You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the souls of His saints;
He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. (Psalms 97:10)
When Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, said he supported traditional marriage, it created an enormous firestorm. While some proposed a boycott of the giant food chain, others came out in record numbers, not only to support Cathy’s stand for traditional marriage, but his right to free speech as well. In the end, the hoopla died down and Chick-Fil-A stores continue to support people in their local areas by providing food in times of crisis, like they did by feeding the emergency workers assisting the injured after the mass shooting that took place at a gay bar in Orlando. By doing so, they continue to put to practice the Christian principles upon which that business is built.
What troubled me so deeply about the Chick-fil-A incident, and still continues to bother me whenever I see it happen, is the outrage expressed because someone simply exercised their constitutional right of free speech. What Cathy said was hardly hate speech. It simply did not agree with the progressive narrative that is being shoved down our throats by many on the left. Christians have believed that marriage was instituted by God to be between one man and one woman since the founding of the Faith. Why is this so insulting to so many all of a sudden?
I remember being particularly angered when I saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise with a billboard that read, “Eat here. Great chicken without the hate.” Really? Hate?? When did it become hate for someone to say they agreed with what the Bible has been teaching for thousands of years? By this definition, hate means not agreeing with anything that a particular group of people happen to believe, regardless of whether it offends your moral sensibilities or not. Is it hate if I say I believe we ought to worship on Sunday instead of Saturday? Is it hate if I say that I think people should be conservative rather than liberal? Is that hate? We used to call that expressing one’s opinions, or convictions, depending on the particular issue. Now, apparently, it’s hate.
Now they’ve come up with safe zones on college campuses where dissenting voices are not allowed to express their opinions because of an overdeveloped sensitivity in some people to disagreement. They warn us about trigger words that may offend the delicate ears of the overly-pampered, socially entitled students who want all the people who don’t see life through their colored lenses to just go away. And that’s not the worst of it. This recent election cycle has demonstrated how far people will go to make their point, committing acts of violence during political protests, and, as we saw on Facebook and television, men throwing eggs at a female Trump supporter for the crime of daring to have political convictions that differed from their own.
Yes, there is a lot of hate out there, but from what I can see, it’s coming from the direction of the very ones complaining that they are the victims of others’ intolerance. In fact, it is beyond ironic that those who have cried “tolerance” the loudest have demonstrated the least tolerance of anyone, resorting to violence and vicious personal attacks when others won’t forfeit their convictions to agree with their worldview.
The fact is that disagreement is NOT hate, and since Christian’s truly DO believe in objective moral values, it is not hate at all, but rather LOVE, when they express those values, so long as they do so in a compassionate way. It is NOT love to endorse and condone what God Himself clearly condemns, for while He is merciful, He is also the righteous judge of all the earth. By the yardstick many are using to define love and hate, the parent to sets up boundaries for their children should be considered intolerant and hateful, seeing how they will not allow their child to do whatever they want, whenever they want. No, everyone knows that we all have to live within certain parameters to have an ordered society. We may question what those parameters should be and how we determine them, but that’s okay. That is part of being a democratic society. We discuss things. We argue and debate, and hopefully, we come to a consensus that is best for everyone.
It doesn’t always work. I think it was Winston Churchill that said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest.” In a pluralistic society, we will not all agree, but to try to close down the free market of ideas simply because some of the ideas expressed do not agree with your own is not democracy. In fact, it’s just childish. As a believer, I am called upon by God to hate evil, as indicated by the scripture at the top of this article. In fact, you may be surprised to find that there are things that the Bible says God hates. That doesn’t mean I hate people who participate in what God calls evil any more than God does. It just means I hate what evil does to people, both individually and corporately. In fact, we hate evil because we love people. We believe God knows more about human flourishing than a young, very entitled generation who has yet to get their hands dirty living in the real world and the progressive-minded, liberal elitists who incite them. Really, this has nothing to do with political ideology either, for truth, as we have said many times before, does not swing to the right or left. It falls like a plum line.
Mankind has been weighed in the balance against that truth and been found wanting. That is why Christ died for sinners. Without him, all our wrangling with one another about who is right and who is wrong amounts to little more than a debate about which side of the pool we want to drown on. Without Him man is hopelessly lost. Without Him we have no capacity for love or for goodness. In fact, anything good in us, in society, comes from Him, and that is why we who believe are so tenacious about holding on to the immutable truths of His Word. God is love. Pure and simple. Thus, His precepts are about providing boundaries that are best for mankind. What we each have to decide is whether we will submit to His authority and accept the grace He offers through Christ or keep doing things our way, as best suits our selfish desires and sinful proclivities. Will we embraced the loving parent who disciplines us in his love, or will be continue as a society to choose our own way until we have gone too far to find our way back?