Is God Capable of Hate?

One of my friends mentioned something the other day about the Westboro Baptist Church and it piqued my interest. From what I know about them, they seem to be motivated almost purely by hate, but I decided to visit their website. I was instantly shocked by how hateful their webpage was and it sickened me beyond belief. Everything seemed so incredibly hateful. But then I noticed that they posted some scripture in order to “validate” their hate.

Here are some of the Bible verses:

Leviticus 20:23 - “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.”

Leviticus 26:30 - “And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.”

Psalm 5:5 - “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”

Psalm 5:6 - “Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”

Psalm 10:3 - “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”

Psalm 11:5 - “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”

This is so contrary to the concept of God that I have been taught as a Catholic, and I find it very disconcerting. I mean, I believe God’s Love is infinite and unconditional, but how are we to interpret these verses?

Thank you and God Bless,

B. Solfermoser

God is Love and therefore incapable of hate.

God’s justice to those who (out of free will) choose not to be with Him is distressing for us, but ultimately understandable.

God does not hate, for if He did. We would not of had Jesus Christ.

Then why all the hate talk in the Old Testament? I ask this sincerely, just as the OP did–I really want to know. It seems hard to reconcile.

Absolutely God is capable of Hate, He hates SIN.

How I was able to reconcile the God of the OT and the God of the NT, who was willing to let his son suffer an atrocious death in atonement for our sins, was to see him as the same divine being but who let different aspects/attributes of his divinity be more manifest at different times. I suppose the way he dealt with people in the OT was the best way to deal with people of that time. Perhaps he wouldn’t have been taken seriously if he hadn’t established first that he meant business; he waited more opportune times, the fullness of time, to show his magnanimity.

God did choose to create the situation ( life) in which people wilfully condemn themselves to Hell for rejecting him.

Did he not?

If God hadn’t created man, then there wouldn’t be a single person languishing in hell for all of eternity.

Non existence is a better alternative than hell.

No?

Does he still love the souls whom he calls “accursed”?

If he hates sin so much, wouldn’t it have been wiser not to create man in the first place?

No man = no sin = a perfectly happy all powerful God.

A side benefit would be no one suffering for eternity in hell.

It sure is. That is why we must work with fear and trembling toward our salvation, yunat.

But you would deprive potentially billions of people of the joy of being united with God for eternity. He loves man more than he hates his sin I would venture to say. Why? Because if man regrets his sin and confesses it, he’s willing to forget it was ever committed.

If hell is real.

Then yes, a resounding yes.

The thing about not existing, is no one would know any different, as they wouldn’t exist to know that they’ve missed out on…anything…including knowing about God!

So yeah, if given the choice between not existing and gambling with an eternity in hell…non existence is without question the best choice.

You follow?

I live my life fully aware, awake and without fear.

I prefer it that way.

Putting aside for the moment that God is Love, and God is Goodness, and all that…
… let’s take a look at it from this angle.

Why do we hate people or things?
Because we fear them. We fear what they might do to us or those we love.

It is not possible that God could fear what anything might do to him. So he doesn’t hate on that basis.

But what about hating that which might harm those he loves?
God loves everybody. He loves everything he creates. He could not create something he hates.
From everything that happens, some good will come, although we don’t know how in this life. He sees the whole picture we can’t.

The only people who can do permanent harm are those who condemn themselbes to hell, but God cannot hate them for that.

I agree that this is a very complicated issue and there are others who could address your question better.

For me, long story short (biblical, that is), out of Love in order to offer us a weapon against Death (hell, satan, etc.) our loving Father sent his only Son to be a worthy sacrifice for our past, present and future sins. His salvation and grace is a gift that we are free to accept or refuse. The thing is, whether Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Atheist, etc. we all experience pain and suffering.

So, I’ve chosen to trust in Jesus and I hope that sort of explains what I originally said.

Westboro Baptist Church does have a point to some extent, yet they err in a way that they can determine who is going to hell and who is saved. They’ll stand across the street with their vile signs and chant and scream and say you’re “damned for hell” when they don’t know one thing about you. I watched a video of them screaming at this one girl saying she was a “whore”. Did they know that girl? No. What gives them the right to judge people in that manner? They believe they are the “saints” of the world, which gives them the right to say what they want because they speak for God. One thing we have to realize about the psalms and some language used in the Bible altogether is that some of the language is figurative. It’s used to stress a very serious point. Sin is a very serious matter to God; therefore, words such as “hate” and “abhor” are used to stress that point because those words grab your attention and make you realize the severity of the situation. It’s like telling someone, “I’m going to kill you!” whenever they do something to displease you. Will you really kill that person? No. Well, hopefully not. Saying “I’ll kill you” is a way to stress your displeasure for what that person did wrong. People use figurative language all the time to stress important topics.

We can’t always take what we read in the Bible 100% literally. God does abhor sin in its every form, yet He loves His people in a way that He will send His own son to die for them to stress that point. If He hated everyone, there wouldn’t be any point to our being here. He would’ve wiped humanity out at the time of Noah and never given us a second chance. The Westboro Baptist Church views God as a malevolent dictator waiting to strike down anyone who comes across his path. God is just not that way. We have quotes from the Saints, writings from the Early Church Fathers and of course Scripture to prove that God does not hate people. He hates sin, and if He did indeed hate people themselves, things would be entirely different today. Catholicism’s views on God would be different today because we are the first Church. We have proof that God is all-loving and all-caring for His people, yet He will not mess around when we are living in sin.

And, if I understand you correctly, I also think that the best way to prepare for death is to live today.

If you believe that “with God, all things are possible” then yes, God can hate.

First of all I think a lot of terrible misconceptions are being thrown around.

First of God is NOT a creation, therefore He isn’t capable of anything. He Is.

To ask the question is God capable of this…Misses the whole point. God cannot be measured, because God is God. Therefore asking questions “how strong is God, how old is God, is God capable of doing xyz?” seeks to bring God down to our natural level. God is not natural and neither is God supernatural (for angels are supernatural and God created those too) God Is.

Now as the Church states over again:

III. GOD, “HE WHO IS”, IS TRUTH AND LOVE

214 God, “HE WHO IS”, revealed himself to Israel as the one “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”. These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. “I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness.” He is the Truth, for “God is light and in him there is no darkness”; “God is love”, as the apostle John teaches.

God is Truth

215 “The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever. and now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true”; this is why God’s promises always come true. God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. the beginning of sin and of man’s fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God’s word, kindness and faithfulness.

216 God’s truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world. God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.

217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is “true instruction”.When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true.”

God is Love

Over and over we read and hear God is Love, and that’s precisely what God Is. Love and Truth is what God Is.

Also God does not hate sin. Hate is evil and God is not evil.

Here is something I copied from another forum from Father Sotelo

The problem with a human reaction like “hatred” is that it describes what we humans experience when others have betrayed us, hurt us, harmed us, or threatened us in some way.

God is above this world, beyond time and space, infinite in His good attributes and changeless in His perfections. This is what makes Him God. So, He does not have mood swings and emotional hot flashes like we do. He is not fickle, confused, or undecided about what to do next. Thus, even when the Bible describes God as “hating” something, we have to be careful and realize we are using human language and human emotions to describe a Supreme Being who is way above being like us; He is way above acting like us.

Once He creates something, and it has come forth from His hand, He is always going to accept that creature as having a part of Him, being a reflection of Him. Our immortal soul was created directly by Him when He gave us life at the moment of conception. He directs our soul towards love and wisdom, and insofar as we progress on the good path we render unto Him glory, since our merits and goodness are His gifts to begin with.

When we sin, He is displeased that we have harmed ourselves, and detracted from the glory we should render unto Him. His love is His providing care (Providence); it is His holy will that we do what is according to His plan, fall back into line, get back onto the good path, and fulfill the ends for which He sent us into this world.

God cannot “hate” us; He can be displeased and offended by our decisions, but the immortal soul He sees in us came from Him and is a spark of His Being. To hate it, He would have to hate Himself, which He cannot do. To hate us; He would have to decide that He will stop providing for us to move towards the goals He set for us. But He can never turn away from His Providence because it directs all creation wisely. To hate us, God would have to become stupid and unwise; for a moment, He would have to be neglectful of creation, instead of Provident.

So, it is God’s nature, His Being and part of His perfection, to always love, and to always provide for, His creatures. If, at the moment of death, we have died unrepentant in mortal sin, and have decided to reject Him for good, He will send us to hell.

But that is not because He is a mean-spirited, hateful Being, but rather because He is just and fair and respects our free will. Dying in mortal sin is saying, “I don’t want to be with God in heaven.” God honors that decision and separates us from the elect and sends us to a different place. It would be unjust for God to send unrepentant sinners to heaven after they have emphatically decided they don’t want to be with God and the saints.

God is Love

Hate is the opposition of Love.

Therefore, God cannot hate, because it would be contrary to who He is.

All sin and hate exists due to opposition of God.

Therefore, the word “hate” does not apply to God in that sense…I think you could rephrase it a little better :slight_smile:

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