Sep. 22, 2016

Can we say, "Hate?"

We need to hate the things God hates remembering that God does not hate people. The Bible is clear on what upsets God:

Proverbs 6:16-19 tell us what the Lord rejects, “There are six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that are quick to run to evil, the false witness who utters lies, and the one who sows discord among kindred.”

Notice God does not hate the person; God detests the behavior.

Haughty eyes – Can we say, “Ego?”  The Biblical definition of haughty eyes is “blatant arrogance; setting oneself above others.” Remember, God hates that.

A lying tongue – You would think this would be cut and dry. God always sees every side to every story. An example is how God dealt with Rahab the prostitute. She told a lie; yet, she was mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy. So, is the Bible contradicting itself as so many agnostics claim? Absolutely not. God in His infinite wisdom, seeing all parts of life’s puzzle, understood Rahab lied to protect God’s mission. Many missionaries in foreign lands operate underground. In a sense, they are “lying,” but in God’s mind they are expanding His kingdom with spiritual truth. A lying tongue that seeks to harm instead of to help makes God really angry. Can we say, “Tell the truth just to be safe?”

Hands that shed innocent blood – Can we say “abortion?” We are going to have to answer to the hundreds of thousands of babies that have been snuffed out before birth. However, I do not think for one minute that God holds the pregnant woman solely responsible. Someone is impregnating her and escaping responsibility. Someone is taking her money to rid society of an “unwanted pregnancy.” As I’ve said before, Jesus waits for these babies with open arms and they live with Him in much more promising circumstances than what life has to offer but we will all eventually answer to our personal contribution to allowing hands to continue shedding innocent blood. And, of course, there is murder and genocide. Mankind has a lot to answer to, don’t we?

A heart that plots wicked schemes – Can we say, “Politics?” I refer to political parties when I examine this issue that sends God’s loving heart into hateful territory. While I am kidding, sort of, I also know that our desire to uphold evil and promote inappropriate behavior is something that makes God’s blood boil. God calls us to a mission of mercy and a lifestyle of love. His mission, not someone’s platform, is where all of our time, energy, and resources should be directed.

Feet that are quick to run to evil – Can we say, “Violent protests?” God does not excuse the behavior that launches the protests but He certainly does not ignore the stupidity that erupts in the midst of protests. Violence begets violence. Maybe we aren’t involved in crime or violence, but if we are spending our time where evil rules, we might just want to examine this verse more intently. If my desired lifestyle leads me on a path to somewhere that does not represent God’s goodness, I fall into the running feet category. This is where my mother taught me that “we can run from God, but we cannot hide from God.”

The false witness that utters lies – Could I rant about this one?  God, however, didn’t call me to rant; He called me to preach. Somehow current Christianity has forgotten that God lumps sin into one big category. We want to condemn certain sins that we classify as “deplorable,” but let’s look at who God plans to toss into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation 21:8, “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

So, next time we are tempted to throw stones at someone else’s sin, we might just want to check and see if our favorite sin made God’s hit list.

The one who sows discord among the kindred – Can we say, “Test the spirits?” Disagreement and confrontation do not necessarily denote sowing discord. I may say something that makes you uncomfortable or something that you don’t agree with but not be sowing discord in God’s family. This is referring to Christian-on-Christian pettiness. Instead of focusing on what we see differently, God wants us to focus on what we have in common which is Christ.

Keep in mind that God is love, but He hates dangerous attitudes and behavior. He still reaches out to us in our sin as an act of redemption. Can we say, “The Apostle Paul?” Saints are merely sinners who have been forgiven.