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Perfect Hatred

Updated on October 12, 2018

To Bible Believing Christians and Everyone Else

I know that God is good all the time. God cannot be anything except good. One other thing. I believe the Bible is true. So … how can a "good God" hate?

It appears that culturally, the word “Hate” is becoming the ultimate “bad thing”. The mere accusation of hatred can be devastating. As soon as I say I disagree with someone on a certain political or moral topic, they can cry “that’s hate” in an attempt to silence my opposition. And it may work. It has become an effective tactic in the past twenty five years or so. The very word “Hate” is, in and of itself, in some ways becoming “hate speech”.

We know that God is good all the time, and we know from 1 John 4:8 that God is love.

So, with our cultural bias against anything that has to do with “hate” and the fact that “God is love”, we might assume that all hatred is a “sin” … especially since we assume from our cultural bias that “all hate is bad.”

That is the assumption I’m challenging with this hub.

Love Requires Hate

The dictionary, defines “hate” as “an intense dislike”. So, logically, hatred requires a target. The target can be explicit (I hate broccoli). The target can also be implied, for example in the statement “Hatred is a problem”, the target of the hatred is “people”. In other words, it’s a short way of saying “Hatred of people is a problem”.

The question is not "is hate wrong?" Hate just "is". The quesiton is, "is it wrong to hate what you hate?"

Hate is the opposite of love only if that the target of hatred is truly in direct opposition to the target of the love. Jesus points this out in Luke 16:13: No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.

Psalm 97:10 says, “You who love the Lord, hate evil…”

Since God is good, love for God necessitates the hatred of evil.

Imperfect love, results in imperfect hatred. Perfect love casts out tormenting fear. So, any hatred that leads to tormenting fear must be imperfect.

It is this imperfect hatred that leads to “fear”, and all of the various –isims that leads to the cry for “social justice”.

What God Hates

God is love and God is good. So that which God hates must be evil. Proverbs 6: 16-19 tells us: 16 These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

We know that God is love. And we God loves people (John 3:16). So, he hates those things which are harmful to people:

  • Arrogant Pride – (Not the bold confidence the some call arrogance, but truly believing more of oneself than is true. Or, using one's social, political, or religious position to make yourself feel superior to mere mortals.)
  • Lying
  • Murder
  • Planning to do harm to someone
  • Actively seeking evil.
  • Perjury – Which is kind of like lying. I think that’s why Solomon couldn’t decide if it was six or seven things in his list.
  • Deliberately provoking people to hate each other.

Twice in the book of proverbs it says that God hates dishonest scales. One of those verses clarifies that he hates all dishonest measurement systems. (Proverbs 16:11 and Proverbs 20:23)

God hates what hurts us. God hates that which causes us to hurt each other. God hates that which causes us to withdraw from him.

I am divorced. That divorce, the process of being divorced, all the ways I was betrayed, falsely accused, taken advantage of… was, as anybody who has gone through a divorce, knows, extremely painful. It hurt me.

One of the most institutionally abused scriptures is Malachi 2:16: "For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce,”

An entire culture has grown up in some churches that shun divorced people based on this scripture. The most painful admission I had to make, to myself, is that I had been an active part of that culture. By the judgment I judged others, I myself was judged, not by God, but my me.

It took God a long time to convince me that He didn’t hate me because I was divorced, to convince me that He really did want to pardon me, even for mis-judging others. He very gently showed me that He hates divorce because it hurts so badly. Reading the whole passage also shows that he hates domestic violence and betrayal within the marriage as well. He hates the whole evil mess because He loves us.

He hates the pain that it caused me, because He loves me. God calls us to love the things he loves, and hate the things he hates. 

I think Zechariah 8:17 sums it up best: “Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,' Says the Lord."

I gave My back to those who struck Me, Isaiah 50:6 (Back Image from Shroud of Turin)
I gave My back to those who struck Me, Isaiah 50:6 (Back Image from Shroud of Turin)

Prefect Hate, Perfect Fear, Perfect Love

We know from 2 Timothy 1:7: God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

1 John 4:18 tells us: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

So, what do we do with instructions like: You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, (Deuteronomy 13:4).

We all know from our own experience that fear, love and hate are all related. So, how do we interpret this? Scripture is the best interpretation of scripture.

Proverbs 8:13 tells us The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;

We also know from both Proverbs 9:10 and Psalm 111:10 that The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The Fear of the Lord then, is perfect fear. It is not the tormenting uncertainty that we normally consider “fear” (i.e. fear as used in 2 Timothy and 1 John) but instead it is wise, active, vehement avoidance of evil: A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself; (Proverbs 27:12)

God’s perfect hatred is for those things that harm us, that interfere with our loving relationships with each other, and most of all, for those thoughts, attitudes and actions that drive us away from His love for us.

These thoughts, attitudes and actions that harm us, destroy our relationships, and drive us away from a loving God are a large part of what is called “sin”… now consider that perfect hatred of sin, when we read 2 Corinthians 5:21: For He made [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him:


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    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      CW - I thank you and recieve your blessing.

      RGraf - Again, I thank you.

      AEvans - I could not be a "professional holy man", I do what I can from where I am, but I do take the compliment as it was intended, thank you.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 

      11 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very well done!!!!! So many don't stop and think about what the words really mean and how we might have changed them as a culture. And no where does the Bible say He hates divorced people or any of those "sinners". As I recall Jesus hung out with them the most and since He was God...... There is an old cliche in church circles that says: Hate the sin, Love the sinner. He loves us all, but like any parent hates to see what we do to ourselves. Humans have a tendency to read what they want to read into the Good Word and then misapply it. That always saddens me. I grew up with so many doing that.

      Very well done!! I applaud you.

    • countrywomen profile image


      11 years ago from Washington, USA

      BDazzler - I pray that you find the solace after going through the painful separation from spouse. May God bless you with health, wealth and happiness. Good hub and nice message.

    • AEvans profile image


      11 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      BDazzler, you are another person that has been sent to Preach , this is seriously something you need to look at. Another great article and thanks for writing it. God bless.:)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      11 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks BD, sleep tight :)

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Misty, I'm starting to fade, gonna turn in for the night ... will read later. You have my prayers for the healing of your soul wounds.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      11 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks BD, I am far from perfect, and to forgive after what these people put me through is all but impossible. I may well do a hub on God's justice yet, but to get a better idea how bad some of my experiences were try reading two hubs of mine that cover some of it (if you have the time):




      I have yet to do a hub on the guy who beat me up for over three years, but probably will do at some point.

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      TK, I eagerly await your further commentary.

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Misty, my heart breaks when I hear these stories, and I hate that those things happened. This is where the justice/mercy argument comes from.

      The Pslams, I think, give me the greatest comfort in these cases.

      The term "repent" is not emotional, it's behavioral. I refer to points 1 and 4 in the "Sacrafice/Forgivneness" Hub.

      I don't blame you for hating them. I'm having a hard time not hating them, and I don't even know them. I think God's primary concern with that hatred in you is what it does "to" you.

      I feel angry, very angry when I hear that those things were done to you.

      Maybe a hub on God's justice may be appropriate.

    • t.keeley profile image


      11 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      I think this opens up doors for an interesting discussion. It as very well written and your points valid :) I believe I agree with you fundamentally, I sort of am "not here" mentally tonight so it may take another reading to know for sure ;)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      11 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Great Hub BD, I have to say there are a few people still on this earth that I sincerely hate, and cannot forgive. A man who beat me up regularly for several years, the Son of my Late Husband who tormented me and stole from me after his Father's death, and my ex-fiance, who not only was a control freak and hit me, but also tried to strangle my dog and when he returned to Guernsey proceeded to completely blacken my name with people who didn't know me, and therefore believed him. I can forgive anyone if they show genuine remorse and apologise, but find it impossible when they simply have no conscience.

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thanks Eddie! Oh, yeah, one more thing, just for the record - I actually love broccoli.

    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 

      11 years ago


      It is not uncommon for God to use human terms to convey Himself to humans and what He is doing.

      I am so glad that you’ve made it clear that when God hates something it does not mean that He hates the person doing the “something”.

      Most of us who study the Word of God could easily “pick apart” what others say or write. It seems that we would all be better served to look at the overall message that is being conveyed and respond in love, leaving the correction issue up to God.

      Very good thoughts. ~ eddie

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      pac: Well, the translators probably know that better than me, being linguists and all. Hate, Abhor ... different words for the same basic idea? Don't know. I have been known to argue semantics quite vehemently. But, to paraphrase Shakespeare ... "A Rose By Any Other Name... will still double in price just before Valentines Day"

    • pacwriter profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      The word "hate" is a word. Words are created by Humans. God is beyond human and as a consequence any "word" is a human but not relevant to God.

      Too often we assign the "human" to God and expect Him to be limited by our definitions. In 1 Peter God "abhors" evil. Imagine a piece of raw cow liver on your dinner plate and you get the idea.

      What does God abhor -- is a better question that what does God hate.


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