Article of the Month

 

October 2007

"Political Correctness"

 

The term “political correctness” has been in use now for many years.  Its original usage seemed to be that politicians had a need to watch their words so that no faction of their constituencies might take offense (a monumental task!)  The term now has come to mean that all of us should not be offensive ever—for any reason.

A wise man once said that “A gentleman is never offensive UNintentionally.”  This well-stated axiom is a very accurate summary of the Biblical standard.  After all, Jesus had to be the ultimate gentle man.  Yet, we find him intentionally and calculatingly making statements like “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For ye are like unto whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”  (Matthew 23:27)  The Apostle Paul did likewise to the High Priest.  (Acts 23:3)  And in Titus 1:10-16, Paul looses a barrage of accusations.  Included is a stereotyping of the Cretians.  He quotes one of them:  “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.  This witness is true.”  (Titus 1:12, 13)

What are we to make of this “unChristian behavior,” as some might call it?  The fact is, we are losing our spiritual and ethical moorings.  Never in history have enlightened men thought it wrong to be critical of wrong ideas and actions.  Now, however, criticism is increasingly thought to be unkind—even unethical and unChristian!  It is a boon for Satan and the forces of evil.  How convenient for the champions of wrong to convince the world that criticizing them is wrong!

The caution,  however, is that such criticisms must always be well-intentioned and true.  It does no dis-service to anyone to report that the Koran encourages lying to anyone who is not Muslim.  It is a truth.  Stating it has only the good intention of cautioning care when dealing with those who believe that particular Islamic teaching.  The statement of such truths (and even of well-documented generalizations) should NEVER, however, be interpreted to promote hatred or injustice toward anyone.

“Hate the sin and not the sinner” is another well-known axiom which we would do well to cultivate in our hearts.  Animosity toward an idea is one thing.  Animosity toward those who hold the idea is another matter entirely.  God will eliminate error (SOON!), but He will not eliminate the error-believer.  God will teach the whole race the truth, and universal peace and harmony will result.  It seems difficult to wait patiently for that day, but we have no choice.  None of us has the power to reform the world.

The purpose of this month’s little editorial is to stress that we fully believe in being critical of Scripturally-erroneous teachings.  We do so openly, plainly, often, and with the hope that the GOOD THOUGHTS of true Christianity will find favor in the hearts and minds of those who are seeking the one true God and his truths.  We believe in criticizing false doctrine, not in attacking people who hold opposing viewpoints.

When God, through the Revelator, says that apostate Christianity “is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,” shall we not repeat these words for fear of being “politically incorrect”?  We think not.  We think we should be much like Peter and John (Acts 4:19, 20) who were threatened to keep them from teaching unpopular truths to the crowds.  Their response was, “Whether it be right in the sight of God, judge ye.  For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard.”  Along with the prophets, and Jesus, and God himself, Peter and John never could be politically correct!

It never is the intent of a true Christian to harm or offend another.  Yet if Biblical truths tear deeply into our old, long-held beliefs and feelings, it is not the fault of the messenger.  There is nothing so precious nor so powerful as the truth.  May we all seek and cherish it together.  May we love truth, but not hate those who hold error.