Friday, August 14, 2015

Does God hate sinners?

Does God hate sinners? Does God hate adulterers, liars, and cheats? 

Sadly, there are many people in the name of Christ who go around on blogs and conferences claiming God hates this sort of person and God hates that sort of person. They use verses like these found in Psalm 5:

NIV  Psalm 5:4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. 5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; 6 you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest.

It’s important to note that to hate someone in the Bible does not mean what it means in normal American speaking. If I hear that someone hates me, it come across that these people see everything about me as vile and wish 100% evil upon them. It comes across that they despise every fiber of my being.

But this is not what the Bible means by hate. It means you are morally opposed to the evil in that persons’ life. God hates Matt Proctor the liar, but he does not hate Matt Proctor the person. Similar to God, we should hate rapists and child abusers. We should hate liars and cheats. This is appropriate. But like God, we should love people and want good for them. God allows the rain to fall on the righteous and the unrighteous. God loves His enemies, and sends his Son to die a sacrificial death for his enemies. It’s actually possible for us and God to hate liars as sinners and to love them as persons at the same time. It’s possible to hate rapists (the sinners) and love them (the persons) at the same time.

Woe to any group who inaccurately depicts God’s holiness and love. They can never be separated nor should be.

To say one thing without the other without context is foolish at best and culpable at worst.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Matt - Great post. I'm preaching on Matt. 5.43-48 this weekend and this is super helpful. Tucker E.