Freedom of Speech and the Gospel
Pray that the word of the Lord may have free course.
January 17, 2021 - Audio, 12.17 MIN
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The Apostle Paul hazarded his life preaching the gospel throughout the Roman Empire. The gospel preachers of the time became known as "These that have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). The Apostle was beaten, scourged, ship wrecked, imprisoned and eventually put to death by the government of his time, for speaking the gospel. The "beloved Barnabas and Paul”, are truly, "Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 15:25,26). We have been very fortunate to have had the freedom to worship and preach the gospel as we have had in the western world. We pray for God’s mercy where we have not used that freedom to the uttermost.
Currently freedom to worship as we have known it, has been taken away in a stroke throughout the western world, many Christians even supporting this curtailing of rights. Never before has there been such a removal of freedoms throughout the world so quickly. A few countries have had those privileges restored such as New Zealand and we certainly hope and pray that will be the case elsewhere. However, what has been forcefully shown, is that the freedom to worship, which we may have taken for granted, has been demonstrated to be very fragile.
Today the world is closing in on conservative minded Christians everywhere. Just as our freedom to worship has been shown to be fragile, so our freedom of speech is being shown to be fragile and vanishing.
It is no coincidence that one of the main alternative social networks that has come to many peoples attention at this time, was founded by a Christian. The Gab website says: "Gab was founded in 2016 by Andrew Torba, a Christian technology entrepreneur who left Silicon Valley to start Gab after he saw the rise in censorship from Big Tech platforms during the 2016 election.” According to Gab, they have seen over an 815% growth over the last few days. So much growth that their servers couldn’t keep up. A page on Gab explains, "Who Is Gab Founder Andrew Torba?” This page finishes with a warning for all of us. "Andrew Torba has sounded the alarm for what is to come for his brothers and sisters in Christ, and us all, unless we take action against Big Tech by building solutions and leaving Silicon Valley platforms for good. Andrew is Christian man who isn’t afraid to speak the Truth boldly and stand up to courageously fight for what he believes in.” In the January edition of The Epoch Times, in an article entitled, “Socialism, The Preliminary Stage of Communism, there was an interesting comment.
“Especially in terms of moral values, the socialism of the West uses pretexts like “anti-discrimination,” “value-neutrality,” or “political correctness” to attack basic moral discernment. This is equivalent to an attempt to eliminate morality as such. … The result is a kind of reverse discrimination against those who believe in God and aspire to moral elevation, with the goal of marginalizing and eventually getting rid of them."
Bill C-6 in Canada is also of great concern. See What is Bill C-6? for more information regarding this dangerous legislation.
These warnings bring to mind the words of the Proverb. "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3) We can’t just dismiss these warnings, but we have to consider how we can prepare and alert others.
Countless conservative thinkers and others have been banned from social media platforms over the last few days. Of course, President Trump is the highest profile of these. Trump's tweets have been flagged and fact checked by the Twitter platform in a bizarre fashion for awhile, then came the protest at the Capitol. The narrative put forward by the media and the Democratic party in America has been that President Trump instigated the riot at the Capitol. As more facts come to light, this is now being shown to be false. However, this is beside the point. The point is that if Trump can be flagged, “fact checked” and banned from all social media platforms, anyone else can and will be, if the “fact checkers” don’t like your opinion. Maybe you think this won’t happen, but the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, has stated otherwise. On the UK Daily Telegraph on January 15, there is an article entitled, “Twitter clampdown will go beyond Trump ban, Jack Dorsey tells staff.” While this is put forward as against “accounts that incite violence”, as soon as one looks which high profile accounts that have been banned, this explanation doesn’t hold any water. It has been asked, where were the accounts being banned when cities were burning across America in the summer with the BLM protests? The Telegraph even points out that "Angela Merkel, German chancellor said the ban was a “problematic” breach of the “fundamental right to free speech”. CEO Jack Dorsey however, as quoted in the article, has said that the platform will go even further. He said, “We are focused on one account right now. But this is going to be much bigger than just one account and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week.”
These big tech companies have made billions selling their users data to advertising companies. Users give their private data in exchange for a free service. When George Orwell wrote 1984, the device he imagined that a communist dictator would want more than anything else, was a screen that not only would you be compelled to watch, but it would watch you. The dictator’s dream technology is a reality today and people everywhere are inviting it into their lives. Never has there been such an invasion of privacy, willingly accepted and invited by the population into their homes. The CEO of Google has said that not only does he know where you are at any moment, he also knows what you are thinking. People using Siri, Alexa and such devices are having their private home conversations recorded and stored on a web server somewhere. The last few months have proved beyond a doubt that the large tech companies are not just about business, they are also motivated by a humanist, socialist philosophy.
Large corporations are becoming very powerful. Small businesses and the independence they grant to their owners are struggling and many will be victims of the stringent lockdowns. Large corporations are now enforcing their values on those they do business with. For example, AirBnb users are forced to agree to the company’s "nondiscrimination policy”, in order to use the service. Users must respect the pronouns any users within the community identify themselves with. Gab has been banned from App stores, payment processors, hosting providers and the owner's family blacklisted by Visa. This is a characteristic of the Roman Beast system as it says in Revelation 13. "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” The mark is the doctrine and teaching of the political “beast" system that must be received. Forcing people to agree to a philosophical “policy” in order to do business, is in the same spirit. The same spirit is at work behind it. In our day it is Catholic Socialism of which Joe Biden intends to be a champion.
All this may seem harmless or insignificant to us — until we may have to make a stand before a court, for what we believe as a matter of conscience. Whether it be in regards to trade unions, military call up, or not accepting our employers "nondiscrimination policy”. All the information we may have posted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google could suddenly become very relevant. When it comes to privacy, as a follower of Christ, these companies will not be your friend. In fact they will treat you worse than they have treated President Trump.
These events could be a large blessing for followers of Jesus Christ. It has alerted many to the dangers of these large corporations, social media and media bias. It has proved beyond a doubt that all the large media outlets are biased and are no longer reporting facts but pushing a narrative. It has proved that these large social platforms are not appropriate platforms to be preaching the gospel, or to be engaging in discussions about beliefs, or as platforms to engage with fellow believers in spiritual controversies. It is vital that we become aware and divest from these platforms.
Many Christian churches may never reopen their doors when all this is over. Humanists will be rejoicing. It is vital that at the first opportunity we restore our worship as it was a year ago — and more so. If we want to keep the privilege of these freedoms we need to grasp them with both hands. As much as possible we need to demonstrate how important and vital it is to us as communities to assemble together to worship, to hold Bible Schools, and to educate our children. To demonstrate that we are not going to stop. To demonstrate to our children that this is our priority and life. Finally we need to keep preaching the gospel as a witness to our world, that the kingdoms of this world are destined to become the kingdoms of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally we need to demonstrate to our God how important these privileges are to us in action and in prayer. To engage in prayer that the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom may go forth, that there would be freedom for this work. This was the prayer of the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3, not only his prayer, but a prayer that he wanted the congregation to engage in.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.”
Pray then, that the gospel of the kingdom may have free course. That there will be freedom to speak.
This has been David Billington with you for the Bible in the News. Come back next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com
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