Explaining Hate

Lately, with the recent anniversary of 9/11, the kids have had some big questions regarding why people would want to hurt other people and why some people hate America.   More questions arose on a recent soccer tournament trip to Topeka.

We were blessed to find a church just a few blocks away from the hotel.  But as we drove to mass that Sunday morning we nearly missed the turn when we were distracted by Fred Phelp’s church members from the Westboro Baptist Church.  They were picketing the Catholic church with ugly signs of hate.  Of course this resulted in more questions from the kids, as they couldn’t understand why someone would be so hateful toward the Church and its members. Now I don’t have any sure-fire answers, but I had to come up with something to help them understand something that even I don’t really understand. Here goes…

When sin was introduced into the world with the devil’s deception and Adam and Eve’s choice to eat the apple, much suffering and evil entered with it. We first saw hate when the oldest son of Adam and Eve, the first born of the earth, became jealous of his younger brother.  So jealous in fact that that hate resulted in the first killing too.  Unfortunately, hate did not go away with Christ’s sacrifice.  His love overcame death for all, but He has to win over hearts one-by-one.

loveToday, the devil still tries to deceive us. Still tries to make us hate.  One of the best ways that the devil works in this world is by convincing people that he doesn’t exist.  If we don’t believe in the devil and his efforts to deceive us, it is easier to turn against God and blame Him for the suffering and tragedy in the world.  There is no higher moral ground, no true goodness, and in the end, no hope for our life after death. The other great way that the devil works in people’s lives is to convince them that they are doing wrong but for the sake of God – making it right. The men on 9/11 truly believed that what they were doing was the will of God.  They believed that God commanded them to hate so much that they should kill others.  Of course, we see that hate evident in the crisis in the Middle East today. The same is true for the picketers outside of the church. They truly believe that God is calling them to condemn other people to hell.

While it is true that God calls us to admonish others, He does not want us to judge other – a fine but definite line.  Those picketers have crossed that line into hatred for others. The only way to overcome this hatred is with the love of Christ. He asked us to pray for those who hurt us and we also must pray for those who hate us – without ever knowing how our prayer will affect them. But be assured that prayers will always be answered in some way or another – our prayers will not be in vain.

The only way to fight hate is with love!

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