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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 23

[Continued discussion of this topic from the previous post in the series.]

Hate speech?

Opposition to marriage between homosexual partners is coming to be called “hate speech.” It shouldn’t be hate speech, whatever it’s called. We should not hate homosexuals, gossips, or axe murderers. We should hate the things they do, and wish that they would stop, but it is possible to love them, anyway. Ask any parent if it isn’t possible to love the person, but not love all of their actions! Christ didn’t approve of the way Zacchaeus used his position as a tax collector to cheat people, but He loved Zacchaeus:

Luke 19:1 He entered and was passing through Jericho. 2 There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn’t because of the crowd, because he was short. 4 He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was going to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully. 7 When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner.”
8 Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Of course, it is possible that statements about homosexuals are founded on hate, whether expressed or not. Some of the motivation behind attempts to label homosexuals as particularly sinful may be due to prejudice, or even hate. That’s not the Christian way.

In the beginning of this chapter, I said that homosexual sexual activity is sinful. That wasn’t hate speech. It was a fact, based on what the Bible says. If I say that stealing cars for a living is sinful, that’s not hate speech. It’s a fact, based on the Ten Commandments. Opposition to marriage between homosexuals, or to homosexual sexual activity, isn’t hate speech, morally, unless it is said, or written, with hateful motives, no matter what is or isn’t politically correct.

The Westboro Baptist Church says, on its web site, that “God hates fags.” There’s no doubt of their attitude -- their URL is That’s hate speech. God doesn’t hate fags, any more than He hates people who make statements like that. Both need repentance and redemption.

Saying homosexual activity is sinful doesn’t need to, and shouldn’t mean that the person who made it hates homosexuals. But it may be a different matter under the law. The Wikipedia article on hate speech says this:

In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, religion, race, sexual orientation, . . . or other characteristic

Any Christian (or anyone else) should be able to say that sexual activity between homosexuals is sinful, in a loving manner, without it being labeled hate speech, no matter what the laws about hate speech, or sex, may say. If saying such means that a person can be charged with a crime, well, so be it. Believers who were doing what God wanted them to have been imprisoned for all sorts of “crimes” in the past, and, if Christ tarries, will be in the future. Christian behavior may require us to carefully state our convictions, in a Christ-like manner, even if there is danger of being punished for doing so.

The above is an excerpt from my recently published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series is here. God willing, the next excerpt will begin a new topic.

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