My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

May 23, 2014

GAGGING on Political Correctness

By Paul Tatham

I've been somewhat concerned, of late, over the growing impact of political correctness on the body of Christ. So I wrote this article, which you might want to print and read at your leisure.

Let’s see what the Bible says about the subject.

Our adult Bible study group examined Romans 12 and, here, in chapter 13, we examine the well-worn passage that outlines a Christian’s obligation to render unto Caesar - the government.

The Apostle Paul instructs believers to be subservient to their governing rulers, even going so far as to pin a lofty name tag - “ministers of God”- on them. A few chuckles could be heard when we read that verse.

I then probed a little further. Is a Christian ever allowed to disobey his government? For years, I had asked that same question in previous Bible studies with other groups and had always gotten the response I was hoping for.

Several were quick to speak up and confidently declare that we were obliged to obey government except when government decrees that we do something forbidden in Scripture or, the opposite, forbids us from doing something commanded in Scripture. 


Feedback included some examples of each and invariably someone would quote Acts 5:29, where the Apostle Peter defies Jerusalem’s religious authorities who had commanded him to cease and desist from all evangelistic efforts.

Without hesitation, Peter responded that “we ought to obey God rather than man” and continued his quest to fulfill the Great Commission. We all cheered his brashness and coveted it for ourselves.

If we are to defy government, I would often caution, let’s be sure we are not disobeying a law simply because it doesn’t sit too well with us personally. We want to make sure we have Scriptural backing.

We do not have the authority, for example, to stop paying our federal income taxes solely because some of those taxes are used to fund a war that we deem a worthless cause. We would have no biblical mandate for such a position.

But over the last couple of decades, governmental law has taken on a new twist. Something called “political correctness” has elbowed its way into our lexicons and law books.

Now individuals, or groups of individuals, who have been insulted by what someone said to them are publicly licking their damaged egos and demanding that offenders be held accountable.

Cases that were once laughed out of court are now taken seriously, resulting in hefty fines and even prison time. No one is laughing anymore.

All of this because someone was offended. Gone are the days when “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Now, mere words are treated as lethal.

Suggest that someone might benefit from losing a few pounds and you could be charged with “harassment.” Poke fun at someone’s height and run the risk of “bullying.” Drop an innocuous ethnic joke and run the risk of being charged with a “hate crime.”

We live in what has been described as “a nation of thumb-suckers” in which I can seemingly do as much harm with words as I can with a weapon.

The end result is that too many Christians are now hesitant to voice their faith.

The fear of offending someone has taken center stage and is classified as the new unpardonable sin that must be avoided at all costs. There is no greater faux pas.

Pastors who once preached entire sermons on the horrors of Hell are now reluctant to even use the word, almost as if the place doesn’t exist. They might, after all, upset someone in the audience.

The fallout of political correctness has been devastating, resulting in a de facto gag order on evangelism. Most Christians understand that they have an obligation to spread the good news, whether they possess that gift of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:11) or not.

They realize that the Great Commission pertains to all believers, not just a few “specialists,” and that everyone is expected to do his part. But with political correctness, now Satan’s latest trump card, a growing number of Christians are intimidated into quietly hiding their light under a bushel. Call it spiritual lockjaw.

Sadly, I even get the impression that some shy Christians are actually relieved by the rise of PCism. Now, they figure, at least I have a good excuse for keeping my mouth shut, hiding behind the I-might-offend smokescreen.

To make matters worse, political correctness is often viewed as more threatening than it really is. We know that occasional cases end up in court, and may even result in convictions, but sometimes we imagine the situation to be far more dire than it actually is.

Despite all the hand-wringing over PCism, we do live in a land where freedom of speech is still the norm. We still have vast opportunities to speak up for our Savior.

Admittedly, that freedom seems to be eroding. And the day may indeed come in which proselytizing is banned outright. When, and if, that sad day arrives, our Scriptural obligation will be to defy it.

Let’s not fall into the trap of applying a broad brush. We must be careful not to impose on ourselves more restrictions than actually exist. Because we may not be familiar with all the details of political correctness, and its sometimes confusing legal applications in certain situations, we are tempted to immediately throw up our hands and surrender without firing a shot.

Even when such a response is not yet lawfully imposed upon us, we don’t want to needlessly muzzle our witness for Christ, so let’s not hastily retreat into a self-imposed exile.

As we approach the end of the age, and Christians suffer increasing restraints, we may be forced to take a stand. But we are not quite to that point yet.

None of us intentionally wants to offend people. After all, we are doing all we can to be as winsome as ever, so that the lost will be attracted to us and, more importantly, our Savior.

Perhaps we have actually learned from political correctness and have honed our presentation. We now come across as more gentle, more caring, and perhaps a little less condemning while, at the same time, not shying away from the realities of eternity.

Hopefully, we have learned to polish our witness. But we have also learned that there is a big difference between polishing our witness and shutting it down entirely.