It is happening more and more. Specific Christian groups are being identified as hate groups because they oppose same sex marriage, Islamic extremism and illegal immigration.
Beginning several years ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a radical, American non-profit civil rights organization, started identifying Christian and other conservative organizations as “hate groups.” They have lumped Christians together with such organizations as the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazis.
You must understand, though, that the Christian groups we are talking about here are not weird out of the mainstream organizations. These are well-respected evangelical groups such as the Family Research Council and the American Family Association. And what is the alleged crime of these Christian groups? Their infraction is that they have stayed faithful to the teachings of the Bible concerning same sex marriage and other moral issues of concern to Christians.
But now it is not just the radical SPLC identifying Christians this way. Recently, Army Lt. Colonel Jack Rich sent an e-mail to three dozen subordinates telling them to be on the lookout for any soldiers who might be members of “domestic hate groups.” In making his communication, the Lt. Colonel used the SPLC’s list to identify the groups he was referring to. He explained that the behaviors of these groups are inconsistent with Army Values. In other words, Christian values, to Lt. Colonel Rich, no longer represent Army values.
What is going by the wayside is way more than merely traditional values. Truth itself is being exchanged for a lie. And the lie is being called the truth.
Traditional American Beliefs
When America was established as a nation, there was a particular worldview foundation that the founders operated from. This foundation was Christian Theism. Because of that, they established the institutions of this new nation on Christian beliefs. This is not to say that they created a theocracy or set up the Christian church to be a state institution. Rather, they pulled out Christian worldview beliefs and used them as the guiding principles for the establishment of the institutions of the society. These guiding principles included the belief that man is sinful, that there exists an unchanging natural law, that there is such a thing as absolutes regarding morality, that life is sacred, that individuals ought to be free, among others.
While these principles do not dictate specifically what societal institutions must exist, they do prescribe a moral foundation which must be in place for society to operate smoothly. If a different set of moral principles supplant the Christian ones, the entire fabric of society will be changed fundamentally in a way which will not support the cultural institutions which were established in America. When that happens, the society will be destroyed to make way for a different kind of structure.
The Naturalistic Challenger
In modern culture, there is a massive movement to do away with the established principles based on Christian Theism and replace them with beliefs based on Naturalism. Naturalism is the worldview which asserts that there is no such thing as a supernatural existence. There is no God, thus no moral absolutes. The ruling principle then becomes moral relativism.
Moral relativism cannot support society’s institutions as they were established in America. Naturalistic worldview principles see man as essentially good, rather than sinful. As such, laws, social mores and institutional forms do not need Christian style moral restraints. Along with that, they believe that morality is relative to the situation, the collective is more important than the individual and that individual freedom is not so important. Based on these beliefs, they seek to remake society’s institutions in a way which limits the freedom of individuals and asserts the powers of the central authorities.
Now, Truth is Hate Speech
Naturalism and Christian Theism are polar opposites when it comes to how they approach the concept of morality. When one is dominant, the other is, necessarily, put aside. As naturalistic beliefs have become increasingly prominent in American culture, the values based on Christian Theism have increasingly been pushed aside. No longer are moral absolutes considered a good idea. In fact, just the opposite. The moral absolutes which used anchor the institutions of American culture are looked at by those who hold a naturalistic worldview to be hateful and intolerant. In other words, speaking moral truth as if it were actually true is now seen to be hate speech. It is now hateful to represent homosexual marriage as immoral, Islamic extremism as evil and illegal immigration as illegal.
If, indeed, there is no such thing as Truth, then the Naturalists are right and Christian morality is hateful. But Truth does exist. There is a factual way reality exists, and that reality is objectively true. God actually does exist. God has objectively revealed himself and his ways. Simply put, the Naturalists are wrong.
But the fact that they are wrong does not keep them from putting pressure on Christians to deny the truth. And they will continue to do this until Christians begin to take seriously their mandate from God – to go and make disciples of all nations. If we want to turn this around, we have to share the message of the gospel in order to lead non-believers to faith in Christ. Conversion to Christ is the only thing that will lead to a conversion in worldview concepts about how society ought to be structured.
Until Christians begin to grasp the underlying worldview foundations of Christian Theism and Naturalism, they will not be in a position to effectively share this witness. Christians MUST begin to do this more actively. And unless we do, we will see more and more Truth being called hate.
© 2013 Freddy Davis