Tag Archives: hatred

Unfocused Rage

I have trouble determining the focus of these Islamic terrorists’ rage, anger, and hatred. They really gained a permanent spot on the American radar on 9/11, but since then we have also seen them inflict violence and death on their own people. In Iraq we have seen numerous car bombings, mine fields, grenade launches, among other things, directed at the peacekeeping forces, American and Iraqi alike, established there. On top of that, though, Iraqi men, women, and children “have been killed”:http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/thomas022306.asp, mosques bombed, and “shrines destroyed”::http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185782,00.html, all done with no peacekeeping presence being targetted. In short the terrorists are bombing and killing their own people.

Hence my confusion. Who are the terrorists lashing out against – unbelieving American, capitalist infidels or just anyone who does not believe exactly they way they do? From my perspective it does much more to damage whatever goals they are trying to accomplish when they seem to have no particular agenda, other than to inflict as much pain and suffering on others as they can. I simply don’t understand what they are hoping to accomplish, if anything. Nothing in their behaviors and actions makes much sense to me, since they are also alienating the very people they claim to be trying to save. It’s a very twisted and sick world in which they live, apparently.

Professional Weaker Brothers and Christian Diatribes

bq. (Whether their points are valid or not is often irrelevant, as their approach to criticizing the generalization usually stonewalls further discussion.) “#”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/index.php/archives/65/trackback/

“Professional weaker brothers”:http://www.rmcrob.com/?p=2459 are those Christians who are not so weak in their faith as they would have everyone believe, but who fake and exaggerate their weakness and claim offense against other Christians. We’ve all seen and experienced it to some degree, I’m sure. “iMonk”:http://www.internetmonk.com, aka Michael Spencer, “writes”:http://www.internetmonk.com/index.php/archives/the-tyranny-of-the-offended at length on the subject of how to deal with such individuals and how we as Christians are to live and express our faith in the face of those who are easily offended by just about everything.

Christian Diatribists are, I think, in the same camp as the Professional Weaker Brothers. These are those “individuals”:http://dyinginchrist.blogspot.com/ who twist their faith and their beliefs so that they allow them to fuel their own personal “hatred”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/feeling_i_dont.php#c22638. Often, these are the same people who hold such a narrow view of Biblical truth that they, 1) misunderstand the truth of their ‘pet’ Scripture passages, the ones they quote regularly as proof for their anger, hatred, and animosity; 2) rail against any who believe differently, using abusive, bitter language; and 3) “complain and rage”:http://scatteredwords.com/d/2005/12/nostalgia.php all the more and claim offense when they are called onto the carpet for their actions (even when the confrontation is peacable).

Both the ‘brothers’ and the ‘diatribists’ share this in common — they are easily offended, often use strong, abusive language when making their arguments, are driven by personal anger, and destroy any valid points they _might_ hold in their offensive approaches to confrontation. Perhaps it is merely human weakness, to see something that frustrates and aggravates you so much that you let your anger take over and control everything you say and do. Yet, for Christians, even this benefit-of-the-doubt excuse fails to justify such behavior. As Christians we are called to a higher standard of peace and love. Christ Himself says that we are to love all men, demonstrating this so well by associating with the worst of society’s sinners. Always His tone and His manner expressed grace and love. There is no place within the Christian faith for the level of hatred, anger, and animosity that we see proceeding out from the Professional Weaker Brother and the Christian Diatribist. No dialogue or discourse can take place with such individuals, either, because they are unwilling to listen and learn. The most we can do is present them with the errors of their ideologies, love them and respond to them in grace, pray for them, and continue to encourage them to think and to change their aggressive behaviors. Unfortunately, most of us would probably rather respond in kind (and sometimes do), which makes ministering to these individuals and helping them grow in their faith that much more difficult. Yet, it is our responsibility to come alongside these people (if they will let us), teaching with patience and grace, striving to help them open their hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit, rather than letting them continue on in their anger and their ignorance.

Oh, that grace would abound!

Loving and Hating

A “series of questions”:http://www.xanga.com/godchaesr/402392715/god-loves-me-god-hates-me-at-the-same-time.html thrown out by “godchaesr”:http://www.xanga.com/godchaesr:

bq. could it be that hatred and love are not opposites? could God love someone and hate them at the same time? What is hatred? How would you define it? Could we define it as complete/total disagreement with?

These questions prompted me to take out my “Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary”:http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?userid=xD6JwZSChB&isbn=0785211608&itm=2 and conduct a little bit of research. There are several ways that the word ‘hate’ is used throughout the Bible.

The first (and most common among Americans) refers to a strong sense of jealousy — everything from bitter disdain to outright hatred. Another use of the word is “ingressive”:http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=ingress, specifically, in this context, of beginning to hate, of initiating these adverse feelings. A weaker sense of the word indicates being set against something, as in hating, or being set against, murder, crime, sin, etc. ‘Hate’ can also mean to be unloved, untrustworthy, may indicate failing marital relations or alienation, and may indicate a preference of one person or thing over another.

To answer the first question — _’could it be that hatred and love are not opposites?’_ — in some cases they are, at least humanly speaking. Typically, when a person says they hate someone, there are no feelings of love in their hearts whatsoever, though, of course, this is not always the case, since saying, ‘I hate you’ can actually mean ‘I really dislike you right now.’ God Himself does not hate His creation with outright hatred, though He may hate in the sense of setting Himself against something or someone. So the second question is answered — _could God love someone and hate them at the same time?_ — by recognizing that God loves all people, though He may be set against them at times or prefer one over another (see, Israel, Esau, etc.). The last questions — _What is hatred? How would you define it? Could we define it as complete/total disagreement with?_ — have, to some extent, already been covered merely by elaborating on the research. Several definitions and uses have been laid out above? Could we define it as complete/total disagreement with? Yes. Yes, I think we can, though it would be considered a weaker use of the word. Such a use would probably fall under the same sort of header as ‘set against’, since the times in history that God was set against Israel was when they went against His directives. God had to set Himself against them for a time to bring them back to Himself.

Good questions, godchaesr.

In the Background

Christianity is a faith, I believe, that functions in the background. Or at least it should. The Christian faith is a personal one. It functions as the relationship of individual to Deity, but it is also a function of individual to individual. The most effective dissemination of the Gospel has always been on a one-to-one basis. Granted, God has blessed many great evangelists over the years with widespread ministries, leading hundreds and thousands to Christ at a time. But I think the numbers would show that the greatest spread of the Word has been through personal relationships with each other, with letting the Christian lifestyle speak volumes, with communicating our hope in casual conversation. When Christians take the Gospel to the public arena, particularly the political arena, the message somehow gets tainted and stilted. In that realm emotions like fear flavor the good news in a way that is often harmful because political-religious concerns involve protecting the right to worship. That fear drives that political action, and what starts as a movement to protect freedom of worship almost turns into a blanket action to forcefully establish a state religion, something that the founding fathers were very careful to protect against. (Of course, there are also those who use their beliefs to foster an attitude of superiority, who allow that attitude to breed anger, hatred, and bitterness, but those are the individuals that need to be separated from the whole because they clearly do not aid the Body. They are the cancer that brings the Body down and should removed.)

Christianity is a faith that operates best in the background. Our faith should be visible, but not obnoxiously so. Our faith should be presented with love and compassion but also with patience and understanding, two virtues that I think are all too often forgotten or ignored. No one can be forced to believe in Christ or in God, yet the practice of our faith should be compelling and awe-inspiring. This is why it is so important to develop active relationships with other people — with other Christians for the strengthening of our faith and the renewal of our spirits, and with unbelievers so that we may demonstrate with our lives and testify with our lips the power of the hope that is in us. Let us relate our hope to others and build the Kingdom one life at a time.

Response to a Blog

You can find the blog in question here. Discussion can be found here.

*sigh*

Once again, it is the hatred, ignorance, and bigotry of the fanatical minority that earns the vast majority an undeserved label and stigma. It is exactly because of this reaction that I sometimes wish to distance myself from those people who call themselves Christians, yet somehow use those beliefs to justify their hatred and bitterness toward anyone who does not believe exactly like them.

Unfortunately, the instances of behavior cited in this blog are examples of people who have little to no understanding of the Scripture and of the work of Christ. The author himself demonstrates his complete unfamiliarity with the teachings of the Bible (and historical and
archaeological evidence), yet somehow considers himself informed enough to comment. Seems ironic to me, somehow.

I understand and appreciate the fact that Christians are going to be hated by the world. I have accepted the inevitable. People simply do not like to be told that they are sinners, that their self-indulgent behaviors are wrong and damaging, that ultimately a life lived without God is a complete waste, utter vanity. And as such, they voice their scorn and exercise their displeasure at every point possible. They do hold valid points, so far as they go — there are some Christians who obviously violate the teachings of their own belief system. They are the only ones, however, who ever make headlines, who anyone ever hears about. As a result the entire Christian faith is characterized by those few individuals who really messed up. It’s not fair, but it is the way it is.

The rest of us have to work ten times harder to share our faith. Persecution increases, though in the US we have yet to see it escalate to physical violence. Partly, we as Christians have brought this on ourselves; partly, it is the ‘natural’ order of things as we share a message that many simply do not wish to hear. The only way for Christians to overcome the stigma assigned to us is to be even more open and obvious in our lifestyles about the TRUE message of Christianity, so that those who hate in the name of Christ are exposed as the true minority. We must share our Message, we must love more strongly than others can hate, we must sacrifice and serve and care so that others can see that Christ truly is the Son of God and that God
is, in actuality, a God of love and justice.

It is things like this article that sometimes make me wonder if we as Christians have a chance of influencing the world for Christ. Yet, I am reminded that we cannot change the world all once. It can only be changed one person at a time, and sometimes I feel like that is much
too slow for me. But Christ’s focus was always on the relationship, and so to change the world, we must have relationship with those of the world and demonstrate Christ’s love through that relationship.

Hatred Toward Christians

QUOTE
“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“If all Christians acted like Christ, the whole world would be Christian.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

I was talking with a colleague the other day, and she was telling me about the professor that she has that has made his dislike for missionaries clearly known. In fact, he works a statement of his distaste into nearly every lecture. This bothers her because she has a missionary background, and her professor knows it.

Similarly, I’ve had discussions with others about why they despise Christians and Christianity. The reasons they’ve given me are legitimate and just — Christians can be some of the coldest, most judgmental, most condescending people on the face of the planet, both to unbelievers and to one another. Naturally, this turns a lot ofpeople off to Christianity.

To be honest, this is something I have struggled with and continue to struggle with. Why are the very people who are called to a higher calling and who claim to be the people saved by grace unwilling to extend that same grace to others? It makes me ashamed sometimes to be called a Christian and to be associated with others who call themselves Christian. I find it so much more difficult to share my faith when the initial reaction is one of disgust, hatred, and
bitterness. I admit, I’ve become cynical toward Christians. At least unbelievers are honest regarding what they are about.