Accusations of Christians engaging in hate speech is here and likely will continue to gain traction. There is a growing number of proponents who believe God, Scripture, and their followers are inherently racist, support slavery, keep women in subjection, supporters of violence, and deprived of common sense because of faith. When Christians express negative views of others, such as referencing the “sin” of certain groups, it is being viewed as hate speech, even domestic terrorism. Examples include disdainful comments about the sins of homosexuality, abortion, marriage between people of the same sex, and transgender people.
So, I wonder, if you believe those behaviors are wrong and you believe it is a Christian’s responsibility to encourage, warn, witness to the truth, etc., then what will you do when you are accused of hate speech?
In response to the accusations you might prepare a defense that includes such points of rationale as you don’t hate the people you made some reference to and that you said nothing that could be construed as hateful. You may offer up as evidence that you hold favorable thoughts and feelings about a specific group and general respect for all people, since God created everyone. You might plan on reminding your accusers of the definition of hate speech — speech or writing that attacks, abuses, and expresses prejudice against a particular group of people. And, lastly, you might claim you are only citing truth from God’s word and voicing your constitutionally-backed, free-speech opinion, not hate speech. But in today’s world, truth and reason are easily subverted. Accusations are determined less by logic and truth than arbitrarily -- political orientation, personal sensitivity, societal trends, and/or groupthink.
Throughout history people have engaged in suppressing the truth (Rom 1:18) and using personally proclaimed truth to further their own agenda. During World War II Adolph Hitler mislabeled Jews as dangerous and worthy of extinction, which remains highly disturbing. But more disturbing is that through one man nearly an entire nation adopted his propaganda, the end of which resulted in their passive or active participation and led to the unforgettable holocaust.
The playbook strategy of corrupt political leaders is to solidify military power and gain the favor of leading and influential businessmen, journalists, educators, scientists, and the like through quid pro quo measures. Once they all become one voice, they repeat ad nauseam the elitist propaganda. Such powerful and plentiful voices can eventually overwhelm many of the fearful and/or unthinking, general public, sway their beliefs with alternative views of truth, and shame and threaten them into submission. That gullible public, in turn, would then take the false messages to one another to help reinforce compliance. Sound familiar? Against such a strategy, the Lord severely warns, as He describes their behavior in Isaiah 5:20-23:
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight! Woe to those who ... justify the wicked for a bribe and take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!”
What clear and powerful words are found in these verses. They lend confidence and faith to confused, vulnerable, and innocent persons about how evil people steal and conceal the truth. Through Isaiah, God condemns such vile actions and those who sell falsehood as truth. And He commands His people to warn, rebuke, and reprove others who are in error. In other words, we are not to remain silent, but boldly speak the truth and confront falsehood. If we fail to do that He will hold us accountable (Eli judged for not rebuking his sons in 1 Sam 3:10-13, and commands to assert truth in 1 Tim 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2).
The use of the word “Woe” refers to a threat to the users existence. The perpetrators of such evil are in serious jeopardy from God. Not that they would listen to warnings or care about the real truth. Such unrighteous tools of self-willed and controlling individuals and government result in turning society against truth tellers, against the righteous. Conservatives and the Spirit-led people of God are the ones who will pay the price of persecution for resisting a wayward society and its social rules, as well as new, corrupt laws that are likely coming.
The prelude to these laws are today’s spoken words and expressed attitudes of some Americans with influence, along with the pressure of a large segment of society. For example, today’s propaganda states we are in the midst of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The blame, shame, coercion, and unconstitutional, executive order for military personnel and federal employees to surrender their right to make personal health decisions and expose health records without consent are the pathways of tyranny, as is the executive order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees ensure its workers are vaccinated or regularly tested for Covid, or lose their jobs. This is the face of tyranny. And once it gains a foothold….
The playbook for such unconstitutional authority grabbing also demands the construction of a front for such unprecedented activity. One that offers an untruthful, but reasonable cover for the beginning of violating rights, such as, “This is for the protection and welfare of all.” If it is accepted by the majority, then other actions and laws will further violate other freedoms and rights. I fear this is just the beginning of tyranny. So, I want to ready my mind and heart by actions I take today.
One thing I will be doing is speaking out against the error of those within my sphere of influence. I will not let the fear of being accused of hate speech silence my responsibility to speak the truth about the sins associated with specific groups or topics, such as homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and the like. It is not my intent or desire and I do not consider it right to express hatred to these people, but I do care about their offending God, their spiritual future, and influencing others.
We each must decide, while things are societally warm but not yet at a boil, “What will you do when you are accused of hate speech?” Will you shrink back from boldly speaking the truth or take a courageous stand now? Jesus said the world hated Him and they will surely hate us because we are called out of the world (Jn 15:18-19).
As the saying goes, “If you are not catching flak, you are not over the target!”