Redefining Love and Hate

“Redefining Love and Hate.”

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals—one on His right, the other on His left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at Him. They said, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked Him. They offered Him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” – Luke 23:33-37

Jesus’ work on the cross highlights the true essence of genuine love and tolerance. In 2022, we have sadly lost the ability to love and tolerate. A major societal shift has taken place. This shift signifies redefining ‘love’ and ‘hate’ to mean ‘those that don’t think like me means hate, and those that do think like me means love.’ How has it come to this? Let’s examine how we got here:

The notion behind not being able to love those you disagree with is rooted in control. We feel threatened by those who think differently than us and we see them as an enemy, or adversarial to our world view. With that said, it’s much easier to control people than to love and listen.

The essence of humanity is celebrated in our unique, personal differences. If we are discounting someone’s ability to disagree, we eliminate the very essence of what it means to be human. Each of us has a mind capable of forming thoughts. The ability to think autonomously, or, have a will, is evidence that human beings are made in the very image of the LORD of all creation. By denying the inherent right to thought, we lose the ability to love because to be human is to have a will and think uniquely.

In fact, you reduce a person to subhuman status by concluding that they are worthy of punishment or ostracization for disagreeing, whether you agree with them or not. Tolerance is defined as the ability or willingness to acknowledge the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. Stripping another human being of their dignity by classifying them as nothing more than an inconvenience is the very meaning of intolerance.

As Jesus demonstrated on the cross, love is displayed through sacrifice. If there is no sacrifice there is no love. Selfishness refuses to sacrifice. As humans, we are made to sacrifice ourselves for each other which includes treating people with respect. This is especially true when we don’t see eye to eye. By eliminating sacrifice, love can no longer be free to exist. When love can no longer be free to exist, a society of hate is the result.


Rev. Jon Barrett | Director of CVCCS