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I am referring to this fascinating (and accepted) answer of Jonathon Byrd where he proves by the Bible that God is also the God of hate:

Psalm 5:5 (NKJV)
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity.

Psalm 7:11 (NKJV)
God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.

Psalm 11:5 (NKJV)
The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Psalm 15:4 (NKJV)
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

My question:

Is this hate in a harmonious balance with love comparable to Eastern religions, e.g. Taoism with their concept of Yin and Yang? Or how do both interrelate? Could this hate of God even be the explanation for the problem of evil in the world and why God gives Satan free rein?

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<removed obsolete comments> See comment on the answer that sparked this. –  Caleb Sep 20 '11 at 9:10
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5 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Jonathan already explained from a Biblical perspective how God is a God of hate as well as love. I will try not to duplicate that.

The 'problem of evil' is utterly unrelated to the attribute of hate. Evil and hate are not at all the same thing. God is good: 100% pure good. He is, in fact, the only standard of what good is; we measure whether something is good or not by comparing it to the character and decrees of God. God is not evil! The fact that part of his character demands that he hate does not make him evil, it makes him fully good! Evil, note hate, is the correct opposite of good. Evil could even be defined by its hate of good: good hates that which is evil, evil hates that which is good.

It is logically impossible to be good and love good without hating the opposite of good.1 One must hate evil in order to love good. If you love Jews, you must hate the holocaust. If you love unborn babies, you must hate when they are aborted. If you love women, you must hate when they are abused.

The character of God is utterly different than what Eastern religions teach about balance. The standard of good that he demonstrates is not 'a little bit of good and a little bit of bad keeping each other at bay' or some mystic balance between forces. God is FULL of love just as he is FULL of hatred. Both attributes are taken to their full EXTREMES, not balanced in the middle. They are complementary characteristics, not opposites.

Good and evil are opposites. There is no evil in God and he will not permit evil to continue.2 Our world is but a temporary stage3 on which his final and decisive defeat of evil4 is played out (to demonstrate his glory not because it was ever in doubt) and he demonstrates how good he is in that he can even redeem evil and use it for good.5

But do not be deceived: evil is never in itself a good. Its defeat and destruction are good and that God both can and chooses to redeemed anything from the kingdom of darkness is purely astounding.6

  1. Isaiah 61:8a (ESV)
    For I the Lord love justice;
    I hate robbery and wrong

  2. Ezekiel 35:6 (ESV)
    ... therefore, as I live, declares the Lord God, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you did not hate bloodshed, therefore blood shall pursue you.

  3. 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV) And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

  4. Acts 2:24 (ESV) God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

  5. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

  6. Romans 3:26 (ESV)
    It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

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Thank you, there are several interesting points in here. I will think about this. –  vonjd Sep 7 '11 at 11:22
    
Concerning your benchmark idea you write "God is good, 100% pure good. He is, in fact, the only standard of what good is; we measure whether something is good or not by comparing it to the character and decrees of God." If I understand you correctly this also means that all deeds of God are and must be 100% good too, right? –  vonjd Sep 7 '11 at 11:32
    
@vojd: Yes certainly, but because he IS the standard (rather than being measured against it) there are certain things that are good for God but sin for men. I touched on that issue in this answer. –  Caleb Sep 7 '11 at 11:35
    
I created a follow-on question concerning this point: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/2265/… –  vonjd Sep 7 '11 at 12:11
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@vonjd: You'll have to give me a few minutes for a follow-on answer :) One can't easily just explain the worlds problem with evil between loads of laundry! –  Caleb Sep 7 '11 at 12:34
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God is Good. Good doesn't need Evil to exist.

Just as Warm doesn't need Cold to exist.

Just as light doesn't need shadow to exist.

If something has temperature of absolute zero, it cannot be colder. But it can be infinitly hotter. Because what we call cold, is just lack of temperature.

If something is in the shadow, we cant see it, we name this lack of light "shadow". That doesn't mean that shadow exists. Shadow does not exist, its a phenomenon of lacking the light.

Just as what we call evil is lack of Good, lack of God.

What is wrong in dualism, that nowadays christian understand, is that it compares something that actually exist, with phenomenon.

This dualism is wrong, and considered heresy, at least by catholic church.

Jesus is light, as in gospel of John, doesn't need shadow.

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Quote from the CARM article on Dualism:

Religious dualism is the belief that there are two opposite powers in the universe: good and evil. Some say that this is manifested in the biblical revelation of God versus Satan. A common representation of these opposites is known from the Taoist religion as Yin and Yang.

Dualism is unbiblical since Scripture does not teach that the universe consists of opposites, nor does it affirm that Satan and God are equal and opposing forces. God, according to Scripture, is infinitely greater than Satan and will eventually cast Satan into hell. This could not be done if they were equal and opposing forces.

The dilemma is not choosing between love and hate, but between good and evil. To not hate evil is evil!

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Possibly not an answer, but I tried to come up with a comparison for you. I think that it is relevant to your question, even tho it's probably not answer material.

Imagine that you have a favorite little white mouse that you enjoy taking outside and letting roam in the grass. The mouse is completely innocent, loves to snuggle with you and actually obeys commands that you have taught it. Much like a dog would.

Letting the mouse roam in the yard is not only good for the mouse's health, it also provides you with a chance to teach the mouse more commands. But most of all, you're allowing the mouse exposure to the ant hive. Not so that the mouse can get hurt, but instead so that you can show the mouse that you love it, by protecting it from the ants.

The ants are just plain mean. Whenever they get the chance they'll climb onto your mouse and bite it. So as your mouse is roaming, you're squishing the little red ants with your finger. Ultimately you can't stand the red ants, the only purpose that the ants have, is so that you can teach your white mouse.

If any ant comes up to you and asks to be a mouse, you'll immediately love that ant and give it a chance to be a mouse.

Sorry, not the best story teller, but hopefully it might get you thinking.

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...and it did indeed get me thinking). No need to apologize: I think your story nicely illustrates the point that Christians (if they know what they belief) compare human beings to mean vernim which could be squished any time by God's discretion whereas humanists like me compare human beings to, well, sentient human beings with undeniable human rights. –  vonjd Sep 7 '11 at 16:49
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God loves sin, but loves the sinner (see this question's answers for reasoning). Caleb addressed the "hates the sin" well, I will go on with the other part.

God hates actions, not people. Otherwise He wouldn't have created us, or at least wouldn't have sent His Son to die for us.

It's similar with a loving father and his little son - if the kid breaks his father's favourite cup, the father would become angry and perhaps will punish the boy somehow, but it doesn't mean he ceases to love his son. The father hates breaking the cup, but he also loves his son.

More extreme example: if the son (now a teenager) was a drug addict, the father would hate his son's addiction, but if he is really a good father, he would still love his son. If the son steals money from his parents to buy another dose of drug, it would be legitimate (and reasonable) for the parents not to allow his son to stay with them, but if he returned, asked for forgiveness and shown willingness to get rid of his addiction, the father would forgive his son, accept him back and help him to recover from his addiction.

It's important to explicitely mention this difference, since many people misinterpret their problems as a sign that God hates them. Whether our problems are sort of punishment from God or not, they are definitelly not in conflict with God's love for us.

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