Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Burn, Baby, Burn

The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.  -- Proverbs 8:13

We are born with the capacity to hate.  Contrary to what the utopians believe, people are not taught to hate, only what to hate.  Nor do most of us have to learn to sin.  It comes naturally.  Without discipline children are likely to remain self-centered and concerned only with having their own needs met by any means possible.  Good parents are those who reflect the Divine Nature as the Moon reflects the Sun.  They teach their children to be respectful of them and of the boundaries they set based on their greater wisdom and experience.  The typical television show or “family” movie these days is quite likely to attack that perspective and depict children as being born wiser, more intelligent, talented and “true to themselves” than their parents.  If you doubt that media and entertainment have an impact on worldviews, take a walk around a retail store or mall sometime and see all the little dictators running their parents like slaves.

Whether hatred is sin depends upon its object.  Sometimes hatred is merely a matter of misunderstanding or the culmination of bad experiences – as the lady I knew who had to go to therapy because she hated Hindus.  She was an apartment manager and rented places to a lot of Indians on H1Bs.  They weren’t all accustomed to Western ways and were slow to adjust to the culture and environment.  This caused her great stress to the point that she nearly became physically violent toward some of them.   

Hatred of evil, however, is allowed to burn white hot within us because our God who is a consuming fire hates evil as well.  There is no need to hate the person who does evil.  I would have to start by hating myself.  Rather I am to hate the wickedness that I do or that I might do, that would lead me to deny or attempt to deceive God.  We can read in Romans 7:15, I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  God warned Cain from the very beginning that … sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.

I wrote sometime back about how perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  What the righteous fear is not God Himself but the violation of His edicts and laws.  We are to have a respect for the infinite wisdom and understanding of the Lord as wise children.  Because we are tempted and sometimes seduced by evil to cross these lines, we hate it.  Evil, like a creeping serpent, like a predator lying in wait, is always right there with us, even in our best moments.  Why would we not despise and hold in utter contempt such a deceptive and destructive thing?  It is a principle of this material existence more relentless than gravity and only our ultimate salvation and glorification in Christ will us free of it.  Meanwhile, we must beware, for … I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

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