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A Time to Hate

Anyone who knows me knows I love books. Anyone who knows me well knows there is one book I despise so much I destroyed my copy rather than sell it or give it away: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. To put my hatred of this book into perspective, I still own copies of The God Delusion and God and the Gay Christian (stamped "HERETICAL GARBAGE: FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY," mind you, but they're still on my shelves). But not One Hundred Years of Solitude. Never One Hundred Years of Solitude.

We all have something we loathe. As Christians, we must never hate anyone. Every individual is loved by God and created in His image. All of them -- all of us. Never should another human being be the target of our hatred; instead, they should always be the objects of our love. As it is written, "Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen" (1 John 4:20).

Yet Ecclesiastes 3:8 tells us there's a time to hate. What, then, can (and should) we hate? Sin, for starters, and our own sins most of all. Then other evils which stand against the will of God: war, death, hunger, disease, poverty, false gods, idols, hypocrisy, addictions, racism, bigotry, pride, and prejudice. And then and only then could you move into things like terribly bad magical realist novels, broccoli, and the Duke men's basketball team (as a concept, not as people).

But let that hate drive you to act in love. If you hate hunger and poverty, feed the homeless. Hate war? Lobby for peace. Let the love of God shine through you into the dark places of the world. Because the God who hates evil is the God who is love.

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