A Spirit of Hatred Has Been Loosed in America
Titus 3:3, “For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another.” (Amplified Bible – Lockman)
A level of hatred most of us have never seen in our lifetimes has been unleashed in America. It is manifest from foul-mouthed, irrational, anarchist in the streets to tenured leftist college professors. Its venom is spewed from major news outlets and politicians, as well as social media and movies.
An unprecedented level of anger and hatred has been unleashed in America against Christians and those who love our country. This evil anti-Christ spirit is in manifestation all over the world from religions that kill anyone that do not agree with them, to political enemies who personally attack people’s words and actions rather than the content of their ideas, to even the body of Christ, which has caused division, church splits and the ending of many friendships. When you see irrational anger without any logical reason or justification for it, there is usually an extraordinarily strong evil spirit behind it.
The Apostle Paul reminds his spiritual son, Titus, that this is the way we used “to live” or “pass our days” (NRSV) before conversion. Before listing the “hateful and haters”, he first reveals two poisons that begin their work within the person before exploding outward in behavior. These are “malice” and “envy”.
The Greek word that translates “malice’ is “kakia” and it conveys the idea of a mean-spirited or vicious attitude or disposition. It is an attitude of wickedness as an evil habit of one’s mind. Malice describes a vicious intention and expresses the desire to hurt another and rejoices in it!
The second part of the poisonous pair that predicates hatred is “envy”. This Greek word (phthonos) describes pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. It means not just wanting what another person has, but also resenting that person for having it. It is an attitude of ill-will that leads to division and strife and even murder.
Paul then shows the relational and societal offspring of malice and envy – “being hated and hating one another”.Without the life-changing power of the gospel, ignorance, deceit, division, and active opposition to God and people is the modus operandi of all persons. Life outside of the influence of God’s grace is destructive chaos that eventually collapses in on itself under the weight of hatred.
Nowhere has this spirit of hatred been more visibly and viciously seen than in the unrelenting hatred of President Donald Trump. There have been endlessly repeated, hate-filled descriptions of him. He is the paragon of evil: a dictator, narcissist, misogynist, racist, xenophobe, Islamophobic, anti-Semite and white supremacist. He is morally and financially corrupt and mentally incompetent. He’s unrefined. His reelection will mean the end of American democracy. He has told more than 22,000 lies. He loves dictators and has contempt for America’s allies. His 2016 campaign colluded with Russia to undermine and “steal” the presidential election. He said there are “very fine” Nazis. To top it all off, he is responsible for more than 260,000 American deaths due to COVID-19. And that’s just a partial list.
In addition, there is an unmitigated hatred of America and patriotic Americans by leftist socialists who want to destroy the Electoral College, transform the Supreme Court into lawmakers not subject to the voters, replace nationalism with globalism, severely limit the First Amendment in respect to freedom of religion and free speech, not to mention the Second Amendment that permits Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. They feel that America should be compassionate and allow illegal immigrants and convicted felons to elect a party who would protect their interests, not just the “white privilege.” Why shouldn’t churches be burned down that oppose a woman’s right to murder her pre-born babies or the right to marry a spouse of one’s own sex? Why shouldn’t any speech that is contrary to their agenda, be labeled as “hate speech” or be banned from all information dispensing sources?
Without question a vicious, virulent spirit of hatred is on the loose in our country. But there is hope. Greater is He that is within us than he that is within the world system. Despite how malicious, envious, hateful, and hating persons now are – and what we all were before coming to Christ – the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior has appeared, and they can be saved just as “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).
Because the grace of God has transformed our hearts from hate-filled to love-filled by the life-giving power and indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, we can experience and exhibit the God-kind of love that wins over hatred, that speaks blessings instead of cursing, that offers life instead of death, and hope instead of despair.
In God’s kingdom, we first love, then we move into acquaintance. In the world, we first get acquainted, then we sometimes move into love if we like them and they look like, think like, live like us, vote like us, and are on the same soci-economic status as us.
Love describes what a true Christian is. They are persons in whom the Holy Spirit, in His passionate, relentlessly pursuing love, has captured their hearts and wed them to Christ as the Lover of their souls. Then out of the internal experience of being personally, passionately, and intimately loved of God, they are to be becoming more and more loving in their character. This will produce a very observable external overflow of the love of God that is demonstrated by its attitudes and actions toward other people.
The God-kind of love empowers us with the compassion that cares, the care that gets involved, the commitment that sticks with a people through thick and thin! God help me to demonstrate more clearly and consistently to the hateful and hating, your kind of love.
The bottom line – The gospel – not powerful government – is the only hope for nations filled with people that are hateful and hating.