How sweet are Thy words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth. From Thy precepts I get understanding; therefore, I hate every false way.
The term “hate” is extremely unpopular these days. In the legal profession, identifying certain unlawful acts as “hate crimes” has become standard practice, as though any crime could ever imply some intrinsic affection. But we all know what is meant: a “hate” crime is doubly-bad because specific animosity, such as racism, is part (or all) of the motivation of the criminal.
Christians rightfully view hatred of another human being as wrong because the Scriptures and Christ command us to love our neighbor. In fact, we are to take the further step of loving even our enemies. Yet, God Himself hates some things: He hates divorce, for instance. King David in his Psalms, as well as his very wise son, King Solomon in his Proverbs, enjoin us to hate evil and “every false way.” Christ didn’t say He hated anyone, but it’s clear in reading the Gospels that He, too, hated every false way, particularly hypocrisy and traditions that were regarded higher than Scripture’s authority. The cross was the supreme act of love for all time, and at the same time it condemned sin in every form. Biblical hatred identifies evil (sin) for what it is – damnable acts of rebellion against the Most High God.
So a Christian school must teach children as Christ teaches us: love what is good, hate what is evil; not love those who are good, and hate those who are evil. Paul says our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers – any idea, philosophy, or practice that is raised against the Lordship of Christ.
Evil philosophies, like all ideas, have consequences in the real world. When they are put into practice, horrible things happen. It is right and necessary to teach children to hate the root and the fruit of these philosophies. For instance, the idea or belief that unborn children are not worthy of legal protection has led to over fifty million murders. That’s the approximate number of “legal” abortions performed in the United States since the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. Fifty million also happens to be the approximate number of deaths of all people, soldiers and citizens, during the six years of World War II.
That number should and does stagger our comprehension. Joseph Stalin, a major contributor to those millions of lost lives, is credited with saying, “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.” He was right, so far as perceptions go. We personally mourn the loss of a loved one, but we have a hard time relating to the hundreds of thousands of people killed by the tsunami a few years ago, or the massive earthquake in Haiti.
The lives lost through abortion (so far) and those lost in World War II, share a number of similarities. All those deaths were done by the hand of man, not giant waves or earthquakes. These deaths were the direct consequence of the way those in power viewed the value of human life. For Hitler and Stalin, those killed by plan and purge – often unarmed elderly men and women, as well as children of every age – had no value at all. For Hitler particularly, the six million Jewish people he killed he regarded as sub-human. Similarly, for Planned Parenthood, these little ones are also not people, just masses of inconvenient cells.
A significant difference between the fifty million of World War II and the fifty million children killed in the U.S. is that the latter were utterly defenseless beings. Soldiers and even civilians can, and did, seek to fight fire with fire in many battles. God commands us to defend the helpless. Instead, we have allowed this American holocaust to continue, in our families, churches, schools and communities.
As we teach children about World War II, we appropriately encourage a godly compassion for those killed in the concentration camps, while simultaneously encouraging a hatred for the evil acts of Hitler. In the same way, we raise our children to love babies (which they very naturally do!) as precious gifts of God. When, at the appropriate age, they learn that America allows mothers to kill their unborn children, the horror and repulsion they feel should be guided into a biblical hatred of such evil. That includes showing compassion, as opportunities arise, to women in a crisis pregnancy, and aiding single mothers who bring their babies into a tough world.
There are other evil philosophies that are evident in our culture – idolatry of money and politics, entertainment that espouses sex outside of marriage as the norm, a God-less evolution of earth and man, to name a few. As our children grow and we teach them the love of God, we must also teach them that all such evil ideas are a rejection of God’s goodness and, as such, should incur their hatred. As the Word of God becomes sweeter to them, the more repellent “every false way” should become.