Haters gonna hate.

Let’s talk about hate.

In the first few verses of the Bible, we meet our God in his trinitarian wholeness. The Father creates, the Son speaks, the Spirit hovers. This Trinitarian God partners within himself in the work of creation. You can sense his single-mindedness — the energy flowing within Himself creating goodness. There is no sense of hierarchy here. In fact, a hierarchy within the Trinity would tear at the fabric of unity and prove our faith in one God to be a lie.

God is love, and within himself he is in complete unity and complete partnership. This is the substance and character of our God.

Humans were created in the likeness of this loving God, so the first two chapters of Genesis tell the story of humans being created as partners in the work of stewarding God’s creation. Side by side, male and female were to tend the land, govern the animals and be intimately unified. There was a creative energy and goodness between them. As with the one, true God, a hierarchy among humans would tear at the fabric of created design.

And yet, this is precisely what happened at the Fall. In Genesis 3, we learn that the enemy of God turned what was created as a partnership into a hierarchy. Ever since, humans have battled for control. This battle rages across genders, races, languages (in some countries, hierarchies are established by what language you know), nations … you name it. On this side of Genesis 3, fallen humanity is conditioned for division. If we can pit things against each other, we will. It is our ungodly inclination to compete, compare and control. This inclination is an incubator for hatred.

If God is love, then the enemy of God is hatred incarnate and that hatred has become the primary driver of unholy hierarchies. Whether we sense it dramatically or subliminally, it is this pull toward hierarchy that causes us to rank one another in order to justify our own value.

Let me state the obvious and say that hierarchy and hate are at the root of white supremacy and pretty much all the other hate-filled expressions of protest that surface not just in our country but around the world. Haters are obsessed with creating the kind of hierarchies that rank everyone not like them as “lesser than.” Most of us are appalled by the extremes to which the “real” haters will go. The “real” ones make the news. They have become so hardened by their own proclivities that they will shamelessly stand in the public square and spew their hate without the slightest sense of their absurdity.

The real haters are enemies of God, and what they do deserves our immediate and direct condemnation. There is never an option for a follower of Jesus to hate people. Never. What we so often see in the public square is simply not reflective of the heart of Christ. Our constant pull as Christians must always be against hate and toward genuine love.

Christians never have the option to hate other people or to act in hateful ways. 

This does not mean I will always agree with you, or you with me. There are things worth our righteous anger and sharp opposition. It does mean we are required by the law of Christ to treat one another as human beings, to treat with decency even those whose values are in direct opposition to ours. This is a sticking point for those of us who follow Jesus, many of whom have confused holiness with hierarchy. We cannot allow our pursuit of holiness to devalue others. Not politically, racially, or in any other of a million different ways we compete, compare, control.

This isn’t the way of Christ.

Somehow we have to learn how to talk in the public square about the things on which we disagree — and even acknowledge our disagreements as uncompromising — without labeling everything that doesn’t look like us as hate-generating or worse, as “less than.” After all, the ground beneath the cross is level.

Brothers and sisters, somehow we have to learn how to fight fair again, to engage in public debate so that honest differences can be acknowledged in mature and loving ways without devaluing one another. Because as long as we live on this side of Genesis 3, haters are going to hate but Christians simply can’t. It is not how we are designed, and it is not how we honor a loving God.

Carolyn Moore

I follow Jesus within the communities of Mosaic Church, Asbury Seminary and the Moore household.

3 thoughts on “Haters gonna hate.

  1. Rev. Moore, I was at the luncheon presentation on 8/27/17 at Douglasville FUMC. I was moved by your presentation. I was the one who asked the question involving a near miss head on collision 45 years ago on the way from my wife’s home and if you believed the Holy Spirit was at work for me that day. I have a Blog ( P-Pops Perch) that I have done very little with, but the Lord has laid on my heart what I have written below. P-Pop is what I am called by my seven precious grandchildren. Before I publish it on my Blog, I wanted to get your permission, since I quoted you from your blog. Also, if you see anything that is wrong or does not make sense, would you please tell me.

    2 Chronicles 7: 14 Initiative
    The three paragraphs below are excerpted verbatim from a Blog entitled The Art of Holiness written by Carolyn Moore, Senior Pastor at Mosaic United Methodist Church, Augusta, GA . The title of this posting is ‘Haters gonna hate.’
    “Humans were created in the likeness of this loving God, so the first two chapters of Genesis tell the story of humans being created as partners in the work of stewarding God’s creation. Side by side, male and female were to tend the land, govern the animals and be intimately unified. There was a creative energy and goodness between them. As with the one, true God, a hierarchy among humans would tear at the fabric of created design.

    And yet, this is precisely what happened at the Fall. In Genesis 3, we learn that the enemy of God turned what was created as a partnership into a hierarchy. Ever since, humans have battled for control. This battle rages across genders, races, languages (in some countries, hierarchies are established by what language you know), nations … you name it. On this side of Genesis 3, fallen humanity is conditioned for division. If we can pit things against each other, we will. It is our ungodly inclination to compete, compare and control. This inclination is an incubator for hatred.

    Brothers and sisters, somehow we have to learn how to fight fair again, to engage in public debate so that honest differences can be acknowledged in mature and loving ways without devaluing one another. Because as long as we live on this side of Genesis 3, haters are going to hate but Christians simply can’t. It is not how we are designed, and it is not how we honor a loving God.”

    I am 69 years old, and I have concluded that Life on this earth is really rather simple. We are born innocent into the world. How simple is that? I say simple from the stand point that we have nothing to do with it. It is all in God’s created order. Then all of a sudden, as Reverend Moore states above, we learn to hate and chaos and division soon reign around the world.

    The Lord has convicted me that, as we all know, a battle over gender, race, nationality, language, rich versus poor, Socialism versus Democracy and many other intangible disagreements has been and is continues to divide America.
    I have received the following advice from a Saint of God in my Church at Douglasville First United Methodist Church, Douglasville, GA . He, on several occasions has urged me to pray two verses in the Bible: 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew 6:33. The following verses are from the Common English Bible:

    • 2 Chronicles 7:14– …”if my people who belong to me will humbly pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”
    • Matthew 6:33– “Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and these things will be given to you as well.”

    I truly believe that if God’s people, no matter their Denomination, Race, Nationality, or Sex will truly and honestly pray as directed in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and seek God’s Kingdom as stated in Matthew 6:33 healing will be given to our Nation. I beseech you, if you are not doing so now, to please pray this prayer everyday for our country!!!!

    Larry D. Roebuck
    ldroebuck@att.net

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