Is Speaking The Truth In Love Hate Speech?
Jesus Christ declared in no uncertain terms, that He and what He stood for and taught, was the truth. I believe He was right. He told His disciples in John 8:32 that “the truth would make them free”. The truth does that! Ephesians 4:15 says we are to “speak the truth in love”. Because we love the Lord, love truth, and love people and care about their soul, we’re not afraid to tell them the truth. We don’t sugar coat it, water it down, etc., but we must always be careful to do it in a way that shows we love them. If you have friends or loved ones, even enemies, who are casually strolling down the road that leads to destruction, how can you say you love them if you don’t at least try to tell them the truth about where that road is leading? This is a biblical mandate. We have no choice as Christians but to do it. Any government that guarantees citizens the right to speak the truth aligns with these godly principles and we should be glad for it. We have been fortunate in America to have the U.S. constitution. The first amendment is supposed to guarantee us freedom of speech. Any law that suppresses a person’s right to speak the truth is working against God’s command to “speak the truth in love”. Freedom of speech does not guarantee that the truth will be told, of course, but it certainly does permit it to be told, at least that’s what we used to think! Unfortunately today Christians are being stripped of our right to freedom of speech, in case you’ve been too busy texting to notice. Things we believe based on the Word of God are now being labeled as “hate speech” because of political correctness. Christians have been persecuted over the centuries by their societies because what they believed did not line up with the status quo. In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to the king’s idol and it got them thrown into a fiery furnace. God wants us to obey Him and to speak His Word regardless of the consequences. Even if we’re hated for it or it gets us thrown into jail or killed, we are not to back down. A society that prides itself in declaring we have freedom of speech and then creates laws against so-called “hate speech”, is speaking out of both sides of its mouth, I think. Every freedom loving American should be outraged by what happened a few months ago to Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in Oregon. They were put out of business and fined $135,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a so-called “gay wedding”. If that wasn’t enough, the Kleins are now prohibited from taking their case to the American public because the judge ordered a gag order, ordering them to cease and desist from speaking publicly about the case. That’s why you don’t see them on the news. The Kleins wrote on their Facebook page: “According to the state of Oregon we neither have freedom of religion or freedom of speech”. This is the kind of thing that is happening all across America in our rising dictatorship. The stage is being set for total censorship of free speech and for labeling “speaking the truth” as “hate speech”. We had better wake up quickly in the church because our window to “speak the truth in love” is about to close! I’m not from the south and have no particular love for or hatred of the Confederate flag. To me, it is simply the flag the Confederate States flew during the Civil War. But you saw what happened when the government decided the flag was “offensive”. They’re even talking about not letting it be used at Gettysburg, of all places. Maybe at the next Pickett’s charge reenactment they’ll want the “Reb” re-enactors to carry the rainbow flag of the homosexual movement when they charge. Maybe the Israeli or Christian flags we have on my church platform will be next. They are both offensive to some. The Washington Redskins football team has been waging a 20 year battle to protect their team name, supposedly because it’s offensive to Native Americans. If a team, or business, or organization of any kind can be forced to change its name, or what it stands for because someone is offended by it, it won’t be long before the government will be knocking on the door of your church. What will you do when the atheists, or Muslims start going to court saying they are offended by the cross at your church? Of course some churches have already surrendered without a shot being fired and taken down their crosses so as not to offend. Surely you can see what’s happening? This is how we Christians lost out right to pray in public and why crosses, displays of the 10 Commandments, and Nativity scenes have been disappearing all across America. I hope you can also see that this is exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews in Germany in the1930’s. If you’re going to bow to political correctness and quit speaking the truth around your church because it might be offensive to some, you might just as well close the doors, because only the truth about the cross and sin can set people free! Rev. Darrell Nicklow Orbisonia Church Of the Nazarene—447-3640