As I was thinking ahead in my genealogy do-over, I was thinking about my uncles, and the thought occurred to me that, since my uncle Alan was a minister, there would probably be a few articles on Trove about him, so I decided to do a search, and I came across this article written by my uncle, Alan Arthur Whimpey.
MESSAGE OF THE CHURCH
SHALL WE HATE?
(By Rev. Alan A. Whimpey, Methodist, Burnie)
One of the worst effects of war is the bitterness and hatred that poison the souls of so many who have suffered, or seen others suffer.
These unhappy people feel that the Japanese, for example, deserve to be hated, that only an attitude of hate will keep them in check, and that only an attitude of hate will keep us in readiness in the face of our enemies.
They do not realise that their hatred is doing far more damage to their own personality than it will ever do to their enemies. As Bishop Wilson has said, “It is not so much in our neighbor’s interest as in our own, that we should love him.”
We claim that ours is a higher, nobler way of life than that of the Japanese. In wartime, it was said we were fighting to preserve this nobler way. Are we going to lower our standard in our endeavor to safeguard it? Even if hate can do all that its champions claim, ours will be a hollow victory if it costs us our own souls. The more we beat the devil by becoming like him, the more he has won.
But let us look at the reasons for hating. “The Japanese are cruel and treacherous; they deserve to be hated.” But dare we speak of deserts? Those who consciously walk in the presence of God are so much aware of their own sinfulness that they speak no more of deserts, but rather of mercy and forgiveness. Our Lord might have reversed the beatitude. “Blessed are they that have obtained mercy, for they shall have mercy written on their hearts” – “We love, because He first love us.”
Some say, “By hating our enemy we will keep him in check.” Is this true? Only if he is weaker than we are. And if he realises that he is weaker, he will not fight in any case. Besides, if we hate our neighbors, our hate will breed distrust in their hearts, and distrust will lead to hate in them. In every act of ours, an evil motive will be seen, and we will distrust every more of theirs. First there will be a cold war – a war of smouldering hate, with its tense nervous strain – and then, inevitably, a flaring up into a war of bloodshed.
Of course, we could murder them all – the good and bad alike, with the women and little children. We should then be no better than they, and should deserve, no less, to be murdered in our turn.
So when Jesus said, “Love your enemies” He was not merely giving an arbitrary command. He was pointing the only way to save the soul and preserve harmony in human relationships.
Much of the modern man’s objection to Christ’s programmed of love arises from a misunderstanding of the term. This love is not a weak sentimentality, but a strong, healthy, constructive attitude. Where there is evil, true love rebukes and chastens. Where there is sincere repentance, true love forgives, and so gives opportunity for a better relationship. Where there is weakness, true love gives encouragement and strength. Hate destroys even the hater, but love builds up
(Published by arrangement with the North-Western Ministers’ Associat-.