Jesus said to love our enemies.
That is what he said, as Matthew recounts his words from the Sermon on the Mount:
And when Jesus said “love,” we should be clear that he didn’t mean hollow good will, or some bland benevolence, or a flakey niceness that hopes our enemies stop being so cruel. Jesus never talks about love that way. A category for love like that — the anything-goes, pat-on-the-head, can’t-we-all-just-get-along kind of love — is a phenomenon peculiar to our own day. When Jesus says to love our enemies, he means that we love them with a lay-your-life-down type of love — the type that comes from the heart and desires the other’s good, and sacrifices for it, when no one else but God is watching.
And it’s the type of love that includes hate.
The Hate of Love
In fact, if the love is real, it must include hate. We’ve seen or experienced something like this before, though it might be more complex than we first thought. Love that rightfully includes hate needs to navigate between the two ditches of unhelpful generality and selfishness in disguise.