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FIRST-PERSON: On political correctness

ATLANTA (BP)–Today’s society places a premium on being politically correct. Proper terminology must be used so as not to be offensive to anyone.

For example, obese people are now referred to as the gravitationally challenged. An old person is gerontologically advanced. A meter maid is a parking enforcement adjudicator.

Someone who is blind is photonically non-receptive. Political correctness first defined the deaf person as hearing impaired, but more recently has suggested that such an individual is visually oriented. The man with a receding hairline is not balding, but in follicle regression.

Political correctness refuses to call anyone who tarries long at the wine a drunk, but simply suggests that such a person may be intemperate. The embezzler has only misappropriated funds, and the sexually promiscuous person is only guilty of an indiscretion. Consequently, those who call for PC refuse to call anyone a sinner, but at best regard him or her as spiritually challenged.

We now have politically correct Bibles that are gender-neutral and hymnals that have translated what is referred to as offensive language into something more palatable to our modern society.

To me, all of this sugar-sweet, easy-to-digest, don’t-upset-anyone kind of gospel is a long way from repentance. It is almost certain that this kind of “Christianity” does not result in the kind of life change needed to impact the world for God and for good.

Actually, those who insist on political correctness are interested in far more than terminology. They are proponents of a philosophy that embraces a way of life that is foreign to the biblical principles we hold dear. Their buzzwords are toleration and inclusivism. They want to reduce our beliefs and convictions to the lowest common denominator so that no one is offended by anything that is said or done.

As a result of a humanistic, secular world’s vigilance and the church’s indifference, we are becoming an antinomian society — a society without regard for the law of God.

Scripture verses have been removed from national parks; the Ten Commandments have been taken down from courthouse walls; and nativity scenes have been removed from town squares because they are supposedly a violation of First Amendment rights. In other words, they are not politically correct.

Therefore, for a preacher to be politically correct he must no longer ring the bell on sin, and he must suppress any thought that might prompt him to mention the “h” word. He must avoid all biblical references to theological definiteness and exclusivity lest he be regarded as narrow-minded or bigoted.

However, Jesus never seemed to be interested in political correctness. He dared to drive the moneychangers out of the temple, challenged the dead religion of his day and called the religious leaders “hypocrites,” “blind guides” and “fools” (Matthew 23:13-17). On one occasion he even called them a “brood of vipers” (Matthew 3:7).

Furthermore, Jesus made exclusive claims. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). In fact, the Word of God unflinchingly and unapologetically and without any pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo attests to the uniqueness of Jesus as the only way to be saved and avows that Christianity cannot accord moral equivalence to any other religion.

This unyielding exclusivism incites hostility from the politically correct crowd because it contradicts the “enlightened” tenets of secular humanism, which are incompatible with the absolute truth found in Holy Scripture.

In a society where everything seems to be tolerated but the pure, uncompromising preaching of the Word of God, we must remember that Jesus said, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?” (Matthew 10:24-25).

Dare to have an unswerving allegiance to the truth. It may get you in trouble on earth, but it will win you the favor of heaven.
Gerald Harris is editor of The Christian Index, newsjournal of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

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  • Gerald Harris