Last week French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May met to discuss a new, joint counter-terrorism effort aimed at online hate speech and encrypted messaging. A key focus of the effort will be to “make sure internet operators ‘delete any content promoting hatred and terrorism in any way’” (EU Observer, June 14, 2017). Their project will also target tech companies (primarily social media sites) that allow “unacceptable content” to remain on their websites.
In recent years, content that was once considered free speech has increasingly been categorized as unacceptable hate speech—including traditional Bible-based speech related to behaviors that God calls sin! How might such coming legislation impact Christians and the preaching of the Gospel of God’s coming Kingdom? God warned, “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12). The Church of God has long understood that a famine of the word will come one day. As world events move forward and societies increasingly curtail civil liberties and free speech, actions taken in the name of protecting against terrorism and hate, we are beginning to see one way a famine of the word could come about! Will even the Bible be banned one day as a book of hate speech? For more insights, read “Coming: A Famine of the Word!”