Freedom of speech is becoming a controversial topic in society today. You can be attacked for saying or not saying just about anything. Hate speech can be deemed as simple as describing someone by their ethnicity or biological sex.
But what does God say about freedom of speech? Were people as sensitive back in the Bible times as they are now?
Jesus and the Pharisees
Our Saviour often had run ins with the Jewish leaders who had issues with what Jesus was teaching and doing (healing people and forgiving sins.) When a situation arose where Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees, He didn’t hold back from telling them how He felt.
“You brood of vipers! How can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew chapter 12, verse 24) He wasn’t speaking with hate for the sake of it. Jesus was just being honest, so how does this compare to how we are expected to behave nowadays?
Unfortunately in today’s society, speaking the truth as Christians is not as welcome as it once was. People are more into using terms like “right to choose” or “inclusion of diversity.”
Going against those things for Biblical reasons such as following God’s commandments, “You shall not murder.” (Exodus chapter 20, verse 13) is seen as not being pro choice.
But if speaking the truth is so offensive, then how can we as Christians still speak up for what is right?
Speaking the truth in love
Showing love towards those who we disagree with, is not necessarily agreeing with them. But trying to correct them in a more peaceful way. “ Instead speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him, who is the head that is Christ.” (Ephesians chapter 4, verse 15).
So in choosing to speak up for what God teaches us, if we choose to do it in a way that has honorable intentions, we can hope to still achieve unity in society. Despite the changing views of the world on what is right and what is wrong or offensive.
I have seen society change over the years where less tolerance has been shown to Christian or conservative lifestyles and viewpoints. What was once seen as respecting others beliefs, (traditions , upbringing.), is now viewed as supporting old fashioned prejudice ways.
I have seen Christians lose friends or become isolated from family for simply wanting to stand against abortion laws or removal of religious teachings at school. In times gone by, these opinions might not have been hugely popular, but they were not deemed as being prejudice or wrong like they are now.
So although the right to freedom of speech is slowly dissolving in society today, we as Christians still have a right and duty to speak up for the biblical truths. But in order to respect those around us, we must always remember to speak with love and consideration in order to achieve our goals.
“I have the right to do anything, you say. But not everything is beneficial. I have the right to do anything but not everything is constructive.” (1 Corinthians chapter 10, verse 23)
My name is Kate and I love gardening, exercising, and being involved with my church social groups. I have loved to write from a young age, and took up poetry as a teenager. I have recently got married and am enjoying getting used to married life.