Freedom of speech! I should be able to say what ever I want whenever I want, right?
Well, it depends. From here forward, I write this to those who call themselves Christians. Why? Not to single anyone out because what I am writing is good for everyone. But, those who do not profess to be Christians aren’t held to what I am about to say.
They are just words, words that when you look them up in the dictionary mean pretty much not bad things. For example, the “sh” word as it is commonly referred to really does mean poop. And, in some countries, its what they say; it’s not considered cussing. The f-word, well, it means intercourse. So, they really are just words. Lets also take into consideration that even if my words aren’t “cuss” words it doesn’t make it OK to just say whatever, like calling someone names or insulting ones intelligence. The Bible is very clear as to how our speech should be. Proverbs alone is filled with verses about the tongue and the power it has. The bible speaks of how we should sing praises to God, last I checked, David never penned the f-word or insults in the Psalms.
The following verses are just a few that really stand out…
Psalms 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Ephesians 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. Matthew 12:36-37 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." 1 Peter 3:10 For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Psalms 119:172 May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. Psalm 37:30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death
Hmmm, gotta wonder if the conversation that was had meets any of the above.
Lets move to argument number 2 – Freedom of speech. I dealt with this one some time ago, and here is what I came up with. Let me just add that if my “freedom of speech” goes against someone’s rules or breaks a law, is it still defendable by freedom of speech?
Freedom of speech is the right to express opinions freely without interference.
interference: something that interferes.
interferes: To be or create a hindrance or obstacle
hindrance: to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in
What freedom is there in speaking freely if what I freely speak brings death? hurt? judgment? hate? rudeness? disrespect? Couldn’t that provoke the other person to "freely" speak back? If I speak whatever I want, could I actually be interfering? Or creating an obstacle?
True freedom is that which brings forth life, more freedom, liberty, truth, order, edification. Freedom cannot exist along side death and hate.
I am not taking sides or saying that all parties were wrong. I am simply stating a truth that so often gets ignored. I deal with this “freedom of speech” regularly in my own home. I am NOT in any way trying to say I never say things I shouldn’t or even that I do not cuss. But, what I am saying is that we too often focus on whose right or whose wrong instead of going to the Word to see what God says. We justify our position. We say “this is who I am so deal with it.” We insult other people, calling them children, or idiots. And we do it over emotionless & expressionless facebook, or texting. Truth is even people reading this won’t see my emotion or hear it in my voice as I type.
We are Christians. Little Christ’s. Called that because we are SUPPOSED to look like Jesus and do what He did. He chose His words wisely. He only became angry when people were trashing His Father’s house. He forgave. He loved, unconditionally. He wasn’t rude or self-seeking. And He tells us how to live. He tells us to love one another. It is put very plainly in Colossians 3 - Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the LORD Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Let us be the light we are supposed to be. Let us wear the name Christian because we really look like Jesus…