Free Speech: Use It or Lose It

Our fellow-believers around the world are being tortured and killed for the gospel, and we’re afraid of losing friends on social media.

By Michael Brown Published on April 18, 2018

For many years I’ve said that when it comes to America, I’m more concerned with the absence of light than with the presence of darkness. In the same way, I’m more concerned with our failure to speak freely than with those who are trying to silence us.

This, of course, is not to deny that there is a frontal assault on our most fundamental freedoms. I’ve witnessed this firsthand and documented it for years.

Just this week, media researcher Brent Bozell sounded the alarm about this concerted attack. He said, “This is the emerging of the greatest censorship of free speech worldwide in the history of man. Now, let me explain this, the left is on a jihad against conservative thought. It’s happening in academia, entertainment, business, religion, everywhere.”

His warning follows on the heels of the release of a major study done by Bozell’s Media Research Center (MRC) titled, “CENSORED! How Online Media Companies Are Suppressing Conservative Speech.”

According to this study: Twitter Leads in Censorship; Facebook’s Trending Feed Has Been Hiding Conservative Topics; Google Search Aids Democrats; YouTube Is Shutting Down Conservative Videos; Tech Firms Are Relying on Groups That Hate Conservatives; Liberal Twitter Advisors Outnumber Conservatives 12-to-1; Tech Companies Rely on Anti-Conservative Fact-Checkers.

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In short, the MRC study confirms what we knew to be true already: There is a war against conservative and religious speech. And it not just in the realm of online media, as Bozell rightly observed.

But, to repeat, that’s not my greatest concern today, as weighty as these developments are.

Instead my focus is on our failure to stand up and speak out, especially as religious conservatives.

More Concerned With Offending Than Helping

Who’s stopping pastors from speaking freely from the pulpit? I’m not talking about endorsing political candidates. I’m talking about addressing abortion and LGBT activism and racial division and more. Who’s stopping us from being socially and culturally relevant?

Why must we dance around these issues with the constant fear of stepping on people’s toes? How can we possibly take gospel-worthy, moral stands if we are such people-pleasers? If we are so ambiguous in our declarations? Why are we more concerned with not offending people than with genuinely helping people?

And what about the rest of us who are not preaching behind pulpits (or speaking over the airwaves)? Who’s stopping us from speaking the truth in love on our social media outlets? Or in our social circles? Why are we more concerned with the opinions of people than with the opinions of God? Why don’t we share our faith and our convictions more clearly and boldly and publicly?

Handing the Jailer the Keys

A young man once reached out to me on Facebook. He wrote, “I shared one of your articles recently, and I was shocked at the negative comments I received. Some folks even unfriended me. So, what do you think I should do? Should I pull the article?”

Seriously? Pull an article you agree with because you got some flak? Delete a post you feel is important because some people unfriended you? Our fellow-believers around the world are being tortured and killed for the gospel, and we’re afraid of losing friends on social media?

No wonder we’re losing our freedoms. We’re handing the jailer the keys.

It’s time we let our light shine for America to see. If we do, our nation will be blessed and our freedoms will be preserved. If we don’t, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for being sensitive and compassionate. I’m all for using wisdom. But true compassion speaks the truth. Love warns. Wisdom doesn’t waver.

Unfortunately, so much of what we call sensitivity and compassion and wisdom is nothing more than cowardice and compromise. Let the truth be told.

Let Your Light Shine

Again, I’m not downplaying the very real assault on our freedoms. We are getting hit on every front. I don’t deny this and I don’t minimize it.

But if we all started to speak up together, things would change. If pastors and leaders took their clues from the Word of God rather than from what’s trending, the nation would be rocked. If we used the freedoms we do have and used them to the full, those freedoms could not be taken from us in 100 years. (I’m speaking in particular of the situation here in America.)

Jesus urged us to let our light shine, to put it on a lampstand where everyone could see it rather than hiding it under the bed. It’s time we let our light shine for America to see.

If we do, our nation will be blessed and our freedoms will be preserved. If we don’t, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

So let your light shine!

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  • Tim Pan

    I have never stopped being a point of light. To do so is to commit a grievous sin.

  • Chip Crawford

    Yes, the united protests of strong dissing remarks by media personalities has let them know we think more of it than they might have surmised. These matters here address a deeper form, which definitely matters greatly. But we need to step where we are, what is before us, then step it up as more is called for. God is with us. We’ll never know to what extent until we trust him by stepping out to stand up, to stay with his word, the truth, in the face of its unpopular reception.
    BTW: it’s flak – for criticism.
    flack as a noun has to do with something like a publicity agent

    • Ken Abbott

      Flak, from German, abbreviation of Fliegerabwehrkanone, literally ‘aviator-defence gun.’ I did not know that–learn something new every day!

      • Chip Crawford

        lol

  • jgmusgrove

    Editorial correction: The *light* is missing before two shines and misspelled on the third.

    • Liberty McArtor

      Thanks for mentioning! Those have been fixed.

  • Anne Fernandes

    Must say, just disengaged myself from FB not because I’m afraid of repercussions re: my faith, et al, but rather that the Zuckerbergians are censoring my conservative news feed, and who knows, maybe my responses. Must also say, when He leads, I speak….out loud. Truth with love and….love with truth!

    • I think social media is harmful we seem to talk on it more then face to face I have been thinking of deleteing all but one of them and only check it once a day. If they censor me I will be gone Twitter has already made me delete two Bible verses because it offended an Atheist who was following me. I find it strange if Christianity offends him then why was he following me? I no longer let Liberals or Atheists follow me because of it. The verses were Romans 3:23 and Romans 6:23 I guess being called a sinner offended him.

      • Elizabeth A. Parks

        That is WRONG that they would make you delete Bible verses! No way!

        • Yup sadly they did. I wasnt useing it to attack anyone it was only a verse and the link to it.

  • Patmos

    Ephesians 5:11
    And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather — reprove them.

    Serving up reprove to the modern progressive is like shooting fish in a barrel, and their stubborn pride and descent into psychosis should not discourage any such reprove.

  • Stephen D

    Ephesians 6:10 onwards. Be strong in the Lord. Paul teaches that our battle is spiritual, against spiritual forces. I find this very helpful. Always remember the battle is the Lord’s. Put on the whole armour of God (not a part only). Belt of truth. Breastplate of righteousness. Shield of faith. Sword of the Spirit. Helmet of Salvation. Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. And remember to pray for the saints!

  • jdwash

    Huh…interesting article, especially considering that most of my comments are deleted from this site…

  • I do have a question for Dr. Brown is a conservative Christian different from a political conservative? I ask this because there are things in political conservatism that I oppose but it seems on the religious side of conservativism I agree with.

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