=jason,May 29 2011, 04:54 PM]
sadly most christians arent able to grasp basic theology. and we wonder why our american churches are in such decline. etertain rather than build up and exhort.
i see your point most christian music is that way. one song in particular has a line that is close to this. i am judas isachariot and you still loved me. really? repentance makes one a child of God. not God's love alone.
Mark and Jason,
We can look at this dilemma in two ways--logically and Biblically.
Logically first: We have the free will (delegated to us by God) to love or hate, to reject or deny. Free choice or free will is the freedom to do otherwise. Why did not give us this free will? This morning I and my grandson had an in-depth talk on this.
I explained to him that love must be given freely. I cherish my wife's love because she is free to love another. But she chose me. I can program my computer to say "I love you." but it has not value or meaning. When my granddaughter says, "I love you, Grandpa." I melt.
Man having free will has consequences--good and bad. When God gave us free will, this is a big risk on His part. But having one Abraham trust and love Him is worth the risk--as God sees it. I wouuld rish much hate to have my Granddaughter's love. Also, freewill allows man to do great harm to others--murder, rape, theft, false witness. I explained to my grandson that when he see's evil in the world, do not attribute it to God; rather attribute it to evil men who freely choose to do evil.
Now having said all that, for some strange reason, we deny God the same freedom that He has granted to us--the freedom to hate or love, reject or accept. But logically, if God is simply a preordained God who is locked in to the future, we wrongly deny that God has freedom to hate.
We do this with the concept of God sinning. Many theologicans teach that God can't sin. But it takes no faith to trust a God that can't do otherwise. We should trust God that He will not sin rather than He can't sin. If God can't sin, then Jesus' temptation in the wilderness has no meaning. But the Bible says that Jesus was "tempted in all ways." Jesus did not bow His knee to Satan because He freely elected to show worship to the Father rather than to Satan. Jesus could have given in the temptation.
Where do we get this? This is a spill-over from Calvinism. But we must attribute this concept of a stagnant God to Augustine and the Greek philosphers who influenced him. Calvinish, carried to its extremes, denies that God can even be touched by love. From Augustine on, a required course for the clergy was Greek philosophy which introduced Greek fatalism into the church. Even C.S. Lewis, a Greek scholar was seduced, for he wrote in his book "Miracles," "We correctly deny that God has passions..." (Miracles, p148, 1996, HarperSanFrancisco). Lewis got this from Plato and not from the Bible.
Now Biblically: The following is what I gave to my Baptist minister. He did not accept it. The cliche trumped Scripture.
HATE THE SIN BUT LOVE THE SINNER
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hate the sin but love the sinnerÃ¢â‚¬Â is probably the most quoted Bible verse next to Ã¢â‚¬Å“Judge not.Ã¢â‚¬Â Even unbelievers know these verses. But, and this is a big but, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hate the sin but love the sinnerÃ¢â‚¬Â is not to be found in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word. This quote comes from Hindu teaching and was first said by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was a fool and is now in Hell awaiting judgment. We Christians should not look to him for wisdom.
Ambassadors for Christ
Paul warns us that we are Ã¢â‚¬Å“ambassadors for Jesus Christ.Ã¢â‚¬Â If we are to represent Him, then we should present the true Jesus Christ and not a Christ we think He should be. When we read JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“Woe to you PhariseesÃ¢â‚¬Â rebuke, we should know that we are not dealing with a Barney Fife. When we read Jesus saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bring those enemies of mine here before Me and slay them with the sword,Ã¢â‚¬Â we should fear and know that He is not lopping off the sin. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lopping off heads!
Love and Hate
God gave us the free will to either love Him or hate Him. One canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the will to love without also having the will to hate. Does not God also have free willÃ¢â‚¬â€to love or hate? God could have created robots with no ability to choose. But then love would be meaningless. I value my wifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s love because she is free to love another. But, she chose me.
Does God Hate?
GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word says that you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t separate man from his sin (except through Jesus Christ): Ã¢â‚¬Å“As a man thinks in His heart, so is heÃ¢â‚¬Â (Prov. 23:7). And God hates the sin before itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s committed. Contrary to what Gandhi believes, God hates the wicked. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s look at a few of GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s
Ã¢â‚¬Å“God hates all workers of iniquityÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ps. 5:5).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful manÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ps. 5:6).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The wicked and the one who loves violence [God] hatesÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ps. 11:5).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The face of the Lord is against those who do evilÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ps. 34:16).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“God loves righteousness and hates wickednessÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ps. 45:7)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Lord hates a heart that devises wicked plans, a false witness, one who sows discord among the brethrenÃ¢â‚¬Â (Prov. 6:16-19).
God reminds us, Ã¢â‚¬Å“All wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no moreÃ¢â‚¬Â (Ho. 9:13).
And Moses wrote of God: If you do not obey Me, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My soul shall abhor youÃ¢â‚¬Â (Lev. 26:27-30).
But That Was the Old Testament
As Bob Enyart teaches, some Christians today think that God was a mean old God in the Old Testament, but then He went to Government Sensitivity Training and became nice in the New Testament. And Christians today are trying to be nicer than God. But the word nice is not in the Bible. Christians should never ponder as to what Jesus would say or do. Rather we should read our Bibles and see what He actually said and did.
Jesus was the Rock of offence. John the Baptist, having a bad day, sent his disciples to Jesus to ask, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Are you the Christ or should we look for another?Ã¢â‚¬Â Jesus said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Tell John that the lame walk, the blind see, and many are offended.Ã¢â‚¬Â When the Pharisees asked Jesus, Ã¢â‚¬Å“By what authority do you do these things?Ã¢â‚¬Â, He refused to answer their question. Realize also that included in the answer to their question was salvation. He withheld it from them because their hearts were hard. When His disciples said that the Pharisees were offended, He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Leave them alone. They are the blind leading the blind. . .Ã¢â‚¬Â When He came walking on the water to His apostles in the boat, Scripture says that Ã¢â‚¬Å“He would have walked on by themÃ¢â‚¬Â because they deemed Him to be a spirit. They did not believe that Jesus could walk on water (after seeing all His miracles). He purposely offended His disciples when He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Drink my blood and eat my flesh.Ã¢â‚¬Â He was telling them that for centuries they were eating the Passover lamb and He was the true Passover Lamb. His parables were turned road signs to confuse hard hearts. When the Pharisees walked away confused, He left them in their confused state. If they asked Him to explain a parable, He explained. His word was for Ã¢â‚¬Å“those with ears to hear and eyes to see.Ã¢â‚¬Â He called Gentiles Ã¢â‚¬Å“dogsÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“swine.Ã¢â‚¬Â
What is hypocritical love? The Bible answer is, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Should you love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon youÃ¢â‚¬Â (2 Chr. 19:2). Warning the wicked of the coming judgment is harsh, but is a necessary component of acceptable love. A love that is not hypocritical rebukes and condemns, and then points to Jesus Christ.
Paul also warns, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let your love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil.Ã¢â‚¬Â Love is a precious commodity that should not be squandered. The lips that profess love for God should not in the next breath profess love for an unrepentant H*mos*xual molester of young boys. This type of love profanes God: Ã¢â‚¬Å“You call good evil and evil good.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“You put those to death who should be kept alive and keep alive those who should be put to death.Ã¢â‚¬Â If you love everybody, then your love becomes meaningless. If we gave the Medal of Honor to all soldiers, then it would no longer merit a salute.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hate the sin but love the sinnerÃ¢â‚¬Â is a clichÃƒÂ©. Cliches should not take precedent over GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word. But, sadly, they do.