Freedom of Speech
As far as the Christian is concerned, everything that he is, does, and says, belongs to God. So, the Christian’s speech is to serve the Christian’s Lord. This means that the Christian is free to speak, but only in a way that would honor God (Colossians 3:17).
There are those, however, who suggest that freedom of speech gives us the right to say just about anything that we please, including vulgar language, obscenities regarding other people, backbiting, gossip, and just about any other kind of foul speech imaginable. One of my favorite verses in that regard is Psalm 12:3, 4 “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?”
While the one type of speech is approved by God, the other type is sinful, and we all recognize that. However, speaking from a legal/constitutional perspective, the courts have determined that both kinds of speech are legally protected. That is, one may stand up and utter vitriolic and vicious words that cut and destroy OR one may stand up and speak the sober truths of righteousness that are contained within the gospel of Christ, right? Well, that’s what we think, at least.
Three news stories have appeared in my email in-box recently regarding seemingly unrelated incidents. One of them had to do with the rantings of one Whoopi Goldberg at a fund raiser for Kerry and Edwards. I won’t get into the sordid details (and I do mean sordid), but Goldberg’s potty mouth spewed just about every form of obscenity in the book and added a couple of new entries. Concerning that event, the Kerry campaign stated that it was “the heart and soul of America.” You can draw your own conclusions. Now, if someone had suggested that Goldberg go to prison over saying such things, no doubt, someone would have yelled, “Free Speech! Free Speech!” and the whole matter would have ended.
On the other hand, there is a man in Wisconsin who has made a couple of banners to be held over freeways on a pedestrian overpass that state, “Homosexuality is sin” and “Christ can set you free.” What has happened to this man? First, the city ordered him off the overpasses. Of course, he cited free speech, but as of late, a federal court judge has sided with the city. If he tries to do this again, guess what? He goes to jail.
In yet another incident, a conservative member of the National Education Association was kicked off of her position in the NEA because she objected to the NEA giving an award to a homosexual activist. Simply for standing up and saying that she didn’t think that this homosexual (who is on the record as saying he wants kindergarteners exposed to homosexuality) deserves an award, she was given “da boot.”
So, here is one incident where a woman can utter the filthiest kind of speech imaginable known to man and be praised for it but on the other hand, two people who stand up for what is right and good and holy, are shut down, no doubt as harboring that politically correct term, “hate.”
How is it that one form of hate speech can be completely ignored (Goldberg’s), but that another form of “hate” speech (which really isn’t) must be legally dealt with and prohibited? There is really only one explanation. Satan has convinced people that wrong is right and that right is wrong. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Do we think that we have a constitutional right to free speech in our churches today? That may be changing before we know it. Today it is the overpass that is being censored, tomorrow, the pulpit. Awake to righteousness! It is time for good Christian people to take back control of our nation.