I hate the assembly of evildoers,
and I will not sit with the wicked. Psalm 26:5
We should have nothing to do with evildoers and wicked people. David said, “I have nothing but hatred for them” (Psalm 139:22). The author of Psalm 1 praises believers who avoid them: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers” (v.1). If you spend too much time with false teachers, you will eventually share in their false doctrine, lies, and errors. If you play with tar, you’re going to get dirty.
But doesn’t our Lord Jesus Christ command us to love our enemies in Matthew 5:44? So why does David brag that he hates the mob of evildoers and won’t sit with wicked people? Shouldn’t a person do good things for them and doing so make them feel guilty and ashamed? Yes, we should hate them, but only in regard to their false teachings. Otherwise, we must be ready to serve our enemies so that we might be able to convert some of them. We need to love them as people but hate what they teach. So we are forced to choose between hating them or hating God, who wants and commands us to cling to his Word alone. Our hatred is a sacred animosity that flows from love. So love is subject to faith, and faith must be in charge of love.
When the Word of God is at stake, love ends and hate begins. But if only personal things are at stake, such as our property, honor, or bodies, we should show respect and serve others. God gives us these gifts to help others. We can risk them in order to serve. However, we cannot risk God’s Word, because it belongs to the Lord our God.
Barnas Sears, D.D.
Controversial and visionary, Luther’s life is revealed in this rare presentation of his work as an educator and church leader. From his birth and childhood, to his religious education, and the events leading up to the Protestant Reformation, you will discover the views and experiences that led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1520. Correspondence and accounts shed further light on Luther’s defiant translation of the Bible from Latin to the language of the common man.
This unique biography is reproduced from an 1850 American Sunday School Union original, and in it you will be introduced to the pivotal life of this enigmatic man before, during, and after one of Christianity’s defining events.