Is making Facebook Jail a trophy for you? Do you want to make sure your opinion is heard so you yell loud and often? Are you one of those people that just enjoy stirring the pot? Does this culture war raging around you make you want to, not so much raise your banner high, but swing your banner upside somebodies head?
Maybe we should reevaluate the way we respond to people.
Several times this week, I heard people calling my point of view hate speech and that it is the worst evil in the world. (Really, the worst evil … in the world. With the sex trading and abuse of children, with genocide, and governmental “re-education” camps in Asia, my evangelical, conservative, biblio-centric views are the worst evil in the world?) They declared they would report any expression of my view as hate speech and seek repercussions doled out by big-tech.
Censorship of speech is real. The pendulum is swinging and it may never return.
Jim Denison (JD) writes … Renowned Princeton professor Robert P. George condemned Facebook’s attack on (a specific evangelical scholar): “Censorship on Facebook and some other social media has now gone way beyond the bounds of the reasonable.” He added, “People need to be able to criticize and forcefully challenge ideas—including ideas that are dominant in elite sectors of the culture and among people in the tech industry. What we do NOT need is the silencing of dissent.” He warned, “Once it starts and becomes normalized . . . things do not end well.”
Facebook defines hate speech as “a direct attack against people on the basis of what we call protected characteristics: race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity, and serious disease.” Such an “attack” includes “violent or dehumanizing speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, [and] disgust or dismissal.”
And I concur that no follower of Jesus should ever express themselves or their views as such. God forbids slander, He commands us to not speak evil against each other, and to speak the truth in love. The problem is many in the LGBTQ community consider even holding to biblical morality as hateful. And biblical prohibitions are biblical standards as homophobic, prejudice and hate speech that needs to be eliminated from our culture. Even if one’s language is specific in its peaceful approach, just the view is hateful. And to express such a view demands censorship and rebuke.
So what should we do? Remain silent. Keep our views inside church walls? That won’t help. Culture is breaching the walls and demanding churches and her people comply to the ‘woke’ worldview.
We need to speak clearly …
First … clearly speak that God loves all people. As JD says … Our language should always reflect his passion and compassion for all people. We are all broken and sinful (Romans 3:23). We are all in need of grace (Ephesians 2:8–9). As a result, we must always speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Speech that slanders is sinful.
Second … clearly speak that God’s perfect will is what is best for us. And that our world needs to hear the biblical truth in sexual identity and morality. We should speak with clarity and grace. Our beliefs are not just protected by law, but also what the world needs to hear. And if our lives are bearing the fruit of the Spirit of God, then love, patience, and kindness is demonstrated in our words.
And Third … clearly speak and be willing to pay the price for our convictions. In our American society, Christians have not had to really face opposition or persecution. I think we have been blessed greatly but we have not truly taken advantage of the open doors before us. And we haven’t had to really take a courageous stand – when we’ve been in the majority. That’s all changing. From JD … If (or when) orthodox biblical morality that has been affirmed for more than twenty centuries becomes castigated as “hate speech,” we can choose to be silenced or we can choose to be courageous.
Bottom Line it Todd … well, Bottom Line it JD …
As followers of Jesus, we are to declare and defend biblical morality “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). This does not guarantee that we will not be censored or vilified. In fact, the next verse states, “when you are slandered” (v. 16a), not “if.”
But if we have spoken the truth in love, we are assured that “those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (v. 16b). The more we respond to opposition with grace, the more we glorify our Lord.
Would you pray for God’s Spirit to manifest the courage and character of God’s Son in your words today?
Much of this material was ‘borrowed’ from an article by Dr. Jim Denision. Is censorship escalating against evangelicals? Three biblical responses. You can see the full article here. The direct citations I used are marked by (JD)