Monday, January 20, 2020

Hate As A Conceptual Weapon

In his book, Strength to Love, in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote (p. 37):
Let us now move from the practical how to the theoretical why:  Why should we love our enemies?  The first reason is fairly obvious.  Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.  Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The idea for these sentences came from a sermon that King preached in 1957 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, entitled, Loving Your Enemies, where the same thoughts are expressed with almost the same, but not identical, words.  A millennial on his Instagram story portrayed these words from the social network of a retail store that sells t-shirts with these types of inscriptions, which then reminded me of an article I had read by Gene Veith at his blog, The Psychology of Hate.

From my experience, some of the most hateful people make the most protests about hate, using hate as a conceptual weapon.  Before expressing a message similar to King, Veith explains that in the very first few statements of his essay:
“Hate” has become another all-purpose term of opprobrium, like “Nazi.”  If you oppose someone for any reason, you are a “hater.”  If you disapprove of some idea or practice, you “hate” the people who hold that idea or follow that practice.  If you speak out about it, you may get accused of “hate-speech.”
Someone with "Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate" on his t-shirt or in his Instagram story, means, give full approval to everything I'm doing, even if it is immoral.  If you don't, you're a hater.  Rather than hating me, love me.  These millennials hate those preaching the truth to them, and they are informing their spheres of sovereignty, love me anyway if you hope to get anywhere.  We do love them, however, by disapproving of what they do.  That is love.

If you read King's sermon from which the "Hate Cannot Drive Out Hate" quotation is taken, he uses the example of communism versus the democracy practiced by the United States.  It is in a backdrop of the Cold War and ultimately the Vietnam War, and he advocates a moral equivalence between communism and democracy.  He preaches:
The success of communism in the world today is due to the failure of democracy to live up to the noble ideals and principles inherent in its system.
King furthermore maintains:
So somehow the “isness” of our present nature is out of harmony with the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts us. And this simply means this: That within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good. When we come to see this, we take a different attitude toward individuals. The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it.
The point of King, as a means of contending for love for communist nations, is to see the good in them.  In the most rudimentary way, this contradicts the Word of God for communist nations and people.  The Apostles Paul himself writes that in him there "dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).

Martin Luther King said, hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.  God didn't say that.  God's Word in Psalm 5:5 says about God:  "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."  In addition Psalm 11:5, "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth."  Actually, you can't love without hating.  You can't love righteousness without hating wickedness.

Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Matthew 6:24).  And he said, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26).  He also said (Matthew 10:34-37):
34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
A true preacher knows the Word of God and since He knows it, he also needs to preach it all.  If he does, then he will also report that God hates people.  Hate is one of the ways that good things happen.  Some form of the word "hate" is found 190 times in scripture.  God hates the ways of the wicked (Proverbs 15:9).  He hates the thoughts of the wicked (Proverbs 15:26).  He hates the work of them that turn aside (Psalm 101:3).

"Hate" needs to be scripturally understood, and it won't when the word "hate" is used as a conceptual weapon.  It's obvious that today that the left hates.  Ghosters hate.   It's not a matter of hating or not hating.  It is a matter of what someone hates and what someone doesn't hate.  If someone loves his own self, but he hates abominations to the Lord, then he is loving and hating the wrong things.  If he loves the common and the profane and hates the sacred, that is messed up.  This is the same with the woman, who loves immodesty and hates modesty, yet she supports the "metoo" movement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a “hate group” as an organization that “vilifies others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity.”  "Hate speech" has become a public health issue according to many, because psychiatric studies show that it causes mental or emotional damage.  They are making it a public mental health issue, and, therefore, criminal.  This means almost any kind of negative judgment of behavior, that vilifies a sinful practice.  This is called "hate," when in fact the sin is the actual problem for the person.  Confronting sin is hating sin, but it is done out of love for an individual.

Ghosting, which I have addressed in an eight part series here, is a kind of censorship that is encouraged today.  Total censorship of an individual in someone's life.  The argument exists that since "hate speech" causes mental trauma, it should be censored.  It isn't that some language shouldn't be censored.  It is that loving speech, speech that rebukes and corrects sin, is censored, and then wicked speech is propagated and encouraged.  Exposition of holy scripture is disallowed and profanity and the Lord's name in vain are supported.

There is power in the world with the claim of hatred.  It isn't ultimate power, because in the end ,that distortion destroys an individual.  The power is in its ability to deceive large numbers of people and then undermine them by giving them a basis for their foolish decisions and sinful behavior.

God says in Isaiah 5:20:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Another right application of the verse would be, woe unto them that call hate love, and love hate. 

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