HOW FREE SPEECH COMES FROM GOD
By Rev. Ted Pike
27 Oct 08
Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have generally
accepted their right to freedom of speech. Even in the turbulent
sixties and seventies, liberals championed unrestrained freedom of
Yet, after about 1980, our right to free speech was increasingly
questioned. Today, the very liberals who once exalted free speech
want to restrict speech about certain taboo topics, such as the numbers
and methods of the Holocaust, behavior of Jews and Israel, or homosexuality.
Should there be limits on freedom of speech? Do the ethical foundations
of America, the Bible and the Constitution allow us to say virtually
anything we want?
To begin to answer these and other questions about this now controversial
subject, we must first define “free speech.”
What is Free
Our right to free speech comes from the fact that we are free will
beings made in the image of God, who also has free will. Our freedom
to make moral choices is imparted to every person at conception and
is part of the eternal soul or spirit of man. Although the existence
of free moral choice is a problem for most philosophers, the same
God who has existed un-created from past eternity, who created the
universe from nothing, is very capable of empowering it. He has free
moral choice Himself and has condescended to impart it to every human
being. Our free will most perfectly describes what it means to be
made in God’s image.
The first instinct of our free will is to speak our desires and
opinions. Speech naturally proceeds, uninterrupted, from the innermost
thoughts of our minds and souls. From birth, we begin to vocalize
our discomforts and desires. From that point on, our Creator entitles
us to free speech forever. We are eternal beings and will make use
of our free speech wherever we are, in heaven or in hell.
Jesus related that even in hell, a formerly rich, heartless and
selfish Jew enjoyed freedom to speak. He was there because of his
rejection of the mercies of God and because he had been unmerciful
to others. Yet now, concerned for his brethrens’ earthly welfare,
he called across the abyss of eternity to Father Abraham and vocalized
his desire that they be warned not to come into the same torment.
Far from being forever silenced in hell, the rich man revealed active
concern and passionate vocal expression. But it was too late. Abandoned
by his Creator, he had lost all opportunity to be redeemed by trust
The authority of natural law also argues for free speech. If animals
can bark, sing, chirp at their pleasure and without restraint, shouldn’t
human beings, made in God’s image, have at least as much right
Our free speech, like our free will, is our most precious birthright
from our Creator. Both free will and speech must never be abused
Does the Bible Support Freedom of Speech?
Yet some will object: “Didn’t God cut off freedom of
speech in the Old Testament, demanding death to blasphemers, advocates
of idolatry or, like the rebels of Korah, those who incited others
to rebel against Moses’ authority?”
Actually, such persons had complete freedom of speech until the
very instant God authorized their deaths. God has authority to end
verbal discord to Himself and His law and will whenever He pleases.
He would not be God if He didn’t have that privilege.
The eternal law of a holy God is that any discord to Him must be
instantly annihilated. Why doesn’t God then incinerate all
sinners, including demons? Because such forbearance is part of His
loving plan to give mankind time to repent and become His friends.
Thus, God suspends His right to destroy the wicked for any length
of time He wishes. Since the creation of mankind, He has given us
freedom of speech.
Others may object, “If God forbids and can punish rebellious
speech any time He wants, how is that different from speech laws
which also tell us what we cannot say on penalty, even of imprisonment?
God’s speech laws,” this point of view contends, "thus
amount to the same thing as the Anti-Defamation League’s anti-hate
laws today. God’s laws may originate in His benevolence, while
speech laws come from evil and twisted minds. Yet, both, because
they employ coercion and threat, actually deny real free choices
There may seem a similarity between these two legal systems. Actually,
there is tremendous difference. God’s laws are supremely good;
ADL’s are supremely evil. God is not only good but sovereign,
having the right to make laws and ultimately pronounce what is good
and evil. Just earthly laws only reflect God's laws. ADL's hate laws
do not. Instead, they are sinister attempts to end free speech, entrap
Christians, and establish their own anti-Christ dominion.
Secondly, while God forbids, He forbears judgment out of love. God
has actually done much more than just forbear judging us. Infinite
God came down and became finite Man, dying on a cross to bear our
just punishment. When we trust in Christ, our Sinbearer, He becomes
our bridge of justification and reconciliation to a holy God.
Hate laws don’t forbear. They say that all proscribed speech
must stop now! Penalty is certain: harsh fines or imprisonment. This
makes them tyrannical.
Also, unlike God, they will not be reasoned with. In hate law countries
like Canada, truth and reason are not admitted as evidence by hate
law tribunals. Again, tyranny.
When Speech Should Not Be Free
Just as there are exceptions to unrestrained free speech in the
Bible, so in America, we don’t allow people to shout “Fire!” in
a crowded theater or incite riot or libel and slander. Yet, in both
systems, the overwhelming emphasis has been one of permission to
speak. Such enlightened systems, whether theocratic or democratic,
are a product of divine example and empowerment.
We should not tolerate speech that threatens public safety and morality
and corrupts youth. Scripture provides such precedent, especially
in the Old Testament. Young people should be protected by law from
speech and expression that is pornographic, solicits to pedophilia,
is sexually traumatizing to young people, or is sadistically violent.
We prohibit drugs that destroy youthful minds -- why not speech that
has been repeatedly proven to do the same?
But we should not prohibit speech, especially to young people, that
is merely socially disapproved. This includes hearing or reading
online what ADL decries as "anti-Semitic conspiracy theories." ADL
counsels libraries and schools to block such "hate speech" from
computers used by young people. In reality, such politically incorrect
ideas are often true. They bear no resemblance to speech that actually
traumatizes, degrades and corrupts youth.
Despite potential abuses, free speech is actually a much more redeeming
influence than a threat. Its greatest blessing is that, through allowance
of new and truthful ideas, it morally strengthens and orients those,
such as the young, who are confused or misled. Society needs much,
much more truth-telling. The problem today is not too much unbridled,
unauthorized speech. Instead, freedom is threatened by efforts, primarily
led by the Anti-Defamation League, to restrict the healing cleansing
work of free speech through their hate, thought and speech crimes
In Canada last year, a prominent hate law bureaucrat, contrasting
Canada's views on free speech with America's, said Canada tolerates free speech but is not in love with it.
May Americans ever be in love with God and, as a result, with free
Abundance of free speech, along with truth and righteousness, means
abundance of the ability to do good.