Dr. Ed Young - The Answer to Hate
What is the operative word, the basic factor that leads to war? What is the thing that is there? We look at Mao, we look at Adolf Hitler, we look at Tojo, we look at Stalin, we look at Idi Amin, and we can rattle off all of those who led in war in the last century and what is the characteristic, what is the underlying word that best describes those individuals? Different situations to be sure, but I believe the operative word is hate, read their biographies and you'll discover hate, hate, hate. And now, here we are in the 21st century, as we look around the world there's so much division, conflict, someone has this worldview, someone has this worldview, someone has this cultural background, somebody else has this cultural background, and there're deep lines that divide us, divides the world internationally without exception, virtually in every country, and certainly there is an overriding feeling of hate.
Turn on your television set, switch from channel to channel, you see this hate is so apparent everywhere. Hate, hate, you can feel it, we hear it, we observe it, and many of us rejoice and participate in it. What is the answer to all the hatred that seems to be about everywhere we turn? What's the answer to hate? The days of Jesus there were two big groups that you read about in the Bible, they were always at one another's throats: the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees we're secularist, they ran the Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, basically. They admired the Roman Empire and their form of government, they wanted to take the Greek culture and establish in Israel instead of the theocracy which they had. And they did not believe in the supernatural, they did not believe in demons, they did not believe in angels, they didn't believe in the resurrection.
And therefore, I remember being a young child and someone said, "The way you remember the Sadducees is that they do not believe in life after death, and that's sad, you see"? So that's how I remember that, they were the Sadducees on one side and they oppose Jesus, there were the Pharisees on the other side, they were the supersonic religious pietists and they not only kept the Ten Commandments but also they followed the oral commandments that all the rabbis had written down; there were some 613 thou-shalt-nots, and a few thou-shalts, and they lived up to all of those. Everything you do, you all had to have it programmed and if you stepped out of line there'd be 20 people to push you back in place. The Pharisees, they believed in the resurrection, life after this life.
First of all, you read there, in Matthew chapter 22, that the Sadducees challenged Jesus and they will listen to him and they asked him about life after death and they gave sort of a little riddle, and said if you were married to this person and they died, you're married to this person and they died, and someone moved away, and said, "Who would your wife be in heaven"? I mean, one of those crazy, unbelievable, silly, meaningless questions to trap Jesus, and Jesus said, "Look, the lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is a Lord of the living and not the Lord of the dead". So he just sort of put down, in a brief Scriptural passage, the Sadducees. The Pharisees were encouraged and said maybe he's on our team, so they also sought to entrap him, and a lawyer asked the question of Jesus, one of the Pharisees, "What is the greatest commandment? Out of all the laws, all the rules, what's the number one commandment"?
And Jesus quoted part of the Shema, the pious Jew would read and recite Deuteronomy 6 every morning of their life, and Jesus said I'll tell you what the number one law is, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind," man, that's big. And then he added Leviticus 19, said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," that's pretty lofty. And the lawyer said, "Hey, you've answered right, you get an A+ Jesus," but then Jesus added to this. You go to Luke chapter number 6, Jesus says, "You're to love your enemies," whoa. Love God with everything you've got, how's that working for anybody here? Are you loving God with everything you got? What about loving your neighbor? Loving those that are around you, those you can see, those that's in your... how's that working?
And it's tough to love all of our neighbors and then on top of that, Jesus says now, in Luke 6, "You're to love your enemies". Anybody here doing any loving of your enemies? Would you lift your hand and go right to heaven, you're loving your enemies. Well, let me add to it, Jesus even made it tough, Jesus said, "Do good for those who hate you," how's that working for you? Anybody doing good for those that hate you? We've got one, I'd like to question you after church. You see folks, this is so high, love God with everything you got, love your neighbor the way you love yourself. Now, sometimes I have a tough time loving myself, so my neighbor gets off light. But we love God with all we got, we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and we love our enemies; on top of that, we love those who hate our guts and we do good for them who hate our guts.
Now let me tell you something, that is so lofty to truly live up to that, only Jesus has ever absolutely done it, you mark that down, underline it, put a star by it, there's a little bit of dogma there. And Jesus gives us the power to be lovers, we are to be lovers, what's the answer to hate? It is to be a lover, love is the antonym to hate, and hate means we feel aggressively antagonistic towards someone, that's the best simple definition of hate. So we are not to be haters, hate drains anybody and everybody of any sensibility.
Recently in London there, a group of scientists got together and they did some kind of MRI and they had 17 people come in who they knew they hated certain individuals, and with MRI they looked at the frontal cortex of the brain, and when somebody came in that somebody else hated they saw that frontal cortex just light up and fire up, to fight or defend, "Here comes someone that I hate," and it showed up on the MRI. And they went through 17 different illustrations, every time the same thing happened. Then, they brought in 17 other people who had a special relationship of love with people, particularly individuals; you know, a grandchild would come in, a wife would come in, and a good friend would come in, and they would have the same MRI there and this frontal cortex would just be placid, no response. Here comes someone you trust, you love, totally different.
Hate, like unforgiveness, will eat your lunch and sap all the strength out of your life and in my life, we're called to be lovers, we're not called to be haters. In light of this, I picked up one of my big old concordances, Strong's Concordance. This concordance, it has every word in the Bible listed, the, and, every word in the Bible listed and a biblical reference as to where that word is to be found. And I looked up hate and I've said, "You know, let me find out about hate this thing," and you know what I discovered in a page or two of hate and hatred? God hates stuff and things, God, God hates. Whoa, wait a minute, God is love, how can God, who is, by his essence and being, love, hate? Hate?
And I looked at the classic Scripture, there are many of them, it talks about the things that God hate, but Proverbs chapter number 6, verse 16 following. It says, "There are six things which the Lord hates. Yes, seven which are an abomination to him". By the way, when, in the Bible, you'd read six names and the seventh thing that's listed, that's the word abomination, it means it makes God sick, God throws up at these things, and look at the list that's here. "There are six things which the Lord hates. Yes, seven which are an abomination to him: Haughty eyes, lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and the one who spreads strife among people".
By the way, that's the final one, that's the seventh one, and that sums up everything else; God hates all those things spelled out but he sums it all up, it is an individual who spreads strife and controversy among people. The tongue, ladies and gentlemen, James talks about the tongue, "It's like a bridle with a horse, it's like the rudder of a ship, it's like a fire". So God hates all of these things he specifically lists but especially with our tongues, which we sow deception, deceit, and sometimes we tell things that are true in order to do harm, that's even a deadlier use of your tongue and my tongue. So this is what God hates, and by the way, this is what we should hate, we should hate. But how in the world do you hate what God hates without becoming a hater? You get that?
We're to hate what God hates. We're lovers, we're not to be haters, but yet we're to hate what God hates without becoming a hater, how do you do that? We learn how to speak the truth in love, now that is a challenge. Lot of us say, "I can speak the truth," but how do we speak the truth in love? Now that's a challenge for anybody and everybody. In other words, if you love me and you see that I'm going over the cliff, you would halt, and you'd grab me and warn me, you may have to shout at me and grab me, and we need to do that as we see those that are in our orbit of influence, learn how to speak the truth in love and things that are destroying or eating up their life.
The church is the place, ladies and gentlemen, where we can best be informed and instructed as to how to speak the truth in love. And when people come, we hope, in the welcoming attitude, anybody, anywhere, anytime, any background, doesn't matter. It doesn't mean we compromise basic biblical principles, we accept everyone in the choices that they've made but we do not necessarily affirm the choices that have been made, that's a big, distinctive difference, but we are learning how to speak the truth in love. We are a welcoming, a welcoming people, and this is how we're learning that love language, that love language. Not only are we a welcoming people but we're a non-judgmental people, we're not in the judging business.
Now let me show you exactly how clearly this is stated, if you have your Bibles, you might look with me in the Gospel according to Matthew, and you'll see exactly what Jesus said about judging, Matthew chapter 7. Jesus says, "Do not judge". By the way, do I need to explain that anybody? Need to exegete that? Do some word studies? Look at etymology of some of those words? It says clearly and simply, "Do not judge". That's not above anybody, is it? Did I miss you? Is that not clear, plain? "Do not judge," and then it follows, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged". If we do judge, we'll be judged ourselves by the same standards by which we happen to judge others, whoo.
"For in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standards of measure, you will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Oh, how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, there's a log in your own eye? 'You Hypocrite,' said Jesus, 'First take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.'" To speak the truth in love. So, we stand up and here is someone who is living this area of rebellion against Biblical principle then someone else is living this area, and we judge someone else in order to make you and me feel superior or better in the stuff in which we're involved in. There's nobody, no human being who's qualified to judge, only God, God and God alone. Doesn't mean we do not discern, and we get confused here, doesn't mean we do not discern.
Many times, when my boys were coming up, I'd say, "Son, I'm not gonna let you play with that guy again," and I would tell them why. I would discern because I knew that that particular kid and his family and what they represented was not where my son needed to get involved, and my son needed to go. I exercised discernment, I wasn't judging, I was protecting, I was being, I hope and pray, a wise parent. And I look back on those events some 20 or 30 years ago, and I look at the trajectory of their lives of those kids my boys would have been running with, and whatever their mom and dad and other than that family, and I can tell you without exception, I'm thankful that I exercised discernment.
So, that's a different thing from being judgmental, we are not in the judgment business, ladies and gentlemen, God does that, God will handle that; and don't run around playing God, I'm not qualified, you're not qualified. I've messed up too many times, I'm too messed up, you've messed up too many times, you're too messed up, so we are not to judge. We learn to speak the language of love, and in this place, this place, this is not a place where we exercise judgment, that is not what we do.
So therefore, people can be receptive here, therefore, we are a loving body of Christ. We're in the welcoming business in this place, we're not in the judgment business in this place, because in this place, grace is in place; we're in the forgiving business, we're in the reconciliation business. And therefore, churches that do not have this welcoming, do not have this non-judgmental attitude, let me tell you what happens. Those churches are a long way from living up to the biblical principles that are here. Let me show you something that I really, really like, it's found over here in 1 Corinthians chapter number 6.
You read a horrific list and here Paul is talking about those who are outside the kingdom of God, and he says in verse 9, he says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God"? He said, "Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor the revilers, nor the swindlers, are those where they will not inherit the kingdom of God," and he gives a long-long list. A long list, that they're not gonna make it, they're outside the kingdom, but then there's that little phrase there and I love it. And he says, "So it were some of you," "Such as it was some of you".
This puts you in that list, this puts all of us in that list. He said, "But you were washed, but you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the spirit of God". In other words, that church at Corinth was a welcoming church, it was a non-judgmental church, it was a church of grace, and all of those in the congregation, as Paul lists all these horrible, heinous, mean-spirited, immoral things had happened, instead of being pious he says, "A lot of you were like that, that's who you used to be, that's what you were about but look at you now".
That's the church as we learn to speak the language of love, now what is this language? I love a little verse in Proverbs chapter 25, verse 11. The background of that verse is that, in the Orient, some of the wealthiest of kings would have a dinner party, and at the dinner party they would have baskets of silver, filigree of silver, and they would have their craftsmen make apples of gold; in those baskets of silver they'd have apples of gold. At the end of the meal, they would pass around those baskets of silver and ask all the guests to take home with them an apple of gold, wouldn't you've loved to been on that guest list, and they could go back and say, "This is when I had dinner with the king, an apple of gold".
And in Proverbs, we say, we read, "A word fitly spoken," a word spoken at the right time, in the right circumstances, with the right spirit, "A word fitly spoken is like an apple of gold in a basket of silver". That's how we are to learn to speak the language of love to one another and to anybody and everybody in church, outside of church, in family, outside of family, wherever we find ourselves. "A word," crafted, thought out, prayed out, "Fitly spoken is like an apple of gold in baskets of silver," baskets of silver.
2004, you'll remember, ISIS was running roughshod over a whole part of the Middle East, and they had totally saturated Iraq and you'll remember they went up in Northern Iraq. Now Northern Iraq is an unusual part of Iraq: in a section of Northern Iraq, they speak Aramaic, not Arabic but Aramaic. Aramaic was the language that Jesus would've spoken in conversation, he knew Hebrew from the synagogue but the conversation of that day would be Aramaic, and so those Christians for thousands of years there in Northern Iraq, they continued to speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
And you remember reading of how ISIS went there and they were just slaughtering and killing Christians wherever they found anybody speaking Aramaic, and they said, "We want to kill the language of Jesus," that was their call. ISIS says, "We are there in Northern Iraq to kill the language of Jesus," they spoke Aramaic. We read the atrocities, their churches burned, artifacts, ancient history going back thousands of years, Christians, Christians destroyed just because they would speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
One man escaped the plague of ISIS and made his way back into civilization and he was interviewed by a member of the press, and this person asked him, "Tell me what's going on," and he said, "This is not a surprise to us, because," he said, "Hate, 2,000 years ago, tried to kill the language of Jesus and hate only drove Jesus to the cross, and on that cross was the biggest explosion of love the world had ever known up to this time and the world has ever known today". The language of Jesus, the church is where we learn to speak the language of Jesus, and it's like an apple of gold given to you and given to me, and given to all who come around, it's like an apple gold taken out of a basket of silver.