True hate literature is a terrible thing. It presents a false or misleading picture of a person, a group or a belief in order to stir up emotional and unjust opposition to them [or it]. Often it promotes violence against either the target group or against any who would oppose the author's beliefs. So a person may not be in the targeted group, but could face the wrath of the hate literature's writers for simply disagreeing with them or standing up for the targeted group.
Some countries, including Canada, are poised to strike at the Bible on the grounds that it is hate literature. They claim the laws of the Old Testament [and some New Testament sections] promote hate against certain groups of people, particularly the homosexual community. Christians who hold to the Scripture as the inspired Word of God [especially those in government positions and church leaders] are in danger of being persecuted for their beliefs. Are the charges that the Bible is hate literature true? Are certain sections of Scripture out of touch with reality and in need of revision for our modern society?
Attacks on Scripture are nothing new. In many countries around the world today there are direct attacks on the Bible and Christians [see persecution.ca]. Throughout history all the might of the Satanic empire has tried unsuccessfully to destroy the Word of God. First century Christians were charged with cannibalism, sexual immorality, and atheism! Many who worked to bring the Scripture to the common people were burned at the stake - and that by the established church. People who distributed the Scripture behind the Iron Curtain were sometimes charged with distributing pornography.
There is hatred around, but it is against God and His Word. Why do people hate the Bible so? The answer is quite simple: sin. People want to be able to think they can sin without consequence. The Bible stands as a large stop sign. Like immature children, people do not like to have limits placed on them. People do not want to be answerable to God, so the easy answer is to tear down God and the Bible. They call it hate literature simply because it is opposed to their self-destructive ways.
This is not surprising from pre-Christians and non-Christians bent on doing things their own way. Unfortunately many times Christians get carried away with them. Many Christians do away with Biblical Law. They surrender the righteousness of God by a compromising view of the Old Testament and a misunderstanding of law and grace. Sometimes they are just overwhelmed with the charges that they are prejudice, old fashioned, and unfair. The only way we can stand is if we stand on the whole Word of God without compromise. Anything else is sinking sand and we will end up hopelessly compromised.
Some Christians go to the opposite extreme and do, in fact, misuse the Bible as hate literature to feed their fears and prejudices. Personal attacks against homosexuals, their supporters, or others who are in disagreement to the Bible are examples of fear-driven hate. Marching through homosexual areas with signs saying, "Homosexuals Burn In Hell" is an expression of hatred and prejudice. It slams the door of salvation shut in the faces of people who need to know of God's heart of love and is a misuse of the Bible.
Having said all of that, is the Bible hate literature? The Bible does indeed come out strongly against all sin, including homosexuality. Does this make it hate literature? Is this promoting hatred against an identifiable group?
What we are about to say can apply to any area of sin - and we are ALL guilty of sin - but since homosexuality is such a "hot button" today we will use it as an example. Let's take a look at a couple of Scriptures:
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." Lev. 20:13
"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Rom. 1:27
Both the Old and New Testament come out strongly against sexual immorality - with homosexuality being the ultimate expression of it. [Keep in mind that many offenses were capital including but not limited to: murder, kidnapping, adultery, incest, witchcraft, blasphemy. Also, with the exception of murder, capital punishment was likely the maximum penalty not necessarily the required penalty.] Is this hate against a group of people just "doing their own thing" and "discovering themselves?" Does this really qualify as hate literature?
In order to answer this we must consider several things:
1. God is the Creator and Sustainer of all life. Whether we are Christians, pre-Christians, or non-Christians, God made us. We belong to Him. As our absolute Maker, He has the right of ownership to do with us as He pleases. This concept is why people hate Christianity. They want to do their own thing. They want to live in a fantasy world where they are in charge - where they are god. So they must attempt to destroy anything which would remind them of their responsibility to their Creator. They want to forget that one day they will stand accountable before this Creator and be judged for all their words, thoughts, and actions. They invent many tools to help them do this, including but not limited to: unjust laws, evolution, direct defiance, indifference, other gods, occult, etc.
"They knew all the time that there is a God, yet they refused to acknowledge him as such, or to thank him for what he is or does. Thus they became famous in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further into the dark. Behind a facade of “wisdom” they became just fools... These men deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie, paying homage and giving service to the creature instead of to the Creator, who alone is worthy to be worshipped for ever and ever, amen." Rom. 1:21-22, 25, Phillips. [Also see Eph. 2:1-8]
"I tell you that men will have to answer at the day of judgment for every careless word they utter..." Matt. 12:36, Phillips
2. Since God is the Creator, He has the right to declare and define how life is to be lived. God is well within His right to make any rules He sees fit. The ironic thing is that all God's rules and laws are for our own benefit - not His - and we still complain and rebel. The commands of God are like a fence on the edge of a canyon. It lets us go to the maximum limit without hurting ourselves... but we insist on throwing ourselves over the edge and wondering why it hurts so much!
"For loving God means obeying his commands, and these commands of his are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3, KJV
3. Sin - any sin - is a declaration of defiance and hatred of God. Mankind spits in the face of God and dares Him to do something about it. Talk about the ultimate in arrogance and stupidity. Jesus is God's answer for those who will unconditionally surrender to Him, Hell is His answer for those who will not.
"In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us...If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us. Rom. 5:7-8, 10, Phillips
4. As we study in Biblical Law, the laws of God are binding on all of His creation. They; however, have different ways of enforcement. Some laws are to be enforced by the family, some by the church, some by the civil government, and some by God alone. Criminal law - such as laws against adultery and homosexuality - are to be enforced by the civil government. This is not hatred. It is simply declaring what actions are acceptable in a Godly society and which are not. It also lays down the consequences for breaking the law. Every society has laws - the laws reveal who their god is. Godly laws are not hate literature, they are simply declaring how life works. There is a vast difference between hating someone because of their ethnic background or personal beliefs and enforcing laws which protect society from harmful behaviour and support God's standard of righteousness. If fact, a true understanding of the Bible allows freedom of personal beliefs - even beliefs that are against God - but not freedom of actions which harm other people or society.
5. Sin is the cancer of the universe. If left unchecked it would destroy the entire creation. All sin is destructive of the creation in general but some sin is especially destructive. This super-destructive sin must be dwelt with immediately and decisively. This is usually the sins which God singles out for capital punishment [enforced by the civil government NOT individuals, the family, or the church]. Sometimes drastic surgery is necessary to save the rest of the body. To the cancer this may seem harsh, but it is required to save the rest of the body. Should the cancer cry, "hate literature" in order to remain and continue to wreak destruction?
So is the Bible hate literature? The Bible promotes love of all people groups. It does not allow mistreatment of anyone on the basis of nationality, physical ability or disability, skin colour, culture, or even personal beliefs. The Bible does not promote hatred against anyone regardless of who they are or of what their actions are. We are not allowed to hate people. Period. This does not mean we do not oppose those who are in rebellion to God and especially those who actively wage war against God. We do not react in fear or hatred [or we are just as guilty] but we stand on the justice of God. Supporting and promoting God's standard is not hate literature [although it can be twisted and abused by fear and hatred].
Western Christians we need to come out of their false belief that they live in Christian nations. They live in pagan nations which tolerate Christianity because it still has a major influence. It is Christianity, not homosexuality or other sinful actions, which will increasing be the target of hatred and persecution. One has only to listen to the rants against Christianity and watch Christians increasingly be targeted for law suits and violence to see where the real hate literature is coming from. Only a humble, praying, submitted, active church can change this through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only a loving, uncompromising Church can bring the message of love and peace with God through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. That alone will put our nations back on the track of becoming Christian nations which uphold the righteousness of God in love and fairness to all.