What is Hate Speech?

truth-new-hate-speech-300x181If something is wrong, it is not hate speech to say so. Problem is, it’s getting harder and harder to agree on what “wrong” is. If the great evil of Postmodernism has its way—the loss of the objective—we will eventually reach the point where it will be considered hate speech to say anything is wrong.

Who decides what is right and wrong? Who is to say what is good and what is evil? To ask Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” If we get to decide for ourselves, we’ll always be aiming at a moving target.

There was a time not so long ago in American history when it was illegal to commit cold-blooded murder. Today it’s not only legal in certain contexts, it’s even encouraged.[1]

Anyone who says abortion is wrong is an enemy of women’s rights.

If you oppose assisted suicide (or even call it that), you must be a hateful person who enjoys watching people suffer.

The ability to distinguish right from wrong isn’t an exclusively Christian concern. The prevalence of evil is a symptom of a very sick state.

We are still (probably) at the point where most people regard bestiality and pedophilia as sexual perversion. But for how long? Most people used to regard homosexuality as sexual perversion, but this is no longer the case. Last Friday, Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage in a popular vote. In a few weeks, the Supreme Court will rule on the legality of same-sex marriage in America. The writing is on the wall.

To be clear, public opinion is no threat to the truth, but it is a threat to those who confess it. In a recent letter to all LCMS pastors, President Harrison has recently said the Supreme Court decision, which will likely rule in favor of the gay agenda, “will be the earnest beginning of a very long struggle for faithful Christians who will, more and more, be driven from participation in the culture.” He has advised our congregations to seriously consider obtaining counsel from our own attorneys. Legal protection may be lost for congregations who commit the “crime” of confessing the truth. Congregations may be fined and pastors thrown in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. President Harrison reminds us of the words of the late Cardinal George:

I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.[2]

This is nothing new, nor should it come as any surprise. Jesus has warned His Church: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you… if they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you,” (John 15:18, 20). Following our Lord in the way of the cross, countless saints have been persecuted and martyred for their confession of Christ.

What are we to do? Stand fast. Speak the truth in love, and let the chips fall where they may. In this world we will have tribulation, but Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). As Jesus once told the Church at Smyrna:

Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).

We can in good conscience call sinners to repentance and faith because that’s what the Lord has given us to do. Hatred of the truth profits no one. The only true hate speech is to call good that which God calls sin.

[1] Here I do not have in mind those who have been authorized to bear the sword on behalf of the state for the good of the people (e.g., policemen, soldiers, etc.).

[2] http://blogs.lcms.org/2015/harrison-we-speak-the-truth-in-love-to-all-on-same-sex-marriage


Comments

What is Hate Speech? — 25 Comments

  1. When “hate speech” is accused against someone by a liberal in America today, or by a progressive academic, media pundit or a Democrat, it usually is directed at anyone who thinks homosexuality and gay marriage is wrong. It is their way of suppressing free speech and promoting the new tyranny of the left.

  2. I was having a conversation about this with a good friend who wrote the following in response to an editorial written by the Midland Reporter Telegram (TX): First Amendment protects ‘uncomfortable’ speech

    I find it somewhat ironic that a newspaper editorial staff needs some instruction on the First Amendment. The MRT’s editorial on Pamela Geller (”First Amendment wasn’t meant to provide cover for hate”) paid obeisance to the concept of politically correct speech. Your editors would allow us to “make statements about the world we would like to see but not at the expense of our neighbor or his or her religion.” I can only interpret that to mean that I can’t say something that might be offensive to someone else. While that might agree with the good instruction your mother gave you (“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”), it has absolutely no connection to the concept behind the First Amendment.

    Outside of creating a situation of immediate peril (yelling “fire” in the proverbial crowded theater, inciting a riot, etc.), the First Amendment protects all speech. It is not needed to protect speech that is comfortable. It is there specifically to protect speech that is uncomfortable, and yes, even hateful. There is no clause in the Constitution that provides a right to not be offended, or even to not be hated.

    That is the beauty of our Constitution. I spent 20 years serving our country in the U.S. Air Force. While I might find it totally offensive for someone to tread on the American flag in disrespect because they “hate” the United States, they have the right to do so in our country. I personally see that as a testament to just how great our country and its freedoms are, because very few other places in the world would not just allow, but would protect, that “speech.” Under your interpretation, that would not be allowed because it might lead to a violent reaction from some, even death threats. However, such a violent reaction would entirely be the responsibility of the reacting party, not the “speaker.”

    Keep in mind that the same amendment that protects freedom of speech also protects your freedom of the press. And the press rightfully has not always reflected good manners and non-controversial points of view. If you print an “offensive” statement, you will not be “hiding behind” the Constitution. Rather, you will be illustrating its power.

    Mike Kaufman

    Read more: Letters to the Editor for May 24, 2015 – MRT.com: Letters To Editor http://www.mrt.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_7626252c-04b3-11e5-a7cf-87c748b8caa7.html#ixzz3bRr88Mp8
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  3. Hello all,
    The reality, you have no 1st Amendment Rights, just ask my wife because of the 5 day suspension at the “day job” for speaking what I thought was religious, then intellectual freedom. I called it a “little vacation”.
    It is all about agendas. And it always is this, “it depends”.

    Now God is above all that, and I heed His agenda of course, because it is good and right.

    Yet we must live with fellow sinners who are making it tougher and tougher.

    To some, our speech will become increasingly hateful, but truly not to the person, but to the sin that holds that person hostage.

    I just wonder, are we getting to the point we simply go “old school”. We simply do not marry in the state, we stick to blessing the marriage. So “go get the license and get married”, then come back for a blessing under God. (OK, don’t skip all the pre and post marriage counseling).

  4. This won’t make it through moderation, but whatever.

    I grew up gay, homosexual, queer, whatever in the LCMS. And I honestly used to believe pastors when they said they were “speaking the truth in love.” OK, so there never was a whole lot of Gospel when they spoke of homosexuality. But I figured that was just because they weren’t thinking things through – a case of neglect rather than animosity. I chose at age 13 to remain celibate and have maintained that for 40 years and will maintain it till I die, God willing.

    But I no longer believe that pastors are speaking the truth in love.

    In 40 years I have never once heard a gay person threaten to kill a Christian.

    I have, however, on multiple occasions and increasing since 2009, heard LCMS pastors joke about castrating gays, locking gays away behind fences, rejoicing that AIDS and disease have killed gay people and, most recently, a number of pastors in the Wyoming district joked about “lovingly shooting homosexuals on the court house steps.” On no occasion when these things have happened have I even once heard a pastor chastise his colleagues.

    Moreover, I have witnessed a dramatic drop in the application of the Gospel when discussing issues of homosexuality. The Gospel has been replaced with very poorly formulated “natural law” arguments based more on paranoia than on logic and whose affect is mostly to convey disgust rather than to reach the sinner in love.

    Even when the truth is the truth, when it is spoken out hate – it is and remains hate. And I can no longer lie to myself that many LCMS pastors are speaking out of love – not when so much says otherwise.

    I will continue to honor God with my body and refrain from sex. I do this out of gratitude that Christ died for my parents and my bothers and sisters. But after the last decade of hearing severe and irrational law from those who are supposed to be the shepherds of the flock, after hearing less and less Gospel with each passing year, after reading increasingly paranoid communications from the Synodical office with little or no accompanying Gospel, I find that I no longer care whether Christ died for me. I have the choice of going to hell and being with those who despised me for choosing celibacy or going to heaven and being with those who despised me for experiencing a particular temptation. I find I don’t really care either way – although, at least those in hell did not threaten to shoot me.

    Pastors, if you want people to believe you are speaking in love, then watch your language, especially when you think no gay people hear you. Because you are right that those people in the open gay community are not there to hear you laughing about shooting them. Nor would they care if they did year you – you mean nothing to them, after all. But those of us who have been faithful, repentant, scared and who still strive to serve Christ ARE present and DO hear you say those things. We are the ones who lose faith and die because of your words. You may be venting your anger at what you see as a threat to society and faith. But those who bleed because of your words are the repentant same sex attracted sheep who are struggling merely to hold on to faith. You are our pastor and we trusted you to show us mercy. But you flayed and butchered us instead.

    I am sorry, but at this point, all evidence is that many pastors do hate people like me and that what they say, though sometimes the truth, IS hate speech.

  5. Honestly, Matt…because some loud-mouths said some wicked things does not=you being in heaven with those who hate you. All these sorts of things(wicked speech, wicked thoughts) will be no more. You will have forgiven these men who have hurt you, and they will have forgiven you your sins. So let it go, continue on your path. God will deal with those fellows, as he’s dealt with you. Pray for them! BTW: I don’t see you as a homosexual. I refuse to define you according to your sexual bent. We are all beset by sins. You are a man, a creature of God. I am honored, as a fellow Christian, that you have walked the path of chastity so strongly. May we all, men and women of our God, continue as steadfastly.

  6. @Matt #4
    Dear Matt,
    Yes, your comments did make it.
    First, if any pastor did say that to you or around you, pray He ask the Lord for forgiveness lest His soul is in trouble, no different than you or me, a fellow sinner.
    Second, you battle as we all do sin. Yes, what you say tugs on strings. The Lord forgives all sins, to all sinners that repent and put their faith in Him.
    Third, the tough part of late is when we as a culture begin to lose what sin is. I will turn this around. The sin you battle, is it no different than a women pastor who ignores the (as we see it) “clear Word of God” that women cannot be ordained pastors? Are they ignorant and sinning as they ignore God, they have unrepentant sins on them? OK, I may get in trouble on that.
    Prayers for you Matt will ascend, a child of God, a “poor miserable sinner.” Just like me!

  7. I’ve never heard any LCMS pastor offer, threaten, or wish to harm anyone. Ever. That is something that should be challenged as soon as you hear it come out of their mouths.

    This thing about loving the sinner doesn’t get unrepentant active homosexuals off the hook, though. Impenitence and the belief in “cheap grace” is what sends you to hell, not the fact that you are a sinner.

  8. There is no such thing as “hate” speech. There is only speech. Some speech is hateful and has been since Cain and Able regardless of the sin expressed by hateful speech. However, even hateful speech should be permitted (not encouraged), under the 1st Amendment and especially when speech is also religious speech. You have to love the various inconsistencies in our use of the term “hate speech”. The use of the “N” word is always considered hate speech, but dropping the “F” bomb or the “MF” bomb is not even when it is totally inappropriate and offensive. Christians are said to engage in “hate speech” if all they do is quote Romans 1 or any number of other texts that clearly and forthrightly condemn homosexual behavior, or even use the divine design argument respecting the obvious intent of human “plumbing” and procreation realities.

    Also, there is no such thing as “hate crime”. There is only crime and regardless of what motivated the crime, it is still a crime. In both cases of “hate speech” and “hate crimes”, what is really at work is attempted thought control. If you didn’t think inappropriately, then (the reasoning goes), you wouldn’t speak inappropriately or act inappropriately. While there are thoughts that are certainly sinful and sinful thoughts can certainly lead to sinful actions, I don’t want my government at any level telling me how I have to think! It’s none of their business! Furthermore, even if my speech were blatantly offensive to one aggrieved group or another, I don’t want my government telling me what I can say and what I can’t say. It’s none of their business.

    As for the government about to make judicial pronouncements respecting marriage (as if they were qualified to make such a judgment), I am obligated to speak God’s Word in truth regardless of what the government tells me is acceptable or unacceptable. Indeed, if the government tells me that I cannot preach that homosexual behavior is a sin, then I am obligated to preach exactly that. With respect to marriage, I agree that if churches are told that they must violate their own faith to perform gay “marriages”, then I might have to go to jail rather than comply or simply get out of the marriage business altogether inclusive of the blessing of a marriage because the same law that would demand clergy to perform gay marriage will also demand that we provide gay marriage blessing so that is not an out. Let the state do the marrying or else get the state completely out of the marriage business and let churches do it altogether without the state.

  9. Its OK if moderators wipe out what they don’t want to hear.

    *comment edited by moderator. Comments that fail to display Christian virtue may be edited or deleted.

  10. Richard, I appreciate your distinction between “hate speech” and “hateful speech.” The general public hasn’t yet made that linguistic, grammatical distinction, but I hope that we can bear with them as they incorrectly name something that they really do experience legitimately.
    I’d like to propose an understanding of “hate speech” that might help us to get a handle on it and avoid committing it, in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. This is a working idea I have, and I’d really appreciate your feedback.
    All these instances of hate speech involve calling something good or evil, right or wrong, true or false. Hate is a disposition, in which you are against, contrary to, in opposition to something. That’s why Christ calls hate murder; they are the same disposition toward someone, murder just happens to be the mental disposition realized physically. Obviously, right and wrong are inevitably at odds; “If you are not with me, you are against me.” But we must always remember that speech is a personal thing. When people hear what you have said, they receive that message, but then they also make a judgment about what it means that YOU, particularly, said it to them. So the same words spoken the EXACT same way (same tone, same context, etc.) could be hate speech or not, depending on what the relationship between the people is. If I say, “You shouldn’t steal that book,” whether I am *in opposition to* that person and his action, *neutral to* them, or *for* them is not determined by the words themselves.
    Examples:
    A. “You shouldn’t steal that book,” I say with a wry smile, remembering when I used to read whole books in Barnes & Noble, which is basically the same thing.
    B. “You shouldn’t steal that book,” I say, not sure whether the boy would think I was trying to help him keep from trouble or get him in trouble.
    C. “You shouldn’t steal that book,” I say with a frown, wondering what would possess him to do such a thing.
    In all three situations, the person is telling the truth, but we can tell from what comes after that the speaker’s DISPOSITION is different in each. In C, the speaker is obviously *against* the actions, in that moment, the full person of the boy. In B, the disposition is neutral, so the boy could either take it neutrally, but he will most likely interpret it as a contrary disposition, since the statement was negative. In A, the speaker smiles–maybe immediately after this, he laughs and puts four books in his own backpack with no intention of paying for them.
    C is hate speech, B is neutral, and A could easily be “love” speech, meaning that the speaker is “for” the boy.
    We can speak the truth all we want, but if the person we are speaking to things we’re on the other team, that we’re not with them, our speech will only be perceived as being against their full being, as opposed to being against just one of their actions.

  11. Aaron,

    If I say to a liberal brother in the ministry who has just presided over the Lord’s Supper at which I was present but not participating, “Brother, out of love for you and your flock, please consider refraining from your practice of open communion.” Is that hate speech?

  12. I would say it depends. What I was saying above, in short, is that one cannot determine if a remark is hateful or not purely by the words alone.
    Using the words “out of love” does not make the words loving. Isn’t it true that only God speaks truth into being, not humans? A Muslim could say to me, “Brother, out of love for you, I ask that you please consider refraining from declaring yours the only true religion.” This Muslim might, in the moment he spoke those words, have been saying them in love, but by the time they arrive to me, they have traveled through the real world, where I know the essence of Islam to be against, contrary to, hateful towards Christianity and Christians. So though the speech may have began in love, by the time it got to me, it became hate, not even by the fault or power of the one who spoke it.
    Back to your example. Unless you had a strong, positive history with this brother, then my guess is that he would probably take it as minor hate speech. The Lord’s Supper is a meal, a holy meal. A young child might consider his parents’ advice on how to eat to be “love speech.” But telling an adult, who has been doing it one way for many years, whose understanding of the practice has been integrated deeply into his being and understanding, will probably take offense that another would presume to tell him how to run the table over which he presides. On the other hand, maybe there is deep trust between you and this brother (for reasons besides your practice of communion, most likely!). In that case, he may be able to hear your words in love and take you request to heart.
    Like I said, this is a working idea, that speech can change on the way from the speaker to the hearer. If that’s true, then the way to avoid hate speech and embrace love speech is to be aware of HOW, in some degree of detail, this transformation occurs. Do you think this idea is both/either/neither true and/or helpful?

  13. Aaron,

    If I am understanding you correctly speech that is offensive to the hearer is “hate” speech regardless of whether or not it was intended to be hateful. Did I get that right?

  14. @Rev. Richard A. Bolland #14

    Dear Richard,
    Aaron is right on…speech is what the hearer hears and then thinks about it.

    Example:

    I say “Jesus saves” to a Muslim, an atheist, a Bahai worshiper, a Jehovah Witness.

    Muslim may say “how dare you, only Allah saves”.
    Atheist may say “you goof, keep drinking the wine.”
    Bahai may say “cool, so does Buddha and other gods save.”
    Jehovah witness says “how dare you, Jesus is not God.”

    They all differing things, and some may view my words as hateful, albeit no intention to be hateful was made. It is the hearer that makes it hateful.

    Now I think this is different from being antagonistic. If I know I am speaking to someone that will take my speech and make it hateful, it is willful.

  15. Ah then, would you classify this as “hate” speech:

    “39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” (John 8:39-45)

    It is clear that Jesus’ hearers were completely offended by our Lord’s description of them, so was Jesus hating them or was he merely telling the truth?

  16. Here’s the deal. I completely reject the “I was offended” ruling on “hate” speech. No one has a right not to be offended and our culture has become so incredibly thin-skinned about politically correct speech and never saying anything that would offend anyone that it has simply become ridiculous. I am offended by the silly offense that so many take if a school says the Pledge of Allegiance or flies this nation’s flag in our own nation or criticized Muslim radicals for beheading and crucifying Christians. Speaking out about such things does not make me a bigot nor a hater. Sometimes people just need to hear the truth whether or not it offends them.

  17. The claim that it is “hate speech” just because the hearer is offended is simply part of the Liberal Lie: “All beliefs are to be tolerated except those that are not tolerant.”

  18. @Rev. Richard A. Bolland #18
    Dear Richard,
    01) In the first case, Jesus speech was what it was, Truth (to us). They took it as hateful, “so what I say”. To us, “tell it to God on the last days”. Yes, to us, Jesus is love, to them; well, Jesus is perhaps “a hater.”
    02) Now you are getting into the 1st Amendment rights that are all being goofed with. I have the right to “hate” by the Constitution. I cannot slander, etc.
    Welcome to the crazy and sinful world. Eh?

  19. All right, so hate speech is just a misnomer for offensive speech. In that case, discern whether the risk of offending the person with the truth is worth it or not. We don’t just go around proclaiming truth without regard for how it will be received. Jesus didn’t go and seek out Pharisees; they came to him. If people ASK for your opinion and then get offended by it, that’s their own fault. But if you fail to realize that your words will be offensive, that’s a failure of understanding the relationship.
    Jesus didn’t go telling truth to people who didn’t ask for it, and neither should we. If they ask and are offended (which they will be) then we can expect them to crucify us.

  20. @Aaron #22

    “Jesus didn’t go telling truth to people who didn’t ask for it, and neither should we.”

    I’m not going to pussyfoot around with the kind of statement insurance you seem to demand of people. If you want to believe it is hatred that motivates this comment I won’t be able to disabuse you of that misbelief. But it will not change the obligation of love I have to publicly refute your error.

    Your interpretation of Scripture here is plainly wrong. Christ taught many times in the public square and in the Temple where people who didn’t invite His opinion could hear him. And their charge against Him, many times, was the old word for hate speech, “Blasphemey.” The charge was raised when Jesus forgave the paralitic, when He stated the fact of His eternal divine Sonship and on other occasions.

    Paul and Peter, James and Stephen followed the same practice of preaching in the public square. All of them were charged by Jew and Gentile with speaking hateful things. The early church is filled with examples of the defenses of the faith which included the public condemnation of popularly accepted sin, and these defenses were given in the public square. The commission was to “Preach the Gospel to every creature,” not merely the interested.

    Aaron, maybe you didn’t intend it this way, but by saying “Jesus didn’t go telling truth to people who didn’t ask for it, and neither should we” you are making a dogmatic assertion about Scripture to which you would bind people. The way you phrased this you are basically binding people’s conscience on what you perceive as Christ’s example. Claiming a Christian is sinning against God and neighbor by confronting his neighbor about his neighbor’s sin when his neighbor didn’t ask the Christian’s opinion seems to come from a very selective reading of the Bible. The basic effect is to tell Christians they have to shut up and not enter the public square. But even worse, your approach calls on Christians to try to judge the motivations and hearts of people rather than their public statements and actions.

    The necessity of warning people in the Church and outside the church about the consequenses of Sin (that is, preaching God’s Law) is woven throughout the whole of Scripture. Many special warnings are given to the prophets that they should not shirk this duty. So in the Scriptures, yes, the Prophets preach Law to God’s church, but also to to the pre-flood unbelievers, to the Canaanites, the Egyptians, Jebusites, Girgashites, the prophets of Baal, Ashera, Moloch; to the Moabites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, to their soothsayers, peoples, officials, and kings; to the people of Tyre, Sidon, Nineveh, to Greeks, Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Romans (slave, citizen, and ruler), to the prophets of Artemis, Apollo, to a Magus, and many others.

    I would humbly suggest listening closer to what Christ says and to whom in the Gospels and Revelation; what He said should be taught and to whom. Also, re-read the first three chapters of Romans to understand the purpose and scope of the Law of God:

    19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (ch3)

    This preached Law of God from Scripture, and only this Law is the direct precursor of the Gospel:

    21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (ch3)

    In Christ’s Love for you and the readers of this blog (whether you or they believe it or not)

  21. Thank you, Pastor Joseph, for your response. I do believe it to be in love, and I receive it in love, honestly.
    I now realize that the original post was intended to be an encouragement for those who are discouraged by accusations of “hate speech” in their mission of telling the truth. I thought that reminding us of practices and understandings derived from teachings like “Be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” and the fact that Jesus told the disciples to shake off their sandals the dust of towns who did not accept them would be encouraging. In trying to be encouraging, I guess I went too far.
    I don’t know who was intended to read this post, but it wasn’t me. I am acutely aware that the world hates the truth of God’s teachings and don’t want to read reminders of this. I therefore keep in mind Jesus’s words “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” For some reason, the negative half of the original post came across much more strongly than the encouraging half did. It could be summarized like this: “Developing problem, worsening situation, frightful future… so keep doin’ what you’re doin’.” I didn’t find that encouraging. You didn’t tell us how to deal with the old foe in the new guise of “hate speech.” How do we respond when someone accuses us of this? Say, “There’s no such thing!” Yeah, that displays patience and understanding.
    If I am mistaken on the intention of this post, let me know.

  22. Pr. Abrahamson is totally correct in saying that the Law is the necessary precursor to the Gospel. But no one likes to hear the news that they are sinners and such a message is truly offensive to the sinner however true it may be. The Law of God can never be hate speech because it is a manifestation of God’s love for fallen mankind so that he is forced to admit his need for a Savior outside of himself. Likewise, the pure doctrine of the faith must be boldly declared to those who have departed from it and that too will be seen has “hateful” to those who have enjoyed inventing their own doctrines. So once again the admonition of the erring is a loving thing to do even if it is perceived as hate by the erring. I would suggest that you check out the excellent presentation by Pr. Abrahamsson on the home page of BJS regarding “Intimidation”. C.F.W. Walther says much the same thing that Pr. Abrahamson has been saying here.

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