Silencing The Lambs
Jesus wasn’t hung on the cross because he was guilty, but because he dared to speak the truth. Through the centuries many governments, organizations, and individuals have sought to quiet truth. Knowing this, when this country was founded it was created with a provision for expressing yourself freely. This provision is one of the ways we have been able to remain a free society. It has allowed Christians to express their beliefs and opinions openly and live their lives with Christian character without fear of imprisonment.
As the decades have gone by in this century we have seen a recent attention to taken to our speech. You don’t see street preachers anymore…for alot of places you need a permit, you don’t see people gathering without police intervening…you need a permit, you don’t see people marching…you need a permit. We are regulated into our church buildings.
I once applied to have a show on public access and they said I had to limit my speech away from certain groups because it affect their nonprofit status. I have a radio program that broadcasts daily, but I wonder how long before I am told that I can’t talk about certain subjects anymore. The congress had been passing around a bill called the “fairness doctrine” which would require opposite opinions to be aired after shows.
According to many article sources, “anti-bullying” bills have been tossed around by lawmakers. As a minister of the Gospel (loving to tell truth no matter who gets offended), It is a very serious problem when someone attempts to criminalize speech that may offend. The biggest question I have is who can quantify offense or bullying. Being an Black American, I know many who would be offended if a white person called them a boy, yet many whites use the word reference to all men they may know….”Good ole boys”,etc. While this may be a light example, anytime we seek to understand offense it is always in the opinion of the individual. So who’s offense is real, whose is unworthy, whose is justified. Once we are regulated by offense, it then becomes defined by whoever is in authority.
In Iran, there is a pastor that refuses to stop preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has been in prison for years for not changing his message to Islam. This what happens when speech is regulated. It starts with, ” poor johnny who ran away cause someone picked on him at school and we need laws to make sure this doesn’t happen again” and it ends up with “you have to hide anything Christian on your person and watch your conversation while you are in public, so that you are not arrested by the bully police”. You know I am not a big fan of the color purple, so I think I will call the police because this woman keeps wearing a purple shirt around me.
We see in the story of Daniel, how he worshiped God openly and how he was brought into judgement because of the offense it caused, yet the Lord closed the mouths of the lions. Let us pray that we will not shut up or turn from that which God has given for us to profess. Let us declare the goodness of God and his righteousness to the ends of the earth.