Hate Speech

hate-speech-is-not-free-speechHate Speech

That’s something you hear a lot these days and unless you’re prepared to quickly dismantle that tactic, it can absorb a lot of time and emotional energy and the real issue gets buried.

Fact is, it’s brilliant tactic. In order to avoid being chastised, I’m going to assert the notion that I’m being victimized. The content of the criticism is subordinated to the supposedly sinister motivation behind it and just like that, I’m the victim and anyone who would be critical of me is a villain.

Whether it’s homosexuality, the transgender issue or any one of a number of other moral train wrecks – topics of discussion are circumvented by the deployment of tactics that are designed to shift the focus off of the accused and instead challenge the character of the one making the accusation.

“You can’t judge me” is another such tactic. The fact of the matter is, we’re supposed judge one another. The often misquoted passage in Scripture that says “Do not judge” contains more than three words. It’s Matthew 7:1-2 and the message is not to be silent, rather it’s not to be hypocritical.

Other verses like John 5:24,  Ephesians 5:11 and 2 Timothy 4:2 make it evident that we’re helping each other by highlighting those areas that constitute blind spots. “Judging” ourselves and those around us according to the Standard of Scripture helps us keep it between the lines and avoiding those things that would otherwise result in a big mess.

What we’re seeing in our culture, as far as wisdom and morality being dismissed as wicked and hateful, isn’t especially new. The Bible is loaded with instances where those who were being rebuked attempted to dismiss God’s Final Word as being an antiquated and heinous. On more than one occasion, Israel scoffed and sneered at those who spoke up on God’s behalf (Jer 17:15-16) and some tried to twist the word of the prophets into something evil.

But God doesn’t play that:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Is 5:20)

Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel compelled to speak up and someone tries to shut you down by accusing you of being “hateful” and “judgmental,” respond to them by saying:

How I ‘feel’ about what you’re doing is secondary to what God says. If you want to dismiss the Authority of Scripture, that’s your choice. But don’t try to shift the focus off of what you’re doing to what I’m supposedly thinking and miss what God is saying.


If they don’t believe in God or they want to question the Authority of Scripture, awesome! Now you’ve got a conversation. Before all you had was a tactic. At least this way, you’ve got them conceding the fact that the only Absolute they’re willing to acknowledge is the absolute of themselves. And regardless of how passionate or dogmatic they may be, that kind of self absorbed disposition doesn’t look or sound good and may lead to an opening where you can lead them to a place where they’re talking to God instead of ignoring Him.


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