I always get a little nervous when people bring the Bible into conversations about hate speech. Not because I’m afraid of what people will find in the Bible, but because of the increased tendency to weaponize anything that doesn’t fit with the prevailing worldview.
Let’s be honest: The Bible says some pretty strong things about homosexuality, lying, adultery, disobedience to parents and authorities, gluttony, idolatry, pride, and more. And because of that, as we look around at the world and try to determine the best way to reach the culture around us, it can be tempting to set the Bible aside… or at least, to try to clean up the parts that might seem to be a barrier. As much as I get that temptation (because I feel it, too), we can’t though. We can’t downplay or ignore what the Bible says out of fear—whether that’s fear that what the text says doesn’t match what I believe, or that it might make us seem hateful.
The Word of God, and the gospel itself, are far too important to be set aside or downplayed. And a downplayed or ignored Bible isn’t what the world needs from Christians. Instead, the world needs Christians who are committed to submitting to this Book. Spurgeon put it this way:
If there is a text of Scripture you dare not meet, humble yourself till you can. If your creed and Scripture do not agree, cut your creed to pieces, but make it agree with this book. If there be anything in the church to which you belong which is contrary to the inspired word, leave that church.
What the world needs, now more than ever, are Christians who are committed to the Word of God. Other Christians need right now is the same thing. We all need to be people who know this Book, and are not afraid of it. Who know that what some might try to twist into hate, isn’t hateful at all. It is a message of hope and joy. A book that makes this world actually make sense. We need more of that. Everyone needs more of that. May we never allow fear to away from it.