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So often in scripture we can learn what "do to" because it is the opposite of what we are taught "not to do" and vice versa. We are to love all people, not hate anyone. We are to overcome evil with good. We are to "hate" evil but "love" all people. We are to do "good" even to our enemies. The apostle Paul gives us a list of things were are "to do" and "not to do" (the opposite) in Romans 12:9-21. Hate crimes could be considered the things we are commanded "not to do". Verse 9 Hypocritical love for others, participation in evil activities, Verse 10 Selfish indulgence, Self-boasting Verse 11 Apathetic spiritual devotion, serve ourselves Verse 12 Negative attitudes, whining and complaining, faithless actions Verse 13 Ignore people in need, Snub strangers Verse 14 Fight and curse others who hurt us Verse 15 Snub others success, Show no compassion Verse 16 Create conflict with others, be proud, be biased, prejudiced, and discriminatory against others we are conceited against Verse 17 Repay everyone who has hurt us, don't care what other people think Verse 18 Stir up conflict everywhere Verse 19 Take revenge always Verse 20 Don't help anyone in need Verse 21 Indulge ourselves and not care what is evil or good These attitudes and actions may not constitute "hate crimes" according to the laws of our country, but according to the perfect laws of justice laid down by God, I believe they certainly would be. Thoughts lead to desires and desires lead to words and actions. Sinful desires start in the heart. All forms of bias, prrejudice, discrimination and racism start in the attitudes of our hearts and can ultimately be expressed in "hateful" words and actions. That is why we need to examine our hearts for the presence of any of these desires and attitudes and then forsake them. We also need the help of the Holy Spirit to guard our hearts and minds so we don't become infected with "evil and hate" which is so prevalent in our world. Then we will learn to avoid the things we are "not to do" as mentioned above.
What does the Bible say about hate crimes? In Numbers 12:1, we learn that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, for he married a Cushite woman. Cush was a descendant of Ham. The ancient term “Cush” is the same as Ethiopia, which refers to a region of dark or black skinned people. Cush has been used interchangeably with Ethiopia in the Bible, which is seen in the KJV, which identifies Moses' wife as “Ethiopian” and the NIV, which identifies her as “Cushite” in this same passage of Scripture. In verse two, there is a discussion between Miriam and Aaron about God not only speaking to Moses, but also to them and God is aware of this entire exchange. This prompts God in verse 5 to speak directly to Miriam and Aaron as a pillar of cloud. God declares that He speaks to the prophets in dreams and visions, whereas with Moses, God speaks plainly with him “face to face.” This informs us that spiritually, Moses was on a higher level than the prophets as well as Miriam and Aaron. The two should’ve been previously aware of this, since God then posed the question: Why were you not afraid to speak against Moses? No answer is provided by Miriam or Aaron, but in verse 9 it clearly states that the “anger of the Lord burned against them” and God left. After the departure in verse 10, we learn that Miriam’s skin was turned leprous or white as snow (NIV), which was a condition enduring for seven days. The text does not state health problems associated with this. We are only provided with a comparison to an unhealthful state by Aaron in verse 12, as he implores God: “Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed...” So, this context appears to be limited to color. Moses intercedes for Miriam in verse 14, but God instructs him to keep her outside the camp for seven days. So, along with being turned leprous, God also causes her to become an outsider – Just as she spoke in like manner of Moses’ Cushite wife, as if she was an outsider in the eyes of God. What is interesting about this passage is that it identifies hate, since Miriam spoke against Moses for marrying a Cushite. It’s also interesting to note that this underlying idea is briefly mentioned in Jeremiah 13:23, which asks if the Ethiopian can change his skin. Having the Spirit of understanding to know that the Numbers event is one of hate makes clear why God determined a punishment on Miriam that was directly concurrent to what she had an issue with from the beginning – skin color. Accordingly, she is turned white. With the innumerable ways with which God manifests, the fact that God drew emphasis to color reveals the heart of the matter. We are reminded through this that God is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). As such, He renders to every man according to his work (Romans 2:6). Thus, hatred of people is not tolerated. If Miriam and Aaron had of immediately acknowledged there wrongdoing after God spoke to them, the outcome would've likely been different. Finally, Revelation 2:6 tells us that Jesus “hates the deeds” of the Nicolaitans. Without starting a discussion on who the Nicolaitans are, what should be emphasized here is that Jesus said He hated the deeds or works of these people but not the actual people. Therefore, in righteousness, we can hate wrongdoing but not people, as that would be hating God. 1 John 4:20 summarizes it all: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”
They're wrong. The clearest commandment God gives us is to love (Matt. 22:37-40). Hate is obviously the opposite of love; therefore hate crimes are sinful. We are commanded to be like God, and the Bible teaches us that "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34, Eph. 6:9). That means that to Him, a black person is the same as Caucasians and Asians and Hispanics and Native Americans, etc. James 2 commands us to "have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons" (James 2:1). The chapter continues telling us to treat high and low, rich and poor, with the same degree of respect. That rules out hate crimes. Hatred against LGBT+ members is rampant in the world we live in. According to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin and therefore as Christians we cannot endorse that kind of lifestyle. We are called to correct people in love, but it is wrong to hate them or treat them as lower than we are. We are not to judge someone for sinning differently than we do. Homosexuality is wrong, but so is pride, and for myself I can say I am one proud person. We all sin, so we should not put others down for their sins when we are no better.
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