Monday, March 7, 2011

What God Hates

I was reading this week about the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Westboro Baptist Church’s “protests” at the funerals of soldiers. I’m not going to get into the politics of whether it was the right decision or not, but it grieves my spirit that these people claim to speak on behalf of my God. Instead of speaking words of life, words of encouragement, they spew hate-filled bile. In 2007, they spent $200,000 flying to funerals of soldiers and celebrities spreading, in their own words, “God’s hate.”

This idea unsettles me. Yes, God is a Holy God, He cannot abide sin. But God doesn’t hate any person. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:14 “your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Taking it a step further, John tells us “whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4:8)

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 6:16-19 about seven (and only) seven things that God hates. Here are the "six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion” (MSG)
  1. haughty eyes/a proud look
     Simply put, thinking that you’re better than someone else. It’s only by God’s grace that any of us isn’t as bad, or worse, than the worst of the worst. A proud look implies you think you don’t need a savior. Romans 3:23 tells us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The first step on the road to salvation is admitting you need a savior.
  2. a lying tongue,
     One of the top ten. For many of us, this is the first sin we commit. No, I didn’t eat any cookies. Tommy broke the lamp, not me. And it’s socially acceptable. The movie Liar, Liar is all about a man who lies constantly, but has to tell nothing but the truth for 24 hours. But it shows us all these situations where we “have” to lie, and it’s completely accepted. But lies build distrust. If you lied to me once, how do I know you won’t do it again? Or that you haven’t already?
  3. hands that shed innocent blood,
     Also in the top ten. But a slight variation. God says ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ but sometimes He would allow the army of Israel to wipe people out. David killing Goliath was not shedding innocent blood. David killing Uriah (albeit indirectly) certainly was. Remember, anything we do to the ‘least of these,’ we do to God.
  4. a heart that devises wicked schemes,
     This is anything that hurts someone else for personal gain, even if that personal gain is nothing more than smug satisfaction. We see it often in the Bible: Haman and Mordecai, Joseph and his brothers, Ahab, Jezebel, and Naboth. It’s a way of getting our way when the cards seem stacked against us. Rather than trusting in God’s plans, we try to do things our way.
  5. feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    Ever hear some juicy piece of gossip and can’t wait to tell someone? Hear about a sultry scene in a movie and go out and watch it to see for yourself? Or even going out to do something just because someone told you not to? Granted, we’ve all sinned, so at some point we’re going to fall into something we shouldn’t. But this is more talking about going and looking for it, in outright defiance to God’s word.
  6. a false witness who pours out lies
     Here we are, back at lying. Now, if two things in the list of what God hates involve the same activity, we might want to avoid it. This one, however, is more about giving a false report about someone else. Think of how many courtroom dramas have someone lying under oath and getting caught. Or giving a false representation of who God is. Think of the men who followed Paul around, saying that, to follow Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit, first you had to be found righteous under the law. False witness destroys the character and reputation of someone.
  7. and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
    “Beloved, let us love one another.” There are countless scriptures about unity, how the best things happen when we work together. Then someone comes along and tries to ruin the whole party. Maybe they’re upset they didn’t get their way. Or maybe they’re stirring up trouble just for trouble’s sake. There are some people in the world who like to argue, and will pick a fight just because they want a fight. But it sets us back. Our fight isn’t with each other, but when we turn our eyes against each other, that allows the enemy of our souls to slip about unnoticed.

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