Hate Speech (Ephesians 4:14-15)

Racist. Misogynistic. Bigoted. Hate speech!

These are powerful and angry words. I could have been reading a review lambasting the latest offering of a conservative politician, but I wasn’t. These were words taken from an editorial criticizing the Bible. For some, the Bible is now labeled as hate speech. It is placed in the same category as the words of Hitler. Why? The definition of hate speech is expanding. In many publications, it is defined as, “speech that is intended to insult, intimidate, or cause prejudice against a person or people based on their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, occupation, disability, or physical appearance.” Sadly, some Christians have taken a hostile stance toward groups of people who do not share their same beliefs, using the Bible to support their stance. The same Bible that reveals God’s plan of love and redemption to a lost world has been used to justify hatred. By their misguided actions, the Bible has become a tool for hate speech. 

How did Jesus Christ deal with racism and cultural stereotypes? The Bible records an exchange between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. For hundreds of years, there was animosity between the Samaritans and the Jews and both groups went out of their way to avoid each other. It was dangerous for Jesus to lead His disciples through Samaria and unprecedented for Him to speak to a Samaritan woman alone. It was a very tense moment when Jesus Christ met the Samaritan woman at the well. She was a woman who had five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband. She was scorned by the other townspeople. Jesus did not overlook or sugarcoat her sins. Instead, He focused her attention upon her true needs, to hear the Truth that only God can reveal. She responded by repenting of her sins and telling everyone what Jesus did for her.

Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 

Ephesians 4:14-15 (NLT)

How does a Christian navigate the world’s relativistic moral landscape and still remain faithful to God’s Word? We should look to the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We should speak the Truth in love to whomever we encounter and not hate or malign others who do not believe in Jesus Christ. All Christian believers should desire to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, not with clever words or trickery, but with confidence that Jesus will grant the forgiveness of sins to all who call upon His Name. 

We love because He first loved us. 

Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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