It is claimed that we have freedom of speech because this is a Christian nation. Some dare even go so far as to say that it is one of the fruits of the cross of Christ, one of the many things that we may enjoy because of His cross. 

Surely that cannot be the case. It would be far better to say that in a Christian nation the ungodly are not given the freedom to speak their evil minds and wicked thoughts. The Christian wants none of these evil ideas of the wicked propagated. He hates them and shudders at their utterance. He is even as the believers at Ephesus who, according to Acts 19:19, burned their books of curious arts, even though the price of them amounted to the Glazing sum for that day of fifty thousand pieces of silver! And remember that last time we saw that freedom of speech as applied to the written page, to magazines and books goes under the name of freedom of the press. Does then a Christian nation behave as these Christians in Ephesus or defend the right of men to write these books, to publish their evil and for them to seek to persuade countless others also to believe the things written in them? And can it possibly be a fruit of the cross of Christ that the antichrist is able to establish his kingdom by a freedom that Christ has realized for him? We said last time that this freedom of speech which is lauded as belonging to a Christian nation is so readily and forcefully a tool for the establishment and furtherance of the kingdom of the antichrist. We like to say a few things about that at this time and show you that this freedom of speech which affords us the right and liberty to teach our children and to do our missionary work is at the same time pressed into the service of the missionary work of the antichrist. And therefore we should not brand it as such a wonderful thing, and surely should not brand it as one of the benefits of the cross of Christ. Let us look at this thing more closely and not so superficially. Let us not deceive ourselves and call that which comes in God’s providence a benefit of the cross of Christ. Christ never gave them this freedom of speech but warned against it. In Matthew 18:6 He is quoted as saying, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” By His Spirit He moved the Apostle John to write in II John 10, “If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your houses, neither bid him God speed; For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” Shall we then give him the right and freedom to spread another doctrine? And does Christ then go to His cross so that these may have the freedom to speak and write as they please? In Israel, which was far more a Christian nation than any nation today in that all the Israelites were in the covenant sphere, those who took the liberty to speak their blasphemy were by the command of God stoned to death, Leviticus 24:16. A Christian nation will honor Christ and forbid any antichristian speech to be spoken or published. 

And though it is true that the antichrist comes by force and with the sword, he also comes by speech. And the pen is mightier than the sword. The sword can kill but does not build up the antichrist’s kingdom. It only rids him of his enemies. But the pen moves men to follow him, support him, honor and worship him. In Revelation 13where we see him pictured both from his political and social-religious aspects we see that he comes with the sword. So powerful is he with the sword that men cry of him, “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him ?” And again as the beast that comes up out of the earth we read that he causeth “as many as would not worship the image of the beast” to be killed. But these same two visions clearly indicate his use of that which is lauded by some as freedom of speech. We read “there was given him a mouth speaking great blasphemies . . . and he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Further this second beast “deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live.” Still further that “he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Note that he says to those on the earth that they should make such an image and that he gives power to this image to speak. Need we say more? The antichrist will make use of every opportunity and every liberty given him to speak in order to establish his godless kingdom. And he is busy at it today. John says that there are already many antichrists in the world. Forerunners these are of that final, dreadful form in which he will come at the end of time. But the freedom of the press and of speech is pressed into service today by all those who are led by the spirit of the antichrist. By speech and the printed page he gains converts. By the pen, by paper and ink he molds the thoughts of man. And who will deny that both radio and television, which are media of communication, already are molding the thoughts of men? People begin to think alike. They begin to live alike. A thought carried to the corners of our land by a nation-wide hook-up by radio and television takes hold in all these places and men’s minds are molded and thought patterns are transplanted. You understand that these are not spiritually good thought patterns. In our land of freedom of speech, as is to be expected, that speech which the majority of the inhabitants of our land choose and relish is beamed to every city and hamlet. Religious programs are tolerated— though we understand that less and less time is being given for them — but in the freedom of speech as practiced here in our land the majority gets its wish. And it is the filth and foolishness of the world that dominates the air waves. The day will soon come when only the false church will be given the freedom to speak its lie and mold man’s thinking for the coming and reception of the antichrist. Soon there will be a freedom of all good speech in the sense that these things will not be allowed. One will be required to take the mark of the beast on his right hand or forehead also to be given the right to speak and write his thoughts and beliefs. By means of the spoken and written word the antichrist gathers around himself a loyal following and keeps in line those that follow him only because of fear of the consequences. And our land, too, will soon see that this freedom of speech brings an end to the freedom from fear for those who in the true freedom of religion believe in the Christ. These shall want, rather than be enjoying freedom from want. For they will not be able to buy or sell because in the true freedom of speech they dare to speak up and tell this beast, this antichrist that they must obey God rather than man. In that day men will not be so foolish as to say that freedom of speech is ours because this is a Christian land. And men will not say that this freedom of speech of the whole antichristian world is the fruit of the cross of Christ. Understand that this will still be called a Christian land, O, indeed! The antichrist will want to have his kingdom known as a Christian nation. That is exactly the way he comes into power and that is exactly the thing he has accomplished through this freedom to speak his lie and spread through the freedom of the press his propaganda. Paul tells us that. He writes in II Thessalonians 2:3-5, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” That is why he is called the antichrist. He is against God and against His Christ; but he also sets himself up as though he were the Christ. He is the false Christ. They are not all Israel that are of Israel. Neither is all that Christian that is called Christian and that is born in the sphere where Christ has His people. The Christian is one who partakes of Christ’s anointing and has the Spirit of Christ dwelling in his heart. He is a regenerated man. And we do wrong; we stand on dangerous ground; we deceive and lay a snare for our children when we call all that which is civilized, cultured, refined, polite, outwardly decent and has a willingness to let “the other fellow” speak his piece and air his views as Christianity. That is the way the antichrist speaks in order to get his following, in order to get men away from the Christ, if he can, and substitute earthly things that appeal to the flesh for the things of the Spirit of Christ. And all our freedom of speech and of the press gives him the opportunity which he seeks to drum these things in our ears and to make us and our children receive these things in the place of the rebirth by the Spirit of Christ and the things of everlasting spiritual value before God’s face. 

No, we are not advocating that our government should be petitioned to withdraw this freedom of speech and of the press. Surely we do not mean that the individual citizen has the right to try to stop the mouths of the unbelievers by force. We surely do appreciate the work of God’s providence, and of His grace for His Church— not for the world—that we may worship and teach our children in liberty and peace. And the withdrawal of freedom of speech would harm us more than it would harm the spread of anti-Christianity. The unbeliever in his lawlessness would still find a way to spread his propaganda. And the true Christian in his walk of obedience to God would find it difficult to serve God according to the dictates of His Word. 

But we are advocating the abolishment from our minds the idea that what is lauded so highly in our land as freedom of speech is a Christian benefit and privilege. We would speak a warning against confusing and mixing of the things which men grant unto men simply because they find it to their earthly and material advantage and the things which are given us by the Spirit of Christ and because of His atoning blood on Calvary. Freedom of speech that is given by the Spirit of Christ and for the praise and glory of God we deeply appreciate as a gift of God’s grace. But freedom of speech given by mere man for the advancement of men’s ideas and philosophies, given simply with a view to life here below and its enjoyment, we fear. For it is the tool of the forces of evil to bring in the kingdom of the antichrist. And we would also speak a word of exhortation— in this true freedom of speech — that as parents and office-bearers in the church, but also as covenant people, we do all in our power to speak the truth and provide the truth for our children. Then we use this freedom of speech in His fear. 

J.A.H.