Biblical freedom of speech and standards of truth
Aug 09, 2018
In regard to freedom of speech, there is a difference between men’s laws and God’s laws. The US constitution, as historically interpreted, allows men to have and express false opinions—even lies, if they choose. The restriction comes when deliberate lies cause damage to another person’s reputation or costs him money.
But many lies are difficult to measure in terms of damage, because they only cause damage to one’s perception of political truth or reality in general. US law has difficulty prosecuting such lies, whereas under biblical law such things could result in a whipping (up to 40 lashes, though most such lies would only call for a few lashes).
But in America and in much of the western world, lashes are now outlawed.
So the issue is complex, along with the judgments for such offenses.
I am not a fan of Alex Jones, who was recently banned from most Social Media. U-Tube is worse than Alex Jones because it cares little for truth. It has a political agenda and has banned more than 90% of conservative accounts now. They have taken it upon themselves to be the truth police, and they are using it for political purposes without regard to actual truth.
The big problem this side of the kingdom is What is Truth? And who gets to decide what truth is? The standard of truth for us is the Bible, but the government discarded that a long time ago, creating a vacuum of truth that is being filled now by the Social Media. Their standards follow the general principle of Marxist Socialism, and they use all things to consolidate power in the hands of the few.
The Ninth Commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness” (Deuteronomy 5:20). In a court of law, this applies to those who swear an oath to tell the whole truth, and if they lie deliberately, they are then guilty of perjury (blasphemy) for lying in the name of God. Jesus applied this Commandment to our personal lives. Matthew 5:33-37,
33 Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, “You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.” 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be “yes, yes” or “no, no”, and anything beyond these is of evil.
The divine law required some to swear oaths in a court of law, such as in the case of a woman accused (or suspected) of adultery (Numbers 5:21). Jesus was speaking of everyday life, where men might swear to do relatively menial things. In daily life, our word should be trustworthy enough where oaths are not required. If we say we will do something, we should do it.
For example, I knew a woman once who brought her grandchild to my office. When it came time to leave, the child did not want to leave. The woman then threatened the child, saying, “If you don’t come, I’m going to leave without you.” I noticed that this threat made no impression at all upon the little girl. She was used to such threats and knew that they were empty words. The child had learned by experience that her grandmother’s word was not trustworthy. That, in fact, caused the child to lose respect for her grandmother who was raising her. The child had disciplinary problems that only increased as she grew into her teens.
No one knows the whole truth, of course, and so we all struggle in those areas as we do the best we can with what we think we know. It is hardly possible to convey truth all the time. But to lie deliberately is a sin by biblical standards.
In the political arena, lies are commonplace. Laws are deliberately mislabeled to give the opposite impression of what they are intended to do in order to deceive the people into supporting bad laws. Advertising agencies pervert the truth in order to get people to buy their products, whether they need them or not. I have noticed a lot of U-Tube videos whose headlines have little or nothing to do with the contents but are designed only to make money by getting more people to click on them.
The world is full of lies and liars, because we live in a world that is dominated by the father of lies. In war and politics, the accepted standard of truth is very low, because men have adopted the government’s example. Young people in the 1990’s adopted President Bill Clinton’s definition of sexual relations and learned how to reinterpret the word “is” in a legalistic fashion. We wade through the sludge every day in search of truth. Many times we are fooled. That is life in a nation that has revoked God’s right to rule what He created.
Such times make me long for the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom of God allows freedom of speech, but not the freedom to lie. Fake news is not one of the rights of man. The Social Media is correct in its assertion and willingness to ban fake news. However, they are totally hypocritical in this, because they are worse than those they seek to ban. We dare not give Facebook and U-Tube the right to determine what is truth and what is not. Such truth police have their own political agendas—to safeguard the power of Mystery Babylon against those who might expose it and overthrow it.
There is really no easy solution to this problem, other than by reinstating Jesus Christ as the King over America (and all nations). There is no solution, other than making the Bible our Constitution and restoring the supremacy of the laws of God as our standard of righteousness and truth. When the people have had their fill of men’s laws, then perhaps they will come to appreciate the laws of God. But it will take a massive move of the Holy Spirit to open men’s eyes to this.
I believe this is coming soon. When it does, men will lose confidence in the laws of men, and this will cause a massive vacuum of truth. A lot of people will suddenly be searching for truth, and whoever has the knowledge of God’s law will be overwhelmed with inquiries. Prepare now. Buy as much oil as you can for your lamp of truth, so you are not one of the “foolish virgins” who run out of time (Matthew 25:9).
Dr. Stephen Jones