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THE NATURE AND SIN OF HATRED
by Charles Grover Caldwell, Sr. (Stan's Grandfather, 1962)

Someone has said, "Malice can always find a mark to shoot at, and a pretence to fire." Hatred is the vice of narrow souls; they feed it with all their littleness, and make it the pretext for base tyrannies. It is a low and degrading emotion and is so poisonous that no man is strong enough to use it safely. Booker T. Washington, the great American Negro educator said, "I shall never permit myself to stoop so low as to hate any man." The Holy Spirit, speaking through John said, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (1 Jno. 3:15). Malice and hatred toward others are not only sinful in God's sight, but a curse to all who entertain or possess them. They are very fretting, and make the mind of the hater sore and uneasy. No man can be contented and happy, regardless of his position in life, while harboring in his heart malice and hatred toward his fellow-man. If I wanted to punish an enemy, I could find no more effective method or means of so doing, than that of fastening on him the trouble of constantly hating somebody. We are to hate no one! Hate their vices, but not themselves. Dislike whatever deserves it, but never hate your fellow-man; for that is of the nature of malice, which is applied to persons, not to things. If there is any person whom you dislike, that is the one of whom you should never speak. If you hate, even your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.

There are, of course, some things which must be hated, especially by Christians, but persons - never! Hate hypocrisy; hate intolerance; hate oppression, injustice, Pharisaism; hate them as Christ hated them - with a deep abiding God-like hatred. But the one who hates his fellow-man, thereby insures his own destruction. LOVE is the key to success in every Christian endeavor. No substitute will work in the final test before God, regardless of how it may appear to man. (See 1 Cor. 13). James asks: "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth. This wisdom cometh not down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace." (Jas. 3:13-18). The passion of hate is so durable and so inveterate, that the surest prognostic of death in a sick man is a wish for reconciliation with those whom he may have hated.

Prominent among the "works of the flesh" catalogued by Paul in Gal. 5:19-21 are "hatred", "strife", "envyings." Said he, "they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (v. 21).

IMPERFECTIONS

"The church of Christ, though a divine institution, is composed of imperfect people - fallible, blundering individuals. None is without fault, not one. Elders, deacons, evangelists, teachers and members; and yet the amazing thing is that God in all ages, has been able to work such wonders through agency of the imperfect. From Adam on, He has never had a chance with any other kind.

"If any preacher ever finds a perfect congregation, he will have come to a place where there is very little need for him. It is imperfection of the people which create for him his task of preaching, teaching and training.

If any congregation ever finds a perfect preacher, he will seem unreal, without understanding of the difficulties under which imperfect people labor. This will destroy any possibility of his being of any real value.

And so it is the imperfect - working together, trying to understand, trying to lift up one another, wrestling with one another's weaknesses and forgiving one another's faults - this is what makes a congregation as near perfect as anything can be."

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