Hate Speech, by Carl Garner (part 2)

Those things being so, what about “hate speech”? Is it “hate speech” to speak out against sin? Even in kindness? God doesn’t think so, but modern man seems to think so. Christians must live in this world and associate with others in this world. We must be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world,” Matthew 5:13-14. But “salt” can sting, and “light” often illuminates that which some prefer to hide. Like that man in Oregon, our opportunity to warn demands that we do so. A fitting biblical principle is found in Ezekiel 33:7-8:

“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”

We hear from various sources that it will not be long before jail time awaits the preacher or teacher that calls homosexuality “sin”. We do not know if that will happen, but Simon Peter’s words, spoken when he and others were warned not to preach about Jesus, may become even more applicable to us. He responded as recorded in Acts 5:29:

“WE MUST OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.”

Maybe I will be gone by the time that happens, but when or if it comes we must still speak out against sin, even if it brings persecution to us. Make no mistake – we do not hate those caught up in that or any sinful lifestyle. Our words to them in warning would not be “hate speech,” but an expression of genuine love for their soul. If “jail time” does threaten, will we be willing to face the consequences of being a Christian?

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