This is my response to the Blog question today.
As with all freedoms of society, the freedom of speech can be used to build up or tear down, to praise or destroy, to improve things or make them worse. I would rather not consider the philosophical debate but instead the difficulty of maintaining a proper balance between the freedom to express and the freedom to not be abused.
Freedom has always been a struggle in any society because of the good and evil that exists. Some believe a balance must be maintained between good and evil but this is a distracting lie. The fact is that good and evil exists as warring forces within ourselves. In our fallen state we tend toward the darker side of things but the Spirit fights for the good. The only reason it is a struggle is because of the free will our Father has given us. Good will win out but our Father is giving us a period of time to make that decision for ourselves before evil is swept away.
As believers we have our own freedoms but this is the caution Paul puts forward:
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23)
It is permissible for us to speak our mind and give our opinions but we should ask ourselves if our opinion will be beneficial. We should ask if what we have to say would be considered constructive or destructive. "Will this add to my community or take away from it." That does not mean that every opinion is a positive opinion and it is not saying that every negative opinion is unwelcome. What it is asking is, are we adding to the community with what we are expressing or taking something away?
If we were to continue looking at what the Apostle Paul was saying we would read this:
"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:24-24)
Freedom of speech would work well if we ask ourselves if we are trying to benefit others or ourselves. Let us be God-honouring in speech and action.