Somebody asked a sensible question the other day that deserves a proper answer. I am often entangled in discussions about how God hates so we should hate too.
I stubbornly insist on “no.” Even if God hates, that does not mean it is okay for us to hate too. We are not God. There are different rules for parents then there are for children. Imagine a four year old seeing a grown up driving a car, deciding driving a car is good, so not only can I as a four year old drive, I am now actually commanded to do so.
The question was, “is it okay to hate wickedness.” That depends on what is meant by “okay.” Is it normal to be angry, scared, full of hate, when you see bad things in the world? Yes. Are those powerful emotions felt by people all through the ages? Yes. Is hatred sometimes a rational response to injustice, evil, wrong doing? Yes.
But it is still a sin to stay there. Stagnent water. Hatred, anger, fear, all have an expiration date. They are like manna from heaven, they spoil if you collect more than you need, if you try to store them up for another day.
The bible is full of intensely passionate people, expressing a wide range of emotions, including hatred. The bible is also full of a great many sinners, so just because it is “in the bible” does not make something “good.” I believe these passionate moments of intense hatred are preserved for us so that we would know we are not alone in our feelings, that God knows us so very well, and that even great men can have moments of being swallowed up and consumed by darkness and emotion.
God does not command us to hate, in fact, we’re supposed to, “love our enemies, to bless those who curse you.” Not saying that’s easy, but that call just flies in the face of an alleged commandment to hate.
So my answer to, “is it okay to hate wickedness,” is no. There are many good reasons for that. Hatred in the human mindset is almost always rooted in fear and a sense of powerlessness, weakness. God did not give us a spirit of fear. We are also under the full authority and protection of Jesus Christ Himself. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
In John 14:12 we have, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” So not only are we under the full authority of Jesus Christ, we have been granted His authority here on earth. His authority overcame the world.
Everyone knows John 3:16, but John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
To hate wickedness is to be fearful of it. It is to expose our distrust, our disbelief in the fact that He has overcome the world, and is now seated in victory at the right hand of the Father. We are called to be assured of that, to rest in His peace, and to be unafraid. If instead we are busy hating on wickedness all the time, we are not fully empowered, not emotionally equipped, and we have given way to fear.