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Should I Love or Hate My Enemies?

As Christians, we know that in the New Testament, Jesus teaches us to love our enemies, pray for them, and do good to them. But we also know that there are passages in the Old Testament, like some of the imprecatory Psalms, that seem to speak differently about this. We read of David, in Psalm 139, of hating those who hate God, hating them with a complete hatred, and counting them as his own enemy. Can both of these ways be right? Is it possible to hate our enemies and love them at the same time? Aren’t we supposed to love the sinner and hate the sin? How can we determine who is rightly an enemy? These questions are discussed and answered in this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast. Join us as Dr. Josh Philpot presents these questions to Dr. Richard Caldwell, seeking answers to help us think through the challenges of knowing who our enemies are and what our responses toward them should be.

 

Dr. Caldwell says that, of course, both of these truths of the Scriptures are right. He mentions there are two things we need to keep in mind when we think about this. First, is what is being perpetrated against me versus what is being perpetrated against God. So I can hate what’s being done to our God, His name, His honor, His truth, His people, and His church, yet love the person who attacks me. Two, we can hold to both as it pertains to personal offenses. In the same heart and mind, we can hate what the person is doing and who they are by the virtue of sin and yet love them and desire their conversion.

 

So as we think about these people and come into contact with them, we know who they are right now. They are sinners in need of God's saving grace. We know what they deserve as a result of who they are. We know where they're headed and what they most certainly will meet with if they continue on this path. Yet still, even though this is where they are right now, and whether their attacks are against God or us personally, we are to love them by not returning evil for evil, by praying for their conversion, and by seeking to do good for them if given the opportunity. Their greatest need is Christ.

 

We also need to remember that we were all once the enemies of God by nature before He saved us. Those that are outside of the Church are still His enemies. So at any given time, when we see some sort of persecution upon the Lord’s people it is an attack on Lord’s Church. There are places where believers are dying for their faith. While it's not an attack on us personally, in a sense, it is because they're our brother or sister; they’re part of the family of God. The Lord Jesus Christ mentions this to Saul as a personal attack upon Himself as Saul, soon to be Paul, is persecuting church members in Acts 9. It’s an attack on Christ; in that sense, it’s an attack on all of us. Other areas of attacks might be very personal, extending to a business relationship or family relationship where someone is mistreating us on a personal level. In these and other ways, there is also a kind of enemy. We are to think of them in two categories. There is what they are that we should hate, and there is, at the same time, a responsibility to love them with the love of Christ. We are to show people, even if they are our enemies, that we love them and pray for them, even as they would spitefully use us on purpose.

 

Dr. Caldwell reminds us that many different categories could be discussed in a conversation like this. Some of them would lead to discussions on things like Christian pacifism. Christian pacifism would say that if someone breaks into my home to harm my family, loving my enemy means I don’t withstand them. Basically, it means I don’t protect my family. Within this same framework of understanding, others would say that Christians can’t serve their nation as soldiers during wartime. Dr. Caldwell shares that he believes these are misapplications of the passages that teach us to love our enemies and exhorts us to be very careful with categories as we apply these truths. But as we face an enemy of God, of His church, of the truth, or as we face an enemy of ourselves on a personal level, we are called to both hate the evil and yet love the individuals in the way Christ has loved us and in the way the gospel would instruct us to love them.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 23 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas

DP / EDITING / COLOR
JUAN CARLOS CLAVERIA

SPECIAL THANKS TO THE
FOUNDERS BAPTIST CHURCH
MEDIA TEAM VOLUNTEERS

Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by
LynneMusic

Motion Graphics
The Media Stock

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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