Fighting the Impulse to Hate Back

Posted on October 9, 2018

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By David Ettinger

A Political Departure
kavanaughI seldom write about politics, and even in this blog, I will only touch upon recent events.

I refer to the Senate hearings regarding the now newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. Though I rarely speak in terms of “Republican” and “Democrat,” I will say that the Democratic Party’s attack upon Judge Kavanaugh has been ­– and is – a hatchet job of epic proportions. In their efforts to block Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment, they sunk to extreme depths to accomplish their purposes, caring not a smidge whether or not they destroyed this man’s life.

The Democrats’ venom and vitriol was met and returned by Republicans, serving to further broaden the ever-expanding chasm dividing our country. We can only expect the divisions to further grow.

The Christian Response
This emotional issue has brought out the worst of both sides, and the hostilities have spread to the Christian community. I have visited a number Facebook friends’ pages and see that they have entered the Judge Kavanagh fray, and not with much graciousness.

Whether posting their opinions in their own words (something people rarely do, unfortunately), or posting the opinion of a particular organization (which they always seem to do), these posts do little more than stoke the fires of antagonism.

cross worshipMeeting hate with hate is never the Christian answer. Perhaps stating facts and figures to help bring illumination – as did Maine Senator Susan Collins – can help diminish the flames somewhat, but this should be the outer boundary. Christians by all means have a right to traverse the political landscape, but should be very careful how they tread.

Our Chief Purpose
Believers must always remember our chief purpose when engaging the unsaved world: We are to “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy …” (Jude 22-23).

In other words, the job of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is not to win political arguments, but to share the Gospel with unbelievers. We are to tell them that they are lost sinners in danger of eternal separation from God in Hell, but that God has sent His Son into the world to save them from their sins.

Getting bent out of shape to the point of hostility over the Brett Kavanaugh attacks is crossing a line believers should not be crossing, especially if that means wishing evil upon those with differing viewpoints.

The Biblical Attitude
Rather, believers need to stick close to the Word of God and display a biblical attitude. A few verses to keep in mind:

holy Bible* Romans 13:1: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

* 1 Timothy 2:1-2: “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

* Matthew 5:44-45: “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

These verses are self-explanatory, but I will say that at the time they were written, Rome was the governing power, and one of the “enemies” Jesus was referring to in the Matthew passages. The Romans were also the ones who would soon be persecuting – and killing – Christians. Yet, Jesus commanded His people to pray for them, as later did the apostle Paul (in the Romans and 1 Timothy passages).

This is our mandate. We are to pray for those who oppose and hate us. We are to fight the impulse to hate back. We are not to let politics deter us from our goal – that being to share the Gospel with a lost and dying world.

May God give you the grace you need to endure – and flourish – in these dark but amazing days!