The opposite of love is not hate, but fear. This might strike you as odd, but I have found it to be true as the scriptures tell us that perfect love casts out all fear. Perfect love does not cast out all hate, however. The Lord, who is Himself love, also hates. This might unnerve you a bit, but it shouldn’t. He does not hate in the typical religious sectarian way that we may be accustomed to; rather, He hates in a very loving way. Actually, it is His perfect love that leads to His legitimate hate. We must not reverse this, however. It is love that leads us to hate, but hate will never lead us to love. This post could be easily misunderstood, so let me encourage you to stay with me for a few minutes as I explain.
Harriet Tubman was born In the early nineteenth century into the American institution of slavery. Throughout her life in captivity, she developed a love for her people who were also in captivity. This love prompted her to desire freedom for herself and her fellow captives. This love led her to eventually escape from the institution of slavery into freedom.
Harriet Tubman witnessed the horrors of the actions and mindsets that led to the existence of an institution that perpetuated unspeakable atrocities against those she loved. I think it is safe to say that because of her love for people, Harriet Tubman deeply hated the dehumanizing institution of slavery. Her lack of respect for the institution & laws of slavery led her on a multitude of excursions into slave territory to help many others excape into freedom.
The American institution of slavery that Harriet Tubman resisted is simply a small picture of the larger condition of slavery that has befallen all of humanity. Humanity fell into sin when they rejected the headship of the Lord for their own headship and control. The result of this action was the loss of mankind’s identity. Slavery was the result. When the love of the Lord overtakes us, however, it is only natural to begin to understand and experience the deep love that the Lord has for those who are living under the weight of slavery.
Because it was for freedom that Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1), this love burning inside of me has compelled me to hate slavery. While there are many forms of slavery in the world, scripture clearly reveals that the most evil form of slavery is mankind’s religious slavery. Mankind’s religious system sits at the top of the ‘pyramid’ of the world’s enslaving systems. Throughout the ages, folks that have been the most religiously educated and indoctrinated have been the ones who have opposed the prophets in the Old Testament, and who spearheaded the movement to put to death the Son of God who came to set the captives free. The nature of fallen mankind has not changed, and it is still the religious system of mankind that opposes the freedom of mankind.
Since mankind fell into slavery & lost their identity when they rejected the headship of God for their own control, mankind will find freedom & identity only through the restoration of God’s headship. God’s rule and headship (kingdom) is fully restored ‘IN’ the person of Jesus Christ. ’IN’ Christ, the rule of God triumphs over all the false ‘heads’ that rule mankind’s systems and institutions.
We were not created to live by our own human life; rather, we were created to live in the environment of God’s headship with His life flowing within us. Mankind’s religious system, however, (no matter what label you put on it) is built upon the two false ‘pillars’ of the headship of mankind (selective clergy), and the slave mentality of the people (laity). Instead of carrying our true identity in Christ as ‘saints’, the religious systems of mankind seek to force people to continue to carry their old sinful identity. This is tragic.
The more that I am awakened to the vastness of the love of Jesus Christ, the more that I am awakened to the depths of bondage that come with mankind’s religious system. I have seen this system paralyze and bring death (both physically & spiritually) to those whom I dearly love. As a result, I deeply loathe and hate mankind’s religious systems with the utmost hate. I say this unapologetically. It seems the more that I am awakened to love, the more that my hate also grows for that which enslaves mankind.
By love, I am referring to the supernatural love personified in the person of Jesus Christ that dwells within my inner man. I am not talking about something that comes from an intellectual or emotional devotion to a theory, set of beliefs, or a mission statement. I am speaking of something much more profound. It is this supernatural love that fuels my desire for my brothers and sisters in Christ to be free, and it is this supernatural love that fuels my utmost hate for that which enslaves my brothers and sisters in Christ.
The words that Paul the apostle wrote to the church community in the city of Corinth still apply today. If we don’t have love, even if we have ‘everything’, we really have nothing (1 Cor. 13:2). When an individual or community of believers loses focus of, and stops living by Christ’s divine love, two devastating things can occur that I feel compelled to warn you about.
1. Hating that which we should be loving (sectarianism)
When an individual or group of people begin to focus on and live by anything other than the life of Jesus Christ, exclusivity and sectarianism will shortly follow. While this regularly occurs in the religious system, it can also occur with groups who are attempting to gather and function outside of the religious system.
I know many brothers and sisters who are still a part of the institutional religious system. I want to publicly say that I love them dearly. I love to have fellowship with them and gather with them as often as possible despite our differences regarding the nature of the church. Even though I may strongly hate the system they are a part of, this does not affect my deep love for these precious brothers and sisters in Christ. I have many strong relationships with those who do not share my vision for the body of Christ. The divine love of Jesus Christ will empower us to love people in spite of the systems they may be apart of. This important distinction can only be made because of love.
2. Loving that which we should be hating (compromise)
This phenonamon is much more deceptive and difficult to detect because it seems legitimate on the surface. It may sound something like this:
I appreciate the institutional church system. Even though I have decided to leave the institutional religious system, it still has its place. The Lord still greatly uses this system, and I am thankful for it.
This is usually a fear based mindset that is a reaction against the perception of being ‘sectarian’. Can you imagine Harriet Tubman saying that while she has left the institution of slavery, she is thankful that it exists? While there were many slaves that were perfectly content with their status as slaves, this never altered Harriet Tubman’s belief in the the evils of the American institution of slavery.
In the same way, although I have many precious brothers and sisters whom I respect still within the institutional religious system, I do not accept the validity of that system despite the fact that the Lord still graciously works within that system. The fact that the Lord powerfully works within the religious system of mankind is evidence of His graciousness and mercy, not of the legitimacy of the system. You will never hear me give any form of legitimacy to that which is illegitimate. Because I love people, I deeply hate that which enslaves them. When the day comes in which the systems of mankind collapse (and its collapse is imminent), I will take the same celebratory posture that Revelation 18:20 beautifully describes.
Failure to see the distinction between people whom are deeply loved by the Lord, and the enslaving religious systems that are deeply hated by the Lord, is an alarming sign that we have lost sight of the divine life and love of Jesus Christ. May His divine love in us cause us to deeply love that which should be loved, and deeply hate that which should be hated.
I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. ~~ Harriet Tubman