Founders Ministries posted a screenshot of an article titled "Only Men May be Pastors" to their Instagram account, only to have Instagram delete the image Sunday as "hate speech" after reviewing it, threatening to disable the ministry's account if it happened again.
Hannah Ascol, who handles social media for Founders, described the incident to the Christian Daily Reporter Monday:
"We posted an article from one of our Founders board members Tom Hicks titled 'Only Men May Be Pastors' on November 7th. The post had gotten great engagement (our second best post engagement for this year) on our Instagram account. There was good discussion and agreement in the comments. Then Sunday evening, November 11, I got the notice that the post had been reported by a viewer, reviewed by Instagram and then deleted. The reason given was that the post 'doesn't follow our Community Guidelines on hate speech.' Included was a warning that if we violated the guidelines again then our account could be restricted or disabled."
She went on to confirm that the censored image was just a screenshot of the article title and photo (similar to how they post other new articles to their Instagram account), with the article's first sentence as the caption, reading "In spite of the fact that it seems more and more fashionable in our day to say that women may be pastors, the Bible is clear that pastoral leadership is restricted to men."
To Instagram, this standard complementarian position qualifies as hate speech.
Tom Ascol, Executive Director of Founders Ministries, took to Twitter Sunday night, saying "Big Brother can’t tolerate biblical truth in the marketplace of ideas," adding "Simply asserting what the Bible says is 'hate speech.' At some point everyone will be made to care."