TO LOVE OR HATE THE SINNER?

By Ken Blue
May 23rd, 2018. Filed under: ARTICLES, Bible Studies, Evangelism.

TO LOVE OR HATE THE SINNER?

HAVE YOU HEARD THIS NEW AND NOVEL TEACHING?…THE TEXT

Having lived 80 years and studied the Scriptures over 60 years, I never cease to be amazed at the new and novel teachings that come out every month. One such teaching is that God hates the sinner. The teaching is that the only place God loved the sinner was at the cross. Thus, God hated sinners before the cross and He hates them now. The Scripture cited to prove the hate doctrine is The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” Psalm 5:5. “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19. However, the teaching that God hates sinners is not only false; it leads to greater mischief and division within the body of Christ.

IF GOD HATES SINNERS, DOES IT JUSTIFY OUR HATRED TO BE GOD-LIKE?

I have witnessed several who have fallen for the hate doctrine. Their attitude reflects their false teaching. Their preaching and teaching shows their contempt and disdain toward the lost. However, if God hates sinners, it only stands to reason that to be God-like, we too must hate the sinner. That is the conclusion many who embrace the hate doctrine have come to and do manifest. 

HOW IT IS RESOLVED…? THE USE OF THE WORD “HATE.”

The word “hate” is used many times throughout scripture. Perhaps a look at some of them will help us understand its use.

See the example of Jacob hating Leah. “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.” Genesis 29:31. Dake says, “To hate” is an idiom of preference, not hatred as we understand it. See note, Lk. 14:26. “Hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 [An idiom of preference].

 

The example of Jacob and Esau and the nation of Israel long before the cross. “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.  I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” (Malachi 1:1-3). Dake notes. Lk. 14:25-27, not a term expressing personal malice or jealousy in the sense we’re familiar with. This is the sixth of twelve cases in Scripture where God made the choice of the younger over the older brother. Here it was because of the disposition and attitude toward Him. Esau was a fornicator and destitute of hunger for God in his life (Heb. 12:16-17), while Jacob was the type that loved the Lord and hungered to do his will.” (Not a term expressing personal malice or jealousy in the sense we’re familiar with.

The example of the rich young ruler. “And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” (Mark 10:20-21.) We can safely assume that if Jesus loved this sinner, so did God the Father.  

The example of direct statement that God loved us while we were yet sinners. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8.)

The example of hating father and mother. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:2. a [hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple] An idiom of preference (Mt. 6:24; 10:37; Rom. 9:13; Mal. 1:2-3; Gen. 29:30-31; Dt. 21:15-17). One must prefer God or love Him more than all else to be saved (Mt. 22:37). “God first” is the motto of the Bible.”

 

DO THESE EXAMPLE DESTROY THE FALSE TEACHING TO HATE THE SINNER?

Anyone who will not hear the Word of God and rightly divide it will never be persuaded no matter the proof. We have quoted both Hebrew and Greek scholars. We have shown passages of Scripture that flatly destroy the hate doctrine. Will the argument convince those who embrace that false teaching? Perhaps not. However, we are witnessing the damage this false teaching is doing to the body of Christ. It causes those who teach it to display anger and hatred toward the lost. It fosters a spirit of superiority and pride, and it is a false doctrine no Bible believer should embrace or teach. It should be rejected by all willing to rightly divide the Word of God. Why would God tell us to love enemies and pray for then, if hates them? “ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

 

 

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