David Kyle Foster: What It Means to Hate Evil

A New Revelation

I’ll never forget the day when, out of the blue, God said to my heart, “Hate evil!” Somewhat unnerved, I replied, “But Lord, you told us to love our enemies, not to hate” (Matthew 5:44). His reply: “I didn’t tell you to hate people, I told you to hate evil!”

What a shocker! I had read the relevant passage many times in Romans 12:9 – “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” – but hadn’t understood all that it was saying. (Note that the NASB reads, “Abhor what is evil!”)

In Romans 7:15, the Apostle Paul lamented the fact that he committed the very sins that he hated. He was not saying that he hated himself, but rather, he hated his evil desires/actions. More on that later.

Impure Motivations

Looking at my own approach to the matter, I finally realized that my “hatred” of sin had more to do with…….

–  my hatred of being under the sway of sin,

–  of not experiencing victory over it,

–  of not being perfect,

–  of suffering the embarrassment of being caught in sin,

–  of constantly being made the fool by its deceptions.

Now, I understood that my hatred of sin had been a “me-centered” intellectual response to my own failures rather than a genuine hatred of the very thing itself.

Now I saw in Romans 12:9 an exhortation to aggressively hate the evilness of evil – to vehemently oppose it and to consider it the most horrible of things.

Seeing Things as They Are

If only we could see the reality behind the evil that entices us — for example, a pornographic image. If the veil could be lifted for just a moment, we would see the horrible, demonic force that undergirds the image and the bareness found there. In place of the irresistible enticement, we would see the torture and murder of our Lord that was necessary to atone for our embrace of such an illusion.

God is entreating us to consciously oppose what is evil – to consider it as the vile enemy that it is – an enemy that required Jesus to suffer and die.

Many in the Church today only pay attention to the grace side of the equation – that the sins of believers are forgiven – a focus that although true, overlooks the goal that lies beyond salvation, which is an incorporation of Christ’s hatred of evil and His love of what is good.

Unexpected Consequences

My first lesson in this matter was to discern the various kinds of evil that daily presented themselves to me. One day, as a gratuitously violent scene came across the television, the Lord spoke to my heart, saying: ”Why do you entertain yourself with violence?” Busted! It had never occurred to me that such a thing was evil.

On another occasion, I was watching a comedian on TV. Some of his jokes were off color while others demeaned people. Until then, I had “bravely weathered” the ungodly jokes in order to find gratification in the clean ones. But with God’s exhortation in mind, I now realized the damage that the ungodly jokes were having on my spirit and my pursuit of holiness. I suddenly saw them as part and parcel of the system of evil that nailed Jesus to the Cross.

But the big shocker was that upon deciding to change the channel, a host of rationalizations began to flood my mind. A resistance from within cried out against my desire for a deeper pursuit of holiness…..

I would miss an otherwise good story!

I would be deprived of the comfort of the good jokes!

The human body is beautiful,

so what’s wrong with watching that fairly mild sex scene?

After all, I don’t watch “Game of Thrones”!

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, David Kyle Foster