"Are Christians guilty of hate speech?"
A working definition of hate speech is " 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." 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. A Christian should never participate in hate speech. Ephesians 4:15 refers to "speaking the truth in love." First Peter 3:15 instructs Christians to defend their faith, but to do so "with gentleness and respect." Colossians 4:6 proclaims, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt." (Sadly, some Christians fail to follow these biblical instructions.) Some Christians (or at least people who [claim] to be Christians) speak the truth, but speak it in such a way that it is very hateful. Is the church correct in declaring the Bible's teaching that homosexuality is sinful? "Yes" - (but), are they declaring this truth in such a way (that it is intended to be incendiary, offensive, and hurtful) ? Needless to say, the Bible does not support such methods. Likely in the near future, governments will begin declaring more speech as hate speech, thereby making it illegal. This steady broadening of what qualifies as hate speech could eventually lead to any effort to evangelize being declared hate speech, since it would be "hateful" to tell a person that what he/she currently believes is incorrect. What the perpetrators of this expanded hate speech definition fail to realize (or admit) is that to tell someone the truth is an act of love, not hate. Is it hateful for a teacher to tell a student that his/her answer is wrong? Of course not. However, that is precisely the illogical mind-set that is being applied to current hate speech legislation. Telling someone that his/her religious views are wrong is somehow hateful? Telling someone that his/her lifestyle is immoral is somehow hateful? The logic is not, in any sense, consistent with how truth is determined in other areas of society. As a follower of CHRIST, one of our goals should be to speak the truth in love. We do not hate Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, SDA's, Catholics, Mormons, or Jehovah's Witnesses. Rather, we simply believe that these groups are making some serious theological and biblical errors. We do not hate homosexuals, adulterers, pornographers, transsexuals, or fornicators. Rather, we simply believe that those who commit such acts are making immoral and ungodly decisions. Telling someone that he/she is in the wrong is not hateful. In reality, refusing to tell someone the truth is what is truly hateful. Declaring the speaking of truth, presented respectfully, to be hate speech, is, in fact, the ultimate demonstration of hate. 1 John 3:11-18 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.