For the music leader. Of David.
11 I have taken refuge in the Lord.
So how can you say to me,
“Flee to the hills like a bird
2 because the wicked
have already bent their bows;
they’ve already strung their arrows;
they are ready to secretly shoot
those whose heart is right”?
3 When the very bottom of things falls out,
what can a righteous person possibly accomplish?
4 But the Lord is in his holy temple.
The Lord! His throne is in heaven.
His eyes see—
his vision examines all of humanity.
5 The Lord examines
both the righteous and the wicked;
his very being hates anyone who loves violence.
6 God will rain fiery coals and sulfur on the wicked;
their cups will be filled
with nothing but a scorching hot wind
7 because the Lord is righteous!
He loves righteous deeds.
Those whose heart is right will see God’s face. (Psalm 11:1-7, Common English Bible)
I had quite an education tonight. When I started looking for a picture to go with this post, I was absolutely amazed at all the things, mostly people, God hates. Here is a partial list:
“God Hates Boomers” – considering I am from that generation-I never knew
God hated me and my generation, go figure.
“God hates P.H.F.” – Whatever that is
“God hates figs: Mark 11:12-14” I’m pretty sure I know that story (and I do, I
went and checked), Jesus didn’t hate the figs.
He wanted to eat one. His issue was with the
tree!! We need to be sure of what God hates
before we go making rash statements.
“God hates facts” – Really?
“God hates me?” Don’t think so?
“God hates us all?” – “…God so loved the world…whoever believes in Him…”
I could go on, the list goes on, and on, and on, and on. They certainly did.
I think most all of us are aware of the hate speech that at least came out of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas. They have credited God will hating all kinds of things and people. If you know me at all, you know how wrong I think they are.
As I was looking around, I came across an August 25, 2011 Decision Magazine article written by Billy Graham. I am always hesitant to publicly disagree with a Christian of his stature but I think I will have to go there for this one. The article was “Things God Hates.” Here is that list:
A proud look
A lying tongue
Hands that shed innocent blood
A heart that devises evil imaginations
Feet that are swift in running to mischief
A man or woman who sows discord among brethren
I really struggle with this idea. I struggle with what the Old Testament often says. I struggle with what the psalmist says in this psalm. I am not saying this is a place where Scripture is wrong. I am saying, it is troublesome with an image of God that says God is love and we also know the Scriptures say as exactly that. “The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8). In Matthew’s Gospel we read this verse:
“If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11).
The way I read this verse, though ALL of us are evil, God will give good things to those who ask. If God hates those who are evil, and according to this verse, that is all of us (and in my search for that picture that was one of these things God hates, see above), why would God give us good things even if we did ask?
I did find a few quotes I do agree with from Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forrest California. Take a look at these:
“God hates loneliness, and community is God’s answer to loneliness. When we walk alongside other people, we find a community where we learn how to love.”
“So I would say God hates war, but God loves every soldier.”
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
I don’t have a problem here because with each Warren is not pointing at one of God’s children but the things God’s children might sometimes do. I didn’t always like the things my now adult children did while they were growing up. I didn’t quit loving them. I don’t sometimes agree with what they do as adults but I still love them despite their actions. If I, a finite being, can love my children in spite of what they do that I may not like, how much more does God, in infinite power and love, love all God’s children.
Does God like all the things I do? That one is an easy answer, absolutely not. Does God love me despite my actions? I would have to say that is a resounding “Yes.” That is good news for all of us.
Will God hold me responsible for the things I do that God does hate? I think that is the case, without repentance and confession. And, I also think that breaks God’s heart, because God loves me.
Those things Billy Graham said God hates? Let me rephrase them in a way I understand the love and grace of God.
Discord in the Church
I don’t think God hates me. I don’t think God hates you. I do think there are things we do, that God doesn’t like at all.
I think sometimes our kids may do things that break our hearts. I believe our kids can and do things that can bring us to tears. But, I also know this, what I do can break my heavenly Father’s heart and I can bring God to tears by what I do.
I also know this, I am created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) so if God is love, that means I am made in the image of love. For that, I will always be grateful.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
In search of the genuine,
Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission is given for the non-commercial use of this post.