Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Freedom Of Speech

By Lucy Wall

It seems to me that in life everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone except the Christian that is. I've experienced persecution personally in my own places of work and also witnessed it in general life and different situations.

The enemy's attack on God's people certainly seems to be building in intensity and it's becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in this world. I know Christians have been persecuted all throughout history and countless people have been martyred for their Christian beliefs. The angle I'm coming from in this poem though is the position of a Christian living in Britain in the current times. Our formerly "Christian Nation" is now becoming so adamant and hateful in it's fight against God and even the belief in His very existence. People are now being mocked, pilloried, humiliated and shamed into silence just for standing on basic Biblical truths and wanting to apply these to their lives.

One example is the fact that many schools are now teaching children very anti-Christian principles in the classroom and parents are coming under extreme pressure for wanting to teach their children about Biblical truths in the home. I've also watched as MP's stand up in Parliament and voice a differing opinion to the common view and one that dares to be founded in Biblical doctrine only for that person to then be denounced as a "bigot." The next day they're being forced to publicly back track on their words or face losing their job.

If we are no longer allowed to have freedom of thought or freedom of speech then we are no longer living in a democracy and are dwelling under a dictatorship. I once heard Pastor Mike McIntosh say that if the system is persecuting or putting a person in jail for the views that person holds as a Bible believing Christian then the system has gone too far. No one has the right to try and control another person's mind.

Now I know that many people may argue and say that over the years "Christianity" has often been like a dictatorship and tried to control people but that is not Jesus and not true Christianity. To know Jesus is to know God and to know Him personally and have a relationship with Him is totally different to being under the dictation of "man-made religion." When we know Him as our Saviour we experience first hand how loving, caring, forgiving and kind He is. God has graciously given us all the option to decide for ourselves whether we’ll look to Him as our Saviour or not, He will never force us to love Him and so He has given us all the gift of free-will. Any example that suggests otherwise is not true Christianity and is a tragic misrepresentation of Christ by sinful mankind.

The point of my poem is not to start an argument or to come across as belligerent or angry, it's simply to make the point that as a human being who has made an educated and informed decision, I have accepted that Jesus Christ died to pay for my sins and He is my personal Saviour. I don't demand that everyone else agrees one hundred percent with everything about my life or else must be labelled with all sorts of ugly names. I simply ask for the freedom to live my life as a Christian and be allowed to form my own opinions based on what God's Word reveals. All I am asking for is equality and freedom of speech.

Don't tell me I can't worship Jesus,
Don't tell me I can't speak His name.
I'm not asking you to keep quiet,
I'd be grateful if you'd do the same.

Don't curse me for having convictions
That differ to those in your heart.
Just because I follow Jesus
Doesn't mean you can tear me apart.

Although our opinions may differ
And our views show a noted division,
This does not permit scornful actions
Where beliefs are then met with derision.

You say we must all have our freedom,
To ourselves we must "Always be true!"
If I'm pilloried for my opinions
Does that sound like freedom to you?

You demonstrate views that are hostile
To the God and the faith I belong
But though you may find it offensive,
Doesn't mean to say that it's wrong.

You say you want love and compassion
To rule and to reign in this life
Yet you contradict this with your actions,
Showing hatred and stirring up strife.

Your anger is quickly awakened
When learning our views don't reflect.
If I just nod along like a robot
Would you really give me your respect?

If I didn't hold fast my convictions
And was silenced to speak not His name,
Would I then earn your favour and kindness?
Do you only respect those the same?

Because I don't share your opinions
Then "tolerance" is what I must lack.
When shouting me down for opposing,
Are you showing tolerance back?

You call me a dumb ignoramus,
To your "wisdom" you think I should bow.
When I don't then you call me a bigot
So who's being ignorant now?

When you throw at me insults and curses
With damaging words that can slice,
If you hate me because I'm a Christian,
Then you must have a phobia of Christ!

Now this doesn't make me dislike you,
It just means that our views disagree
But I show you respect and compassion.
So I ask, please don't disrespect me.

You voice your opinions quite clearly,
It's "your right" to your freedom of speech
But I must be shamed into silence,
So you rob me my freedom of speech.

You tell me my thoughts are old fashioned
And to "move with the times" would be clever
But God does not change with man's thinking
And the truth of the Lord stands forever.

Your views disagree with the Church's
So you say it should change "to be fair"
But if you don't believe God's existence,
Then why do you protest or care?

If God isn't real then why bother?
Just to claim every path has been trod?
But why then acknowledge the building
When you won't be acknowledging God?

To me this is simply dogmatic.
Your hypocrisy I can't perceive.
Insisting that sin be accepted
By the God in whom you don't believe.

Now God wishes no-one should perish,
In our places He suffered great loss.
Now we're all welcomed into His presence
But we must leave our sins at the Cross.

But you tell me that God has no placement
And His wisdom applies not to you.
You may not accept His existence
But don't disrespect those who do.

So don't tell me I can't read the Bible,
Try to force me to share in your views
For I will stay true to my Saviour
No matter what's said on the news.

Though Governments say to "move forward"
And even if man gives the nod,
The system might say it's accepted
But it won't be accepted by God.

For He is above our opinions,
He won't bow to the secular view.
We can see from the Bible and history
That man's wicked ways are not new.

We may try to remove every mention
Of His name and each Heaven-bound nod.
His acknowledgment might be abolished
But this will not eradicate God!

His Church does not change at man's calling,
To think that it should is absurd.
It does not require "updating"
For it's built on the truth of God's Word.

I'll stand on this truth for my lifetime
No matter if you disagree.
You say you've endured “persecution”
But oh how you persecute me!

You shout in my face for my tolerance
But it's perfectly clear you want more.
You also demand my endorsement
And to leave my beliefs on the floor.

But I humble myself before Jesus
And I listen each day for His voice.
I don't make demands you do likewise.
I respectfully honour your choice.

God never will force us to choose Him,
It's the free-will He gave to mankind.
So we all have the right to decipher
And the right to control our own mind.

Though my faith means I'm labelled as "stupid,"
I am blessed with a brain which I use.
So don't tell me I can't be a Christian
And deny me my freedom to choose.

For my faith isn't "lack of intelligence"
And although our opinions don't link,
In Christ I take every thought captive
So do not tell me what to think.

Understand I don't judge your decisions,
Your beliefs are completely your choice.
I ask you accept mine are different
And like you, have a freedom to voice.

So for me, come hell or high water,
Come insults as sharp as a sword,
I'll always bow down to my Saviour
And I'll always declare "Christ is Lord!"

Isaiah 40:8
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."

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