Fight Sin and Evil With a Holy Hatred


Real love involves real hatred: whoever has lost the power of moral indignation and the urge to drive the Sellers from the Temple has lost a living, fervent love of Truth. (Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

A few months back I posted the above quote from Archbishop Fulton Sheen on my Facebook page.  I was immediately barraged for promoting hate.  How could I post something saying real love involved real hatred?  Over the course of the discussion, it became increasingly clear that our culture has whitewashed Jesus Christ into a nice fellow and misinterpreted much of the Gospels.  Turn the other cheek seems to mean, don’t stand up to evil.  That is not at all what Jesus taught.

A False Depiction of Christ

The reason people have come to believe this false depiction of Christ is because we as a society no longer believe in the Spiritual World, or in sin.  As C.S. Lewis pointed out in the Screwtape Letters, the greatest accomplishment of the devil was convincing us that he wasn’t real.  But he is real.  And until we recognize that, we won’t know who we’re fighting, or how to fight intelligently.  If we don’t believe the devil is real, or in sin, and everything is relative to our particular situation without absolute truth, then we cannot condemn atrocities that happen around us.  If I have no truth, then murder is acceptable, as it seems to increasingly be in our society.  The greatest fallacy of moral relativism is that it states as absolute truth that there is no truth.  It contradicts itself.

It may be hard for some to believe, but God Himself instituted Holy Hatred.  This hatred is not to be aimed at people but at Satan.  When Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the garden it was Satan who was the very first cursed and here is what God said;

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel. Genesis 3:15

Enmity is an Active Hatred

That word enmity, that is a true hatred, is an active hatred.  It isn’t passive.  And God himself placed it between us and Satan.  God told us to hate satan.  This is holy hatred.  The fruit of Satan’s work is our sin, so we must also hate sin.  Until we understand this, we are not fighting our battles intelligently.

The war we are in is Spiritual.  We must not hate people.  We know from being in covenant with God, that we have exchanged enemies.  God deals with the people and our enemy becomes Satan.  We do not battle Satan the same way we battle people.  How do we battle Satan?  With the sword of the Spirit;

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.” Matthew 10:34

Those sound like harsh words from Jesus, but what did he mean?  The sword he speaks of isn’t a literal metal sword;

“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens..

And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  Ephesians 6:12 and 6:17

Here we see Saint Paul spell it out for us, it is the Sword of the Spirit because we are fighting Powers and Principalities.  It is worth reflecting on that whole verse from Ephesians.

Stand Up to Evil

What does this mean?  How do we stand up to evil?  First and foremost, we PRAY.  But we also can actively combat evil by not budging when it confronts us.  This does not mean we act violently.  On the contrary, because evil often manifests through people, we must be non-violent.  We must let God deal with the people and recognize that they are listening to demons who speak to them.  This enables us to love the person, truly love them, to the point we can forgive them, and to hate the demons who speak to them.  We must TRUST GOD that our prayers in alignment with His will and His truth have efficacy.  What does this look like?

It looks like Mother Teresa, who when she asked for bread for a hungry child and the baker spit in her face, she said, “Thank you for that for me, now what do you have for the child?” She did not attack when violence spit in her face.  She did not run away when sin came at her.  She stood her ground in love.  And the child was fed.

When evil came for Jesus Christ, there were many things he could have done.  He could have gone the way of the world and betrayed the Father like Judas did.  He could have fought back like Peter did when he cut off the ear of the soldier.  He could have run away, like all but one Apostle did.  But he didn’t do these things, because He was one with the will of the Father.

Jesus Knew Who His Enemy Was

When evil came for Jesus Christ, He stood in the way.  He knew who His enemy was, and he had a Holy Hatred directed toward His enemy, and True Love directed toward us whom He is in covenant with.  Evil thought he was destroying Him, but the love in Christ’s heart for us would bring Victory.  He didn’t change the truth of what he said.  He took on death that Satan had brought to the world.  And he died for us on the cross.  And this brought Resurrection because Jesus was teaching us how to fight intelligently.  We do this by totally Trusting God.  Totally loving people. Totally hating Satan and sin.  Take back your authority from the devil and hate him, and not the people he is whispering to.  Forgive the people Satan whispers to and put your hatred on Satan.  This is how we defeat our enemy.

“Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Luke 23:24

They don’t know who is whispering to them because they don’t know Truth, who is Christ Himself.  We must live as a light of Truth with Christ in us.

We often see Saint Michael, crushing the head of Satan with a Sword.  This isn’t a passive dislike.  That is enmity.  He put Satan under his foot because he embraced the Holy Hatred God gave us.  This helps us forgive one another and turn toward one another in love.

Pray, fast, receive the Sacraments Christ left us and stand your ground against evil.  Heaven will be your reward.

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3 thoughts on “Fight Sin and Evil With a Holy Hatred”

  1. Michael Casebolt

    Hi Susan,
    I have struggled with this issue regarding how I should respond to evil. Should I do what Jesus said “Do good to those who persecute you.” or “If someone slaps on one cheek turn the other cheek so they can slap you again.”, etc. Or should I fight against evil like Jesus did when he got very angry and violent when he overturned the money changers tables and started whipping them? After giving this much thought I have decided to deal with evil as Jesus did with the money changers. I strongly believe the adage “ The only reason evil triumphs In the world is because good people do nothing.”

    For example. Should a Christian pray and respond in a non-violent way if someone was trying to harm their child? Or another example. If someone is trying to harm them or is trying to kill them should they disregard their God given natural instinct of self preservation and not try to to fight off their attacker? In my opinion no! If someone is trying to harm a person or their child they have every right to use whatever violent means necessary to subdue the attacker including, if necessary, murdering them. To pray and love a person and be passive while someone is trying to harm a person or other individuals to me is sinful. God hates evil! God told the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites because they were practicing child sacrificing among other sinful practices.

    Also, consider World War II against the Nazis. Do you really believe praying, loving them, and being non-violent towards them is what God wanted? Sometimes you have to deal with evil whether it be an individual or a massive powerful army led by a evil mad man named Adolf Hitler, whose ultimate goal was to rule the world, by using every violent means necessary until they surrender or they are destroyed.

    I know the Catechism even approves war only if all peaceful means have been exhausted.


    1. It is right and just to defend oneself or one’s child against evil. Prudence is involved in determining that action. If a child is being beaten a person should absolutely step in to stop that. But defense of oneself or a child is by intention not a decision to commit an act of violence but an intent to self preserve or preserve the child. I am talking about committing violence as a retribution for the violence towards us. We have a right to preserve our lives and the lives of children. And yes the catechism allows for just war. As for the money changers, since Christ can read souls and I cannot, I don’t tend to go around flipping tables when I am angry because I don’t usually know everything or everyone’s intention – Christ did. This article is meant for how you should act individually towards people, as you have zero control over total armies and probably cannot read souls. It is a measure of the interior battle within you when dealing with others. We as humans tend to hate a person who harms us. The hatred needs to be on Satan who stole from that person the gifts God gave them. The point is, we must forgive people the way Christ did, forgive them everything. He died for everyone, including Hitler, that Hitler rejected God’s love would determine how Hitler was judged, and is for God to deal with His eternal soul. But scripture says we are forgiven as we forgive. When we recognize who the real enemy is and put our Holy Hatred on Satan and forgive the people we are able to forgive as God does and it tends to make us act peacefully but with strength, like Mother Theresa, and Maximilian Kolbe (who gave his life in a concetration camp). It makes one more courageous in the face of evil because you see who the real enemy is and you are more worried about your eternal soul and loving as God does, than you worry about your physical body.

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