Saturday, April 30, 2011

Question - How Can One Hate Evil?

Throughout the Bible, Christians are admonished to hate evil. To offer one example from Proverbs 8:13,
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
I have always had a problem with understanding this directive because both are negative and would seem to create a greater negative.

Since hate is the opposite of love and goodness is the opposite of evil, how can a person be good and loving if they spend their time hating something?

It goes back to the message on one of my favorite bumper stickers: Your Hate
Becomes YOU.

To see what other questions I've asked about the Christian Bible, go here.


  1. Craig Duckett wrote a great essay called "The Unreality of Language"


    This is why I find freedom in the Tao... the ability to experience reality as it is, before it is processed with the limitation of language (see his analogy of the doorway).

  2. "Fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." (RSV)

    My Oxford Annotated says the first line is a "reader's note", not part of the speech of "Wisdom" (the prophetess), which is quoted in this verse.

    So your point is to not hate evil? To be indifferent to it? Or that there is no such thing? Do I understand you to be indifferent to the "multi-tiered assault" of the "Money Grubbing Pigs?" Or are they not evil?

  3. And, though I don't know what the Hebrew might be, you could instead of hate, say "detest" or "hold in strong dislike" or " forcefully reject" (like a little kid who "hates" peas and throws them on the floor. Hate has acquired a connotation of detesting something that may not really be detestable...hence we have "hate crimes." But would it be a hate crime to hate evil?

    Yes, it's all word games, but still, it's how we communicate.

  4. And finally, I do acknowledge that Jesus said to "love your enemies." Don't forget, Proverbs is Old Testament, not precisely an "admonition to Christians."

    I'm done now.


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