Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday’s Theological Question of the Week

This week I am introducing a new feature for my Presbyterian Blogging Friends. Monday’s Theological Question of the week. Each week there will be a new questions posed for your discussion. So here we go . . .
Can God Hate?


wb said...

yes...train of thought typing--throwing it out there to see what, if any, sticks.

Hate is often seen as the opposite of love, and therefore people would consider hate as incompatible with God. But to use Augustine's Evil being the absence of Good concept, Hate is the absence of Love. However it is not a full absence of Love, because it still suggests a union, a bond between two things; there is a glimmer of connectivity suggested in hate.
Example: I hate the Seahawks, the reason I hate the Seahawks is because they beat the Panthers in the NFC championship. There is a connection between myself and the Seahawks, though a negative one.
Therefore Hate is not the full absence (antecedent) of Love--since God is Love and the opposite of God is nothing.

So, can God hate? Yes.

Does God hate?
I do not see much Biblical warrant for God being a Hater (maybe with the Golden Calf incident). And fear that this leads to the tired, impossible rhetoric for us to Hate the sin, Love the sinner.

Neil said...

certainly we see God hating in the scriptures. At least the language of hate is there.

Anonymous said...

The Bible says he does. He hates sin and evil. If you are asking if he hates the people he created, that's another question.

wb said...

What is interesting, to me, is a majority of the times "Hate" is used in scripture it is used in reference to human relationships to each other or to God.

Then most of the times Scripture speak about God hating (Deut. 12:31; 16:22; Psalm 45:7, Psalm 101:3; Proverbs...) you have the Lord describing what action he "hates." [also since most examples are found in the poetic texts of God hating, perhaps it is also hyperbole] Plus, Psalm 5:5 is a difficult text to consider, in light of the fact that we are all sinners: "...You [God] hate all evildoers."

That is why it is interesting to then look at "hate" through the lens of Jesus Christ, in which he and his disciples become the object of hate. New Testament references to "hate" are mostly the warnings of Jesus that they will be hated by the world (except Romans 9:13 and Rev 2:6).

Therefore, can God hate? Yes.

Does God hate? Due to the work in Jesus Christ, who took the hate upon himself, I would have to say no.
And I see little warrant for us to continue the phrase "Hate the sin, love the sinner."
Does that crack the door open for relativism, blatant sinning, etc.--perhaps.

loosedchains said...

"hate the sin, love the sinner." Nonsense, as a conservative evangelical (at least that's the label usually thrown my way:)I'm tired of my fellow 'evangelicals' being known for hating the sin and not for loving the sinner. Jesus worked with people, real people, broken and hurting people. I think most, no, I think all, the hate rhetoric could be done away with if only we loved, that is developed relationships with, the people who commit the "sin" that we "hate."

Nate said...

Yes. He is angry with the wicked every day. I posted on "righteous anger" this week. It is funny that it came up here as well.

Bill said...

God indeed hates sin -- but because Jesus took our sins upon Himself on the cross our sins can be forgiven -- and we can live in the relationship with God we were created for -- but that sin blocked.
Since we are forgiven by God -- we can show God's love to others. I completely agree with the comment by loosedchains -- if we developed a relationship with those who commit the sins we say we will be less likely to hate -- or condemn -- them.