After the shooting in Aurora Colorado there was talk of “hate”. It was used in the media and in water cooler conversation. I noticed it but didn’t reflect on it at that time. Then a seemingly inconsequential comment about a Christian supporting traditional definition of marriage suddenly explodes. Since he supports traditional marriage between one man and one woman, according to some guy I heard in passing on satellite radio news, he now is a “hate-filled bigot”. Really. Just because you support marriage between one man and a woman makes you a bigot and hate filled?
I have read a number of accounts of homosexuals that have worked for the big fast food chain and they said it was a wonderful loving place to work. Doesn’t that sum it up? As Christians, we are called to love one another. The only thing above that is to love Christ.
I believe that language is where there is such a disconnect. Have the one who supports traditional definition of marriage give you the definition of “Love”, “Hate” and “Sin”. I bet they will be markedly different than the definitions given by the one that called him a “hate-filled bigot”.
This is a quote about HATE from the Catholic Bible Dictionary by Scott Hahn
HATE “Hate” in the Bible has a broad range of meanings. It sometimes means “love less” or “not love,” as we see when the Lord loves Jacob but “hates” Esau (Mal 1:3) or when a husband “hates” his wife because he no longer loves her (Deut 21:15, 22:13, 24:3; Judg 11:7; cf. Gen 29:31; Mal 2:16). In other places, “hate” may imply genuine loathing (Gen 26:27; Lev 19:17; Deut 19:11; Judg 11:7; 2 Sam 13:22; 1 Kgs 22:8). Hatred of a family member was forbidden by the Law (Lev 19:17).
When speaking of God, “hate” was used in anthropomorphic descriptions, as we see in his love of Jacob and hatred for Esau. The image of God “hating” describes the insuperable gulf between God and idolatry (Deut 12:31, 16:22; Jer 44:4), injustice (Isa 61:8; Jdt 5:17), and especially sin and sinners (Num 10:35; Deut 7:15, 33:11; Ps 5:6; Hos 9:15; Sir 27:24).
In the New Testament, acceptance of the Gospel entails a conflict between love and hate in a way largely unknown in the Old Testament, as seen especially in 1 John. Christians must hate the life of sin and love Jesus more than everything and everyone else (Matt 10:37; Luke 14:26). Christians must love those who hate them (Luke 6:27), and must understand that the world will hate them (Matt 10:22; 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 6:22, 27; 21:17) because the world hates Jesus (John 7:7; 15:18).
Take Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26. In Matthew Jesus tells us “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Now contrast this with Luke where Jesus tells us “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.” Aren’t they saying the same thing? This use of “hate” harkens back to the “love less” definition from above.
I see Christians use this version of hate and I cannot recall someone in support of same sex union ever use “hate” in this way. As Christians we must take all of scripture and use it to form our lives. We believe the Old Testament is clearly Scripture, and we also have to remember that Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament and establish a new covenant with His people. His people in the Old Testament were those that were circumcised and held fast to the law of Moses. His people in the New Testament are those who repent, believe and are baptized. We no longer need to be circumcised and follow the law of Moses to be saved. We must, however, have faith (Lk7:50), profess Jesus is Lord (Acts 2:21), believe He is Lord (Acts 16:31), hope in the Lord (Rom 8:24) and finally be baptized (1 Pet 3:21). There are other verses, but these give a good snapshot of salvation.
When the Christian reads Romans 1:26-27, he knows this is the Word of God and that it must be held as truth. Therefore when someone talks about homosexual acts, the Christian treats it as sin. Romans 12:9-21 tells us “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Notice how everything is positive in this passage. The little phrase “hate what is evil” must be a positive also. This entire section talks about how we are to practice love. The “hate what is evil” is how we practice love also.
As people who profess to be followers of God, we must love Him and learn about Him all our lives. Remember salvation is a process and while we are striving to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” we must question the items of faith and allow God to settle those questions with his Word and the traditions that the apostles have passed down. He HAS saved us – Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. He IS saving us – 2 Cor. 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. He WILL save us – 1 Peter 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.