What is freedom of speech, and is there a biblical principle supporting what we commonly refer to as our right to free speech?
Unless we are dumb in the literal sense, we have the ability. We also have the responsibility. Yet freedom is not without reasonable constraint or consequence. And all things being permissible does not mean all things are beneficial.
You cannot shout a knowingly false claim of “fire!” in a crowded theater free of consequences. There are also laws – both from God and man – against libel, slander, and false advertising.
The Scriptures give both commands and examples which indicate we should say things which are true, helpful, and necessary. They also instruct us that we are not supposed to speak in a way that is unwholesome, perverse, or blasphemous; but define unwholesome, perverse, and blasphemous.
Instead, for instance, we are supposed to give a reason for the hope that is within us “with gentleness and respect;” but define gentleness and respect.
And if we believe the Great Commission applies to us, we have to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that Christ commanded us. This requires exercising our ability to speak in a disciplined way. And, fortunately or unfortunately, the Scriptures are replete with examples of this being punished by mobs and authorities.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and suitable…” means that we have the right and responsibility to talk about all the things which God’s Word talks about to the end of taking every thought captive to Christ.
The fact of prohibitions on speech that dishonors God and does ungodly violence against our fellow man implies inverse rights to engage in speech that honors God and edifies our fellow man.
Therefore, in summary, we have a right to do what God has commanded and enabled us to do.
This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/garrett-ashley-mullet/message
Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/garrett-ashley-mullet/support