This post is a continuation of “Why Do Evangelicals Hate Unbelievers?” based on reader responses. The objective is to further clarify and expand the flip side of the first article, focusing more on the very logical reasons why unbelievers have such distain for Biblical Christians.
Webster defines the word “hate” as, “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury” and defines “dislike” as, “a feeling of aversion or disapproval”.
When it comes to Biblical Christians, both terms can cut both ways.
Unbelievers Hating Christians
Those who disagree with our Christian theology consider us a group who “hates”, which gives them license to reciprocate. Unbelievers have a number of examples at their disposal. One can see the anger of God and His willingness to destroy nations and peoples, seemingly without remorse, and they can easily transfer that viewpoint onto contemporary Christians who accept the Bible as truth. Or, the lost can look at some of the theology we support, such as abortion or gender issues, and interpret that as hating women and gays. Finally, they can link us to a specific political party, Republicans, and build a straw man by suggesting we therefore agree with Trump, and support everything from racism to Christian nationalism, subjugating the freedoms and economic needs of all but the rich, capitalistic elect. All of these connections are considered evidence that we, as Christians, deserve condemnation.
Christians Hiding From or Hating Unbelievers
In response, some Christians abdicate their traditional systematic theology in order to allow for a melding of contemporary trends such as those promoted by our woke culture. They voice support for abortion and their distain for the Republican party’s supposed obsession with Trump. They condemn capitalism and promote equity and equality, redistribution of wealth, reparations for past sins, gay rights in all its forms and applications, and most anything else that surfaces in our currently evolving moral climate. When confronted with Biblical evidence to the contrary on SOME of these topics, these Christians detach themselves from considering the Bible as inerrant. They often remove themselves from church settings that are now uncomfortable, or they find liberal churches who agree with their newfound theology. Most find their way, now often in isolation, to places like Medium.com. A comfortable place where their views are reinforced, a pathway (deconstructionism) is laid out for them to follow. The trajectory ends when there is nothing left of their traditional Christianity, with the exception that “we all just need to love people like Jesus and forget about all the rest”.
Of course, there is a second response that some Christians ilicit. Faced with overwhelming pressure to conform to society, yet having the conviction of the Holy Spirit in their hearts, these Biblical Christians find other like-minded believers and group up within a church whose theology follows traditional roots. Often, they develop friendships only with others who agree with their beliefs as sort of a secret society which requires coded passwords like “brother and sister” , SBC vs PCA, TULIP, “traveling mercies”, “hedge of protection”, “going forward”, etc. Sadly, these folks often know the gospel truth but, in the interests of unity and peace with the lost around them (at work, school, etc.), they choose to retranslate Mark 16:15 as limited to “lifestyle evangelism” rather than a true sharing of the Good News of Jesus Christ. These believers remain fearful and constrained, substituting their high moral behavior as a surrogate for truly investing in relationships with the lost in order to offer God’s secret of eternal life. For some, fear is replaced by dislike or even hatred of the very ones God calls us to love unconditionally because of the vitriol unbelievers dump indiscriminately on whoever will listen (including lifestyle evangelists). These Biblical Christians, ignoring the teachings of Christ, are so angered or intimidated by those who do not share their beliefs that they defensively exhibit “hate” as a reflective response.
Finally, there are some Biblical Christians who use their church fellowship and accountability as a respite from the world, rather than as a bomb shelter. They try to interact with the lost, recognizing our citizenship is in Heaven, but God calls us to share the most important life lesson one can learn, while still on this earth. They do it out of love and compassion, not out of fear or hate. Their focus is the joy that comes from a Godly life, not the fear that comes from the fire of Hell.
In fairness and balance, these Christian groups above are certainly not as distinct as I have painted them. Many of us drift between fear, a hope our lifestyle will elicit a question or comment, and a strong desire to build a relationship with someone which becomes a divine appointment to share the gospel when crisis hits. We are all complex creatures with a myriad of emotions, motivations, and a sin nature.
A Biblical Christian Response to Hate
The Bible, and especially the New Testament, are full of verses that warn true believers that there will be many who are strongly opposed to our beliefs.
- John 15:18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
- Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
We need to accept that there will be times when we need to shake the dust off our feet and move on to those who seem more open to God’s truth. What we cannot allow ourselves to do is to fear or to be intimidated or angered by those who do not have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. We need to be all things to all people in order to save some (1 Cor. 9:22). We are ambassadors for Christ (1 Cor. 5:20), His Plan A, and there is no Plan B.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
- 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
- Matthew 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,