“Unless withstood, the heat of hate burns the wheat“.
(Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellany 249)
* The signification of wheat is love and charity; Children of Truth
11 … a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
Stop Breeding Hate
Anthony D. T. Thomas
From the June 26, 1995 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
* Photo – Courtesy of allposters.com
All too often we hear of or see on television something that fills us with revulsion. It might be “ethnic cleansing,” a terrorist bombing, or the story of a murdered child. I consider myself a mild, easygoing person, but in such cases I have often felt fully justified in hating the perpetrators.
Along with these thoughts, though, there has been the niggling feeling that I should know better. Ever since I started going to a Sunday School, I have known these two important facts: God is everywhere and God is Love. These two facts conflict 100 percent with my “fully justified” reactions. They also appear to conflict 100 percent with the appalling evidence on my television screen. Yet, I know from experience these spiritual facts are true.
I’ve learned that if you accept as reality the evidence of horror, hate, and disillusionment, then the conviction of evil as power can breed in thought and make the possibility of healing look dim. But hatred and its cycles can be healed spiritually. This does not mean you brush aside or ignore the evil. It means you treat it with its antidote—the love that renders it powerless.
Hate must be confronted—but with its opposite. What is the opposite of hate? Feeble, push-you-over love? No! Real love is not feeble—even though it is humble and forgiving. It is stronger than any other force because it comes directly from God.
The supreme example of the power of such love is the life of Christ Jesus. Though he did many good works, he was put to death by rulers who were challenged by the power of his teaching and healing, which exposed their narrowness and hypocrisy. While nailed to the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). How important was this act of forgiveness, partaking of the unchanging Love that is God. It was divine Love that enabled Jesus to demonstrate by his resurrection man’s dominion over death. “His three days’ work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless and Love to be the master of hate,” writes Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health (p. 44).
Well before his crucifixion, Jesus had given his disciples instruction on how to deal with hatred; so at the crucifixion he was putting into practice once again what he had taught them and shown them by example. In the Sermon on the Mount we find these words: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:43, 44).
The source of such love is God. Since God, divine Love, is everywhere, there is no place where good is not. God does not hate. And if God is everywhere, where is hate? Divine Love nullifies the belief of hate. Mrs. Eddy writes, “Divine Love knows no hate; for hate, or the hater, is nothing: God never made it, and He made all that was made” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 122).
If we have taken on board the belief that someone is worth hating, we are knowingly or unknowingly suffering for it. We only need to ask ourselves if we believe that God, Love, is hating. The idea that Love could hate is such a contradiction that it is clearly impossible. But how is it that God cannot hate something that seems to us appalling? The answer is that Love, which has created all in its likeness, could never have created, and therefore does not know, anything other than what is totally lovable. That which seems so appalling, then, has no real substance or power. By loving, by reflecting divine Love, we progressively disarm the belief in hate and an evil intelligence. This is the Christly way to prove the powerlessness of evil.
What are we to love? The real man created by divine Love. This spiritual, real man is the only one Jesus must have acknowledged, even during the crucifixion. If he hadn’t done so, he would not have been able to forgive or to overcome the effects of the crucifixion by rising from the dead. The real man, Love’s man, is unhateable. This is true of both the one who appears to be the hater and the one who seems hated. The need is to acknowledge this true manhood in each individual, however hard it may seem. We do this to purify our own thought, not to remake someone else’s.
As we cherish in our thought God’s view of man, we will be safe from the imposition of hatred. Not only will we be healed, but we will have helped to lift the universal imposition that there is ever anything that can actually hate or be hated. Even the outlook of those who have seemed to be worthy of hate may often be improved as we love more—as we acknowledge and love the real, spiritual nature of man.