Seven Things You Cannot Say But You Should Say
“Words, words, words,” said Hamlet, the prince of Denmark. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Proverbs 18:21) declared King Solomon. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said: “One word of truth outweighs the world.”
The Lord Jesus Himself instructed His followers to speak and proclaim words of truth to every nation (Matt 28:18-20). There is “a time for silence” (Ecclesiastes 3:7), but when we are surrounded by lies and a culture that daily suppresses the truth, now is “a time to speak.” Silence, passivity, and cowardice are not options for the follower of Jesus.
The thought police are out in full force in the West. “Cancel culture” warriors wake up offended. Examples of these cancellations are endless. Even Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head have found themselves on the chopping block.
Years ago comedian George Carlin had a famous bit about “The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” but now there are hundreds of taboos comedians cannot joke about. In 2019, Chris Rock joked at an awards show: “If it was five years ago, I could say something really offensive and funny right now, but I can’t do that anymore, so… hey!”
Echoing Carlin’s “Seven Words,” without the vulgarity: There are seven things believers cannot say. Say them publicly or online and you could lose your job, be doxxed, be canceled, face fines or jail time, and, in some cases, even execution. All this pressure to remain silent is leading to the most dangerous form of suppression among Christians, self-censorship.
Yet we must say these seven things, even as freedom of speech hangs by a thread. First Amendment protections are waning in America. Laws against “hate speech” are now on the books of nearly every Western nation, and all the Big Tech companies regulate hate speech online. Some of these seven things already fall under these hate speech laws and the rest may soon follow.
Constitutional protections or not, followers of Jesus Christ must not be silent about these seven statements of Biblical truth.
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent!” (Acts 18:9)
1.) Jesus Christ is the Only Way to Salvation
The name “Jesus” is arguably the most offensive word one can utter. The Bible is the most banned book in the world, not because of the story of Joseph, Psalm 23, or the love poem of 1 Corinthians 13, but because of the exclusive, divine claims of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself prophesied: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first” (John 15:18). “All men will hate you because of Me” (Matt 10:22). Men blaspheme His name all over the world. In fact, it is difficult to blaspheme any other name. As G.K. Chesterton noted, “If anyone doubts this let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.”
Followers of Jesus from Polycarp to the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by ISIS have been pressured to deny Christ. No one is threatening Buddhists to deny Buddha, or Hindus to deny Krishna, or Scientologists to deny Tom Cruise.
“If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
This is all because Jesus alone claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), and backed up His claim by rising from the dead. All who reject Jesus, will be rejected by Him at the Judgment and will be cast into eternal Hell (Matt 7:23; 25:46). Speak the truth. Tell everyone that Jesus is the only way to salvation and all who reject His shed blood for the forgiveness of sins will be punished in Hell.
2.) Muhammad is a False Prophet and Islam is a False Religion
Comedian Dennis Miller once said, “I would never call Islam a violent religion, because they would kill me for it.” Neither will I call Islam a violent religion, nor will I draw any cartoons. Christians should not be in the business of provoking or insulting Islam or any religion for that matter.
But what the Christian must say, is that all religions that reject Jesus as the uniquely divine Son of God are indeed false. “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.” (1 John 5:10). On the other hand, not everything in Islam and the Qur’an are false.
Monotheism, Jesus as the Word of God, the virgin-born Christ, who healed the sick and raised the dead, are all shared truths between Christianity and Islam. As C.S. Lewis rightly said, “It should be made clear that we are not pronouncing all other religions to be totally false, but rather saying that in Christ whatever is true in all religions is consummated and perfected.”
From St. John of Damascus to C.S. Lewis and beyond, Christians have consistently recognized Islam to be a heresy of Christianity. Too many Christians cower under fear today, and will not critique other religions, especially Islam. We must speak the truth. Muhammad is a false prophet and Islam is a false religion.
3.) Abortion is Violence
Lila Rose, one of the most influential leaders of the pro-life movement, tweeted, “Abortion is violence.” Abortionist Dr. Leah Torres, who has had her medical license suspended, responded that this was “violent rhetoric.” She accused Lila of “domestic terrorism.” According to Dr. Torres, poisoning and dismembering a baby is not violence, but tweeting the truth about abortion is.
Abortion is violence
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) January 7, 2021
Could statements of truth like “abortion is violence” one day fall under incitement to violence or domestic terrorism in America?
Even if they do, Christians need to boldly stand with Lila and others against the daily human sacrifices to Moloch in Planned Parenthood clinics. God said, “You slaughtered My children” (Ezekiel 16:21). Speak the truth. Abortion is violence, the intentional murder of a human being.
4.) Marriage is Only Between a Man and a Woman
In an interview in 2012, Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, defended his belief in traditional marriage. He said, “Thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.” A few years later Cathy contradicted this ideal by apologizing for stating his Biblical views on marriage.
In 2019, Israel Folau, an Australian professional Rugby player, had his contract ended for what Rugby Australia deemed “a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct.” What was this “high-level breach”? Folau quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 on his Instagram, which includes “homosexuals” in a list of sinful lifestyles and, paraphrasing Paul, Folau concluded with: “Hell awaits you.” To Folau’s credit, he never apologized for quoting Scripture.
More Christians in the West have followed Dan Cathy, rather than Israel Folau, by muzzling themselves regarding the sins of gay marriage and homosexual behavior. When is the last time you heard a prominent pastor or priest say gay marriage is not marriage and homosexual behavior is idolatry and sin (Romans 1:24-27)? Speak the truth. Unashamedly defend the Biblical definition of marriage.
5.) Men Cannot Become Women and Women Cannot Become Men
Amazon banned Ryan Anderson’s excellent book, When Harry Became Sally, critiquing transgender ideology. Target has banned Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage, which focuses on the “trans epidemic plaguing teenage girls.” Governing authorities across the Western world, Big Tech, big education, and mainstream media are all in agreement on current transgender dogma. One might even refer to all this as Western Dysphoria.
Compelled speech — using a person’s desired pronoun — has been codified into law throughout the West, including certain cities in America. Employers and landlords who intentionally “misgender” a person can get fined up to $250,000 in NYC. British police are arresting nine people a day for posting “offensive messages online.” Many of these “offensive messages” are critiquing current transgender ideology. A mother was even arrested in England for calling a trans woman a man.
Jesus made it clear, “At the beginning of creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6; cf. Gen 1:27). There are not 33 genders or 64 genders, there are two. Speak the truth. Men cannot become women and women cannot become men.
6.) Judging People Based on the Color of Their Skin is Racist and Evil
“I have a dream my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” In his immortal “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King Jr. perfectly formulated for our modern times what the Bible teaches about all humanity. All human beings are made in the image of God (Imago Dei) (Genesis 1:26-27). No matter where they were born, no matter their race or ethnicity, all are of equal value before God. We are all a part of the one race, the human race (Acts 17:26).
In MLK’s day blacks and whites were separated at the water fountains, in the bathrooms, in churches, in places of business. In the last few years, college campuses, grade schools, corporations are again separating whites and blacks from each other. A diversity training for Coca Cola has gone viral, with one of their slides reading: “Try to be less white.” One of the peddlers of this racist ideology, Robin DiAngelo, writes in her book White Fragility: “A positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.” She even directly contradicted MLK’s dream at his alma mater, Boston University, arguing it is “dangerous” to try to treat everyone the same.
This poisonous ideology is spreading even into many churches in the U.S. and beyond — but followers of Jesus Christ, of all races and ethnicities, must stand against this obsession with and division by pigmentation. We must say it: Judging people based on the color of their skin is racist and evil. We must continue striving towards Dr. King’s dream, which is also the biblical dream that will one day become a reality (see Revelation 7:9-10). Speak the truth. “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, [black or white] … but Christ is all, and is in all” (Colossians 3:11).
7.) China is an Evil Empire
As you are reading this, China is committing genocide on a group of human beings. China has sent over a million men and women Uyghurs to concentration “re-education” camps in Xinjiang, raping and sterilizing their women, and even “cutting out the hearts and other organs” while they are still alive. China is also heavily persecuting Christians, imprisoning pastors, burning Bibles, and destroying churches. China is an evil empire.
Iran and North Korea also commit atrocities, but somehow China is free from criticism. The NBA actually apologized for a tweet by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey that said, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” Disney thanked Xinjiang government agencies in the credits of its live-action film Mulan, but Xinjiang province is where over a million Muslim Uyghurs are in concentration camps. President Biden will comfortably call Russia an “opponent” but China is only a “competitor.” Responding to a question about the Uyghurs, Biden said: “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Fear, cowardice, and love of money and power keeps many from speaking out against China’s injustices and atrocities. Christians are commanded to speak out for “those who cannot speak for themselves” (Proverbs 31:8-9; Isaiah 1:17; Matt 25:31-46). Speak the truth. China is an evil empire persecuting Christians and committing genocide on Muslims.
The Valiant Never Taste of Death but Once
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar declared, “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
Every time you apologize for something you know is right, every time you don’t speak the truth or participate in a lie, is a death in your soul. Each failure to speak truth will weaken your resolve for future opportunities to speak.
As Rod Dreher rightly said in Live Not By Lies, “Your consent to the system’s lies might buy you safety, but at an unbearable cost.”
Standing up and boldly saying these seven forbidden truths may bring you trouble, but with it will also come blessings, courage, dignity and self-respect. At the end of your life, you will not regret the times you boldly spoke the truth. You will regret the times you were afraid and remained silent.
“Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent!”
Justin W. Bass (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is the author of The Bedrock of Christianity: The Unalterable Facts of Jesus’ Death and Resurrectionand The Battle for the Keys: Revelation 1:18 and Christ’s Descent into the Underworld
Justin W. Bass (justinwbass.com)