Both the Old and the New Testaments deal with hatred. Ecclesiastes 3:8 teaches that there is a "time to love, and a time to hate;". However, the Old Testament also contains condemnations of hatred. For example, " thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart". The New Testament emphasizes that evil intentions can be as serious as evil actions. Thus John counted hatred as serious as murder: "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer and you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself". All people are though, according to the gospels, sinners, and only have to look inside of themselves in order to find sin. Loving good means hating sin and turning from vice. Love, as Aquinas teaches, must be divided into love of good things, the healthy movement of the soul true to itself, and love of inappropriate objects, the desire to have and use what may be bad for the soul.
It is popularly assumed that one can’t “hate” and “love” the same person at the same time. But Psalm 139 says there is a kind of “perfect hatred” which is consistent with love, and is different from the “cruel hatred” shown by God’s enemies. The Hebrew word describing David’s “perfect hatred” means that it “brings a process to completion”. In other words, goal oriented opposition. The ultimate opposition to those who oppose God would be to get them to love God. Or, failing that, to at least stop them from destroying others. The New Testament describes a similar, if not the same, process: “to deliver...unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved....”
Today’s popular characterization of good hatred is to “hate the sin, but love the sinner”. This is