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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Detestable to God

The Dorian Gray Complex
by Nosafehavenr
(Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV)

There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies,
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

Proverbs informs us that a person who stirs up conflict in the community is detestable to God. I am well aware that we often limit “community” to “the church.” But it also has wider application. Let us think of some troublemakers of note: Jesus was – his crucifixion was testimony to that, and more recently we have Gandhi and Martin Luther King – all can be seen as having stirred up conflict for a good cause. Yet I would like to make a distinction between calls to conscience and calls to conflict. I think in the heart of all three mentioned was goodwill and love of enemy. In fact, they probably would be reluctant to call their opposition “the enemy”– but rather their real enemy was aspects of human nature that even they were vulnerable to (could be tempted by). The common denominator between the three examples was a determination not to return evil for evil but rather to return in its place forgiveness and love—freeing from hatred even those filled with it. If the opposition had shown forgiveness and love there would have been no need for violent conflict in the public square. Those who were responsible for stirring up conflict were those out to harm rather than to heal. The key thing done by these peacemakers was to throw light on existing abuse. Since hatred cannot abide light, controversy is inevitable....but the sources of light are neither the source nor cause of the conflict.

I think we have all witnessed people at one time or another who were not happy unless a war was going on. Their primary objective seemed to be to lift up, ignite, and inflame passions for its own sake as sort of a sensational indulgence – much like a troubled youth instigating a dogfight. I think it’s safe to say if we could get a close-up of such an instigator’s face, there would be a perverse delight arising from destructive hatred present–a meanness expressed with a luridly gleeful anticipation of bloodletting—in its finality a worship of death's disintegration itself. This I think is what is detestable to God.

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