Freed to Speak

Freedom of speech is the legal right to express one's opinions freely.  It is a right given to citizens by their authority through laws. 

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We have seen in many generations wars, and legal battles fought for people to be able to have this right.

Western civilisation like to boast of their 'democratic principle of free and open debate, of allowing differing opinions to slog it out in full view of discerning citizens
Brendan O'Neill

Like most people, I don't take thoughts of my rights and privileges until it is being talked about on the news or violated to the degree that I'm unable to function properly at home, in my community or at work. It is easy for us to bury our head in the sand because all we care about is the ego. Let us be mindful that most people in this generation talking about freedom of speech have no idea what it is and its function within society.

Whatever opinion we may think we have, belongs to somebody else, e.g. teachers and their teachers before them. The education and other training we have received in life are there to cause us to embody other people's point of views and opinions. We are the expressions of our teachers and other authorities in our lives.

Also in this age of digital influencers, ideas and arguments are pitted against each other, and as we share contents, we are affirming which side of arguments we stand.

I shared the above to highlight my observation in my society. As Christians, we believe that we are not of this world but from the kingdom of God whose ruler is Jesus the Messiah. I see that believers sometimes fight the wrong battles on social and political issues. But is it wrong to fight for noble causes and use our worldly citizenship for social and political agendas?

I don't have a perfect answer to this question. But looking at Paul, I see that he used his natural citizenship to prevent himself from being flogged by Roman soldiers. Also, he used his lineage as a Pharisee to divide an assembly gathered to judge him in Acts 22.

I am struck by how we use our earthly citizenship to make our lives more comfortable and not use it for the advancement of the gospel of the kingdom. We are commanded to pray for kings and all those in authority that we may live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. I think that our use of freedom of speech should be in keeping with this command.

In Acts 22:11 The Lord said to Paul, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”

What does it mean to testify?

The word means to give evidence as a witness in a law court. The moment Paul's eyes were opened, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, it took Paul just days to testify that Jesus is the Son of God. Paul grew in boldness and courage as he testified about the Lord Jesus in many dangerous environments.

We are at a point in history that we will see a similar situation to the days of the Acts which became risky because the apostles testified to the fact that the Messiah (King) is risen and reigning in their midst.

Christianity may be losing its social and political influence as we see men and women publicly compromised and many people stripped of political positions because of their faith.

Let me tell you that this is the right atmosphere for the sons and daughters of the living God. The light shines brightest in darkness. It is when our seats are taken away that we see the throne of grace and the Lord standing to act. It is when we are poor that we begin to see the riches of the kingdom. When we lose our voice; is when the world will hear the voice of the Lord.

The theocratic voice is emerging; all men will bow and confess to Jesus' Lordship.

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