Politically Correct Religion
From many quarters today we hear much about being politically correct. Even the religious world has fallen prey in great measure to the modern (but not new) pressures of this correctness. Nowadays we have politically correct “Bibles” which seek to offend none and satisfy all. Maybe even the Devil himself will find Christianity appealing now!
What is politically correct religion? It is not so much a religion per se, but rather an attitude toward all religions. It says that any system of belief is as good as another. It says that as long as the adherent is sincere, all is well. Toleration and inclusivism are key concepts. PCR envisions a vague, generic God who is whatever you imagine him to be. If you prefer atheism, that too is acceptable.
The unwritten rule which governs PCR is that no one can say anything negative about any other system of belief. After all, religion is a personal thing, and if my religion works for me, and yours works for you, then why bother trying to convert me from mine to yours? To do so would damage my fragile self-esteem!
According to PCR, no one should ever be guilty of telling another person that he is a sinner in the sight of a Holy God. The s-word and the h-word (sin and hell) are off-limits. Instead of being sinful people, we are simply spiritually challenged people. As for hell, it doesn’t even exist, and if by chance it really does exist, no one would go there, because there are no sinners, according to the new definition.
If anyone happens to venture into the no-man’s land of theological definiteness and exclusivity, he is guilty of a hate-crime, he is a bigot, and he should be permanently silenced… And all this is in the name of tolerance!
Presumably, PCR would like to permanently silence the one true God, who is said to hate all workers of iniquity (Psa. 5:5).
What saith the Holy Scriptures?
The God of the Bible has no room for other gods. The Lord Jesus Christ made it unmistakably clear that all religions are not equal. He said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). He made exclusive claims. He did not say, I am one of the many ways to God.
When the Lord Jesus Christ asked Peter if he wanted to quit following Him, Peter answered, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68). There was something unique about Him which could be found nowhere else!
The message of the early Christians was equally dogmatic and distinctive: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
By Divine inspiration Paul wrote to Timothy these politically incorrect words: For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). The often-heard philosophy that there is one God, but many ways to reach him, is utterly false and unscriptural. The Bible is not politically correct after all! Authentic Christianity goes against the flow of man’s drifting opinion.
In fact, even in the New Testament times, political correctness existed in a manner strikingly similar to what we see today. Paul told the Corinthians that the message of the cross was foolishness in the estimation of those who are lost in sin. He went on to say, But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God (1Cor. 1:23,24).
The truth which the true and living God has revealed in the Holy Scripture has never suited the palate of natural man. It has never been popular with the masses––even the religious masses. Remember, it was a religious group that cried out Crucify him, crucify him. The Lord told his disciples that …the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service (John 16:2). The authentic gospel has from the beginning been offensive to man in sin. We read in Scripture of the offense of the cross (Gal. 5:11). It was this offensive message of Christ and His cross which brought down storms of persecution upon the early church. Since that time, all who have faithfully proclaimed the same message have likewise been the objects of ridicule and rejection, and not infrequently have been persecuted to death by the PC crowd. Though they talk about toleration, they can be quite violent against Christians whose (non-violent!) gospel doesn’t fit their social-engineering agenda for a manmade utopia.
In what way is the biblical gospel offensive? It tells me that I have sinned against a Holy God who must punish me for my sin. It tells me I am powerless to correct my own evil nature. I cannot make amends for my sins; my good intentions are worthless. Left to myself I will suffer eternally the wrath of God which I justly deserve. In a word, it tells me that I am the problem rather than the solution. This offends me in my natural state, with my natural pride.
But there is more. The Bible tells me that God has taken upon Himself the work of saving the sinner, pardoning the guilty, justifying the ungodly, reconciling the enemy. And He was under no obligation whatsoever to do any of this! Therefore it is called grace.
He has done this in a way that upholds His holy standards of justice. He has sent His Only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, a unique person, to live a sinlessly holy life as my substitute, so that I might have a righteousness which pleases God. Christ has also died as my substitute, a unique work of atonement, so that my sin is fully paid for. Now I stand acceptable to the Holy God, only because He Himself has done for me that which I could never have done for myself. Only in this resurrected Savior can I enjoy fellowship with my Creator.
Here then is the offense: Christianity does not simply claim to be a way of salvation, but rather to be the only way! To proud, self-righteous man this message of inability and total dependency on Another, is the height of offense. It is an attack against my independency and self-sufficiency. But to those who, by His enabling grace, turn from their sin, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the best news we could ever hear. It is music to our ears! To the one it is rubbish, to the other it is most precious.
Sadly, the issues have become quite muddled today, as many who profess to proclaim the old gospel have succumbed to the pressures of PCR. They have attempted to take a middle ground in which there is still a cross, but not a cross which sinners find offensive.
Churches which call themselves Christian often appear more interested in pampering the rebel rather than delivering the ultimatum from the King. Psychology and carnal entertainment have replaced the conscience-pricking message of redemption. Nothing is left but a few sentimental expressions about a largely irrelevant Jesus. Self-esteem doctrine has replaced conviction of sin. A Christ who is merely an example to be followed has replaced the Christ who is the Redeemer to be trusted and obeyed. As a result, no one is offended any more, and the “churches” with such a “gospel” are packed with proud, unrepentant sinners who are perfectly at ease on the road to hell.
But make no mistake, my friend: a gospel which is without offense is no longer the soul-saving gospel of Christ. Rather it is the most delusive deception imaginable. It is another Jesus and another gospel.
The word gospel literally means good news. But this good news is only appreciated by those who have first felt the hopelessness which the bad news brings. The bad news is that of man’s sin, guilt and inescapable final judgment. Take away the bad news, as much of contemporary, pragmatic Christendom has done (in order to appeal to man and be politically correct), and the good news about God’s appointed sin-bearing Sacrifice loses its value. The good news without the bad news is just news.
My friend, let me be very clear: you cannot be both politically correct and Biblically correct! I urge you to humble yourself before the Almighty God, confess to him your sins and your sinful heart which tends to produce such sins. Ask Him to have mercy on your wretched soul. Come to Christ at once. Take His perfect righteousness, submit to Him as your Lord, and find the peace for which your restless soul longs.
What, then, must politically incorrect Christians say in our present situation? We say with the apostles, We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We do not seek to force our beliefs on anyone; authentic New Testament Christianity need never resort to coercion or violence in order to promote the kingdom of God, a kingdom which is not of this world. We are not seeking to save society through government and laws. (That would only be another form of PCR!) Rather, we seek to save some from this perverse society in which we live. Our only weapons are the truth of God’s Word and prayer. The Holy Spirit uses these means to persuade men in the stillness of their own consciences.
However, we do seek to preserve freedom of religion, so that we may boldly proclaim the unique and exclusive claims of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our appeal is to the Scripture as the final authority. On judgment day, only the Biblically correct religion will suffice.
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