A report this morning said that another group had been dropped by their internet provider for promoting hate speech. No one should use any of the media to promote hate or violence against any one or group. For Christians especially this is totally contrary to the message of the Gospel. We must, however, be careful what we classify as hate speech, and especially how it is used. Was it hate speech when Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites and whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones? Was it hate speech when He declared adultery a sin, or sought to change the lives of prostitutes and tax collectors? Jesus condoned no violence against any that were opposed to Him, but He did call sin sin, and wanted to bring people into a better life, the way of life God had created for them. Hate and violence is wrong toward any people. But it is not hate to live by and to speak the truth of God’s good will and plan for mankind, and to love people enough to want the best for them.
There is a great outcry today against so called hate speech coming from various groups. There are demonstrations and protest on college campuses against certain invited speakers. A local college in our area had an outcry from students over a bulletin board the Republican Club put up with material they felt was offensive. Certainly there have been some terrible crimes that have happened because of deeply held hateful attitudes, like the murder of a young black Army lieutenant just a week before his college graduation. These acts must be condemned, and punished to the full extent of the law. But we are a nation founded on the principle of freedom, and especially that of speech, press, and assembly. We must be willing to listen to one another even if we don’t agree with what is said. An opposing view, especially to society’s currently held standard of diversity, is not in itself hate speech. Christians are committed to the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. We do speak in opposition to the accepted values of the LGBT community. But we do not, we must not, hate anyone. We are all sinful beings for whom our Lord Jesus died. Yet there are values and standards for life that our God has given for our best good. As believers in Christ, and in the truth of God’s Word, we must uphold these God-given values. By so doing we are not bigots. We are simply trying to speak the truth God has given for the good of all mankind. I would hope it is possible, at least is some areas, to listen to one another without having to shout and demonstrate.