Redefining Love and Hate

Every few years, our language changes, and words take on different shades of meaning, or they change meaning entirely. Such is the case with the words “love” and “hate”.

“Hate” still means to despise something, and “love” still means to adore. However, nowadays people who champion the cause of immorality have flip-flopped love and hate for the sake of their agenda. People who oppose sin are called “haters,” and those who practice rank immorality are now defined as champions of “love”. I am interested in getting to the bottom of this from the Bible’s perspective.

The Old Testament says that parents show their love for their children when they discipline them: “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly” (Proverbs 13:24). Solomon could not have been clearer. Parents who fail to discipline their children are the real “haters”. Solomon also said that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of reproof drives it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). Unfortunately, today we are told that loving parents never administer corporal punishment to their children.

Paul warned Timothy that in “perilous times” people would be “without self-control … despisers of good … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Paul’s words reverberate into the 21st century. People today love pleasure and sin rather than God, while those who love God and His perfect law are condemned as hateful people.

The Bible teaches that those who love God’s word must hate every false way (Psalms 119:104, 128). Yet, people today believe that the ultimate expression of love is to tolerate and even endorse people who immerse themselves in immorality. If you oppose sin and stand confidently on the side of the truth (Proverbs 23:23), you are called a “hater”. If you speak out against homosexuality, which God calls “vile passions” and “against nature” (Romans 1:26-27), you are branded a “bigot”.

Those who love God cannot back down nor retreat from the truths taught in the Bible. Standing for the truth will bring the wrath of ungodly people upon you, but their hatred of truth should never deter you. God is right, wicked people who advance the agenda of sin are wrong (Romans 3:4). Stand with God, love truth, hate sin, and love men and women enough to tell them the truth (Galatians 4:16).

David Weaks