Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From a letter from Jenny in Australia
I’ve got another question. Is it right to hate the Devil? Is hate a right feeling? I’ve heard somewhere before it is best to just not [feel] anything for the Devil.
There is nothing evil about hatred, in and of itself. The Psalmist sang about God hating evildoers (Ps. 11:5). In the Bible, both God and righteous people are said to hate many things. And Jesus complimented one of the pastors in Revelation for hating the same thing that he hated (Rev. 2:6). So, hatred can be a very holy feeling. Of course, in the hands of an evil man, hatred can be a very evil thing.
As a rule, it is best just to ignore the Devil. He does not concern you now, and he is of little or no concern for anyone seeking God or for most of God’s children. When Christians get worked up about the Devil, the hatred they express has a nasty feel to it. I don’t want Christianity’s kind of hatred any more than I want Christianity’s kind of love. It is all unclean.
Several years ago, I saw a Christian music video by this renowned young Christian entertainer. It was a video in which the singer was cruelly attacking the Devil as he lay helpless on the ground. I saw that singer himself as being devilish by luring the young people watching his video to be cruel and to have a relentless, vicious attitude toward those whom they think are evil, including the Devil. It was so wicked a video! It justified cruelty of heart and mercilessness. I was stunned by the blistering hatred I saw in that man’s face.
I receive letters regularly that are infected with the same cruel Christian kind of hatred. It is filled with sarcasm and arrogance. Even if I were the kind of wretch that such letters say I am, it is still evil for anyone to speak to another fellow creature as those Christians speak to me. We will never find a justification for cruelty, for mercilessness, or for prideful talk. That is not how one serves Christ. It is not how Christ serves God.
Think about it, Jenny. Jesus had a perfect opportunity to revile the Devil and even to harm him when he had him alone in the wilderness for forty days and nights during the temptation, but he never did. Why? In time, God will punish Satan with a punishment that is far beyond our imaginations. But when it is time, God will do it, not us. And no hot-headed and sharp-tongued abuse that we may try to heap upon him or his followers ever pleases God.
Part of learning to walk in the Spirit, Jenny, is learning to hate as God does. To that end, you may want to read the brief Broadcaster I wrote some years back on “How to Hate Sin”.