Friday, September 21, 2012

Hate is not Holy

Enjoying the free-speech demonstrations and the myriad social viewpoints and opinions of working on a large, liberal university, I've recently been stirred by a series of quotes and pictures on a social media site, all of them under the statement "Hate is not Holy".  The entire series is anti-Christian/anti-conservative in most all of its material.  I am exposed to its images by a friend who continues to post them in agreement with their message and I don't blame my friend one bit.  They are in line with my friend's views and thinking.  In fact, I don't disagree with the statement at all:  "Hate is not Holy".  Many who favor this site's messages have probably been burned by the condemnation and hate of moralistic and judgemental Christians; professing love for Christ while persecuting or ostracizing those who don't fall in line with God's Word or at least their interpretation of it.  How many people have we damaged and pushed toward hell in this manner?

I'll state it again - I agree.   Hate is not Holy.  Hate is never acceptable.  Hate speech is never condoned.  Judging people, putting people down for their moral inferiority, and demeaning others is never a right.  The bizarre paradox is that those who profess this mantra often do not hold to these truths with regards to Christianity.  Tolerance for all but those who profess Christ.  It's not actually bizarre at all when we take Jesus at his word:

"And you will be hated ,despised, by everyone because you bear My name"
Luke 21:17 AMP

We need to recognize that there is a spiritual struggle and that there is a power within those who bear the name of Jesus that all of those in darkness will work to silence, even though they do not themselves understand why or what they work against.

But returning again to the statement - Hate is not Holy.  This mantra has been bouncing in my head for some time now and I ponder its significance.  Never, is there a cause for me to reach out to another human being with anything other than the love of Christ.  Never.  In fact, I'm emphatically warned against the dangers of judging others.  Hatred cannot be a part of my vocabulary, cannot be one of my motivations when acting, it has no place in my life.  This is further buttressed by simple but immutable statements from the Word where Jesus says "Love others as I have loved you".  He didn't say "Judge everybody because I judge everybody".  There is no room for condemnation of others here, only love.

But here is the flip side of this coin...

Hate is not Holy - but Holiness demands purity.  Why do we agree that we should love others publicly but live holy only privately?  Why do we treat these two concepts as oil and water? Have we become so comfortable with society's "tolerance" that we are willing to watch people slip into an eternity filled with the horror of absence of God's life and the presence of every demonic torment suddenly revealed as this mortal body is shed?   It is easy to be moved by the images of starving, dying children.  What of the images of the reality of dying people all around us daily?

"You're being judgemental!"

The very definition of holiness is to be "set apart", "sacred", "pure", "untainted".  Hate is not Holy, but true holiness cannot abide the continuance of that which tarnishes and lessens or else it ceases to be sacred and becomes common - and God, the God who resides within the believer is truly Holy. 

"Who are you to define sin or immoral behavior?  Who are you to define what's 'holy' ?" 

I am no one - I don't have to be - it's not my Word; it's His and God's Word does not change to fit society's whims, passions, or popular agendas.  That is why it has withstood millenia and will withstand until the end of time far beyond this sphere or the heavens.  It is immutable and unchangeable, regardless of how men try to bend it to their use or justification. 

"You're preaching intolerance!" 

If I saw my daughter regularly pushing a needle into her arm, would you fault me for being "intolerant" of the drugs and doing everything within my power to remove her from them for my love of her?  Yet the very things that God's Word has spelled out as trespasses against not only Him, but against our own well-being, things that damage and destroy us, we scream out "INTOLERANT" when someone dares approach with words of life or truth revealing scripture. 

God is intolerant of sin, He is intolerant of death and that which destroys His beloved.  He went to lengths that are unimaginable to keep everyone one of us from said destruction because there is no one, not a single human being who was not headed to the same damnable end.  His work to rescue us from a fate of horror and destruction culminated when He sacrificed the one person that He loved most.  This statement has become so cliche to us in the salvation message that we gloss over when we hear it, but we each need to focus intently on this from time to time.  Picture the person you love the most and amplify that love infinitely then YOU, willingly choose to lose that person by allowing them to be sacrificed to horrors and agonies and then further condemn that person for a race of people who reject you again, and again, and again...all to exchange your beloved's life for theirs'. 

Does this trading of lives agree with you?  He would do it AGAIN.  For you.  For your neighbor next door.  For that belligerent, unpleasant co-worker.  For that obnoxious and overly pious person in authority - the one who's heart you're sure is rotten.  He'd do it again for the murderer, the rapist, the child molester.  He would do it for the man selling little bags of powder on the street corner and the broken woman selling her body to interested men.  His love has no limits and we are commanded to love like He loves.

His love, however, was not free - every drop of blood that spattered from the cat of nine digging into muscle to veins bursting from driven iron spikes was eternally priceless.  Can one now understand that this Holy, Holy, Holy Father and Son who have already reached across eternity and once for all over-provided the sacrifice necessary to remove mankind from a hell-damning sin - can one now see that there is no "compromise" with regards to that which only leads to death and an eternity of separation from Him for His most beloved lost children?

No there is no tolerance for the very thing that killed His son, but because of the sacrifice, He is now able to look upon a new race of adopted Sons and Daughters - each of them holy, sacred, set apart - as He is holy.  Our part;  we have to leave the garbage behind, our rights, our flesh, our "I WANT IT MY WAY" attitudes.  We have to abandon our demand that He lessen who He is so we can remain a little bit of who we were.  When we ask this of Him, we ask the impossible.  There is no holiness in this only contempt -contempt for His sacrifice, contempt for His love, hatred for Him.

Hate is not holy, but Holiness cannot claim to love and sit silent, for silence in the presence of a world slipping towards hell is a far more hateful action.

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