Thursday, November 2, 2017
Why do people hate? Harry Emerson Fosdick stated, “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of the rats.” Ishmael and Isaac’s descendants have been in a conflict for years. French citizens, from my father and grandfather’s generation, didn’t like Germans after two world wars. Some soldiers and Marines didn’t think too highly of the Japanese soldiers in the Pacific. Jews didn’t win popularity contests in Nazi Germany. In school, there was the proverbial bully and the “picked upon.” There are pet names that one nationality uses to degrade another. Matthew, due to his profession, didn’t win a popularity contest among Jewish zealots. On such occasions, love is seldom the motivator!
When one person feels superior to another, there is a tendency to depreciate the lesser of the two. Such attitudes do not generate respect for the classifiers. Jesus’ instruction to turn the other cheek gets lost in such merry-go-rounds.
Hate thrives and grows in such debates. It becomes a two way super highway, where it accelerates. Hate takes Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and rewrites it. “Hate” is substituted for “love” and the results is an indictment against humanity!
When Jesus named the Roman sympathizer Matthew and Simon Zealot (Luke 6:15) as apostles, hate had a field day. Simon was a redneck, apple pie, flag waving individual that thought a dead Roman sympathizer was a good one. Matthew wasn’t popular with any of the apostles at first. Perhaps Jesus chose him to teach all of them a lesson.
Not all hatred is sinful. For example in the Old Testament there are passages which state, “You who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalm 97:10 NKJV) and “A righteous man hates lying” (Proverbs 13:5). Even God is said to hate “These six things” (Proverbs 6:16-19). The Bible reveals the right and wrong kind. The selection is a choice!
Satan makes his kind of hating an easy option to acquire. One may quickly earn his doctorate! Some believe that turning the other cheek means to not offend those who believe you are wrong. Some have the idea that a real Christian is one “who comes to be taught, not to teach others.” Even the apostles were upset because they thought Jesus was offensive (Matthew 15:12). Later, Peter followed in Jesus’ footprints by offending the priest and Sadducees with his teaching. However, five thousand still believed (Acts 4:1-4). If Peter had been politically correct to win friends and influence people, the five thousand would have continued buying into their false thoughts.
Jesus is offensive to other religions. They are offended by his claim to be the Son of God. They are offended by the message of the resurrection. They are offended because his way, truth, and life is not theirs. They are offended because the ethics of Jesus are hated by a world that is enamored with Satan’s “righteous lie”!
“There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness” (Proverbs 30:12).
“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
“In those days . . . everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to myths (lies)” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).