by Rev. Fred Di Lella, B.S., M.A., Th.M.
Covenanted Reformation Church,
Hebbronville, TX

“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:” (Psa. 97:10).

Scriptural zeal for the Lord and His truth is further depicted in David’s words (Pss.101:3 and 139:21, 22):

“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.  Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am I not grieved with those that rise up against Thee?  I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.”

Throughout the Old Testament, whether in the Law, the Writings, or the Prophets, God’s (and His people’s) hatred of all forms of evil is amply apparent.

In the New Testament also the Lord Jesus’ abhorrence of wickedness was clearly evidenced in His passionate denunciations of the false doctrines of the religious leaders: during His cleansing of the temple; in His continual chiding of their erroneous teachings, actions, and attitudes; and in His fierce and fury-filled invectives against them, especially in Matthew 23.

The Apostles also displayed their hatred of all that is false in their firm and frequent rebukes of the false teachers and their heretical doctrines.

Paul states (Gal.1:8, 9):

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Or, as he remarks to the Corinthian Church:

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha” (1Cor.16:22).

He also avidly attacks the antinomians in Rome by announcing that their “damnation is just” (Rom.3:8).

In speaking of the teachings of the Judaizers (who, like Arminians, taught that human effort was a necessary component of salvation), he unmistakably enunciates his revulsion:

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of concison… For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things” (Phil.3:2, 18).

While bidding a fond farewell to the Ephesians elders at Miletus, Paul warns them to beware of false teachers:

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.  For I know this that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31).

We could go on and on providing examples of the Prophets’ and Apostles’ abhorrence of false teachers and their evil doctrines. The incisive Imprecatory Psalms in the Old Testament and the numerous imprecatory invectives against heretics in the New Testament provide abundant proof that God-fearers should (and do) hate evil.  Even a brief search through the Scriptures should convince contemporary Christians concerning Moses’, David’s, Isaiah’s, Jeremiah’s, Ezekiel’s, Elijah’s, Paul’s, Peter’s, Jude’s, John’s, and, therefore, the Lord’s utter hatred of false doctrine; and also convict them of their responsibility to “detest and abhor all false doctrine and contrary religion.”

The early Church took these Biblical commands, warnings, and examples to heart by calling Councils and formulating Creeds.  A few examples should suffice to make the exactness and exclusiveness of these Councils and Creeds bounteously plain.

The elders assembled at the First General Council in Nicea (A.D. 325) evidenced their love for the truth and hatred of error in their strong rebuke of those who stood in opposition to the orthodox position of the eternality and true Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ: “–all that so say, the Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes them.”

The First Canon of the Second General Council at Constantinople in A.D. 381 decrees: “The Faith of the Three Hundred and Eighteen Fathers assembled at Nice in Bithynia shall not be set aside, but shall remain firm.  And every heresy shall be anathematized, particularly that of the Eunomians [Anomoeans, the Arians or] Eudoxians, and that of the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, and that of the Sabellians, and that of the Marcellians, and that of the Photinians, and that of the Apollinarians.

The Third General Council at Ephesus in A.D. 431 condemned Nestorius, Pelagius, Celestius, their doctrines, and their disciples.  The Council called these men and their followers “apostates”; and their teachings “heresy.”

In Canon VII the Third Council also exhibited its loathing of error by pronouncing the unlawfulness of bringing forward, writing, or composing a different (heteran) Faith “as a rival to that established by the holy Fathers assembled with the Holy Ghost in Nicaea.”  This same Canon also announced the deposition of all ministers promoting any “different faith” and the anathematization of laymen adhering to the heresy.

The Fourth General Council at Chalcedon in A.D. 451 also condemned all false teachers and their heresies.  Further, it also warned congregations that “strange and unknown clergymen” were “absolutely prohibited from officiating in another city” unless they had documentation attesting to their orthodoxy.

The 44th Article of The Athanasian Creed also made manifest the Church’s ardor for the truth and loathing of error in its decree: “This is the Catholic Faith which except one believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.”

In spite of the strong and regular teachings and warnings of Scripture, and also of the Church Councils, Confessions, and Creeds; the church, tragically, became lax in its stand for the truth.  Sadly, the Church became more and more tolerant of error, opening her arms to the “doctrines and teachings of men” and closing her doors to the uncompromising truths of Scripture.  We know the devastating results of such disobedient and unwise broad-mindedness.  The Middle Ages’ Church became full of false doctrine, idolatrous “worship”, carnality, and corruption of every sort.  Verily, she became a synagogue of Satan, rather than a Church of Christ.  The horrible, wicked, abominable consequences of compromise and toleration developed slowly at first.  But, as the years rolled by, the inevitable results of the Church’s tolerance of false doctrine and false worship took its toll, advancing and accelerating toward its deplorable and disastrous end: Apostacy, hatred of the truth, and intolerance of those who loved it.


Rev. Fred Di Lella is pastor of Covenanted Reformation Church in TX which is part of The Biblical Reformed Synod of Christ the King.


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