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HomeIn the NewsWhere is the Line Between Biblical Christian Theology and Hate Speech

Where is the Line Between Biblical Christian Theology and Hate Speech

When will Sunday School classes, Bible studies, sermons, etc. become hate speech?

This is a brief article full of questions, but few answers. The reason that answers are lacking is that they will come from the establishment of human laws, rather than the commands of God as written in the Bible. The trajectory of these changes seems apparent, however, the timetable remains unclear. 

Hate Speech defined… Webster defines hate speech as, “speech that is intended to insult, offend, or intimidate a person because of some trait (as race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, or disability)”

Theology defined… Webster defines theology as, “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience”. 

What happens when “speech [that] offends” runs counter to “religious faith and practice”?

This article has been written from a Biblical Christian perspective. However, many of the questions raised can be applied to Muslim countries, communist countries, etc. as a foreshadowing of future limitations yet to be enacted within America.

An Example of Theology vs. Hate Speech from the Recent Past

Some of the questions of the recent past that still linger today include places in our culture where women’s rights are seen as intersecting with complementarianism. Should women be considered the same as men in the workplace, in the military, in the pulpit? Or, is the theology of complementarianism (details), as understood by Biblical Christian theologians, acceptable in practice? 

Current Theology vs. Hate Speech

Today the idea of past conflicts over complementarianism has morphed (or metastasized) into transgender issues within women’s sports, for example. Should biological men, who have underperformed in men’s sports, be allowed to compete based on their identity as women? Or, are there truly areas of differences between the sexes where biology counters identity?

Over the last two decades, our educational system has been invaded at all levels. Many campuses that were once bastions of free speech are now closed to certain opinions, in order to protect inclusion. Ironically, freedom of speech has been replaced by freedom of action. Debate, once considered the hallmark of advanced education, is no longer allowed in many institutions. And this unwillingness to discuss issues has leaked into society, impacting our conversations at a faster rate than hate speech laws, as people are reluctant to express their opinions for fear of reprisals. 

What about books and trans story times in elementary school?

What about parents not being part of their kid’s abortion discussions and transitioning within middle schools?

Future Theology vs. Hate Speech

When will insurance companies be forced to cover gender transitions based on identity?

When will Biblical theology that comes into conflict with humanity’s changing moral laws be made illegal, not only in the marketplace but even in the church? Certainly, this is true of other nations such as China, North Korea, and Russia, where either religion or nationalism runs into conflict with theology and “heads roll”, literally. 

What about narrow-minded viewpoints such as John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” When will that be considered hate speech since it suggests only a certain group which identify as Christians have any hope of spending eternity in Heaven?

When will Sunday School classes, Bible studies, sermons, etc. become hate speech because the text they use rejects current cultural norms and focuses instead on outdated Biblical principles?

An Example of What Could be Coming

Little Johnny gets dropped off at Vacation Bible School so Mom (who goes to church twice a year) can do some shopping. He is given crayons to color in pictures of Jesus rising from the grave and ultimately ascending into Heaven. The teacher explains that God loves His children, but we all do bad things at times so, in order to follow Jesus when we die, we must accept His gift to us. Johnny comes home and tells his mom that he is going to Hell if he does not accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. Is this not conversion therapy and indoctrination? Is this not hate speech, traumatizing little Johnny who cries every night, terrified of death? Mom and Dad file a lawsuit against the church, its pastor, its elders, and the volunteer teacher (who, by the way, never had a background check and was never trained by professionals in the psychology of young children). The same story plays out in children’s Sunday School and Christian Day Care where secular parents are not informed that their young ones are being brainwashed by hateful teachers. 

Are parents in control of the education of their children? In many areas of the country, we are discovering that sexually explicit books (too graphic to show on TV), gender dysphoria, etc. are being sheltered from parents in the interest of “protecting” kids. Will there be a time in America when Homeschooling becomes illegal, as it currently is in Germany and other countries throughout the world (details)?

What about Christian schools 

The winds of the law are swirling around the church doors, but as of yet, have not entered the sanctuary, the Sunday School, or the Christian school classroom in America. Is it just a matter of time? Below is an assessment from Larry Taylor, president of the Association of Christian Schools International. 

“The head of an organization dedicated to supporting Christian private schools in the United States and abroad believes violence against Christian private academic institutions in the U.S. is on the rise and “inevitable.””

What about the Church Sanctuary

Why would discussing homosexuality as a sin be considered hate speech in the public forum (as Title 7 now includes) yet remain acceptable from the pulpit? Do congregants sign a form when entering the church on a Sunday morning that clearly lays out the theology of the denomination and that specific church, so guests can make an informed decision on exposing themselves and their kids to what is legally hate speech in the marketplace?

What about hospital and military chaplains? 

Military chaplains are charged with being emotional support for the officers and enlisted as they deal with the stress of their jobs, particularly in times of war. Every chaplain is trained at a seminary in the theology they have come to accept as truth. They are often called to pray (both publicly and privately) for their charges as well as to provide “spiritual support”. For Biblical Christian chaplains, their religious training and deep convictions center around the fact that the only path to a relationship with God, and ultimately Heaven, is through Jesus Christ. So, does the phrase “there are no atheists in foxholes” apply when the chaplain is asked about God and eternity? When these Christian chaplains present their narrow views to Muslims, Atheists, Mormons, and even carnal Christians, should it be considered hate speech? The same challenge is even more acute when a hospital chaplain enters the room of a dying patient. 

Inclusion vs. freedom of speech

Logically and practically, changing cultural morality precedes the application of laws to support those changes. We can look outside of America to get a glimpse of what the future holds as the definition of hate speech gets broader and the definition of theology gets fuzzier for some, and narrower for others. 

What is the cause of the line being moved? That is one of the few easy answers. The more Biblical Christianity is rejected as a foundation for morality, the more the line moves towards an everchanging human definition of hate speech. If one believes the Bible was written by God, but penned by man, it stands as a guardian, defining morality from the perspective of an omnipotent God. Denominations can argue among themselves on the finer points of theology. However, for those who read the Bible as a calling to share the Good News (scripture) of Jesus Christ, there is an imperative that cannot be ignored: Follow God rather than man. Where is the line when theology crosses into hate speech? 

The line is moving… where will it end?

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AuthorJeff Hilles | BCWorldview.org 

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