No room for hate in God’s world

Genesis 1:27 – “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Malachi 2:10 – “Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?”

1 John 2:2 – “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Hebrews 12:14 – “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

Mark 12:31 – “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Pittsburgh, PA, October 27, 2018: A white nationalist gunman killed 11 and injured 7 in what can only be labeled as a “hate crime,” based on the shooter’s own words.

Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019: A white nationalist gunman killed 50 and injured dozens more in what can only be labeled as a “hate crime,” based on the shooter’s own words.

Researching this topic reveals a shocking number of these types of crimes across the western world. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, and xenophobia are growing like cancers, replacing the roots of God’s love for the world with hateful speech and violence. Some may say that this is a small problem, involving only a very small group of people. That is a false narrative designed to take the spotlight off the truth. I believe that this dark cancer cannot survive the light of God’s truth.

I have heard it said that many white nationalists describe themselves as patriotic citizens, protecting their countries from the “invading hoards” that seek to wipe them out. Once again, this is a false narrative. No one can be a true follower of Jesus Christ while holding views that promote violence and fear. The Bible is clear: all human beings are created in God’s image and are loved by God. Only God has the power to judge another human being and only God has the ability to figure out how to reconcile each person to himself. Those things are not our job. We do not get to decide who is worthy of life and who deserves to be beaten or killed.

I guess I am shocked that we still need to have this conversation at all. Western “civilization” has fought countless wars to preserve freedom and rights for all people. Yet, here we are watching hate and violence slaughter innocent men, women, and children as they pray.

I read an article this weekend about a politician in New Zealand. Sen. Fraser Anning came under blistering criticism over tweets on Friday including one that said, “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence? The real cause of the bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place,” he said in a statement. That is a familiar lie. Law enforcement agencies and security experts across the western world say that the majority of these types of incidents are perpetrated by white males with some sort of white supremacist agenda. We simply cannot blame the victims!

I don’t know the cause of this rise in prejudice and I can’t offer an easy solution. I do know that God’s world has no room for hatred and violence and, one day, all will see clearly how God deals with the haters. Meanwhile, the best we can do is pray that those hold hate in their hearts for any person or group of persons might find their way back to God’s love.

Praying for peace,
Pastor Don