Christians have duty to hate evil of Hamas

Thousands of Hamas supporters at mass rally in Gaza

By Gerald McDermott — Originally published in Christianity Today

By now you will have heard of slaughtered Israeli babies, seen the graphic video of a kidnapped Jewish teenager being pulled by her hair with what appears to be blood between her legs, read of the 85-year-old grandmother taken to the Gaza strip without her medicines to die alone and in great pain.

By now you will know that Hamas terrorists have shot childrenraped womensnatched infants from their families. By now you may have heard the account of one survivor of the massacre at the music festival: “The guy who was with me didn’t stop crying and begging for his life. … And then he didn’t scream anymore. They murdered him in front of my eyes.”

At this writing, Hamas has killed more than 1 400 Israelisinjured 3 000, and is holding around 200 hostage. This attack has been called Israel’s 9/11. It could equally be called its Dunkirk, the beginning of a war for survival whose outcome is uncertain.

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For Christians watching these horrors from afar, it is imperative to condemn the evil perpetrated by Hamas — and to recognise that it must be resisted.

This should go without saying, but some American Christians [and SA Church leaders] refuse to denounce Hamas for its barbaric atrocities. A statement from the Episcopal Church in the United States, for example, mentions “a time of violence” but fails to say that Hamas was its instigator, suggests that “occupation” is the underlying cause, and charges that Israel’s response is “disproportionate.” The United Methodist Church similarly refers merely to an “escalation of violence” and urges “both sides not to resort to further violence”.

No further violence? Would we say the same if a terrorist group killed a proportionate number of Americans? (Scaled to our population, that’d be about 40 000 dead. [or nearly 7 000 dead scaled to SA population]) As The Wall Street Journal’s Elliot Kaufman contends, equivocation about the evil of Hamas is arguably a call for Israel to surrender instead of fighting back, because then Israel’s enemies will return to resume their massacres.

That’s not the only part of such equivocations which deserves scrutiny. Is “occupation” the cause of Hamas’s savagery? It cannot be, for Israel stopped occupying Gaza in 2005, and Hamas has run that city-state since 2007.

But more importantly, speaking of “occupation” suggests to many that Hamas wants to share the land with Jews. Yet Hamas declares openly that it wants to drive every last Jew into the sea—this is the meaning of the popular slogan—and kill all who try to remain.

This is not an unfair allegation from the group’s enemies. Article 7 of Hamas’s own founding charter quotes a saying of the prophet Muhammad: “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems [sic] fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

And Hamas has not drifted from its antisemitic roots. The senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said in 2021 that his organisation wants Israel “to come to an end just like it began.” This war that Hamas has launched on Israel is not about occupation. It is about the elimination of the state of Israel and all its Jews.

So is Israel’s planned response—to destroy Hamas—disproportionate? Article 51 of the United Nations Charter states that any nation has an “inherent right” to defend itself against armed attack. The response needs to satisfy the principle of proportionality, which involves avoiding as much as possible the killing of noncombatants.

More than any other world power, Israel has gone out of its way to avoid killing civilians. But that is impossible when Hamas uses human shields — both Palestinian and, now, Israeli hostages — by putting its command centres in hospitals and schools and mosques. Hamas is now ordering Gazan civilians not to move to escape Israeli bombs.

This is why simply comparing the number of Palestinian and Jewish civilians killed misses the point. Hamas deliberately targets civilians, while Israeli forces try to minimise civilian casualties. And even when those efforts fail, Hamas is responsible for Palestinian civilian deaths because it cruelly forces Gaza residents to remain with terrorists whom Israel will rightly target.

Hamas’s “desire to destroy Israel has brought only war and death to the Palestinians,” writes Middle Eastern scholar Bassam Tawil. “To achieve its goal of murdering Jews and eliminating Israel, Hamas appears ready to sacrifice endless numbers of Palestinians.”

These distinctions matter deeply for Christians’ response to the war. First, we are called by both Testaments to hate evil. Proverbs says to fear the Lord is to “hate evil” (Prov. 8:13), and the apostle Paul urges us to “hate what is evil” (Rom. 12:9). We should hate the evil of Hamas — and not be afraid to say so publicly.

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  1. My prayer is that all the ;perpetrators of evil will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved

  2. Christians must Love their Neighbor and hate All evil.

    Our neighbor could be someone who belongs to a different faith. Our neighbour could be our enemy. Our neighbour could be someone who sees nothing good in us. Our neighbor could be someone who persecutes us. Love them all and pray especially for our enemy.

    TB Joshua used to say that the greatest confusion today is distinguishing between Religion and Christianity. Christianity is a relationship founded on the love of God and forgiveness rendering us eternal debtors of love and forgiveness to our fellow human being. Love doesnt ascribe identity to a person that must be loved.

    With religion, you Hate me, I Hate you. You slander me I slander you. You strike me I strike you back.

    As for Christ He commamds us to love those who hate us, pray for those who hate us.

    If we do not forgive, then it means we have not yet received Christ s love and forgiveness. Refusing to forgive means we refuse to accept that we were once enemies of God and had to be reconciled to God through the death and resurrection of Christ. To such as these Christ has not yer come. Otherwise I love Israel deeply yet this love doesnt have to be against ant other person. As Christians our enemy is not flesh blood but the forces of darkness that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Spirits without bodies that are responsible for pain, stealing, killing and destruction all over the world.

    ” Id we are not armed for battle, we will fight the wrong battle”. TB Joshua

  3. With all said done, it is very very sad to see innocent people die (especially children, mothers and the elderly) in such a tragic way. Children have no control and no say whatsoever over the circumstances that they are being subjected to. So sad to see those little angels brutalized and violated in the manner that we are witnessing on TV screens. I know people on either side will give “good” reasons why things happen the way they do but for me it doesnt take away the sadness of seeing people suffer in this way. I dont care who is who pain is pain and no one deserves to be subjected to the kind of trauma we see in the Middle East. Yet I know that God is in control because no matter what His promises for Israel stands. God shall restore Israel and all of humanity will rejoice. We are all children of God. I love Israel, I love Palestinians and all the people of God. May the will of God be done!

  4. Galatians 6:1

    Brothers if someone is caught in sin you who are spiritual should restore him GENTLY.

    ” Our response to a misrake can be an even greater mistake “. TB Joshua.

    When we are offended we must be careful how we respond because our response to sin can constitute an even greater sin.

  5. Galatians 6:1

    Brothers if someone is caught in sin you who are spiritual should restore him GENTLY.

    ” Our response to a mistake can be an even greater mistake “. TB Joshua.

    When we are offended we must be careful how we respond because our response to sin can constitute an even greater sin.