Recently, many major conservative news outlets reported about chaplain Lt. Col. Wes Modder who was removed from duty and threatened with expulsion from the military. An office assistant, a young lieutenant junior grade officer, showed up last December with two “Equal Opportunity representatives and a five-page complaint documenting grievances against the chaplain.” The officer, who turns out to be homosexual, had constantly drilled Modder with questions about his views on the matter. The ensuing handling of the case appears very unfavorable for a person in a position of spiritual guidance trying Biblically guide people on such matters.
It appears that one of the more unconscionable crimes against society is to promote an objective standard of right and wrong which dares to call specific behaviors and lifestyle choices “sinful.” Hateful speech is, by biblical standards, sinful speech. Scripture speaks against it (Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8). It also exalts godly speech: “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Pr. 16:21), “Let your speech always be with grace” (Col. 4:6), “In speech…show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:12), and be “sound in speech which is beyond reproach” (Ti. 2:8).
But, when we let the world—without knowledge of what the Bible actually teaches—define “hate speech,” we will often get things turned upside down. We will have evil called good and good called evil (Isa. 5:20). Nothing could be more hateful toward a person than to have the opportunity to tell them God’s truth but instead speak lies, whether to comfort, avoid offending, or validate. We must reach out to anyone who rebels against the will of God in love, but what could be more hateful than encouraging anyone along a path that leads away from Him? Any word of false comfort and hope is the ultimate hate speech!