TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK
Teachings of men have always attributed great significance to SILENCE and accorded it the honor of the GOLDEN RULE. The ‘taming of the tongue’ as they call it.
The religious deem it as the greatest of all virtues and place it alongside ‘humility’ – the feigned humility exercised before the next ‘person’ basking in his or her feigned superiority.
Therefore, it is but imperative that they’d seek to silence the ‘audacious’ few who seemingly break the well-entrenched protocol and so ‘humiliate’ their ‘venerable’ selves! Just as we see it in Matt 21:15, Lk 19:39, Jn 9:34, 1 Tim 2:11-12, 1 Cor 13:34, Acts 4:18 etc.
As we can see from these verses, they did it in the very presence of the Lord, and what’s more? They dared to silence Him too (eg. Matt 21:23)! And so, it isn’t surprising at all that, unrepentant as they are, they’d continue in the same vein.
For example, take the epistle of James in the New Testament. Clearly, and much to the delight of the religious-minded, it very strongly advocates the self-same ‘taming of the tongue’, the virtue of silence. Read Jas 1:26, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
(Please note that since the Bible itself is compiled with the motive of misappropriating Truth and distorting it for the building of religious empires for the glory of men such infiltration of religious teachings become more than conspicuous by the usage of the words ‘religious’ and ‘religion’ as seen here.)
The writer or rather the infiltrator here then goes on to attributing such metaphors to the ‘tongue’ as “a ship’s rudder” (Jas 3:4) which, though a very small thing, determines the very course of one’s life; and as “a world of evil” (Jas 3:6) which works like a destructive fire; as also a “restless evil” (Jas 3:8b) which is full of deadly poison.
And like all religious teachers of the world, never mind of which religion, he has again and again asserted the importance of ‘taming the tongue’ EVEN THOUGH he has also by his own admission declared that, “BUT NO MAN CAN TAME THE TONGUE.” (Jas 3:8a)!
Now what does a humble aspirant, dashed off of all hope, do? Perhaps, this is the reason ‘silence’ became the golden rule! HOWEVER, IS IT TRULY THE WILL OF GOD? Definitely not, as you will soon discover here. And thus becomes obvious the folly of such teachings to all those who are willing to seek nothing but the Truth.
For it is one thing to understand the ‘evil’ unleashed by tongues of men, but quite another to write it off as the instrument of destruction! Clearly a case of terrible misinterpretation.
FOR ONE, HOW CAN ‘SILENCE’ OR EVEN ‘TAMING OF THE TONGUE’ SAFEGUARD US FROM EVIL THOUGHTS HARBORED AND LICENTIOUSLY ENTERTAINED WITHIN OURSELVES?
For just as Jesus testifies about hearts of men, it is out of the overflow of our hearts – which is full of murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander etc. – that we speak. For eg., refer Matt 15:18-20, Matt 23:27-28 etc.. Therefore, truly it is our hearts that make us unclean and not our tongues.
Indeed, isn’t it what the Spirit of God has testified to all along. Read Jer 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Also, Eccles 9:3b, “The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead.” And Job 15:5, “Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.”
Because man’s heart is full of evil, it will seek expression. IF NOT IN WORDS, THEN DEFINITELY IN DEEDS! For this is how all mankind are ultimately exposed. Blaming the tongue or the hands therefore is not the solution. Rather, just as the Word of God directs, seeking the cure for the heart provides for the right solution.
And it is to this understanding and deliverance I wish to bring all my readers. It is the holy Will of God that the ‘tongue’, as also the rest of our body, may be ‘purified’ and ‘consecrated’ for the ‘Good’ and ‘Divine’ purpose it was created.
In other words, it is God’s purpose that we are wholly – in body, mind and spirit – liberated from man-made shackles that bind us and render us futile and worthless, in order that we may in totality become ‘instruments of righteousness’, the living ‘temples’ of God Most High. Refer Rom 6:13, 1 Cor 6:19 etc.
To understand better, let us begin by addressing these questions: Why would Jesus heal the dumb and the mute and make them speak? Or why would God empower the stuttering Moses to speak to the king of Egypt? And why would God cleanse the “unclean lips” of Isaiah and appoint him His chosen prophet? Why is Heaven a place of ceaseless worship? Why is it that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit has resulted in “manifestation of the tongues” in more ways than one – just as it was prophesied it would? Refer Acts 2:4, 11 & 18, Acts 19:6 etc. Why is it that God has ordained His praises from the lips of children and infants? Above all, why is that the Church or the worthy Bride of the Lamb is the one who is portrayed as the one who “speaks with wisdom” and as the one whose tongue bears “faithful instruction”? Isn’t it the reason the Lamb commissions ‘her’ to go to the uttermost parts of the earth TO TEACH AND PREACH His commandments and the Good News of His salvation for all mankind? Refer Prov 31:26, Matt 28:18-20, Mk 16:15, Acts 1:8, Prov 9:3, Matt 10:27, Mk 13:11, Jn 20:17 etc.
Secondly, what we ought to realize is that as children born of the seed of the sinful man, ours is a body naturally inclined to sinning. And till such time as we are reconciled to God by the Blood of the Lamb, by His Word and of course by His Spirit, our hearts and minds, naturally inclined to evil as they are, confer with the evil spirits that force their way in and take residence in our bodies uninvited. For eg., refer Matt 12:42-45, Dan 11:32.
[Because unbeknown to most of us, though there is only One Holy Spirit – the Spirit of God or God Himself as God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), there are legions upon legions of evil spirits who are also called ‘lying spirits’ (eg. 1 Kings 22:22) who gain access into a person’s life uninvited.
This is the reason there are such irreparable divisions among mankind. Just as it is written, Satan’s kingdom is a house divided against itself and hence bound to fall (Matt 12:25-26).
On the other hand, the Holy Spirit, though poured out upon all people (Acts 2:17a), does not force His way in or take residence inside a person uninvited (Luke 11:13, Matt 7:11, Rev 3:20).
What is more? The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Oneness and therefore does not scatter but unites and gathers His people (Isa 34:16b, Matt 12:30) with Truth, the one and only unifying language.]
And thus all mankind are exposed by the wickedness harbored in them which become manifested through their lies, flatteries, boastfulness, deceptive and malicious words, false testimonies, murderous threats etc. (Isa 32:6, Ps 5:9, Ps 10:7, Ps 57:4. Isa 59:3, Jer 9:5 & 8, Mic 6:12, Job 15:5, Ps 12:3, Ps 64:3, Ps 78:36, Rom 16:18, Ps 50:19, Ps 52:2 & 4 etc.) – the universal living standard of all mankind – so much so that they begin to put their trust in their tongues (Ps 12:4). Because, they strive, succeed and survive with it on earth and with it go on to lay claim to Heaven! Refer Ps 73:9, Isa 57:4, Jer 9:3, Jer 23:31 etc.
But only as long as they can go, after which all are alike swallowed up by death and like the wind they are swept away. By pretending to tame the tongue or living an avowed life of silence therefore just does not help them in any way.
Only he whose heart is cleansed of all evil and is constantly nurtured by the Holy Spirit to grow in His fellowship by the continual meditation and application of His Word is able to conquer all evil influences. Such a one finds cure for one’s heart as such a one is cleansed and healed of the evil that rules a man’s heart. For such a one understands one’s aching need and is quick to invite the Holy Spirit into one’s heart so as to be trained and sustained by Him.
Such a one is not silenced but begins to utter differently. Instead of words of death and destruction, such a one begins to speak Words of Life – the Eternal Life, and Deliverance (Prov 12:18b, Prov 15:4a). Thanks to the communion of the Holy Spirit, such a one is so enabled by Lord God Most High Himself. Refer Ps 81:10, “I am the Lord your God………. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
THIS IS THE CALLING, THE BLESSING OF THE RIGHTEOUS:
1. They will not be silent day or night (Isa 62:6, Ps 137:6, 2 Tim 4:2). As the Lord has put it, for out of them will flow the ‘spring of the Living Water’ (Jn 4:14, Jn 7:37-39).
2. They will not slander (Ps 15:3, Prov 11:12b, Prov 10:31a, Job 27:4, Zeph 3:13) but train their tongues to keep away from all evil, lies and flatteries (Ps 34:13, Job 32:22, 1 Thess 2:5).
3. They are always rejoicing in the Lord (Ps 16:9). They sing to the Lord a new song and proclaim His righteousness all day long (Ps 40:3, Ps 45:1, Ps 51:14, Ps 119:172, Ps 66:17, Ps 126:2, Deut 6:6-7 etc.).
4. They speak with wisdom as with a well-instructed tongue (Matt 13:52, Prov 31:26, Isa 32:4, Isa 50:4, Isa 61:1-7, Matt 10:27 etc.).
5. They take up the cause of the widows and the oppressed and do not leave them empty handed (1 Kings 17:14, 2 Kings 4:7, Matt 9:35-38, Isa 61:1-7, Lam 3:48 & 51, Deut 15:13, Ruth 3:17 etc.).
6. They watch and prepare the Way of the Lord, also called the holy highway (Isa 21:12, Isa 35:8, Isa 40:3-5, Jn 10:3 etc.)
7. Lastly, they do muzzle up their mouths but only in the presence of the wicked! Refer Ps 39:1, Job 41:1. Just as it was exemplified by the Lord Himself. For eg., refer Matt 21:27b, Matt 12:39, Matt 13:58, Lk 23:9 etc. And if and when they do speak in the presence of the wicked, it is only by His Word given them at the time (Ps 39:3, Mk 13:11, Lk 21:14-15, Isa 54:17).
Because, primarily what we ought to understand is that since the wicked have already come under Judgment by their own words (Ps 64:8, Matt 12:32 & 37, Rev 16:10 etc., and for eg. Jer 28:16), there is seldom the need to answer them unless the Spirit Himself directs us according to His divine purpose.
Therefore, to their shame but for the glory of His holy Name, it is only right that God has also pre-ordained that the wicked shall also by their own volition in the end confess to His holy Name before Judgment overtakes them (Isa 45:23, Rom 14:11, Phil 2:11).