Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

God Hates... ME?!?

Hiding is not an option
Unfortunately for a lot of people their knowledge of God doesn't extend past 1 John 4:8, and for the vast majority of those people, all they know is the last three words of the verse:
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Yes, God is love, but God is many, many more things than that. Love is most certainly one of His attributes, and a very important one, but love is only just a part of His Glory. If a person concentrated only on his divine love then that person is doing himself and everyone around him a huge disservice by shoehorning God into such a narrow definition. 

I've actually heard people that should know better say something to the tune of "God is love - He won't send good people to hell." To narrowly define God in your own mind you convince yourself that God is some fluffy deity that created kittens and puppies just for your pleasure and someday if you're good he'll give you a pony. With a rainbow colored tail. And all your sins are forgiven even before you commit them because God is Love and he couldn't possibly feel any anger toward you

It's not like that. If God is Love and only Love, where did the concept of "The Wrath of God" come from? (Hint: It came from the bible.) God is so much more than a single emotion, here's a partial list of some of His attributes:
I actually was one of those folks that believed God was a fluffy loving cloud sitter surrounded by babies with wings that played harps and that hell was only populated by Hitler, Stalin, and Margaret Sanger. Imagine my shock when I found out that God is actually capable of hate. As I sat for the first time in what I now fondly call The Church of the Bereans our pastor gave a fiery sermon (and when's the last time you heard a fiery sermon?) which mentioned the list of things that God hates. GOD HATES?!? Whoa, wait a minute sarge, this was a whole new concept to me. So I did the Berean thing and started to research, and son-of-a-gun he was right! which explains why he's the pastor and I'm feverishly highlighting my bible every Sunday morning.
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes;
You hate all who do iniquity. (Psalms 5:5)
That was my first ooops moment - that God truly is capable of hate. But iniquity? I'm a fairly modest guy so I don't do the boastful thing (much) but it's not like I run around doing iniquity all the time. Iniquity, that's like mass murder, genocide, torture... right? So I looked up iniquity - it means a sin. Just a plain ordinary run-of-the-mill sin. Darn. Looking back at the 10 commandments I broke them all EXCEPT #2! (I thought hopefully) I never actually made a graven image. Then I read on: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God - bummer. I was raised Catholic, my youth was filled with Graven Images.

Oh but there's more, God hates:
16 There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
Most of these are pretty easy to understand: a lying tongue - God hates liars. Hands that shed innocent blood - He hates murderers. Feet that run rapidly to evil - God hates people that are eager to sin. And one who spreads strife among brothers - He hates people that stir up anger and hatred (rabble rousers). But a false witness who utters lies? We've already covered a lying tongue, why twice? Because God hates liars but He really hates a false witnesses; a perjurer, someone who lies under oath, a person who makes false legal accusations against an innocent person. Remember when President Clinton was impeached for perjury and all the press was busy defending him by saying a little lie doesn't matter? God thinks it does.

That leaves a heart that devises wicked plans and haughty eyes. A Heart that devises wicked plans isn't a sin is it? it's just thinking, we can't be held responsible for thinking about sinning can we? Jesus says we can:
27"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery';28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)
So what about haughty eyes? Haughty means scornfully and condescendingly proud, so what God is saying is that he hates arrogant pride, because pride is the root of all sin. Of all sins Pride is the most serious, most subtle of sins. Pride turns us away from God instead of turning toward him. It's pride that makes us think we can manage our problems when instead we should be turning to God for help. All disobedience and rebellion has pride at it's root. Pride causes hate by arrogantly placing yourself ahead of someone else, pride causes racism by pride based on skin color or theology, it's pride that wedges itself between us and God. Pride causes people to go their own way instead of God's way, it makes you think you're above all those rules and warnings God has layed out for you. Pride causes people to begin worshiping rocks and stars and natural phenomenon that was created by God yet in their pride they ignore God. 

Pride is the thing that makes a person say "God couldn't possibly hate someone as good as >>>ME<<<." 

God has some high expectations for us mere mortals for one awesome reason - we were created in His image. All of these things he hates about us he hates because these things, these sins, hurt us. He doesn't want that, what He wants is us to live fulfilling lives, to glorify Him and thank him for his gift of life, then to all come and be happy with him in heaven. Of course that's kind of hard because you can't come into his presence when tainted with sin, and we all sin because Satan is very good at convincing us sin is fun. 

Lucky for us among all other things that he is, God is love. He knows we sin, he knows we are really, really good at sin and some of us sit up nights perfecting new creative ways to sin. But God gave us a way to cleanse ourselves of that sin, cleanse ourselves of sins we haven't committed yet, and come join him. All we have to do is ask. 
25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, "Then who can be saved?" 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:25-26)

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