"I will never let another man ruin my life by making me hate him." —George Washington Carver
"DON'T MESS WITH ME ABOUT HATE FOR TRUMP!" (emphasis mine) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vehemently warned an inquiring reporter at her recent press conference. He and millions of citizens share the same question, "Do you hate President Trump?" as we watch loathing being expressed by a parade of politicians and left-leaning professors testifying as scholarly academics, supposedly imparting objective, erudite insights intended to oust our duly elected president.
It's a tragedy and a travesty. The overwhelming majority of Americans aren't watching the proceedings as USA Today reports our collective concern regarding what's happening with the front page headline, "Divided We Fall?" (Dec. 5, 2019). "But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another" (Gal. 5:15).
Scripture describes a people whose "'throats are an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit'; 'the poison of vipers is under their lips'; 'their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.' 'Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their paths; and they do not know the way of peace.' 'There is no fear of God before their eyes'" (Rom. 3:13-18).
This is a panoramic overview of multitudes in America today. Sad to say this is a description of many of our highest-ranking political leaders and even some professing Christians we may find ourselves interacting with over the holidays. One group openly and proudly identify themselves as "Trump haters."
I read a terribly slanted column and TV interview by a Catholic journalist and former speech writer for Ronald Reagan conveying misleading comments on the impeachment inquiry, seemingly gleeful at the possibility the reputation of Donald Trump could be destroyed. When she finished the TV spot, a commentator I've trusted the most for 20 years said, "Of course she makes these statements; she's a Trump hater!"
I caution her: "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him" (Prov. 24:17-18a).
What's Happening to America?
—We hear these kinds of remarks every day. Has this become some kind of "merit badge" people proudly wear in our culture?
—Have we drifted so far from our core values of respect, civility and honor towards individuals and leaders with whom we differ that we must lower ourselves to embarrassing levels of contempt, disdain and vitriolic name-calling?
—Have we become so accustomed to profanity-laced attacks, rage and insults corroding our public discourse that we simply shrug our shoulders, wince and think, Well, that's just the way it is in America today? I strongly encourage you, your older family members and church to see the film No Safe Places, which awakens viewers to the seriousness of this development.
In a similar seriously divided time in our history, President Abraham Lincoln said, "With malice toward none," meaning there should be no intention to harm others, "and with charity for all," meaning we should help everyone truly in need.
A few years ago, former First Lady Michelle Obama challenged us, "When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No. Our motto is 'When they go low, we go high.'" But today, former Attorney General Eric Holder says, "The new Democratic motto should be 'When they go low, we should kick them!'"
Mild-mannered, "Mr. Rogers-like" Cabinet member and committed Christian Ben Carson finally had enough of the ongoing hate-spewing fulminations of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. He wrote her, "My mother always taught me that people shouldn't throw rocks ... Basic manners elude you."
Time for a Turnaround
Before we plummet to more dangerous levels of animus and hostility engendering the brewing societal Civil War, we must stop the incendiary rhetoric and remind ourselves how seriously God views this escalating hatred. It's demonically inspired, unacceptable, designed to destroy the fabric of our nation, and it is serious sin.
Kanye West recently stood next to Joel Osteen and emphasized how God is love and positive and brings prosperity and loves everybody! I say a hearty "Amen!", but multitudes also need to remember that God's love also entails holiness, justice and wrath.
Almighty God hates sin! He is long-suffering but eventually, though not always immediately, will judge it and punish those who habitually practice it. He's especially sensitive to those identifying as Christians yet hypocritical with hateful speech. "If anyone among you seems to be religious and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain" (James 1:26).
God hates sin because it's contrary to His nature; it separates us from Him; and it ultimately brings destruction to those He loves. Like a father who hates a deadly rattlesnake threatening the life of his child or a mother who hates a venomous spider inching toward her baby, God displays holy hatred towards sin and will punish those practicing it.
The ultimate demonstration of His love came when He poured out His wrath on Jesus, His Son, punishing Him in our place so we could be pardoned if we repent and trust Him and His finished work for forgiveness and redemption.
Highlighting God's Word on Hatred
- "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you" (Luke 6:27-28).
- "If anyone says 'I love God' and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" (1 John 4:20).
- "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him" (1 John 3:15).
- "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outbursts, and blasphemies, with all malice, be taken away from you" (Eph. 4:31).
- "Repay no one evil for evil ... If it is possible as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves ...'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord" (Rom.12:17a;18-19).
Romans 12:21 directs, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." All season, Heisman candidate Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma) competed with Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), yet when Tua's injury eliminated him, Jalen wrote: "It hurt me to hear it. I'm praying for him ... I hope everything works out!" And when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un attacked Joe Biden as a "rabid dog," our president defended the former vice president: "Mr. Chairman, he's not that... He is actually better than that!"
6 Things God Hates
Proverbs 6:16-19 identifies 6 areas God hates because they bring enormous harm to individuals, marriages, families, relationships, reputations, careers and society itself. Think for a moment the devastation you've seen because people disregard God's commands and sin in these areas.
2. Lying tongue.
3. Hands shedding innocent blood.
4. Devising wicked imaginations.
5. Feet rushing to evil.
6. False witness speaking lies.
7. Sowing discord [emphasis mine].
God wants to protect us from the devastation accompanying these sins. He also wants to protect us from the ultimate consequence for rebellion: eternal judgment.
Judgment Day and Divine Justice
Anyone dismissing the warnings of Scripture regarding hatred should be sobered by the reality of a coming Judgment Day and what follows. Jesus told us that each of us will stand before His throne (2 Cor.5:10) to give an account for every careless word we've ever spoken (Matt.12:36) whether directly, in secret, on social media or even in the halls of Congress. Defamatory accusations, lying, slander, deceitful statements, character assassination, gossip, mockery, profanities and the like will all be adjudicated with no provision for plea-bargaining or other legal technicalities.
Jesus warned us of the reality of eternal judgment. Hell is real, and real people go there whether they're a politician, celebrity, billionaire or average person. He told us hell was created for the devil and his demons, but if people do not repent and reject the provision of the gospel, they receive the just penalty for their sins.
4 Truths About Hell
From the very lips of Jesus came four sobering facts regarding the dreadfulness of damnation (Matt. 25:41-46).
1. Total separation from God.
2. Association with Satan, demons and history's lost souls.
3. Unimaginable punishment.
4. Never-ending sentence for all eternity.
Here's the Deal: Trusting in the sacrificial, substitutionary death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ rescues us from the wrath to come. He was the happiest person to ever live and beckons us to experience an abundant life of gladness, peace and freedom, living under His lordship, which includes not hating anyone.
God spoke over His Beloved Son: "You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions" (Heb.1:9). May He say the same over us!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35).
The identifying mark of true Christians is crystal clear. Let's light the way as we pray for those walking in darkness.
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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