Saturday, June 11, 2011


Hatred obscures all distinctions.
In this quote, C.S. Lewis highlights the most powerful and destructive emotions that mankind can experience.  It is all encompassing and blinding.  It makes it impossible to see any goodness or any nuance.  Hatred depersonalizes the object of the hatred, making people not even human.  Thus, slave owners do not even view their slaves as people.  Germans believed that the Jews were sub-human.  

But how does that apply to us; I mean, as a good Christian, we never experience hate right?  We  must never forget that many major evils of our history were generally committed in the name of God, including slavery and the Holocaust.  But how does it apply to you and me?  We don't hate, do we?  For example, I don't hate my ex-wife for the pain she inflicted on me, do I (substitute ex-wife here for the person who has inflicted the most pain on you)?  I didn't hate Osama bin Laden while he was alive, did I?  We don't hate Harold Camping for the idiocy of his May 21st wrong-headed prediction, do we? Unfortunately, I think the human condition is to hate.  It has no place in the church or in our lives.  It is the most destructive of all human emotions.

I do not know how to personalize this for us.  This emotion is so scary that we will never admit that this is an issue in our lives.  Yet, the evidence of it is everywhere, even in the church.  It is rooted in selfishness.  As James says,
"What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?  You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.  You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4.
Let us redouble our commitment to love each, to serving each, and to selflessness.  Let us redouble our submission to the Lordship of Christ. Let us, as a community be known by our love, not our hate.

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