The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Freedom of Speech

"That I may speak boldly as I ought to speak" - Ephesians 6:18


Should skin heads and white supremacists be allowed to voice their views in society? Should Black Lives Matter, anarchists, socialists and communists be allowed to do the same? Should Christians be allowed to freely voice and share the gospel? Should people of all faiths be allowed to freely share their beliefs? We can't justify curtailing the freedom of speech for a group because we disagree with their message. Free speech is arguably a God given right and is definitely a constitutionally protected right. I understand this doesn't cover for instance shouting "fire!" in a theatre and causing a stampede harmful to people. No, but the freedom to express ideas needs to be protected. 


Understand just what is going on in our country. Wake up. There's something demonic happening. Where you see deception, chaos, rioting and violence you can know for sure the devil is at work (e.g. Acts 19:21ff.). God works in an orderly way (1 Cor. 14:33 and 40). What we see happening is a demonically inspired and driven attack on a nation friendly to freedom and as such, a friend and help to the spread of the gospel. There is a battle for the soul of a nation God has used in the world for His purposes. Arguably no nation has been associated with God's purposes like America outside of Israel itself. America has never been perfect, but she has been greatly used by God. The enemy has been working long to stop this by bringing America down to the basest most vile levels of sinful living. Unfortunately, he has won many battles to this end. But the war is not over and there is still hope. There's always hope in the Lord. 


There is presently a very overt move by MSM to cherry pick whose speech (e.g. Liberal progressive speech versus conservative speech) is and is not acceptable effectively silencing opposition. If you've studied any history you know this is indeed a fascist/communist/totalitarian strategy. The lines of battle can be clearly seen. They are exposed. That's good because identifying the enemy and their positions is the first step in defending against them. 


Our country and freedoms are under attack. If we do nothing how long do you think it will be before sharing and proclaiming the gospel is attacked in similar free-speech-stifling ways? It's arguably already happening. Some welcome persecution for its faith purifying benefits. But let's fight for and use our freedoms for the glory of God while we still can. 


There is a concerted attack on our freedoms and our constitution. There is in fact a revolution, an insurrection underway. The "useful idiots" being used for this revolt are anarchists and a student body that have been indoctrinated and propagandized in our public education institutions for the last 50 or so years. We are reaping the consequences sown by removing God and His word and any godly influence from our educational system and replacing them with humanistic/socialistic/communistic world views. Sound extreme? Sound alarmist? Sound irrational? Wake up my friend we're in a revolt like it or not, a revolt and societal battle for the heart and soul of our nation. 


What to do? 


First pray. You saw what happens in last year’s election when people pray. Through prayer the tide of godlessness was stemmed. Keep praying! God's not finished with the United States of America. 


The great portion of scripture by the apostle Paul on spiritual weaponry and armor is punctuated with these final words: 


Ephesians 6:18-20 - "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."


We need to pray and then "speak as I ought to speak." The time for silence is over. It’s time to be heard. In fact, it's long overdue. It's time to put our armor on and "speak the truth in love" Ephesians 4:15). 


Second, act. Get informed with what's going on. Know your Bible and seek His truth and what is righteous action. Get involved. Serve. We are in part culpable for our state of affairs because of our self-imposed isolation from society. We have mistakenly removed ourselves from the world for fear of being influenced by it. We are guilty of misinterpreting holiness and separation from the world as isolation from it. We are guilty of cowardly retreating into our homes and churches and shutting the windows and doors and waiting for it all to end. We are guilty of selfishly living out our individual personal lives with little to no thought or care for others and especially the lost. We have been like Nero fiddling in our self-interests while America burns. 


Jesus never taught isolation from the world, He taught infiltration and influence of the world as salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). Infiltrate and influence for the glory of God. He said to be IN the world but not OF the world - John 17:14-18. He specifically prayed' "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one." When we remove ourselves from the world therefore we put ourselves in a position contrary to what Jesus prayed for us. That's not good. 


We have used the idea of being unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14) as an excuse to neglect our responsibility as citizens of the country God has sovereignly placed us. This never meant we have no interactions with the lost. It simply means we don't partake in their sin. How will they be saved if we don't share the gospel with them in word and deed? Get in there and be a holy influence! 


To be "subject to the governing authorities" (Rom. 13) doesn't mean to relinquish responsibility to government, it means live in line with the system of government God has placed you. We are in a democracy, we need to know and use this system to promote holiness and righteousness. Read about the Wesleys, Whitefield, Wilberforce and the Abolitionists, read about those used by God to influence this world in godly ways. 


We have been silenced by the siren of recreation and self-concerns. We have taken ourselves out of the game. We have been willfully disengaged. Shame on us. We need to repent of this, pray, and be revived by our Lord. We need to be informed with what is going on around us. We need to be engaged and involved in working to influence the world toward godliness in godly ways. Yes, this means we should be politically involved. We are blessed to live in a democracy where we have a say. We need to exert and fulfill our responsibility to voice our concerns and vote for those who will stand up for them as our representatives. 


Lastly, hope in the Lord. We need to hope in Jesus and let that hope purify us (1 John 3:3). What does this mean? It means to live in a state of readiness for the return of Jesus. Look around you. Look up to the sky. Look at the natural upheaval in the world, the wars and rumors of wars, the globalism, the evil and immorality, look at Israel, look at prophecy. Does anyone doubt the Last Days are fast approaching? Therefore, live with eternal priorities. Live to facilitate and promote justice, righteousness and holiness. Live to save souls. Live in a way that if Jesus were to return, you wouldn't be ashamed at how He found you living. Live as though He were returning today. He just may well be.


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