showed mercy to the adulterous woman only after she was ridden with guilt and broken. He will also show mercy to every homosexual who humbles himself in true contrition and acknowledges his sin with a desire to be free. After Jesus showed the adulterous woman mercy and released her from her condemnation, He also commanded her to go and sin no more (Jn. 8:11). This is a wonderful example of grace and law, and mercy and truth working together.
Jesus also displayed anger and pronounced judgments on individuals, groups of people, and nations, even calling them names.
Here are some examples. “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, blind guides, fools and blind, serpents and generation of vipers (snakes)!” (Mt. 23). That’s a lot of name calling right there. Sounds like what people call “hate” today.
In fact, it would do us all good to read Jesus’ judgments upon a wicked and perverse generation in Matthew 23 to set aright our own image of Jesus. His love was not this sentimental, mushy kind of philosophical love that has no hatred for unrighteousness and wickedness. Yes, He is love, but He is also just and holy. Yes, he is merciful, but He is also faithful and true in establishing His judgments.
When we read the Scripture through the lens of psychotherapeutic values of “not hurting others’ feelings” and cultural sensibilities of what is “nice” and “kind” and “polite,” we construct an idolatrous image of God based, again, on how we think and act.
We tend to forget, in this fickle world of ours, that some of the greatest prophets were men who called people to repentance and challenged them to turn to God. And very often, they didn’t mince words.
For example, John the Baptist publicly rebuked Herod, the tetrarch, for his adultery with his brother’s wife (Lk. 3:19). His penalty: Prison and then beheading. His crime? Calling out sin. Sounds like “hate” to modern-day spiritual pacifists.
Truth sounds like hate to those who hate the truth.
What about the following New Testament verses? Notice the directness of these verses I’ve already made reference to how different kinds of sinful behavior are identified and called out.
“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
How do you get around these verses? Note the references to sexual immorality. Fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, and sodomites will not inherit the kingdom of God.
How about this one written to believers?
“But fornication and all uncleanness (includes homosexuality) or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints…For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person (that would include homosexuality), nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Eph. 5:3, 5).
It would behoove some of us to read those verses very slowly.
But here’s the good news. All sinners can change, even homosexuals, just as many of the Corinthians were changed by the power of God.
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11).
Here’s my concern.
The love of many believers seems to be waxing cold because of their desire not to offend anyone but to be accepted by all (Mt. 24:12). This false concept of love as a sentiment of total acceptance, free of the ability to hate, is one of the most popular rationales for which many believers are abandoning the truth and authority of the Scriptures in this hour.
Loving people is certainly a godly virtue, but not at the expense of hating or forsaking truth and righteousness. I’m afraid that the modern definition of love in much of the Church is “being nice.” But “being nice” is not necessarily love. In reality, this could very well be the shallowest form of love, as well as the most deceptive and dangerous.
The Church is so ill-advised in this matter of true love that we will actually damn people’s souls to hell because we’re too “nice” to tell them the truth that could save their souls. True love is willing to go far beyond only being nice, and embrace righteousness and be hated and rejected for speaking the truth.
PEOPLE ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE BIBLICAL JESUS
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The big problem is that we are not familiar with the Biblical Jesus. Too many Christians want a manageable, domesticated Jesus who makes no demands on their time, money, words, social life, or sexuality, but is just nice. In the midst of this great and growing deception, God is looking for uncompromising believers who are full of true love but are also committed to proclaiming the truth that is in Jesus, and not the counterfeit Jesus of Western culture. Too many professing Christians don’t know the real Jesus but are just following the Jesus of the pop culture — the one who shallow and naive Christians have made Him to be.
Loving people is certainly a godly virtue and the most important of all commandments. We need to be measured in pursuing love, and we can “be nice” while doing it but not at the expense of hating or compromising truth and betraying righteousness. The focus of what many call “love” today is based on accommodating people’s ungodly and sinful lifestyles and idiosyncrasies, and frankly, even abominable behavior.
Jesus Christ loved righteousness and hated iniquity or evil (Heb. 1:8-9). A love for God and His righteousness is the foundation of true love. But it is impossible to love God’s righteousness without hating wickedness. No true love can tolerate wickedness. To act indifferent toward wickedness and evil is proof of an absence of a love for righteousness in your life. No morality that fails to hate wickedness has ever known righteousness.
Understand that hate, in itself, is not sin. It all depends on what you hate. Hating wickedness is an attribute of God and, therefore, a godly virtue. Hating righteousness, however, is sin. Hating those who love righteousness is sin. Hating your brother is sin, for it is equated with murder (1 Jn. 3:15). Hating God is, of course, sin.
Human love, which is sympathetic, if not balanced with a hatred for evil and a true love for righteousness, disqualifies the Christian for battle in this cultural war. As I stated, here in America and much of the West, we are in the midst of a huge cultural war and a moral crisis, with homosexuality and gay rights at the center of it, but the greater threat to society and the Church could be this false concept of love.
The perfect balance of love and hate can function only in Jesus Christ and those who are truly His. God’s love is capable of loving sinners without condoning sin. Even we who have children know to love them but also to hate the evils that could damage them.
This is why I hate lying, thievery, murder, rape, adultery, fornication, and homosexuality — because they are evil.
Just as pain is necessary to alert us of danger in our bodies, so is hate a necessary companion to true love.
Jesus loves and Jesus hates. Let us do the same.
FEAR OF REJECTION AND PERSECUTION
This disturbing trend among many Christians today to remain silent concerning the very important moral and cultural issues of our time is hurting the cause of Christianity. In surveying these Christians, I have found that their refusal to provide a clear witness of the gospel boils down to one thing: They fear rejection and persecution. They fear being classified as hateful, bigoted, homophobic, and nasty evangelical idiots.
There is no question we must demonstrate love in presenting the true gospel, especially when we confront the sins of our culture, but my concern is in how we’ve misunderstood the expressions of love and hate. In order to truly love something, you must hate something else. I love righteousness, therefore, I hate sin and wickedness. I love life, therefore, I hate death. I love health and healing, therefore, I hate sickness and disease. I love Jesus Christ, therefore, I hate Satan. I love traditional marriage as God designed it, therefore, I hate gay/same-sex marriage.
There is such a militant aggression in our society today that is demanding that people love and accept others. This new sentiment is shaping public policy and being used as a standard of morality in evaluating people’s behavior. Even many Christians are falling for it, and demonic doctrines and damnable heresies are spreading.
I was recently reading the reviews of one of Dr. Dobson’s books on rearing children. I was shocked at how many so-called Christians were highly critical of his conservative stance on homosexuality and other issues of our times. Here is a couple of them:
1. “Those extremists have no respect from me, and I refuse to be a part of their hate, based on some preacher’s interpretation of the Bible.
2. “I will attend only inclusive churches from now on. I’m taking a stand for equality and love. I’ll choose that over hate and bullying any day.”
3. “There are lots of words I’d use to describe this book and its author, but ‘practical’ is not one of them. Some words I would use would include:bigoted,’homophobic,’ ‘insane,’ ‘illogical,’ ‘silly,’ ‘sexist,’ ‘Nazi-ish,’ and ‘stupid.’”
“This book is so offensive and filled with such hate....”
After reading many such reviews, I realized that most of these readers were particularly offended by one chapter opposing homosexuality, which was based on the scriptures. And these critics were not gay. They were family people, in traditional marriages, interested in learning to raise children.
We are living in a day of which the prophet Isaiah spoke: “So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (Is. 59:14).
One definition of prey is a person or thing that becomes the victim of a hostile person, influence, etc. True Christians will be increasingly victimized by a humanistic culture that deifies man and opposes God’s righteousness and truth. One who stands for God’s righteousness and truth in this hour will be persecuted and hated, and some may even be killed, right here in America. Don’t worry or be fearful, because we are in great company, for, as I stated earlier, Jesus Christ Himself loved righteousness and hated iniquity (evil). He was a perfect Man, and they killed Him.
This godless philosophy that claims a love, respect, and tolerance for everyone without the ability to hate anything is paralyzing many professing Christians from rising up and standing against evil. People have become so objective that they can’t even be stirred to anger against the gross evils that have permeated our society. These are characteristics of a people whom the Bible speaks of as, “ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7).