Text: “I have hated them that regard lying vanities; but I trust in the Lord.” Psalm 31:6.
Good morning, vanity-hating Christian! It is commonly known worldwide that the Christian faith is a belief-system firmly established in love; truth, liberty, and freedom of personal conscience; and this is indeed so. However, let me stimulate your thoughts today, beloved Christian, let me pose the question: ‘Is it reasonable, or legitimate for Christians to harbour or practice hatred?’
Bear with me, and I will seek to elucidate the thrust of my Scriptural reasoning. It is a godly trait to reason things out in fellowship together; please help us, Lord God, to do so with mutual respect and Christian love.
“Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)
No matter how much one leans on established religious convention, or church traditions - one cannot ignore sections of Holy Scripture; God-breathed revelations, which have God the Holy Spirit as their Divine Author - that fly in the face of such established conventions, traditions, and practice!
Dictionary Definition: convention - (noun) …usual fashion, established usage… (Chambers Dictionary, page 357)
Definition of convention in Oxford English Dictionary: (noun) A way in which something is usually done: (Example) to attract the best patrons the movie houses had to ape the conventions and the standards of theatres.
Established Christian convention, therefore, is that we must be firmly established in love for others, even our enemies. YET, there are some Scriptural exceptions that clearly show that there will be situations and circumstances; social traits, and personality characteristics wherein, as genuine loving Christians, we must exercise a God-ordained hatred. Fact.
Verse 6: “I have hated them that regard lying vanities. Those who will not lean upon the true arm of strength are sure to make to themselves vain confidences. Many must have a god, and if he will not adore the only living and true God, he makes a fool of himself, and pays superstitious regard to a lie, and waits with anxious hope upon a base delusion. Men who make gods of their riches, their persons, their wits, or anything else, are to be shunned by those whose faith rests upon God in Christ Jesus; and so far from being envied, they are to be pitied as depending upon utter vanities.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 149)
It is most clear from Mr Spurgeon’s comment above that it would be a disobedience to the Lord God if we - as genuine regenerate Christians - should seek to LOVE the practices and conventions of those who put their full trust in what Holy Scriptures call ‘…lying vanities…’. We cannot do or practice what the Lord in His Word denies us permission to do. We must exercise the required revulsion of all things, and practices, and desires (including our own!) that God’s Word clearly and openly reviles as sin. Amen? Lord, help us to do so.
However, we CAN love such people enough to confront their erroneous beliefs, false confidences; ungodly practices; doomed and futile superstitions; worship of idols; and foolish hopes - by proclaiming boldly and consistently the glorious Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and seeking to faithfully practice what we say we truly believe! Praise His Name!
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free…If the Son (Jesus Christ) therefore shall make you free ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:32;36)
“The Romanists feign miracles of the saints to make them, as they suppose the more glorious. They say that the house wherein the virgin Mary was when the angel Gabriel came unto her was, many hundreds of years after, translated, first out of Galilee into Dalmatia above two thousand miles, and thence over the sea into Italy, where also it removed from one place to another, till at length it found a place where to abide, and many most miraculous cures, they say, were wrought by it, and that the very trees when it came, bowed unto it.” (Christopher Cartwright 1602-1658)
How can we seek to join in ‘Christian fellowship’ with people who insist on, not only believing in such error, but seek diligently to teach others to believe such fables? True Christian ‘water’ and superstitious ‘oil’ just will not successfully mix! (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Hear what God the Holy Spirit inspires the Psalmist to write: "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies." (Psalm 139:21-22)
“Infinite stories they have of this nature, especially in the Legend of Saints, which they call ‘The Golden Legend’, a book so full of gross stuff that Ludovicus Vives, a Papist, but learned and ingenious, with great indignation cried out, ‘What can be more abominable that that book?’ and he wondered why they should call it ‘golden’, when as he that wrote it was a man ‘of an iron mouth and of a leaden heart’.” (Christopher Caratwright 1602-1658)
Thought: We cannot say that we love Christ’s truth without hating the Devil’s lies! We must love those in error enough to ‘offend’ them with God’s truth.