On Hate Speech and the Christian

On November 25th, the University of Washington Daily ran a controversial column against gay marriage. The Seattle Times reported on this story:

About 200 people attended a rally Friday at the University of Washington to protest an anti-gay-marriage column that ran in the student newspaper, The Daily.

Protesters say language in the column, including a reference to bestiality, and the accompanying image of a man standing next to a sheep amounted to hate speech. But speakers differed on whether the paper should be censured. (Emphasis mine)

I’m not really going to debate whether this article was “hateful” or not, but I wanted to use this idea that speaking out against gay marriage amounts to hate speech as a backdrop.

This common type of ad-hominem argument is frequently employed by gay-marriage supporters to shut down the opposing side. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. Anybody who does not agree with the radical homosexual agenda is labeled as a hatemonger. Concluding that homosexual marriage is not what society needs is akin to being a Jim Crow law supporter during the 1960s.

In light of this, what kind of implications does this have for the preaching of the Gospel?

Already in other parts of the Western world, preachers have suffered serious consequences for their uncompromising stances on homosexuality. This includes everything from church-picketing, to voilence, to even jail time. Any preaching against homosexuality, even reading from the Bible on the subject, garners the wrath of this fallen world.

This fire comes about because the “Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (John 3:19, NASB). They hate the truth because they are in love with a lie. The revealing light of the Law of God shows their sin for what it is: an affront against a Holy and Righteous God. But because they are enemies of God in their minds through wicked works (Col 1:21), those of the world will not submit to what they know to be the truth.

There will come a time in this country when the preaching of the true Gospel will not be tolerated. Even if by some miracle it remains legal, in no way will the people in America bear the burden of their sins being revealed and confronted. We Christians should not be surprised when it happens. Jesus said:

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A slave is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. (John 15:18-21, NASB)

Jesus warned us ahead of time to expect persecution, as all “who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12, NASB). Because they hate the Father, they will hate us. Their rage is not directed against us, rather God. Because we are His representatives here on Earth, we will be called to suffer through whatever the world sends our way. If our Master was persecuted, why would we, His slaves, not be also?

When the inevitable hardships because of our faith in Jesus come our way, we need to be ready. We need to be grounded in God’s Word, planted like a tree near a stream (Psalm 1:3).  We should endeavor to pray without ceasing while linking arms with fellow saints. Most importanly of all, we cannot give up the faith.

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