Evil is as evil does?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Don, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. Don

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    Consider this a topic discussing the nature of evil. You could also consider it a "validation" of the phrase "hate the sin, love the sinner."

    Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.

    Romans 12:9 tells us to abhor (hate) that which is evil.

    Psalm 139:21 would seem to be an example of David, the beloved of God, hating those that hate God (sin willfully and knowingly).

    So can we honestly make the conclusion that we are to actually hate sinners? Homosexuals? Murderers? Thieves? etc., etc.?

    My personal belief is no, this is a mistaken conclusion.

    Now, we could throw scripture back and forth, and people would still stand firm on their beliefs (as evidenced by a recent thread, where I stated I was at the point of banging my head against a wall). So the challenge here is:

    Evil--is it what we are, or what we do?

    Are we defined by what we do? In other words, does what we do make us what we are?

    And, of course, where does our sin nature fall into all of this?
     
  2. Don

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    Okay, in order to get y'all to help me study this out, let me re-phrase:

    "Hate the sin, love the sinner": Just a cliche? Or is it really biblical?
     
  3. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Don:
    Okay, in order to get y'all to help me study this out, let me re-phrase:

    "Hate the sin, love the sinner": Just a cliche? Or is it really biblical?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Don:

    We are commanded to love our enemies, though they sptefully use us and curse us. The same is not true for God. See the excellent article
    Does God Love the Sinner and Hate Only His Sin?
     
  4. Daniel Davidson

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    The God who loves to hate - Calvin's god.
     
  5. Brother Adam

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    Could you expand on this please daniel? Thank you.

    UNP, Adam
     
  6. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daniel Davidson:
    The God who loves to hate - Calvin's god.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Daniel:

    Instead of ad hominem attacks against Calvin and the Reformed, please deal just with the Scriptures.

    Leviticus 26:30 (ESV)
    And I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars and cast your dead bodies upon the dead bodies of your idols, and my soul will abhor you.

    Psalm 5:5-6 (ESV)
    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
    [6] You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
     
  7. Don

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    Daniel, I think you've made an excellent point. However, these people don't consider themselves Calvinists.

    Those that use the verses I gave to preach hatred of sinners--not just sin, but those that sin--are preaching a god who loves to hate.

    Our God is a god of wrath, and of vengeance. But our God is one who so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son to be the blood sacrifice, the atonement for sin, so that we might all have a place with Him in heaven, if we only believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

    So view my original post like this, folks: How would you respond to someone who told you "It feels SO GOOD to hate those that hate the Lord!"

    (Note: I've actually had one of these people tell me this; I know how I responded to him; I'm curious to see yours)

    [ October 31, 2001: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  8. Chris Temple

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    A quote from John Gerstner:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> In this world the sinner enjoys nothing but the benevolent love of God. Every experience of pain as well as pleasure is from God’s love — of benevolence. Even pain is from love because it tends to wake the sinner to his danger. God indeed loves the sinner, whom He hates with a perfect hatred, with a perfect love of benevolence.

    The sinner, as I said, makes every divine blessing into a curse including God’s love of benevolence. This he does by construing a love of benevolence as a love of complacency.

    Construing God’s love of benevolence as a love of complacency is fatal. Instead of the divine forbearance leading to repentance, it is used as an excuse for non-repentance. Thus the sinner is not saved but damned by God’s love of benevolence.

    God “loves” the sinner benevolently and hates the sinner displacently. If the sinner dies impenitent, God removes His love of benevolence and pours out the full wrath of his displacent love.

    As far as “hatred of sins” is concerned, sins do not exist apart from the sinner. God does hate sinning, killing, stealing, lying, lusting, etc., but this alludes to the perpetrator of these crimes.

    God never hates the redeemed even when they sin. Is He an unfair respecter of persons? No! (Act. 10:34) God hates the unredeemed sinner but loves the redeemed even when they sin for a good and just reason. God loves the redeemed even when they sin because His Son, in whom God is always well-pleased, ever lives to make intercession for them. (Rom.8:27, 34) Christ died to atone for the guilt of His people’s sins. When they sin, these are atoned-for sins. They are sins with their guilt removed. In one sense, they are not sins at all. God does not hate His people when they sin because they are in His Son, Christ Jesus. And they are made acceptable in His Son. He “has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:6)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    "God “loves” the sinner benevolently and hates the sinner displacently." We, not being God and not being Judge, cannot hate perfectly, so we are commanded to love the sinner.

    Remembering that we are no better and are only saved by an act of unmerited, merciful grace, will enable us to love the sinner.
     
  9. Danette

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    Don,

    Hatred is one of the deeds of the flesh listed in Gal. 5:20. That's why it feels good!

    -- Danette
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    While we might not be able to hate the sinner because of our sin nature, God can and most certainly does. Consider the verses Chris cited earlier. God, because of his infinite perfections, can hate with all of his hate and love with all of his love the same object at the same time. He is not afflicted with our sinfulness and finiteness (unless you are an open theist).

    Hate is not an attribute of God. It is the righteous response of his attribute of holiness to that which is in contradiction to it.
     
  11. Don

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    Danette's response was the one I gave.

    Guess what I was given in return? We're allowed to have righteous hatred.

    Thoughts?
     
  12. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Don:
    [QB]Danette's response was the one I gave.

    Guess what I was given in return? We're allowed to have righteous hatred.
    QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WHO said THAT? :eek:
     
  13. Danette

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    I would ask upon what SCRIPTURE (and keeping context in mind!) they base the supposition that we are allowed to have righteous hatred? As far as I can see in the Word, the only way someone can support the idea that we have any justification for hating the sinner is by discounting LOTS of Scripture. It's not even something that's only said in one place. The new covenant is based upon LOVE and Christ said all the law and the prophets can be summed up in two statements -- Love God with all your heart, etc. and Love your neighbor as yourself. Just in case that isn't perfectly clear, it is stated again and again in the Word that there is no room for hatred in a Spirit-controlled life. Where is hatred in the fruit of the Spirit?

    We also have to remember that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12) It's never about the individual.

    At the same time there is a distinct difference between loving the sinner and condoning the sin. Just because I love the sinner, doesn't mean I can stand between that person and the just, natural consequences of their sin.

    This is entirely an "I think" here, but I also think that those who speak such things probably have not experienced having a close loved one involved in those very activities they hate people for. If there was ever any doubt, the true test comes when someone you love walks there. I do know Christians who have turned in hatred toward even their own children, spouses, and siblings. But that communicates to the other person that until your behavior is good enough, I (and God) won't have anything to do with you. That "theology" runs absolutely counter to the Word that says ALL our righteousness is as filthy rags and the Christ died for us while we were ungodly. What does hatred accomplish for the cause of Christ? All that comes out of that is pride in their own righteousness.

    On the other hand I have a friend who used to be involved in a lesbian lifestyle. She said that the thing that drew her to Christ was her lover's parents. While they made it clear that they did not approve of the behavior, they loved her anyway, inviting her to family functions, honoring her birthday, etc. She said it was the first time she had ever seen the love of God in action and it was the first big key in her eventual salvation.

    Also, there is no place in Scripture that we can find Jesus expressing hatred toward sinners. The only time He expressed "hatred" was toward the religious leaders of the day -- never toward the "worst" sinners, as we would consider them.

    -- Danette
     
  14. Don

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    Chris, sorry; no one on this message board (any more; one of those associated with the people who said this is no longer posting).

    Danette, you're very close to what I tried to present.

    HOWEVER, let me give y'all something to think about: Referring back to my first post, David was the beloved of God, and a man after God's own heart; knowing this, David himself stated in Psalm 139 that he hated those who hate God with a perfect hatred (verses 21-22).

    (somewhat tongue in cheek) Shouldn't we be trying to model ourselves after the man who was the beloved of God?
     
  15. Daniel Davidson

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    Dannette and Don, you are exactly right in saying that some preach a god who loves to hate. Calvin's god creates people with the intent and purpose of causing eternal torment. That web page Chris gave makes this untrue claim:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Either God loves the sinner and will not send him into the furnace of His eternal wrath; or He sends him into His eternal wrath and does not love him. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is false because it is the sinners own actions and choice that send him to hell. People are in hell because they choose to be in hell.

    God (the Christian God) does not hate His creation. Calvin hated. Calvin loved to hate (try reading some of his diatribes against the Lutherans if you don't believe me.) And maybe Calvin even hated the system he created. Who knows. What we do know is that he invented a god who was just like himself.

    Pastor Larry - I really couldn't make sense of your post. You say:

    1. People can not hate BECAUSE of their sin nature. (Response - deal with Gal 5:20. Hatred is sin. You have turned the gospel on its head.)

    2. God hates, and hate is not an attribute of God. (Response - make up your mind. Is hate an attribute of God or not.)
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daniel Davidson:
    Calvin's god creates people with the intent and purpose of causing eternal torment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    How much of Calvin have you actually read (compared with believing what other people say about Calvin). My guess is not very much.

    "Calvin's God" did no such thing. It is true that people's choices send them to hell. Were it not for God's gracious unilateral intervention, all man would choose to go to hell. God is his matchless grace stooped to change the hearts of sinners who hated him to draw them to himself. The gospel you appear to preach is a gospel of "cooperation" between God and man. The gospel of the Bible is a gospel of intervention by God for man.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>God (the Christian God) does not hate His creation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    So what do you do with the above passages where it clearly says that God hates? (Ps 5:5, 11:5; Prov 6:16-19 (referring to people).

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>qb]1. People can not hate BECAUSE of their sin nature. (Response - deal with Gal 5:20. Hatred is sin. You have turned the gospel on its head.)[/qb]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    You have turned my quote on its head. I was referring to pure hate unafflicted by sin although I should have expressed it. (Silly me to think that people would read it in context.) We cannot have a pure hate. All of our hatred runs the risk of being tainted by sin. To hate evil and the evil way is certainly not sin but we cannot very easily approach that righteous hatred because of our sin nature. Gal 5:20 is dealing with the hatred that comes from the flesh, not the righteous hatred that comes from the love of holiness.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>2. God hates, and hate is not an attribute of God. (Response - make up your mind. Is hate an attribute of God or not.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Make up my mind about what? Do you not understand the difference between an attribute and an action? Attributes of God is what he is (God is what is attributes are). Actions of God are what he does. God is holy ... that is an attribute. Because of his holiness, he has a settled opposition to all that is contrary to it. That is his hatred -- it is something he does. C. Samuel Storms' book The Granduer of God[/b] is an excellent little book (120 pages or so I think) that is a great primer on the attributes of God. It will explain this in more detail.
     
  17. Danette

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    Don,

    That's a good question.

    Here's the exact quote -- Ps 139:21-22, "Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies."

    When I look at those verses I see a distinction. The question is about hating individual sinners as opposed to "hating" the whole of "them...that hate Thee." "Them" denotes a unit composed of many. Jesus says the world hates Him (Jn. 15:18-25)and, as a result, the world hates us too. James 4:4 says that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Therefore, when we align ourselves with Jesus Christ, we must of necessity "hate" the world and sin. But I still see no justification here for hating individuals. Yes, we hate a sinful world system, but not the individuals who are in bondage to sin within it.

    There are also references such as, "Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated." Is it a personal, angry hatred, or is it merely an opposite to the fact that God chose Jacob to exalt above his older brother, thereby by default, shunning Esau? Did God have a personal hatred for Esau? I don't think that that belief can be justified looking at the WHOLE of Scripture and the nature of God.

    -- Danette
     
  18. Daniel Davidson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pastor Larry:
    How much of Calvin have you actually read (compared with believing what other people say about Calvin). My guess is not very much.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Bad guess. Did you ever happen to stumble on this little ditty of Calvin's

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>whence does it happen that Adam's fall irremediably involved so many peoples, together with their infant offspring, in eternal death unless because it so pleased God? . . . The decree is dreadful indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by His decree . . . God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with His own decision.
    {Institutes of the Christian Religion, III)
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    According to Calvin, god (lowercase, since I'm referring to Calvin's god) forewaw, decreed and decided that "so many peoples" suffer eternal torment. So I stand by my original claim that Calvin's god creates people with the intent and purpose of causing eternal torment.

    Are you now going to say that I haven't read the words foresaw, ordained, decreed and decision in context?

    Or, now that you see Calvin does the very thing you say he does not, will you admit that Calvin taught a base and perverted religion? I hope so. The alternative is to think the same of your own religion, since you seem at odds with Calvin on this issue.

    You are right. Calvin is wrong.
     
  19. Chris Temple

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Daniel Davidson:

    This is false because it is the sinners own actions and choice that send him to hell. People are in hell because they choose to be in hell.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is an often gone to caveat people use to try to (for some reason) alleviate God's responsibility for sending people to hell. Why, I don't know. My guess is that hell is so repulsive to people that they do not want to believe God wouls send any there. People are often more zealous to misguidedly guard God's character rather than his authroity. Are you denying God sends sinners to hell?

    In one sense, it is of course true that people do choose hell over God; they will do it every time. But it is God who sends sinners to hell.

    Matt 25:31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33“And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

    41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
    46“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    Luke 12:5 “But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!
     
  20. Michael Wrenn

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    Daniel,

    I've pointed out Calvin's "dreadful decree" statement before to the brethren here, but to no avail. They have the idea that if someone disagrees with Calvinism, it's beacuse they just don't understand it.
     

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