About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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Christians And Free Speech


Among all of the other controversies that are swirling around in our cultural confusion these days is the right of free speech.  The present controversy is over government imposing restrictions on our freedom to express ourselves on our favourite social media site.  One of the freedoms that America was founded on was the right of individual expression, or free speech, as we call it.  To one degree or another, much of the western world has followed America's lead on the issue.  Recently, both the social/political right and left seem to want to limit free speech on social media sites to benefit their own purposes.  As Christians, our primary allegiance is to the Kingdom of God and not to the nation in which we reside.  How, then, should we understand the issue of free speech?


I recall the old rhyme saying this: "Give him an inch and he'll take a mile."  If we are honest, it's a mile that many in our culture, including Christians, are taking with free speech these days.  Our sinful human nature is being exposed for all to see and read on the internet, the streets, and even in the church.  I find it extremely sad to see and hear Christians behaving just as unchristian as non-Christians in this respect. 


You may live in a nation that espouses free speech, at least within certain legal parameters, but Christians have a higher authority to answer to than their national government.  Your nation's constitution may provide you with freedom of speech, but the constitution of the Kingdom of God places limits on your speech, as recorded in James 1:19 through 21.


"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save your souls."


All that we do, say, and type on our keyboards as Christians is to be done, said, and typed in compliance with the constitution of the Kingdom of God.  We do not have freedom to speak whatever we want and whenever we want and to whomever we want.  It does not matter what our government or culture tells us or offers us on this issue.  As Christians, we have limited speech, not free speech.  Our speech is to humbly and honestly reflect the moral character qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ, the ultimate universal authority to whom we submit our lives.  We are to be swift to hear,  slow to speak, and slow to anger.  We are to weigh our words before they leave our lips. 

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