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What Luther Says

Terrorism: The 'All You Need Is Love' Christian Is Wrong -- We Should Hate Evil!

I'm seeing a lot of Christians post some rather strange comments on Social Media today.

Of course, all it does is demonstrate their true lack of understanding I'm afraid and my concern is not only for them, but for those who listen to what they say and conclude that it's entirely consistent with what Christianity tells us to believe, teach, and confess about such a subject.

For instance, someone I know wrote this in reference to the whole "Starbucks Red Christmas Cup" non-controversy: "Makes me ponder...do I spend more time hating what's in this world...or loving God?" Certainly, there's nothing about this non-story involving Starbucks for us Christians to truly hate so taking his statement at face value and in a general sense just really rubbed me the wrong way.

Spoken like a true Evangelical as opposed to a Lutheran though. The irony being that we can never love God enough or in the way we're supposed to since that's the whole point of our sinfulness and our need for the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Now, I realize that it was their response to the so-called "Culture Wars" in this country and not a response to the "War on Terror" following last night's terrorist attacks in Paris, France, but isn't it fair to assume that their reaction would be similar if not the same?

Reading the Confessions for the first time in recent months, I'm amazed by how much time our church fathers spent writing against this very same notion of "Love Wins!" and how prevalent it was in the Catholic church back then (and stay is today throughout contemporary Christianity).

So, here are some thoughts today from God's Word following last night's barbaric murders in Paris for any Christians out there who believe in an "All You Need Is Love" Beatles brand of Christianity rather than "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3)...

Proverbs 8:13 (ESV) All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. 
Amos 5:15 (ESV) Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. 
Psalm 97:10 (ESV) O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 
Psalm 45:7 (ESV) you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 
Psalm 26:5 (ESV) I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked. 
Romans 12:9 (ESV) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

But what about "love your enemies" (Luke 6:35)?

What about it? We "love our enemies" when we first expose their evil deeds by being realistic about them, and by calling it what it truly is, and by "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) against such enemies while also praying for God to lead them to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus.

So, yes, you can cite Luke 6:35 all you want, of course, as long as you also understand its proper context in the legitimate execution of justice in a world where the Lord also clearly says that there's "a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace" (Ecclesiastes 3.8).

Dear "All You Need Is Love" Christian, I ultimately reply to you with this sobering word of caution from Isaiah 5:20 that plainly says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

My friends, we cannot cherry-pick the Bible verses we like and ignore the ones we don't like. We need to prayerfully consider the Word of God in its full and complete context and recognize that Scripture interprets Scripture and does not contradict itself.

To do otherwise is to be a purveyor of false doctrine while paving a road to hell with good albeit politically correct intentions that betray the true Gospel of Jesus Christ that saves.

Christians should most certainly HATE evil just as God hates it Himself. To suggest otherwise is absolutely absurd, dangerous, irresponsible, and dare I say quite un-Biblical too.

Even so, to quote Pastor Jonathan Naumann...

"The instrument of retributive justice is government, acting on behalf of God and on behalf of all of us as a community. Responsibility for retributive justice is not given to individual citizens to execute on their own behalf. Unless you happen to be a Biblically illiterate pacifist, you will recognize that the Biblical God has clearly established who will be his instrument of retributive justice and who will 'turn the other cheek' and forgive. We are in the midst of a season of honoring soldiers --- the living and the dead -- who served and continue to serve our communities and our civilization by the calling that was given to them by God, through us. Let us, while we are in this world of sin and evil, contemplate the cross that these men and women have offered to take upon their shoulders out of love for their country and their God. And as we contemplate the differences between lawful killing, murder and terrorism, let us honor their service by wisely discerning those distinctions and thereby reflect God's mercy in His gracious dealings with us -- in Jesus Christ our Redeemer."

In a Lutheran layman's terms, you are not being "pious" or "obedient" or "reverent" to God by publicly and proudly proclaiming that you do not hate evil in this world since you prefer to not hate anything at all while attempting to "love God more" instead (Works Righteousness anyone?), especially when we Christians are emphatically told repeatedly that we most certainly should hate evil whenever and wherever we find it in this life.

NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Executive Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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