It was just a few weeks ago the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked a firestorm of vitriol and reaction throughout our country. What happened, what didn’t happen, who reacted and how - all of these things became the fuel for more protests and more protests against the protests and reaction of a very negative kind everywhere you looked. Let us be abundantly clear on one point – those who would paint themselves as any form of supremacist, white or otherwise, are servants of a deep and destructive darkness. Period. Those who take the law into their own hands and use violence and threats as their primary tools to eradicate all whom they consider supremacists are also choosing to borough down that dark hole as well. NONE of this is good! All of this provokes hatred, and rightfully so. Shouldn’t we as Christians hate such evil? Yes we should. The bigger question here, however, is HOW do we engage our hatred for evil in a Christlike manner?
Anger and rage – these are two emotions that are all too familiar in our present day. How often do we hear of random acts of violence? Think about what that means – it is something done that causes hurt to others who just happen to be in the way. Where does all of this anger come from? How can we better control our anger? Can anger ever be a good thing?
In one way or another, prejudice has dominated human culture for thousands of years. Because prejudice is an internal characteristic, it is often hard to detect it until it has had time to develop and finally show itself in our words or actions. As Christians, can we be shielded from prejudice? Do the scriptures teach us how to avoid it or how to remedy its effects? Is prejudice ever a good thing? Stay with us this morning as we plunge into this wildly difficult topic and try to get a grip on a true Christian perspective.
Humans are emotional beings. This being the case, it is easy for us to lock in on how we feel as a barometer for how we should act. This can prove to be shaky ground as our emotions can easily be swayed by our changing perceptions of life’s experiences. Enter the emotion of hate. It is a strong emotion that often invokes a call to action – often an enraged action which upon later observation is usually overdone. So, what about hate? How should we handle it? Is it ever proper? Should it ever be acted upon? Is it ever a positive experience to hate? The Bible actually gives an abundance of council on this subject, so stay with us as we look into the dark abyss of hate and try to gain perspective on how to understand it!