Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Romans 12:9
To abhor something is to hate it. If you love what is good, you will hate the evil that destroys it. If you love truth, you will hate lies. If you love peace, you will hate war. Hating evil is part of loving good.
Notice God says, “abhor what is evil,” not “abhor those who are evil.” Peter Kreeft says in his book How to Win the Culture War that abortionists, homosexual activists, pornographers, and the media are not the enemy. They are the victims of our enemy.
The Bible affirms this view: “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
It would have been easy for Christians in Rome to think “If we could just get rid of Nero.” But the problem was not Nero. Behind Nero there were dark powers. Paul says, “These are the powers that we must overcome, and for that purpose we must put on the whole armor of God.”
The hymn “O Church, Arise” says this well:
Our call to war,
To love the captive soul,
But to rage against the captor.
We are not called to rage against the captive soul. We are to love the captive soul, and to rage against the captor—who is Satan, our enemy. That is our call to war, and it’s really important that we understand it. It is very difficult to win people to Jesus if you have labeled them as the enemy. Our calling is to reach out to every person and to seek to win them to Jesus.
Where do you need to distinguish between good and evil?