BBC News - new effort to band religious hate
This legislation is potentially concerning. The government is keen to implement it. Is it going to become illegal for me to preach the Christian gospel? Will my job land me in prison? What does religious hatred mean? Could people really interpret the preaching of the good news of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as inciting hatred?
In this Part “religious hatred” means hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief"Not sure I quite get what this means.
"having regard to all the circumstances the performance is likely to be attended by any person in whom the performance (taken as a whole) is likely to stir up racial or religious hatred.”Theoretically this will protect my freedom to preach the Christian gospel. No preaching of the gospel is designed to produce hatred for another faith or person as a response. Christians are to love those of other/no religions. And that love has integral to it the preaching of the gospel to them, appealing to them to believe. As John Piper said after 9/11 Christians are to lay down their lives in love for muslims, not to kill them.
That said... what if my preaching makes people not like Christianity... would that be inciting hatred? And more so - the Bible forces me to say that God hates us in our sin... will that be permissible? However, taken as a whole any proclamation of God's wrath is countered by his loving appeal to us on the basis of The Cross. Repentance and subsequent encounter with the loving God is always the objective. Never am I seeking to incite anyone towards a hatred for other religions... any proclamation of Islam as wrong (and Jesus says as much), is never for the purpose of stirring hatred - but the kind of love that calls them to come and know Jesus. Something they have the responsible freedom to reject.
However in a world that is spiritually blind to the beauty of the good news about Jesus this could all be easily misunderstood. Our tolerant society pours scorn on my claims to believe something absolute... A few hundred years ago, even in this country, John Bunyan spent over a decade in prison for refusing to stop preaching the gospel. For 2000 years around the world the message of Jesus has been made illegal... when that happens we keep preaching. But, know this, religious hatred is not our objective.