Biblical Love and Hatred Harmonized. We are at war Christian. Even so come Lord Jesus Christ #Maranatha #Rapture #Judgement Comes #CCOT
FAITH & HERITAGE
Biblical Love and Hatred Harmonized
by Nil Desperandum May 2, 2014
love and hate
39 And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet.
40 For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.
41 Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
42 They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but he answered them not.
43 Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. . . .
48 It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me.
49 And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
50 Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.
The most common examples for this are polygamy, divorce, and slavery. But slavery is clearly permitted in both testaments, and the other two, while they are more difficult to harmonize than the biblical texts on slavery, are still reconcilable—and even then, we would be far more justified in accepting agnosticism on how the various texts on a specific moral teaching cohere than to accept divine contradiction concerning the moral principles of marriage. ↩
See also Matthew Henry and John Gill, who provide additional nuances in their reading of the verse. ↩
We can also appeal to other arguments against (2), such as the unfittingness of any positive law which would forbid the handful of permissible imprecations. The ordinary purpose for “rule of thumb” positive laws, i.e. positive laws which absolutely forbid what moral principle alone preponderantly (but not absolutely) forbids, is when children, because of their incompetence to act with practical wisdom and their tendency to rationalize their peculiar situations as permissible, receive absolute prohibitions from their parents (for instance, parental commands to never run down the stairs). But we in the New Covenant are no longer a “church under age,” making such a strict removal of practical wisdom and deliberation to be extremely unfitting. ↩
Surprisingly, William Lane Craig explicitly advocates this view. ↩
This is Thomas Aquinas’s definition: see his Summa Theologica I-II, Quest. 26, Art. 4. ↩
I would imagine that the inability of God to increase in well-being might be the central objection to my notion of love. The solution would be, frankly, that we can increase His “flourishing” in a certain analogical sense, namely, by glorifying Him—increasing His declarative (not essential) glory. This seems a perfectly reasonable way of construing our first and greatest commandment, especially in connection with the Shorter Catechism’s statement of our chief end. ↩
This does not mean that all suffering occurs as a penal satisfaction for sin, for justified believers still undergo suffering in this life. Instead, I mean that all suffering occurs as a punishment within some sphere, whether legal or not; sufferings usually befall believers as paternal chastisements (Heb. 12:7-8), not as legal, vindicatory justice. ↩
This is not to say, however, that all the suffering which any particular individual suffers is on account of his particular sins. Because of imputation, we can suffer penalties for others’ sins – not simply because we might be responsible for having influenced their ill behavior, but because it is fitting and just for certain penalties to be transferred between objectively related parties. The clearest instance of this is that Adam’s fall brought death (a punishment) to all mankind, in addition to all the other sufferings which characterize our cursed and fallen world. This universal cursedness brought by the fall helps to explain the suffering which seems to occur independently of an individual sin-penalty. ↩
Also important, though not strictly relevant to this article, is that the obligation of holy hatred for sinners itself bears a certain requirement of holy violence against sinners. Jesus Himself connects the exterior act of murder with the interior sin of (unholy) hatred in Matt. 5:21-22, doing the same for adultery and lust in vv. 27-28. But this same principle, connecting exterior and interior, shows that the natural end of an interior disposition of holy hatred is the exterior action of holy violence. Of course, the most proper expression of this disposition is at the hands of God-ordained authorities acting according to the confines of their office, yet sufficient failure on these authorities’ part can permit a more decentralized administration of justice to flow forth. ↩
R.L. Dabney, Systematic Theology, p. 530. For further discussion and application to soteriology, see also his “God’s Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy.” ↩
Summa Theologica II-II, Question 108, Article 1. ↩
Dabney, “God’s Indiscriminate Proposals of Mercy” ↩
Many would balk at the notion that hatred motivates any of the actions described, especially God’s treatment of believers and parents’ disciplining of their children. The more salient point is that these actions involve a clear infliction of suffering. The reason that “hatred” seems to be an inapt description of these inflictions of suffering is because hate is a very strong word, one which we tend to reserve only for solemn and sufficiently grave cases where we will another’s suffering. But strictly speaking, we can affirm that these are motivated by “hatred,” for they match the definition provided above, even if they do not match the common usage of the term. This is just as we don’t ordinarily use the term “love” to indicate any instance where we act for another’s flourishing, but only our very deep and serious desires for others’ well-being. ↩
There is even a sense in which this private prerogative to administer social punishments is derived from the public, office-confined administration of justice. The propriety of a higher-level authority administering a punishment, such as a civil flogging or execution, directly requires individuals to desire that punishment to take place (apart from their own hands), but this desire for civil punishment necessarily alters private individuals’ social interactions to include the punishments of shunning and ostracism. If one wishes to see a man hang, any social interaction with that man will necessarily be altered. Even further, it might be argued that this private prerogative of social punishments derives solely from the justice of public punishments, for even when the private, social harms motivated by a holy hatred are executed upon individuals innocent of all crimes before a human tribunal, such harms are still aimed at those guilty of some wicked crime within the divine moral government. ↩
The distinction here between the retributive and deterrent reasons for social punishment aligns well with the distinction between intrinsic and consequential reasons to oppose sins like miscegenation. For example, just as all instances of sodomy should be seen as immoral because of sodomy’s intrinsic conflict with our God-created design, irrespective of the consequential harms that a single instance of sodomy might bring about (e.g. STDs), so also the social punishment of various sins is justified by its intrinsic, retributive connection to the provoking sin, irrespective of the consequential benefits that such punishment might bring about. ↩
As an additional point, it’s important to note that while Jesus taught the importance of loving our enemies, He did not teach an egalitarian love whereby we love our enemies and our own equally. The error He opposed was an insufficient love for one’s enemies—a complete lack of regard for their well-being—but it does not follow that the proper love for our enemies is equal in its nature and fervency to the loves we have for those closer to us. This anti-egalitarian point is important, because many unfortunately take Matthew 5:44-47 as teaching that we should love our enemies in the same way that we love our own—and since we ought to have nearly limitless longsuffering for our own, then practically speaking, we should never hate others. But Jesus is not teaching an equal love for the enemy as for the kinsman, only a proper love for the enemy which was theretofore suppressed. ↩