Television and Internet news is littered with images of demonstrators holding “hater” signs and chanting a mantra of “Don’t be a hater!” Is it wrong to disagree with the beliefs and the ways some people live and act, and even to hate things that are wrong?
The word “hater” appears to have been popularized by the Millennial generation in music and social networking. This pop culture term is used to label anyone who does not share and embrace the values of those claiming to be victims of hate and attempting to gain sympathy and acceptance of their values and lifestyle. It is a popular tactic to demean those with traditional values and to disallow a dissenting point of view.
The phrase “haters gonna’ hate” is the dismissive response to those who will not embrace their cause. They proudly anoint themselves as the wounded but defiant victims who stand bravely against their “aggressors,” who dare to question their social agenda. Demonstrations are organized to shout down any discussion or criticism, often leading to emotional outbursts and physical confrontations.
Did you know that the word “hater” is in the Bible? The term describes those who reject God and His instructions. Consequently, God gives them up to uncleanness and their lusts, vile passions and debased minds. They are haters of God, filled with sexual immorality, pride, wickedness and violent behaviors and attitudes (Romans 1).
Yes, they hate the Almighty God Who gave them life, the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the food they eat.
Psalm 81 describes the Israelites who rejected God as “haters of the Lord,” who only pretended to practice submission to Him. As a result, God gave them over to their own stubborn hearts, to live according to their own selfish desires and suffer the consequences.
There were haters of Jesus Christ because He testified against their evil works. People do not like to hear God’s restrictions on their behavior—that some actions are just wrong. Like a stubborn little child, they want their own way.
The world also hates those who strive to adhere to the standards God set for mankind. Just as there were haters of Jesus Christ, there are haters of His followers (John 15:18–19). Jesus told His followers they would be hated by all for His name’s sake, and even be delivered up to tribulation and death (Matthew 10:22, 24:9).
God says He hates certain things! He hates “A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16–19). He also hates workers of iniquity (lawlessness), the wicked, and those who love violence, divorce, bribes and “every false way.”
Can a follower of Jesus Christ hate? Ecclesiastes 3:8 tells us there is a time to hate. But who—or what—can be hated? After all, Christ taught His disciples to love one another and to love their enemies, right? Yes! The moral law God spoke to Moses was all about loving your neighbor, and included the statement: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart” (Leviticus 19:17). In His well-known “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus taught: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…” (Matthew 5:43–44).
Disciples of Jesus Christ must hate the things Christ hates: evil, pride, arrogance, and the perverse mouth (Proverbs 8:13). A righteous man hates lying (Proverbs 13:5). We must learn to hate sin!
Be a hater of evil things. Obey God, keep His commandments, and love your neighbor as yourself.