What Are The Things God Finds Abominations?
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).”
I’m not saying that other sins aren’t sin. I’m not claiming that anyone can commit any sin without repentance and be saved. I’m not saying that there are things some people hate that aren’t on this list. But the word of God gave this expressed list as the seven things that are an abomination to Him. This, to me, implies that of all sins, these are the ones he finds most egregious. Indeed I willingly submit to more trained pastors to offer correction, but absent a degree in Biblical studies, I can only read and interpret the word as well as any other mortal applying basic hermeneutics.
So I wanted to devote a chapter of this book to those seven things and offer application. I also hope others will contribute to the discussion.
Hebrew writers put a lot of stock in primacy. So I too feel we should pay close attention to that which is named first in any list in Biblical writing. To think of all the things I see in myself that I don’t like, my pride and arrogance may be what God finds most disdainful.
Notice that all of these things speak to the heart and how one treats others (or looks at himself). Presented first is one who is arrogant or disdainful, for only such a person could look at others with haughty eyes.
This changes my perspective a lot. I’ve spent my whole life constantly being indignant over some “wrong” I observed. Some may even want to say things like, “it’s ok to be angry.” But where does that anger come from? Where does any anger come from? In those times, I’m not righteously angry, disgusted over someone’s sins against God. I’m angry because I feel something was denied me; I feel like something was taken from me; I feel like I was belittled.
All of those thoughts are self centered and based on a perspective as one with haughty eyes. People who feel enraged should carefully look at why they feel these emotions and challenge themselves to see it from a Godly point of view. If your anger is based on your own pride or desires, then your seeing through haughty eyes. This is what I tell myself these days when I’m angry (and I’m angry a lot). I don’t want to be an angry person anymore. I don’t want to be a prideful person anymore. I’m up against decades of practice where I validated my perceptions and opinions, seeking to elevate myself. This has to stop. This has to be purged from my life because I can’t love my neighbor if I look upon him with haughty eyes. Neither can anyone else.
If we are driven to “show” others how “right” we are, we no longer care about that individual. Working with this motivation doesn’t seek unity or understanding; it demands submission to your viewpoint. Christians should demand they submit to God’s viewpoint and no other’s.
A Lying Tongue
I can’t stress this one enough. I’ve always found it odd that we will see protests against so many things (a lot of which are indeed sins against God), but I’ve never once seen a single protest against lying. I see people seek to justify white lies or lies to make others feel better. People lie to get into office or keep their office. People lie for entertainment. A lying tongue is one of seven things that are abominations to the Lord above, but it might just be the one thing everyone seeks to justify in their own right.
Lying is wrong. There is no explanation that makes it right. There is no circumstance that makes it appropriate. There is no situation in which one should use it.
So why then do people smile and nod their heads when others say, “Everybody lies”?
Over and over again, Scripture tells us to seek truth. Love truth. Embrace truth. Fix your thoughts on what is true.
This abomination is one that God even emphasized by placing in the ten commandments. In fact, one can argue this one abomination is repeated (though different in circumstances) three times (see below).
When we live our lives, we should do so striving to never lie.
This doesn’t mean we are obligated to shout out whatever truth we wish. Shouting “fatty” to the overweight person on the street or calling someone who committed adultery a slut isn’t loving or honoring anyone. In fact, if you’re shaming others to elevate yourself, you’re looking upon that person with haughty eyes. Make no mistake, a demand to avoid speaking lies does not conversely demand one let whatever true words he wishes fly from his mouth.
Hands That Shed Innocent Blood
Here is where I probably offend a great many people. It’s obvious that society as a whole sees murder as wrong. This sin also has a place (a deeper emphasis) on the ten commandments. So I submit that most understand the killing of another is wrong.
This is why abortion is also wrong. The argument is based on the perspective of the term “life.” When does life begin? For those who seek to better define this concept, I have at least an intellectual understanding. If life doesn’t begin until birth, then an abortion isn’t the killing of an innocent child.
However, I don’t really understand that line of thought. If we stomp on a cocoon, we don’t say we terminated a cocoon. That butterfly or moth may or may not have died, but our act of stomping on it denied it that chance.
Then there is the argument of choice. As a man, I’ve no doubt I’ll only be seen as another man telling women what to do with their bodies. Here’s the thing. I didn’t tell you to have sex. But this world sees sex as an activity like running or video games. To which I say, “OK.” But No runner blames the concrete for the blisters on his feet and no one with bad eyes ever condemns video games.
It is my opinion that a woman and a man are indeed capable of having as much sex as they want. But sex seems to be the one thing everyone wants to do without being accountable for doing it. The thing I’m most against is abortion as a means of ultimate birth control.
Some men want to run off whenever any woman becomes pregnant. Some women want to have sex, but they don’t want to be parents, and I respectfully can’t see the difference between a woman who got pregnant without meaning to and the driver who hit a car she didn’t see. Sure, neither woman meant for it to happen, but no one expects the car to pay for injuries sustained in an accident. Some people shout, “pro-choice” as if they’re being denied the right to sex. No, they are not. But anyone who makes a decision of any kind must then accept the consequences of those decisions. You’re not being denied a choice, you’re being told to accept the path those choices put you on. Also, I would be the first to vote for a dead-beat-dad law, one that forces men who sire children to at least provide financially for the child he sired.
Naturally this leads to those who unfortunately didn’t choose. My grandmother was raped. She didn’t ask for sex. She didn’t choose to have sex. The choice was denied her. As a mortal man, I can’t express to you how sympathetic I am to those who had this most sacred choice stolen from them. My grandmother may not have had abortion as an option. I’m not even smart enough to know. What I do know is that she gave birth, and she died very shortly after. Her parents raised that child, and, unfortunately, that child didn’t grow up to be very good either. Some may see this as justification. I do not. To kill an unborn child is not denying the evil that person could become. To kill an unborn child is nothing more than killing an unborn child. What was done to someone was (in my human eyes) the worst thing anyone could do. If I were a political figure, I might not fight so hard against this sort of abortion. I can even admit that, but I will never say that action is right. At what point would any of us want to kill another for what someone else did? Should we kill the parents of a serial killer because they raised such child? Should a robber’s child be killed because his father was a robber? We should love, care for, and support victims of such crimes, lending them any help we can offer, but not matter how horrible the crime of the father is, does any child deserve to die? Would I turn my back on a woman faced with this unimaginable choice? No. Not at all. In this regard I just can’t imagine how difficult this would be.
This also applies to pregnancies where one or even both parties may die. If I trust in God, I leave to him the choice to grant me life or grant me death. If I kill, I’ve lost my faith in God’s sovereignty and tried (though no mortal really can) to thwart or overpower His will. If we are alive, we have hope. Death denies anyone a chance to live on this earth. I speak of bodily death. Spiritual life and death is also in the hands of God.
You may disagree (passionately) with this position. If you are Christian, however, there is no such grounds. It is simply against God’s wishes for any innocent blood to be shed for any reason. One may wish to debate this further, but once the word of God speaks, the real debate becomes whether or not one is willing to submit to God’s (not my) authority or not. Even there you do, in fact, have a choice to make. That right isn’t actually denied you. Some people say to make abortion illegal would only mean people would have illegal abortions. I’m of the opinion that abortion is already illegal in God’s eyes. Making it illegal in this nation would only align with God’s law. People do illegal things in this world. If one were to make murder legal, it wouldn’t suddenly make murder right in the eyes of God, it would only make murders feel free to do so.
Does this mean I will personally lash out at you or condemn you? No. I don’t have the energy or time. I don’t have to judge you. If my words make you feel judged I would challenge you to ask yourself why. One only feels defensive when they already know they are wrong. If an unborn baby isn’t alive, then what is there to debate?
A final point of discussion I hear regarding abortion is one seeks to defend one’s rights “up to” birth. Pro life is more about pro birth. People only want babies to be born, but they don’t care what happens after the baby is born.
These ideas may be the most ridiculous. If the world is responsible for every baby born than somewhere around seven billion people owe my children money for their college tuition. This argument assumes that every life is the responsibility of every other life, and that’s just not true. If we tone down this argument, claiming that we need more laws to help underprivileged children and more funding for such children, I can agree with that. I can petition and vote for such laws. In short, if the child is actually alive, I can fight for his rights, but before I defend a child’s right to prosperity or a happy life (something no human being is promised), I must first fight for the child’s right to live in the first place. I can do nothing but pray for a murdered child.
This will probably be the most inflammatory portion of this entire book. This is absolutely a heated subject. Before anyone feels compelled to flood my blog with hateful (haughty) comments or take whatever other option they want against me, remember I’m nobody. I am one man with this opinion who feels that opinion is based firmly on the word of God. Maybe I’m wrong. The best news you have is that I’m not the judge. I’m just a man who gave his frank opinion on a volatile topic. You may freely make your opinions on this topic known. You have that right (you were born). But I already freely acknowledge your right to disagree and your ability to do whatever it is you want. I can’t stop you. All I can do, and all I have done, is point out my interpretation on how God sees it.
A Heart That Devises Wicked Plans
This actually ties to the above point and several others. I’m of the opinion that any time one devises a way to do what he wants regardless of what God wants, he’s guilty of this abomination. When one uses self-justification to do something, they’ve already taken God out of the equation. Now, not every independent decision one makes is sinful. However, what this speaks to is the one who knows he should do otherwise instead seeks a way to do that which is in his own heart.
I originally thought to type out several examples of this, but I am honestly making an effort to transition from the tension I very likely created in the above passage.
The correct action from a Christian perspective: Filter your intended actions through the Word of God. The Pharisees were guilty of this abomination. They denied God’s command, “Honor your mother and your father,” and selfishly protected their money, “What I would give you is given to God (Mark 7:1-13).” This means that one can not violate God’s law under the pretense of following God’s law.
When I catch myself looking for a way to do what I want, I hope God works in me a heart to first challenge myself to see if if the thing I’m seeking is a thing I should do. As stated in a previous chapter, we should be God-centered in our thinking. So rather than looking to devise ways to do or get what we want, when should instead seek to do what God wants us to do.
Feet That Make Haste To Run To Evil
This is a heart that is eager to sin. This could also be someone who knows what they are doing is wrong, so they rush to do so quickly, seeking to do what they want before anyone might see.
More interestingly, this might be considered a catch all to any who rushes to sin. Even if the sin they seek isn’t on this list, if they’re rushing to their sin, they’re guilty of this abomination.
A False Witness Who Breathes Out Lies
One may say this is a repeat of having a lying tongue, and I don’t argue. However, this specific purpose for lying bears discussion. Lying is bad in and of itself, but to lie by false witness is another particular form of such an abomination. One may lie to make himself seem better or to avoid punishment for his own sin, but one who lies about another is especially abominable. It’s wise (as all God’s words are) to cut off one who would avoid lying for one reason, but freely speak falsely about another.
To take this further, this does not necessarily mean one who knowingly lies about another. Indeed, I would think one who is quick to speak about another without first determining the truth of his words is still guilty of this abomination. How often do we feel free to offer our opinions about others without bothering to see if we’re just rumor mongering or gossiping? Which brings us to our last abomination.
One Who Sows Discord Among Brothers
Call it what you want. Call it stirring the pot, playing Devil’s advocate. Call it venting or getting your thoughts off your chest. If you’re spreading rumors or speaking ill of someone who isn’t there, you’re sowing discord.
To rebuke one or speak to someone to gain understanding and come closer together is good. However, if your goal is to justify yourself or convince others to see someone through your (perhaps haughty) eyes is to commit this abomination.
In these abominations I notice a trend. Most of these abominations have everything to do with one’s viewpoint. Indeed many of these can be tied to a person thinking about his own desires. This means that one devoted to loving God and his neighbor would easily avoid these seven issues to begin with. But these sins are also (for the most part) easier to hide. One would have to verify everything another says to find the lies. And we are often haughty or prideful in our actions or viewpoints.
I’ve been guilty of almost all of these abominations. I can only say I’ve never shed innocent blood. Even then, Christ tells us that one who hates his brother is guilty (Matthew 5:22), so in this, I’ve also proven my actions abominable. I don’t offer these from a position of one who’s never done any of these things. Instead, I confess my guilt and urge others to look at their actions to see if they are guilty of the same. It is the heart that loves God above all that resists the temptations to do these things, and the more one seeks God, the more likely one is to turn away from these abominations. Indeed the one who loves God can not do such things.
For our panel: What are your thoughts on these seven abominations? While given special attention and named as abominations, does making those distinctions truly mean these sins are the greater sins? If these aren’t the greater sins, what are? What does someone like me (one who acknowledges he struggles with pride and arrogance) do to turn away? How does someone who’s exercised such pride and arrogance into his life even start to seek humility and respect?