OK... this first one is a bit extreme, but I believe some caution should be taken as this is where the road of Calvinism sometimes goes:
I guess if you are OK believing that man is totally depraved and incapable of choosing to follow God... and that God has chosen that a few elect will be saved, and that He has chosen that the masses should be tormented in hell for eternity... it's not too far of a leap to believe that God hates the world.... but thankfully most Calvinists don't take it this far.
But then I was wondering what some other influential Calvinists' positions were...
"The whole “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” -- that’s the wrong place to start. “God hates you and its going to go really really bad forever!” – hey now that is true…"Jonathan Edwards
"It says it in Psalm 5:5 “I hate -- or it says, You hate all who do evil”. Now let this settle. People say things like “God doesn’t hate anybody!” Yes he does! He hates tonnes of people! He does. Some people say “that’s not fair”. Course its fair! You hate people! And God’s far better than you and he knows a lot more people!"
"The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much in the same way one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire: He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire: He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight: you are ten thousand times more abominable in His sight than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours." (Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God, July 8, 1741)John Piper
"But it wasn't always so for John Piper. There was a time when the mountain of granite was not under me but over me, ready to fall and crush me. It was the mountain of God's wrath against my sin. God hated me in my sin.So these guys seem to agree that God hates sinners.
God Hates Unrepentant Sinners
Yes, I think we need to go the full biblical length and say that God hates unrepentant sinners. If I were to soften it, as we so often do, and say that God hates sin, most of you would immediately translate that to mean: he hates sin but loves the sinner. But Psalm 5:5 says, "The boastful may not stand before thy eyes; thou hatest all evildoers." And Psalm 11:5 says, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and his soul hates him that loves violence."
Does the logic then go that I should hate sinners too because God does?
Yes there are verses that talk of God's wrath, and hate towards sin and sinners. (Mostly in the OT).
But I believe we need to emphasize the following:
God is love:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. (1 John 4:7-9 NIV)God loves the world (John 3:16).
God's love towards sinners:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)I believe the description of love 1 Corinthians 13 should apply to my God as well... so for the sake of this discussion I'm going to replace 'I' with 'God'.
1 Corinthians 13 (modified some)
If God speaks in the tongues of men and of angels, but has not love, He is only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If God has the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if God has a faith that can move mountains, but has not love, He is nothing. If God give all He possess to the poor and surrenders His body to the flames, but has not love, He gains nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
... (some skipped) ...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Am I wrong in substituting God into the passage above? If God is love, then I think not.
Please don't portray my God as anything but a God of love!
Think about the story of the prodigal son... did the Father ever hate the prodigal son? If my children ever left me and ignored all my advice would I ever hate them? No! And I believe our heavenly Father has an even stronger love for all His children, whether they are in a restored relationship with Him or not.
OK... that's enough for now... I may look at more verses later... I'm seeing that this is a larger topic than I originally thought.