The timing of these posts is going to be erratic over the next few days. In my head I’m blogging the lectionary daily as I have for some years: however, when you get into the hotel at around 1 PM Saturday it is 1 AM Sunday in NZ. We’ve just phoned home, and Robyn’s Mum was discussing going to church some hours ago, while the sun is just rising here.
Besides there is a 20 degree difference between Hong Kong and Berlin: each country id different and the regulations change.
This struck me when I logged onto Gab. There is a new screen: stating that the EU obliges all hate speech to be taken down, so don’t do it. This does not exist in New Zealand,, or Hong Kong, despite the fact that the Honkers were celebrating the 68th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The question one has to ask is where should the limits to regulation be. What is considered traitorous speech is much less that what was considered anti soviet agitation. But the current set of antifa (Red) guards want to tighten things further with their definition of Hate Speech as anything that makes them want to cry.
Or offend that demon Allah.
Again, there is nothing new here. The church has always offended authorities.
1About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. 2He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. 3After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) 4When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. 5While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him.
6The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. 11Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
12As soon as he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many had gathered and were praying. 13When he knocked at the outer gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. 14On recognizing Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the gate, she ran in and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. 15They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.” 16Meanwhile Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the gate, they saw him and were amazed. 17He motioned to them with his hand to be silent, and described for them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he added, “Tell this to James and to the believers.” Then he left and went to another place.
33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ 39So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”
42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? 43Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. 44The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
45When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.
It is worth nothing that Herod was not a Jew, but the Jewish council had by this state a few hundred years of tradition starting with Judas Maccabeus. Both hated the church and the gospel. Christ confronted both of them. In this time, expect the opposition to be from religious authorities and from the secular authorities:one will tell you that your speech does not help interfaith dialogue and you are a poor witness, while the other side will simply ban it. If they cannot ban it, they will be violent, trying to remove the platform of speech, or silence the preachers.
This is why we defend free speech, including the speech we don’t like. There are significant cultural variations between cities and tribes and nations: there is nothing wrong with this. Germany should be for the Germans and Poland for the Pole: in fairness to the Russians their empire allowed both to exist before the Communist Revolution. 
But when the gospel is being silenced we must aim to misbehave. The gospel is beyond regulation. In our fallen state, Christ is our only means for salvation. And let no government or church committee shut it down or call it hateful: such actions have always had consequences.
- One could say the same about the Habsburgs, who tolerated a Jewish minority, or the Victorian British. However, the time of empires is over, and supranational entities are imperial, and failing.