Zebras at a Waterhole in Okaukejo, Etosha Pan, Namibia . PHOTO : J . Rieck

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Danger of Free Speech without the Counsel of Biblical Wisdom

In  recent weeks the French satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”  was attacked  by   Islamists.  The killing was   cruel, and it has been justly condemned, and we suppose the perpetrators have received their just  punishment. However,  there can be no doubt that this  magazine   is highly provocative, making its living by often  mocking religious institutions.  

Clearly, many people  feel  provoked, and even the latest  issue following the killing has  provoked  Muslims in Niger (a former French colony)  to burn down churches.
Many people in the Western world  have  seen this  brutal killing  spree as an attack on free speech, but  very  few  people  have spoken  about   the responsibility  that  ought  to  be  associated  with free speech.

Is unrestrained speech  a good thing?   
The book of Proverbs thinks not.  It  reminds us  that words have incredible power. They go deep.  Proverbs 18:4  says  “ the words of a man’s mouth are deep waters”. Proverbs  12:18 says  that  “rash words are like sword  thrusts”

The book of Proverbs advises  us   to  restrain  our words.  Proverbs 17:27,28 says  that “whoever  restrains his words has knowledge… even a fool  who keeps silent is considered wise…”. Proverbs  29:20 says: “Do you see  a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope  for a fool than for him.”   
In his letter to the Ephesians  the apostle Paul gives us  a  very  important  principle  with respect to our use of words.  He says: “Speak the truth in love“.   It has been well said  that  “love without  truth  is hypocrisy , and “truth without love is brutality”. The biblical  and balanced  ways is always,  “speaking the truth in love”. (Eph. 4:15) 






1 comment:

Linda said...

Excellent post. Thank you so much for sharing.