Why is political correctness a potential problem for Christians and the Church of God today?
In July 2016 one website had this to say about political correctness:
“In a number of intimate and sensitive areas of life, cultural and moral norms have changed dramatically. Eight years ago, a democratic presidential candidate opposed the idea of same-sex marriage outright. In 2016, such opposition is regularly condemned as bigoted, even violent.
“Changes in public perception of transgender politics have occurred even faster. In just over a year and a half we have gone from one ordinance about the use of bathrooms by transgendered people in Houston, Texas (ultimately struck down), to a national directive from the president. Similar shifts in public conversations about race, class, and religion have brought with them new and ever-evolving rules about language.”
On the Wikipedia website, the definition of political correctness is as follows: “The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC or P.C.) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Since the late 1980s, the term has come to refer to avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race.”
Of course, it should not be our goal to purposefully insult others and to cause offense. But this does not mean that God’s Church can become timid and shy away from our duty to proclaim the Truth. Let us look at a few more examples where society seems to have taken leave of its senses.
On the website naturalnews, one example of how free speech is now a punishable offense was related. It read: “One prime recent example of the enforcement of politically-correct speech is the case of Rohini Sethi, a University of Houston student who posted a Twitter message saying: ‘Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter’ – a message that obviously was promoting inclusion, rather than exclusion. For having expressed what should be interpreted as a ‘fundamental, universal human truth’ (as Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, put it), Sethi was instead suspended from the university for 50 days and forced to write a ‘reflection letter,’ along with having to attend a ‘diversity workshop’ to atone for her sins against the leftist-controlled establishment and their enforced narrative.”
In the nationalpost on March 7th 2018 was the following report:
“An Ontario child welfare agency placed promoting belief in the Easter Bunny above preventing possible trauma when it removed two girls from a foster home because the Christian couple refused to lie about the bunny’s existence, an Ontario judge ruled.
“In a stinging indictment of the actions of the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton, a court judgment declared the CAS violated the foster parent’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression when the children were taken from their home and their fostering agreement terminated over the Easter Bunny dilemma.
“Derek and Frances Baars, who lived in Hamilton at the time but have since moved to Edmonton, sued the Children’s Aid Society last year, saying a CAS worker insisted they proactively tell two girls in their care, aged three and four, the Easter Bunny was genuine, despite the couple’s belief that all lying is wrong…
“Evidence was clear the Baars sincerely believe it is wrong to lie, including lying to promote belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny…”
There are so many other examples that we all may have seen. But how does this affect the way a Christian should behave and how the Church should react when dealing with such scenarios?
The Church has a duty to proclaim God’s Way of Life and His standards fully and boldly, even and especially if this conflicts with the norms of a society which is cut off from God and inspired and motivated by Satan and his demons.
In one of our Q&A’s on Romans 13:1-7, we state the following:
“As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God (Acts 5:40-42).”
We live in a society that is different, in so many ways, to that which older people today may have experienced decades ago, and that which was experienced by their forefathers.
It is interesting that the UK, the USA, Canada and other countries pride themselves on freedom of expression which is not enjoyed in many other nations around the world.
However, political correctness can have the opposite effect of allowing freedom of speech; for example, anyone quoting the Bible and God’s teaching on a number of issues could be seen as engaging in “hate speech”. Such is the level of antipathy now afforded the Word of God.
In our booklet, God’s Teachings on Sexual Relationships, the following is written on page 95 which is chapter 15 on homosexuality:
“Before covering the controversial issue of homosexuality, we feel it is necessary to state our position, as anyone who opposes this behavior is commonly thought to be a homophobe or homophobic. This term is casually used against anyone who has the audacity to question the morality of such behavior, especially when asserting it to be sin, which homosexual lobbyists often refer to as hate speech.
“This argument is invalid, as people on both sides of the argument must be allowed to agree or disagree about homosexuality in a free and fair society. To assert that homosexual behavior is a sin is simply stating a biblical fact, and Christians who live by the Word of God are simply stating what God’s Word clearly reveals. There should be no hate for the individual concerned, just sadness at their way of life.”
This booklet is a classic example of the Church setting forth what the Bible has to say about different behaviours and relationships which are often at odds with many societies in different countries in the world today. It could be categorised as non PC because it does not fall in line with the current prevailing ethos in society. It makes clear what God says in His written Word about many things that society now embraces as acceptable and good.
Think about how society today is at odds with biblical teachings:
Society today approves of a behaviour that the Bible calls an abomination – homosexuality – but don’t you dare speak out against it or you will be vilified.
Abortion is allowed today in so many countries around the world but the killing of innocent, unborn children is called “choice” by its proponents, but the bottom line is that abortion is murder. Therefore, by extension, society today approves of murder in this instance.
Certain mind-altering drugs which are highly addictive and dangerous are decriminalised which can wreak terrible havoc on the users and their families. The anguish that bereaved parents and other family members may suffer is appalling.
Society today is consumed by equal rights irrespective of Godly instruction and the rightness of things.
We must never give the impression of condoning wrongdoing or wrong principles just for the sake of peace. We have to say and do, and be seen to say and do, the right things and not condone evil. Isaiah 5:20 tells us: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” We do live in a perverse society which, in general, rejects God and makes up its own laws and rules and the fruit of this is plain for all to see.
The Church of God has a duty of responsibility to teach the ways of God. In Isaiah 58:1 we read: “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.” We do that through our sermons, booklets and all of the material on our website. Micah 3:8 is talking about wicked rulers and prophets: “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.”
There is the warning message in Ezekiel 33:6 which reads as follows: “But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.”
We have the responsibility to warn of the terrible times to come because of our sinful and godless societies, and we must fulfil that responsibility. Unfortunately, the Church of God has much to warn the world about as sins increase and multiply at a frightening pace. This will, inevitably, put the Church at odds with society which condones so much that is wrong but that does not mean that we should be cowed into silence. Political correctness fosters and encourages much that is wrong in society today and many of these problems are discussed in our booklet which has been mentioned above. Neither the Church nor God’s people should be pressed or bullied into silence. Far too many are afraid to speak out, collectively or individually, when the opportunity arises, but we must be bold as a lion. John the Baptist did not hold back to tell Herod that he was living in sin. Peter did not cease from preaching the Truth even when he was ordered by the government not to do so. Both John the Baptist and Peter landed in jail as a consequence. Jesus Christ told the Pharisees and Sadducees very clearly how they violated God’s law. He was met with hatred and ill will and a desire to murder Him as a consequence.
At the same time, Christ showed mercy and compassion for those who repented of their wrong lifestyle, but He always encouraged them not to sin anymore. We must do the same and have the same attitude. For example, we will always embrace someone in God’s Church who truly repents of his homosexual conduct and ceases from engaging in it, but we will not condone or justify the sin of homosexuality. Our message in this regard must be very clear, even if human laws threaten us with punishment for engaging in “hate speech.”
Of course, as individual Christians, it is not our responsibility and duty to go out in the streets or from door to door and preach “God’s Word” to anyone we might encounter. We are ready to give an ANSWER when we are ASKED, and that with “meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). For example, when someone wishes us “merry Christmas,” it would not be the right approach to give a lengthy explanation as to why we don’t keep it, starting with Satan and Nimrod and its pagan origin and explaining how traditional Christianity embraced this pagan festival. When someone wants to know more, just refer him to our free booklet on Christmas. But it would be equally wrong to respond to someone wishing us “merry Christmas,” by saying: “And I wish you a merry Christmas too.” Rather, saying “thank you” would be an appropriate answer without causing unnecessary offense.
We can read of Jonah’s reluctance to go to Nineveh and cry out against it and he tried to avoid doing that which God had instructed him. We mustn’t fall into the same category. Eventually, Jonah did take the message to Nineveh and the people repented, albeit only temporarily. As God’s Church, we must not stop doing what God has instructed us to do, and when we do that, we are very likely to be at odds with society which has fully embraced political correctness which is often in direct opposition to the Way of God.
Inevitably, the Church of God will be at odds with society. The Church teaches the Way of God; the world has no interest in this, thinking that they are capable of forging and maintaining a good and decent society without God being involved. We know that the world is deceived by Satan (see Revelation 12:9), and so no one should be in the least bit surprised. And, yes, political correctness can be a real problem for both true Christians and the Church today. However, God’s true Church will continue to stand up for God without compromising even one inch with what God has revealed to us about His Way.
Lead Writer: Brian Gale (United Kingdom)