No, not how to hate Christians. Rather, how to hate as a Christian. For, as we saw yesterday, there is a time to hate (Eccl. 3:8).
But how are we to hate? How are we hate in a Christian manner?
Hate biblically: Personal prejudices and biases must never be the basis for hate. We must hate only what the Bible commands us to hate. While the Bible commands us to hate evil in general (Rom. 12:9; Heb. 1:9), it also gives us specific sins to hate: lying (Prov. 13:5), bribes, (Prov. 15:27), covetousness (Prov. 28:16), false ways (Ps. 119:104), pride and arrogance (Prov. 8:13), etc.
Hate proportionately: Our hate should be proportionate to the offense. We don’t show equal hatred towards playground bullying and murder or rape. Some sins are more dangerous than others, and some are more damaging to society than others. Our moral outrage should reflect the seriousness of the sin.
Hate appropriately: The way we express our hate should fit our role in society. For example, a President expresses his hate of Islamic terrorism in a different way to a private citizen. While a President is authorized by God to use armies to oppose such evil, unless his life is in imminent danger the private citizen opposes evil with prayers and words.
Hate impersonally: Yes, hate the sin but love the person doing the sinning. Hard, very hard, though it may be at times, we must make every effort to separate the sin from the person. Jesus is the perfect example of someone who loves us personally, yet hates our sin with a perfect hatred.
Hate lovingly: Hating a person’s sin is no excuse to treat them rudely or violently. Instead, while opposing their sinful practices and opinions, we must try to do them good in many practical ways (Rom. 12:17-21). We listen to their viewpoint courteously, we answer them reasonably, we don’t insult them or call them names, and we look for opportunities to show practical acts of kindness. We do not defeat evil with evil, but with good. When they shout at us, we don’t retaliate by turning up the volume even higher. We hope they will discover, before it’s too late, that those they presently call “haters” actually love them far more than many who say they love them.
Hate evangelistically: We express disapproval, opposition, and yes even abhorrence towards a person’s conduct in order to convict them of sin, to show them that their lifestyle is offensive to God. But that’s not the end point; rather, it’s only a stepping stone to pointing them to the full and free forgiveness of Jesus Christ. We’re not out to prove them wrong or put them right. We’re out to bring them into the love of God in Christ.
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