Friday, January 25, 2008

God Hates, God Loves

It seems I have brought some heat upon my self by making the following statement while commenting on a previous post:

"[Westboro Baptist Church] very well could be correct in their assumption that [Heath Ledger] is in Hell. I'm almost certain that they are correct that God hates homosexuals. (GASP!) But I would dispute the hate that they themselves seem to foster in their hearts. I believe that they are wrong because their hearts are not in the right place and their motives are impure.

I suppose an explaination is owed.

First of all, I made a fairly common mistake. I shouldn’t have pointed towards a specific group, (homosexuals.) What I mean to say is that God hates sinners.

Second of all, I am in no way, shape or form suggesting that we as Christians should hate sinners. We have no right. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. If you read back in my blog, or listen to any of my sermons, you will find that I actually hold myself in very low regard. I have a very low view of myself and I don’t believe that I deserve a single one of the blessings that God has placed before me. I certainly do not believe that I am somehow "better" than the person that does not know Christ. I believe that I am a sinner as well. I’m simply “luckier” than the person who does not know Christ.

Before l get into this, let me first point out that it was the Hindu, Gandhi that came up with the phrase, “hate the sin, not the sinner.” You could paraphrase to make a few passages in the Bible say it, but I don’t know were it is in God’s holy word. That is not to say that we shouldn’t love our enemy. It is made abundantly clear that we should through passages such as Mathew 5:43-44 and Luke 10:27. But I don’t think that we should limit God to mere human emotions. If I say that God hates sinners, I am not saying its ok for me to hate sinners.

The first verse that comes to mind in regards to God’s feelings about sinners for a few of you seems to be John 3:16. That absolutely talks about God loving the world, (including sinners.) The first one that came to mind for me was Psalm 5:5. “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes. You hate all evildoers.” It would seem that God hates Evildoers.

The next argument that comes up will probably be that God loves us, but hates what we do. I would argue that we are what we do. The bible teaches us that bad fruit comes from bad trees. I produced bad fruit just this morning. I also produced bad fruit yesterday. I have a heart that is deceitful, a nature that rebels against God and a life that is full of evil deeds. I am an evildoer, and God hates evildoers.

According to our human minds two things that are opposites can not co-exist. Yet I maintain that both Predestination and Free will co-exist. I maintain that a loving God will send countless souls to eternal torment at the last day. These are all ideas that according to our feeble human logic, don’t seem to jive together. I also maintain that God hates Evildoers, but loves the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. I can’t fit the two together, but can God?

I consider myself blessed. I have gone to God, laid my palette out before Him and fallen dreadfully short of His glory. I have presented Him with a life full of Rotten, terrible, evil deeds. I have handed a life over that is worthy of His hate and suitable to receive His wrath in the fullest. But by his Grace, to His Glory; and yes, through his love, I have been granted repentance and faith. I have been saved, not through my works, as if I could offer God anything worthy of something other than Hate; but through Christ, who lived a perfect life, died on the cross and applied his righteousness to my account. I’m no better than those who Westboro Baptist Church rail against, just luckier.