Oh How I Love To Hate *++
As you know all too well, I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh religiously, but not so much anymore. Not that I no longer like him, it’s just that I began to notice the affect his show was having on me. The thing that drew me to him for so many years was unhealthy. It was his ability to stir up in me the base emotion of hatred; and I realized that, not only did he draw it out, I loved it when he did. And as Life may have already taught you, such base and unsightly emotions come easier to us than better things like self-restraint and refinement.
It was a revelation to me actually; that I, by my nature, loved to hate. I was actually drawn to it like a moth to flame. It was almost as if I loved, in a sordid kind of way, for people to make horrible decisions and say outrageous things so that I might relish in my hatred of them. “Look at what they’re doing now! Just look at ’em!!”
Facebook, I have discovered, is similar. As I scroll through my feed I see teasers like: “You won’t believe what so and so just said.”, or, “Look at what this person plans to do with your children.”, or such things as that. It’s called click bait. It assumes that I’m ready to be outraged, and will click on their site and provide it with traffic. Not that I think that those who run good sites should do it for free, but this is not about good sites versus bad sites. It’s about my heart; and you and your heart. I still have a great fondness for Rush Limbaugh, though I like his guest host, Mark Steyn better. And I hope he’s on the air for a long time to come. But I try to be mindful of my heart and motivations before listening or clicking, which, as it turns out, I hardly do anymore.
Just so you know, my problem has nothing to do with “conservatism”, or its merits or failures. Rather, my problem is with the heart, and the way it taints man no matter what “cause” he has signed onto.
There are some who would relish in my revelation. They would point and say, “See? I told you that you were a hater”. They will have missed my point, of course. There are lots of conflicting ideologies that are buoyed by people’s hatred. Your fellow man is liable to hate different people for all kinds of different reasons. We have large corporations, politicians of every ilk, genetic modifiers of food, so-called climate change deniers, to name just a few off the top of my head. Some, I’ve found, even hate haters–with a passion actually–with “hate” being defined generally as anyone who holds a differing opinion than the one who is the hater of “haters”. “Look at those evil HATERS. Kill em all I say!”
I think it’s possible that any of us could find a cause that we feel is worthy of our hate, though perhaps not all of us. Your mother doesn’t seem to be drawn at all beyond her strong dislike of misguided thinking into a hate benge. I’ve met others who were the same way, as far as I could tell, and I was perhaps more than once inclined to hate them for their lack of hatred… except your mother. I love your mother.
The book of Hebrews tells us that each of us has our own particular sins that beset us, and against which we ought to strive against becoming entangled with; except for those who believe God did away with law, and who apparently don’t believe anybody can sin at all anymore because God loves them unconditionally, and there is no law to break in order that sin can even exist in the first place. They are free to run their race unencumbered I guess. It’s a strange world. You’ll have fun figuring it out. But for me, this is a sin that easily entangles. I’m glad I got the revelation of that.
But back to our love of hatred. Please don’t think that I’m saying that we ought not strongly disagree with and oppose lies and harmful worldviews. We should. We should even become upset when they prevail. But there’s a difference between opposing lies and loving and basking in hatred. Love should reign in our hearts; and by “love” I don’t mean we should accept and approve of everything that popular culture tells us is good and righteous. That would be love, yes, but it is love of self, as in “I love myself way too much to subject myself to the disdain of popular culture.” True love however is much more involved. A father who loves his toddler will not approve of him playing in the busy street, for example…, even if the child wants to real bad–and even if the child hates the father in the moment for making him stop–because he’s likely to get killed or hurt. Real love also doesn’t, for example, exclude us from “destroying arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, for the same reasons. In a more eternal sense, love would never downplay or otherwise attempt to hide the more unsavory points of the Gospel, like the fact that man is by his nature sinful and is in dire need of some Good News.
I had a phone company call me, and try to persuade me to do business with them many years ago. It just so happened that this company was one who had thrown itself headlong into supporting things that ought not be supported. Here was my chance I thought. So I let that guy know just how bad his company was and how I would NEVER do business with it. His reply was a punch in my face. He simply said, “Well thank you for your time sir, and God bless you.” And then he hung up. He might have actually meant it, or he might have, in a roundabout way, been calling me a hypocrite. One thing’s for sure, if his main goal was to get under my skin, he certainly succeeded. And please dear children, unless you really mean it, don’t tell people God bless you, especially when you really wish they were dead.
As you know, there are still companies that I won’t do business with for the same sort of reasons. And I wish that others would do the same. But you’re not as likely to see me in a rage over it. That’s because I don’t hate them, but I do hate what the heads of some companies are promoting. I work for a company that promotes the same sort of nonsense. Should I hate myself? None of them are doing anything that should surprise anyone, especially the Christian who understands man’s unrestrained carnal nature apart from his Maker.
There is one group of people who are still able to make me quite angry, though I can honestly say that I don’t love to hate them. It is the people who call themselves christians, and who have rejected the Bible, its message, and the Gospel, and have replaced the scriptures with whatever cultural opinions are popular, and who are attacking the Church of God, as if from within, with great zeal. These make me very angry.
I did learn that I had a problem, and God, I believe, helped me to merge onto a different avenue. You too will find yourselves on side roads, rabbit trails, and even in an occasional wreck. But it is my prayer for you that you will find yourself always back on the narrow path, on the road to, as John Bunyan put it, the Celestial City. Guard your hearts, as you resist evil, against loving hate. Weigh your motivations. Beware of myopia, and involvement in causes that are too singular in nature. Tether yourself with a short line to the Gospel. Never get too far from it, and its wonderful message.