Family Matters: Hatred – A Family Value

You’ve seen the bumper sticker, “Hatred is not a family value.” No doubt it is intended as a not-so-subtle rebuke to the religious right with its agenda against alternate lifestyles and other social issues such as abortion. If what is meant is that hatred of persons is not a family value, then we can agree totally with them. The Word of God never suggests that we should carry hatred or malice for individuals. It is doubtful, however, if this is the main message of the bumper sticker. What is being proclaimed is a tolerance for the actions and beliefs of others and a willingness to accept the sinful behavior of others as moral and ethical; to this we cannot agree. In the case of evil, hatred is a family value!

The Scriptures remind us that the Lord Jesus hates the “deeds of the Nicolaitanes” (Rev 2:6, 15), that God hates every false way (Ps 119:104), that He hates and abhors lying (Ps 119:163), and that He hates what is so symptomatic of man in the flesh (Prov 6:16-19). The list could be expanded. It is clear that God, as the essence of holiness, has no fellowship with evil. Sin is abhorrent to His very nature.

Hatred for men is condemned and is seen as a work of the flesh (Gal 5:20) and is frequently linked with strife and contention. Paul reminds us in Titus 3:3 that we were once “hateful and hating one another.” This resulted in malice and envy and every other evil work. But the philanthropic love of God has brought about the wondrous transformation, bringing us into a sphere of love for our brethren and love for the lost.

The Lord Jesus was marked as one Who “loved righteousness and hated iniquity” (Heb 1:9). He was seen moving in His life to undo the works of Satan and undo the results of the iniquity of men both in the souls of sinners, the families of men, and the lives of those with whom He came in contact.

His hatred for sin was so great, and His love for His God so vast, that it caused Him to do what would naturally have been foreign to His holy mind – to bear sin. This He did that He might put it away. So intense was His hatred for iniquity, that He would pay whatever price was needed to remove it from before God, and establish a righteous basis for a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness would be absolutely at home.

So when we teach our children to hate evil, to not be tolerant of the evils of society and the blatant sin of mankind, we are not only teaching a “family value,” but we are teaching them a Christ-like virtue. If God hates evil, then I can rise no higher in my quest for godliness than to love righteousness and hate iniquity!