Hate evil

For Christians, who are so heavily called to love and who worship a God who is love, it can be hard to grasp the idea of hating anything.  Yet Paul, in listing off exhortations to a Christian life, includes

Abhor what is evil – Romans 12:9

To abhor is to regard with disgust and hatred.  Now, to be clear, this doesn’t say hate who is evil.  There are no New Testament commands that even suggest that we are to hate anyone. On the contrary, Jesus says, 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, – Matthew 5:43-44

With that said, loving our enemies doesn’t mean loving all that they do.  Actually, loving our enemies means hating what they do.  For when we love our children, we hate when they hurt themselves.  When evil people act against God, we should hate that.  Because we love them, we want them to know God and be right with Him.  This is true even of ISIS or Planned Parenthood.  Our desire should be that they be stopped in their tracks in doing these evil deeds and that they would turn to the Savior and be saved.  

So, one reason we hate evil is that it keeps people whom we love from knowing the Lord.  Another reason, if not the supreme reason, is that all evil is against God.  And we love God.  So, we hate all that is against Him.  Loving everything consistent with who God is means hating everything that is inconsistent with who He is.  

And we know that God has designed this universe to function well when people do good, but it deteriorates when people do evil. Take marriage for example.  Healthy marriages, whether of believers or not, are good for an economy.  Economists are concerned that if America abandons marriage altogether, the economy will suffer.  This is not by accident, folks.  

For these reasons, and probably many others, the Christian is to abhor what is evil and 

hold fast to what is good. – Romans 12:9


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