There's a lot of hate in the world!
Islamic extremists 'hate' America, Israel, and the western way of life. They 'hate' everyone who believes differently than they do.
People from the Westoro Baptist Church 'hate' America, American Servicemen and 1st Responders--because they 'hate' what America has become (and they think GOD 'hates' America).
To 'hate' someone or something is to see no positive in them. It is to wish them only pain, sorrow and death. It is to look forward to the day when they no longer exist.
In that case, the bumper sticker is right--"Hate is NOT a Family Value" (or for that matter, a Christian value).
...But there are a lot of things that are labeled as 'hate' that are not. "Hate speech" might simply be speaking out in disagreement with someone or something. Does doing so imply 'hate'?
Not in my mind, it doesn't!
You and I can disagree--even strongly--about important things. Christianity vs. other religions; Pro life vs. Pro Abortion opinions; America's right to go to war, vs. our need for peace; homosexuality as a viable lifestyle vs. God's Word on it.
We can disagree...but can we disagree without hate?
I think we can!
For me, as a Christ-follower, it comes down to this: I am called to glorify God by submitting my life--every aspect of it--to His revealed will in His Word. I do not (nor does anyone else) have the right to arbitrarily change His Word, or to 'pick and choose' what we believe about Him.
Am I going to do any of this to perfection? NO.
God knows--and everyone esle who knows me agrees--that I'm far from perfect at it.
Yet, I dare not change the standard, just to fit my preconceived ideas, or to fit with this world's philosophies.
What does the Word say?
"1 And so, dear brothers and sisters,I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
I believe--and am convinced--that God's will for us--as revealed in His Word--is indeed, "Good, pleasing, and perfect". He WANTS us to experience freedom...beauty...holiness...liberation.
But that does not come from adopting the standards and practises of this world! Rather, it comes from adapting our lives to HIS standards and practises--as revealed in the Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
My desire is not to condemn...it is, rather, to help you see the path to freedom and blessing. I am not being "hateful", but rather, I'm trying to be genuinely--and for real--"Loving".
May God teach us the difference between disagreement...and 'hate'.
...and may He enable us to experience all the blessing He has to offer!
Love to all,