“Love is all you need,” said my school chum, John Lennon, and in one sense he was right. The Twoist Christian sense of Christ’s love is “all you need.” Oddly, more and more Christians who defend the normality of heterosexual marriage are not thanked for their love but accused of hate speech and homophobia, now defined as a form of psychological illness. Such groundless indictments of hate betray hearts themselves driven by irrational hate.
Christians may not hate! Unlike the present day sexual progressives and radical Islamists, believers cannot “hate” others. This is so for a number of significant reasons. Followers of Jesus know they are sinners like every one else, and can only pray for fellow sinners. Because God has defined sin for us, Christians can identify sinful behavior, but they don’t do it as “sinless beings” who are better than others. They understand their own estrangement from God and want to help others to see theirs, not to make them feel inferior but to bring them to Christ, the only Savior. In today’s world, with its antipathy to sin, this is becoming a courageous expression of love.
Hatred is also not possible for Christians because they are in no hurry to force people’s will. They know that God is patient, and that he is the only one able to execute ultimate judgment, which he will do one day. “Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord” (Hebrews 10:30). Christians are thus peace-loving and patient.
So why the constant charges of hate? Where does it originate? An article by a secular sociologist, Ernest Sternberg, identifies in present society a growing pressure group that he calls “world purificationists.” He argues that the revolutionary utopian march to an ideal this-worldly city of spiritual and sexual freedom is hampered only by “the enemy.” For real traction, the progressivist vision must identify an “evil” group, worthy of moral hatred.
In her 2010 book, The World Turned Upside Down, United Kingdom Jewish journalist/ philosopher, Melanie Phillips equally describes the rise of the modern ideological Left. She states: “It is essential for the true believer [in radical politics] to have someone or something to hate.” This may explain the accusations of “hate speech” against those who defend the traditional view of marriage. Where there is no God to bring about ultimate justice, the purifiers must execute judgment themselves, here and now. The process begins by clearly naming the enemy. Sternberg notes that those who oppose the program will increasingly become scapegoats, identified as humanity’s enemy and the cause of all suffering.
We are at the stage of scapegoating. My dear friend, Janet Mefferd, a law-abiding citizen, a fine Christian wife and mother, and a gifted radio host who argues for the normality of heterosexual marriage, is vilified and dismissed as a bitter extremist by the public media. The most worrisome statement made about her is not the violent false descriptions of her opinions. It is: “mainstream is the last word to describe Mefferd’s daily offering of bitter animus.”
Homosexuals are mainstream, while Christians are extremists! To identify Christians as marginals, when homosexuals only account for 2-3% of the population is an outrageous statement, but is also the clear sign of a brilliant cultural victory. The Supreme Court, the highest in the land, by identifying the defense of normative heterosexuality with animus, has already marginalized biblical Christians as “hate speakers.”
Marginalization will produce suffering for believers. Under pressure to be considered “mainstream,” Christian radio stations and Christian publishing houses may decide to jettison shows like Janet Mefferd’s, because the audience has become “mainstream.” They will not want to offend LGBT people and will also want to stay within the “law of the land.” The Christian voice will be marginalized to the point of being silenced and we and our children will be condemned to live under the reign of “the lie.”
The early Christians were faced with a similar situation. The first century Roman historian, Tacitus, charged them with the first recorded accusation of hate speech in Church history: “haters of humanity.” They breached the pagan pax romana. And what does Paul propose to the Christians? Certainly not hate! He exhorts the value of three positive reactions:
1. Fearlessly and lovingly preach the power of the Gospel (Rom 1:16)
2. Live before the pagan world with holy bodies (Rom 12:1)
3. Witness to the culture through transformed minds (Rom 12:2), based on an understanding of the difference between Oneist worship of Nature and the Twoism worship of the Creator (Rom 1:25).
May we be given the power of Christ to pray for those who persecute us and to love those who hate us!