October 14, 2015
The meaning of “hateful” has been distorted in our time.
There are people who make a profession of being offended. When someone speaks things that other people do not want to hear, those people will describe the speaker as hateful. That response implies the person making the accusation has known the speaker long enough to have observed his motivations and manner of life. It implies that the only way to respect and care for you is to agree with everything you believe and do.
We love our preferences. We obsess over them. We prefer one “community” of persons, and despise another. Our politicians foster class warfare and lift some artificially created classes above others, and pit them against one another.
God is “no respecter of persons”
He does not “prefer” anybody. What He prefers is humility over pride – obedience over rebellion. He prefers acts of righteousness over acts of sin.
Pride is the core issue
God is repelled by pride. He is drawn deeply to humility. Some people who call themselves Christians exhibit traits of pride, and God hates that. There may be a few atheists who exhibit humility (although most things I have read and heard spoken by atheists ooze pride). God does not prefer the attitude and behavior of humans who self-worship.
Jesus Was Not Nice
“Blasphemy!” you say. Does that surprise you? We have a fuzzy frilly definition of nice. Jesus was good, holy, and kind, but not “nice”. Not how it’s meant now.
The current cultural definition of hateful seems to mean that a person should never be able to speak something with which eager-to-be-offended person does not agree, should never make any claim to truth, and should accept any and all behaviors and ideas as equally legitimate. (This is not to deny that a person speaking the truth can be hateful in his attitude. Attitude makes a big difference.)
Here are some examples of things that Jesus spoke, which would surely be considered offensive or hateful today.
“Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort. Woe to you who are now full, for you will be hungry. Woe to you are now laughing, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the false prophets.”
“You unbelieving and rebellious generation! How long will I be with you and put up with you?”
“Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will go down to Hades!”
“Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters.”
“This generation is an evil generation.””Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil. Fools!”
“Do you think that I came here to give peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on, five in one household will be divided: three against two, and two against three.”
Finally, he called Herod, the political ruler of his day, a “fox”. Of course, Jesus said many other things that were kind and gracious. He was whole in every way. Yet, He did not concern Himself with whether He was offending anyone. Someone please point out to me even one time He was concerned about that.
Today we have Oprah-fied spirituality, thinking of everyone in the spiritual sense as “children of God”. Not so.
As to being a children of God: in a generic sense, since all have been created by Him – including those who would spit in His very face – in that generic sense maybe we could be called His children. We are His creation.
Here is what the book of John says: “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.”
Jesus said that no one could come to the Father but through Himself. Those who try to find other ways are actually “thieves and robbers”, not his children.
Jesus himself issued that offensive statement.
We need to to define what true kindness is, and what actual hatefulness is. My parents used to talk about people who “wear their feelings on their sleeves”.
The affliction has become an epidemic.