God is love, and he who abides in love adibes in God, and God abides in him." (1 John 4:16)
But does God Hate? The topic came up this week at the coffee hour and I, in my normal fashion, have made it my topic of the week for research and study purposes. Having delved to the depths of scripture, consulted a few ecclesiatics, and looked for the authentic teaching of the Church in the matter it seems the answer to the question is far from the reach of my limited mental capacity. The best answer I can give is this: Yes and No.
Logically that makes no sense. Either he does or he doesn't. But since our minds of modernity are wont for logic I have combined two conclusions into one answer, which I will now separate to give a slightly better though still poor answer.
The discussion stemmed from this question: "Does God love the people in Hell?" The answer I was told previously, and put forth was YES, because he keeps them in existence.
Let's look at 3 scripture verses.
Wisdom 9: 25-27
For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it. 26 And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not? or be preserved, if not called by thee. 27 But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls.
But to God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike.
13 As it is written: Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.
So, there is an apparent contradiction in scripture. But this is why we have the Church. And when the Church can't solve all our problems we turn to the Fathers, Doctors, and scholars for help.
Regarding Romans 9:13 I found a commentary in my Ignatius study bible that says this is a common Semitic expression for loving something less. We know that God loves some people less than others. But one ounce of God's love is ineffable, so nobody is slighted. But I digress... This makes sense, because Essau was blessed but loved less. Therefore scripture says "but Essau I have hated." Not with a nasty human hatred, but certainly loved less by God.
Let's turn to the Wisdom verses now. While talking with a priest he mentioned how St. Thomas defines the good. And still God created everything and saw that it was good, he does not hate it...as it says " hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint, or make any thing hating it."
St. Thomas says:
Every being that is not God is a creature of God. 'For evey creature of God is good,' as is said in 1 Timothy 4.4. Therefore, every being is good.
People in hell are still beings. Wicked people on earth are still beings. St. Thomas continues:
It should be said that every being, insofar as it is a being, is good. For every being, in sofar as it is a being, is actual and in some way perfect, because every act is some sort of perfection. Therefore, the perfected has the note of the appetitible and good, as is clear from what has been said. It follows, therefore, that every being, as such, is good.
But the question is: in what way does God love them? I have been told that it is merely a creative love and not one of charity. Regardless I think that we have found an instance in which the word "hate" in scripture means many things. After all, who literally "hates" his mother, father, brother, etc as if Christ mandated us to loath with seething disgust our immediate families. Nobody. At least nobody who is following Christ does.
So...does God hate? Clearly he does. But we also have to remember that evil is not a positive creation. Oftentimes non-Christians come at us with the question "How could God create evil." He didn't. Evil is merely the loss of some Goodness.
This is a highly interesting topic and I could spend a great deal of time on it. But I think it is safe to say that if you are reading this it means God created you. He created you out of love and the most important thing to us should be answering the question: How can I love God more?