​Have we not learned anything from the Hatfields and McCoys?

As we all watch our par of this world become full of hate and chaos, some fully immersed and yet others knowingly participating. It seems that suddenly this volcano of hatred and wickedness has erupted in society. I mean this is not the world I grew up in. Sure there were always some people who were not pleasant, and of coarse there have always been criminals in the world. Maybe I was a bit naive but I don’t remember such disrespect for authority or each other when I was being brought up. Today it seems that any type of authority is under attack, from Law Enforcement, Government, Church, to even parental authority. What is going on?

I would be willing to say that most people in The United States know about what happened between the years 1863-1891. Yes, that’s right, the Hatfield- McCoy feud. feud-300x211This feud could be the “poster child” for promoting hatred. It is a shining example of how bitterness, unforgiveness, and jealousy can fester into full grown hatred in a person’s heart. Not only in one person’s heart but can be extremely contagious. You see, there has been much written about this feud and the hatred that gave it life for so long. There have been documentaries, and movies made about this sad and terrible display of broken humanity. What they all have in common is that they never can pinpoint how the whole thing started. Some say it was over a stolen pig. There are several different guesses as to how it all started but the fact is no one really knows. Why is that? I’ll tell you why, it’s because these two families were so full of hate for one another that they themselves couldn’t even remember how it got started. And there it is! The truth about hate. We need to understand that hate needs no foundation. Once it takes it’s place in a person’s heart, it no longer needs a reason to exist. This is why somewhere around 18 members of these families were killed, and several others spent their lives in prison. You see hate is like rabies, once it infiltrates the heart of a person, it is tremendously difficult to treat. The only antidote is love.

So, as we all are not only witnessing but participating in the ramped epidemic of hatred sweeping across our society, let us not continue to foolishly make the mistake of repeating history. The truth is, hatred has been around since Cain and Able. Only when Jesus returns for the final time will hatred be completely snuffed out. But until then, the only way to combat this wicked environment that we all now live in is simply to love. Love even when you are being hated. Especially when you are being hated. Jesus taught us in Matthew chapter 10 that we who are disciples of Christ will be hated because He is hated. So why should we be surprised when we are caught up in this whirlwind of hatred? The real question is this. What should the body of Christ do about what is going on in our society?

Well, I believe that there is a simple answer to a simple question. I believe that the body of Christ, The Church, should continue to do what The Church has always been doing. Love God, and Love people. I admit that sometimes The Church hasn’t been very good at that but if we are going to be The Church, we must love. Love God, Love your neighbor, and yes even your enemy!

Archie L. Gilmer


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