Christian Living

Perhaps There’s Room For More Hatred After All

October 29, 2013


Perhaps There’s Room For More Hatred After All

Need to lose weight? Join the club. We all know what it takes to lose weight:

  1. Eat the right food in moderation.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Don’t eat junk food.

Personally, the first two are in my favor. I like exercise (for the most part, like walking, hiking, weight lifting, biking, &c), and I like good food (I’m not a picky eater). I like salad, carrots, greens, and beans… well; I pretty much like it all.[1]

My problem is I like the bad stuff, too. You know – burgers, cake, cookies, french fries, and, well, anything fried. If only I could learn to hate junk food, I’d be a marvelous specimen of health.

The same principle applies to sin. Following Christ is much more than just wanting to do what is right – it is about learning to hate what is wrong.

But the current trend in our churches today is to emphasize the “positive” while toning down the “negative.” We are taught to merely focus on the good; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. This is the good fruit – the “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). We like good things! The hard part is learning to hate sin.

See, Satan is perfectly content with Christians loving good things so long as they maintain a propensity for sin. In fact, even if we prefer that which is honorable and righteous, the devil is satisfied so long as we accept even  a little bit of sin (you know, for dessert). [quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Satan is perfectly content with us loving good things so long as we retain at least a small liking for sin 


Reviving Our Hatred Of Sin

I’m calling for a revival of hate in the lives of Christians. Calm down, I’m not talking about the wicked kind of hate which attacks people. I’m talking about the scriptural, righteous kind of hate commanded and encouraged in the Bible (Psa. 97:10) – the kind of hate that opposes anything that dishonors God and His Creation.

We need to agonize over sin by offering God a “broken spirit” and a “broken and contrite heart” (Psa. 51:17).

We need to hate our sin so much that it drives us to “repentance that leads to salvation” (2 Cor. 7:10).

We need to hate sin so much that we want it exposed by the light of Jesus (John 3:20) and subsequently exterminated from our lives (Rom. 7:11).

One cannot be faithful to God without hating sin – its origin, its effects, and its results.

How Are We Supposed To Hate?

Be Informed. Just as your personal taste doesn’t decide what kind of food is healthy, your feelings should not be the basis for ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ We must engage the Word of God. David said, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you”  (Psa. 119:11). Only by studying scripture can we learn to distinguish “good from evil” (cf. Heb. 5:12-14). Not only does the Bible define sin, but it also describes the consequences of it, so we can learn to hate it all the more.

Be Transformed. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (cf. Rom. 12:1-2). The reason Christians hate sin is because they have been transformed. When we are transferred to the Kingdom (Col. 1:13), we naturally are to be opposed to darkness (cf. John 3:21). If you are hating sin for any other reason, you are not hating Biblically.

Be Unconditional. If we are to hate sin, we are to hate all sin unconditionally. We cannot be against homosexuality while ignoring alcoholism or pornography. We cannot hate Brother John Smith’s sin while turning a blind eye toward our child’s sin. Jesus hated all sin (Heb. 1:9); likewise we cannot approve of any sin – regardless of the kind of sin or who is practicing it (cf. Jas. 2:10; Rom. 6:12; 1:32).

Be Loving. We hate the sin, but love the person committing the sin (including ourselves). Jesus hated sin so much – and loved the sinner so much more – that He died because of sin (John 3:17). Therefore, I need to treat every soul that has been caught up in the snare of the devil with gentleness and compassion (2 Tim. 2:24-26).

Be Evangelistic. Why are we to hate sin in the lives of others? Why do we express disapproval toward sinful conduct and offensive lifestyles? Because we want to point them to the forgiveness of Jesus Christ! Our desire isn’t to ‘be right’ but to ‘make ourselves & others right.’ People cannot appreciate the saving grace of God if they do not appreciate the horror of sin.

 Your comments are welcome and encouraged, even if they are in disagreement. However, please keep your comments relevant to the article. For my full comment policy, click here.

[1] Except pears. Gross. 

Ben Giselbach is the pulpit minister at the Edgewood church of Christ in Columbus, GA. He and his wife Hannah have two children, Ezra & Colleyanna. Ben is a graduate of Freed-Hardeman University and has written three books in his You Are A Theologian Series: Thinking Right about the Bible, Thinking Right about God, and Thinking Right about Salvation.
  1. Rachel

    Pears are delicious! Excellent article.

  2. Matt Burnett

    Haha! The title definitely caught my attention!

  3. Diane Tucker

    Once again, another great article, Ben! I hate sin, and I pray there are more of us, Christians who hate sin too. It is sad to see, and to know of so many Christians who seem to be desensitized to the sin around them, and then they "cave" into it, just to be accepted in society. Psalm 119:160 says: "…the sum of thy Word is truth.." we cannot pick and choose the verses that we approve of, to comply with what the world wants us to do. Thank you for your heart and study of God's Word.

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