The Organism vs. The Cell
Can We Hate What God Hates and Still Love Those Whom God Commands Us To Love?
Consider the following passages, amongst many:
Psalm 139:21-22 “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”
Psalm 35:1-10 “Plead [my cause], O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. 2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. 3 Draw out also the spear, and stop [the way] against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I [am] thy salvation. 4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. 5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase [them]. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. 7 For without cause have they hid for me their net [in] a pit, [which] without cause they have digged for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who [is] like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
Now ask yourself this question, “is it biblical to hate fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, the passive and dominant members of homosexual relationships, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, will-worshippers (e.g. Arminians, Semipelagians, Romanists, other Sacramentalists, Arians, Judaizers, etc.), and any and all other groupings that God, Himself, designates as being sinful, abominable, and evil? The answer is absolutely yes! The Christian is indeed thoroughly just in hating all whom God hates and for judging such as being rightfully under the wrath of God.
However, the Christian is both commanded and exhorted to “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.” The question then arises, “how can I justly hate all those whom God hates whilst simultaneously loving my enemy?” The answer given in this article will only partially address the matter; I want to focus in on one very specific aspect of it only, and that is the distinction between the organism and the cells that make up that organism.
I can collectively hate all that oppose God; I can break it down further and collectively hate each group that is described as being under the hatred and wrath of God; but what I cannot do is hate, individually, all those who are a part of the very group that I can justly hate. So I can hate the grouping (I can hate drunkards, drug addicts, fornicators, idolators, the sexually immoral, the violent, the abusers of others, cheats and liars, etc.), and readily do so, but I am called to love the individuals within those groups, especially those whom God providentially brings into my life. Indeed, I am not called to hate them, condemn them, play the Pharisee and say unto them “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou” [Isaiah 65:5]; no, I am called to love them. I am called to wish the very best for them (namely, salvation through Christ Jesus the Lord), to pray for them, and to otherwise agape them; that is, to love them in this specific manner: to do unto them, and to treat them, as God specifically commands that I should do unto them, and treat them.
Yet, the shame of it all is that I fall woefully short in this regard. To pray for, bless, and do good unto those that are our enemies takes grace, much grace; if we have not this grace in sufficient quantities, it is because we ask not (for we have not because we have not, the Bible declares). We should at least be as ready to pray for, and bless, those whom we oppose than we are to criticise and rebuke them, if not more so (for if the Christian doesn’t pray for them, who will? Seeing that the answer is “no one” given that God does not hear the prayers of the (judicially) wicked but only hears the prayers of His people, the just, who have been made righteous not by their own works but by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ imputed to them).
The Christian must be willing to love, pray for, and bless every individual God brings their way; if we are not, we have ample reason to believe that our hearts are not as they ought to be, and that we should run quickly to the throne of grace, for grace, to be reminded of the forgiveness, mercy, and grace we received, and for the strength to forgive, be merciful to, and to deal graciously with others, even our enemies, in light of the mercy bestowed upon us… But how hard is it sometimes, many times, when in the thick of things, to truly (agape) love those who habitually do not do right, that do not serve God and Truth, and that do not do honourably or justly. It is hard indeed, but grace overcomes such hardships, which is why we need it all the more, and in abundance.
The truth is that, were an accurate mirror held up before us, we would see that in the eyes of others, and perhaps even in our own eyes (if we are given spiritual eyes to see), we are just as guilty, if not more so, than those whom we tend to judge. This is why grace, the sovereign grace of God, and the sovereign mercy of God is so vital, so utterly important. This is why the blood that cleanseth from all sin is so important, even the blood that represents the entirety of the finished, substitutionary, atoning, and redeeming work of Christ, on the cross, on behalf of His people, even all who have been given the effectual and irresistible grace to repent and to believe upon His Name, by God-wrought, God-gifted faith..
So in conclusion, let every group, every collective body, that God hates, be hated by us as well. Let us indeed hate the organism that God despises. However, every individual, every person God brings our way, every cell of whatever evil organism God identifies and condemns, let us not play the role of God, let us not condemn them, let us not hate them, nor curse them, but let us do what our Father calls us to do (if we be Christ’s) and that is to love, bless, pray for, and to do good unto them, without respect of persons. The highest form of this display of (agape) love is witnessing, as God opens the door of opportunity for us to so do. However, serving, aiding, guiding, admonishing, reproving, comforting, exhorting, informing, etc., all in the biblical sense, are likewise needful aspects of fulfilling the Heavenly Father’s command. If, like me, you struggle with the ability to truly love and bless those who do much wrong (whether really or in our own biased eyes), then let us encourage one another, and pray for one another, that we may first seek God, seek His will, seek His kingdom, and that we may beseech Him for the grace, wisdom, patience, faith, and zeal necessary to do that which He commands, even that which pleases Him. Only He can supply it, but let us ask for it, and never stop asking for it, even for more and more of it, during the entirety of our sojourn here on this fallen earth.
I hope this message, written more as a reminder for myself, than for anyone else, is of benefit.
To God be the glory, Amen!