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Elijah and the Hate Preachers

'Pardon me, my good sir, YHWH wants me
to tell you  that you are a hen-pecked fool and
that your wife is a wicked and pushy broad.'

We live in a world where it can be difficult to discern the voice of a prophet who hates sin from the voice of preacher who hates sinners. But from Heaven’s perspective, these two characters are as dissimilar as the East and the West. But our culture rarely distinguishes between despising what a man does and despising who a man is.

Elijah could be severe. He could be violent. He slew the prophets of Baal and called down fire on God’s enemies. But he was not driven by hate. He was not immaturely making denunciations of others who had personally hurt him. He didn’t want Ahab to die. Elijah wanted him to repent from the influence of Jezebel and be redeemed. And it’s that ultimate goal of redemption that separates the words of a piercing prophetic voice from that of a hate preacher (think Steven Anderson or Westboro Baptist). 

Before a true prophet’s words whip anyone, he first weeps over them in the private place of prayer. His words may be hard, but his heart is soft.

Those who have hearts to please God can tell the difference between a strong prophetic voice that is willing to speak what is unpopular and mere hate speech. Yes, both the true prophet and the hate preacher may speak against something that is wrong. But that's where the similarities stop.

True prophets lose sleep praying down mercy upon those they preach to. Hate preachers lose no sleep over the fate of those they denounce. True prophets weep as they call the lost to turn from their sin. Hate preachers enjoy condemning the lost in their sin whether they turn or not. True prophets are quick to listen and slow to speak. Hate preachers are quick to speak and slow to listen.

True prophets tremble at the enormity of their own sin. Hate preachers believe their own sin is small compared to others. True prophets can speak to a valley of dry bones and see a righteous army raised up. Hate preachers, with a self-righteous spirit, simply tell the bones how dry they are.

True prophets take no joy in the attention (negative or positive) their words may bring - they prefer to be alone with God. Hate preachers seem to thrive on the attention their words bring them.

The church does not need self-righteous, hate-filled preachers. Nor does it need silent leaders who side step or compromise on important issues from the platform. We need those who can pray and speak in the compassion and courage of an Elijah. We need this because Elijah points us to Jesus. His cross is a message of both offensive truth and radical love.

Jesus' death speaks the hard truth that you are so wicked and evil that the perfect Son of God had to be crucified in order to save you. At the same time, it speaks a message of unspeakable love: that God so cared for you that He was willing to leave heaven to do so. 

Extract from Elijah Men Eat MeatReadings to slaughter your inner Ahab and pursue Revival and Reform (Get Here) 


  1. Wow, awesome article. I did watch the BBC documentary and true, it is somewhat disturbing. Thank you for such clarity. God bless u


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