Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's OK To Hate! Right?

Are Christians only supposed to "love" or is it OK to hate and maybe even despise?
So what is the first response from our gut or our brain; wherever it is that we make decisions? Probably something like; "I don't...think so..."
Consider this: Twice in the book of Revelation (the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos) Christ speaks of the Nicolaitans and in both instances He says He hates them. Christ commends those in Ephesus for hating the Nicolaitans [see Rev. 2:6 and 15].
Who were the Nicolaitans? Three online sites hold slightly different opinions as to who were the Nicolaitans and what they taught. Consensus is suggested however in the juxtapositioning of the Nicolaitans and Baalam [Rev.2:14].
Nicolas, one of the seven of Ephesus, is suggested as the originator of this spurious doctrine. The thing that God hates, and the thing He commends the church at Ephesus for hating appears to be the corruption of pure doctrine such that there is a blurring of the line between the church and pagan practices; including eating things sacrificed to idols and sexual immorality. The latter was the sin of Baalam.
We don't really know much about the Nicolaitans but we know more about Baalam (a onetime prophet of God who, for reward of earthly things, forsook God and His people. To hate the Nicolaitans is, essentially, the hatred of sin, and the adoption of the things of the world in favor of the things of God.
On a further note, Jesus Christ 'despised the shame of the cross' for the joy that was to come from his suffering and sacrifice [Hebrews 12:2].
Now we have the answer: God commends His people for hating sin (not people) that perverts the truth and diverts the vision of His church from Jesus Christ to the things of this world. Hebrews 12:2 suggests it is OK to despise: that is of course if one can, as did Jesus, practice perfect despising.
God Bless. e.c.

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