After a quick skim of information, this really stood out to me:
The Perceptions of Christianity from Outsiders age 16 to 29... (I believe this information comes from Barna)
1. Antihomosexual - 91%
2. Judgemental - 87%
3. Hypocritical - 85%
4. Sheltered - 78%
5. Too Political - 75%
6. Proselytizers - 70%
In other words Christians (or at least the term "Christian") have a reputation more for their anger and hatred than their love. I'm sure we need to be very careful about these stats. One of my favorite quotes is:
42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot. :)
But my guess is the general statement that this is what "Christians" are known for is probably true. When I watched the video clip about the book, my mind started racing.
Should we be afraid to hate? I'm not talking about hating people, but I'm sure there are those who would. But aren't there some things we are supposed to hate? And if you hate some things won't it show? Are you supposed to hide your hatred? I guess we are afraid to show our hatred, because it probably shows our hypocrisy. Maybe we are hating the wrong things?
A young soldier in our church when called on to pray almost always prays "Lord, help us to love the things your love and hate the things you hate." And I have to say, Amen! Please don't get me wrong - I'm not calling for people to hate and not love. There must be a balance. But I think that maybe we are headed in a direction of love and no hate.
So I had to remind myself - what does God hate? The simplest explanation probably comes from Proverbs 6:
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
The reality is that Jesus hates some things. In Revelation 2:6 Jesus says:
But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
I guess what I am thinking is that if we hate some things, it will probably affect how we are perceived. We better be sure that we are hating the right things. We also better be sure we are loving the right things.
I hope Christians - maybe I should say the Church - are known for the things they love and they actions they take for those things. But I think we better also be known for the things we hate. I hope that we won't be afraid to hate, but that we will truly be passionate about the things that God has a passion for.
Lord, forgive me for my own hypocrisy, and let my passion be all about your passion and let my heart be filled with the things you love and hate.