Skip to content ↓

Hate More and Kill Better

Today’s post is sponsored by BJU Seminary and written by Renton Rathbun, who directs BJU’s Center for Biblical Worldview, contributes to the Seminary’s apologetics program, and speaks across the country on biblical worldview and apologetics. BJU Seminary equips Christian leaders through an educational and ministry experience that is biblically shaped, theologically rich, historically significant, and evangelistically robust.

We live in a world where 62% of American pastors have a syncretistic worldview. It was pastors who enabled the success of the Revoice movement, which is responsible for grooming young men and women into embracing a gay identity within Christianity. And currently, there is a dwindling confidence in pastors’ spiritual credibility.

Now more than ever, the American church is in desperate need of pastors who are ready to address a simple fact: the Church has come to despise holiness. Yes, the Church at large seems fond of God’s love and goodness, but holiness leaves a bitter taste in her mouth.

Many fear pursuing holiness will make us unrelatable, robotic, and judgy. Yet, the most sobering statement of 1 John 2:1–6 is that the first and primary exhortation is to stop sinning. Yes, if we do sin, we have an Advocate. But John wrote his epistle principally so that his people “may not sin.”

When we do speak of practical matters of holiness, we often explain our way into retaining at least some sin. When 1 Timothy 2:12 forbids women “to exercise authority over a man” in the church, we roll out our feminists to help us see that “authority” is misunderstood by conservatives. When Romans 1:26–27 speaks of the sin of homosexuality and its “vile affections,” we roll out our same-sex-attracted pastors to help us see that only the act of sodomy is a sin, not the attraction part.

The Church is losing the skill of hating and killing. We do not hate sin as God does, so we do not kill it. We might condemn parts of it—but hating and killing it goes too far. Yet, God says He hates the work of those who sin (Ps. 101:3; 119:104). He hates abominations (Prov. 6:16–19; Jer. 44:4). He hates the planning of evil (Zach. 8:17). And God has instructed us to hate evil (Ps. 97:10), even abhor it (Rom. 12:9).

Our worldview is confused, so our compassion has become confused. In attempting to show compassion for those who are tangled up in sin, we have begun showing compassion for sin itself. As my pastor once stated, “When we forget the sinfulness of sin and God’s own hatred for it, we forget the cost of sin for the Son of God.”

How can we kill what we have become accustomed to? How can we assassinate that which we have been pining after? We need a biblical worldview of holiness. The puritan John Owen confronts us, “Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it while you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you!”

Pastors, do not give up. Do not give in. Do not go gently into the night. Fight for holiness in your own heart (1 Pet. 3:15) and in the hearts of your congregations (1 Pet. 1:15–16). Fight because you love God. Fight because you love your people. Turn your people into killers of sin, or it will be killing them.

For more articles from BJU Seminary faculty members, or more information about BJU Seminary, visit our website.


  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers, who also sponsored the blog last week with Overflowing Mercies. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by…

  • How Should We Then Die

    How Should We Then Die?

    Euthanasia makes a lot of sense. At least in our culture at this time, it makes intuitive sense that those who are ill without hope for a cure or those who are in pain without likelihood of relief ought to be able to choose to end their own lives. Our culture assumes there are few…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (April 12)

    A La Carte: Is God always pleased with Christians? / Southern Baptists debate designation of women in ministry / Good growth / Planted and rooted / Both worm and worthy / Scotland’s destiny and the rewriting of history / and more.

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (April 11)

    A La Carte: 4 reasons why the Bible does not support transgenderism / Your elders will fail you / 25 questions a Christian woman should ask herself when a man starts to show interest / The same person in every room / Is the story of Job historical? / Book and Kindle deals / and…

  • The Sun Is Blotted from the Sky

    The Sun Is Blotted from the Sky

    Men of great physical strength have sometimes carried outrageously heavy burdens—six hundred pounds, seven hundred pounds, eight hundred. And even then they have said, “I still have not been fully tested. Put on some more weight! Load me up!” With confidence they have gripped the bar and with great straining and groaning they have lifted…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (April 10)

    A La Carte: Reflecting Christ in the crucible of your marriage / Finding peace beyond the illusion of control / There are no free bets / What temptation is and is not / Grieving the loss of a loved one / The Bible says it, I believe it / and more.