There is no doubt that society is sharply divided over many issues these days. Debates blaze hotter as major elections loom ever nearer. Usually, the topics that elicit the more emotional responses from folks are those that involve a moral element (or a perceived lack thereof). This has been going on since the dawn of man and it will continue until the end of human history.
These days, political correctness is the sought-after gold standard in Hollywood and in the popular media. If anyone dares to declare a legal behavior “wrong,” they are labeled as a “bigot,” “racist,” or “religious fundamentalist.” Nevermind that these labels are incorrectly applied in many (more likely, most) cases. The stigma such accusations carry is powerful and Christians respond in various ways. A precious few see the fallacy and stand up to it; a larger portion decide to keep their views to themselves. Sadly, it seems that a growing number of Christians have abandoned important parts of the Christian worldview so that they can embrace the celebrated opinions of secular society. We now have believers promoting causes such as abortion, choosing to reinterpret or disregard biblical teachings that prohibit such a horrific practice. That’s just one example.
Why has the desire to conform to ever-changing popular opinion overruled a moral system based on absolute truth and values? Is it an utter misunderstanding of the concepts of compassion, love, and justice? Is it intellectual laziness that prevents self-described Christians from evaluating their worldview to see if it is coherent, to see if it is consistent with Scripture and with their deepest core beliefs about man and God? Or, is it something much worse, a desire to fit in with the “in” crowd? We need to spend some time closely examining our viewpoints on the controversial issues of our day and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to follow suit.
Today I came across this relevant passage in Bioethics: A Primer for Christians by Gilbert Meilaender:
Our background beliefs are commonly held at a kind of pre-articulate level. We take them in with the air we breathe, drink them in from the surrounding culture. It is, therefore, useful sometimes to call to mind simply and straightforwardly certain basic elements in a Christian vision of the world–to remind ourselves of how contrary to the assumptions of our culture that vision may be.
I live on the outside of the “in” crowd. My views on many things draw criticism and ugly ridicule quite frequently. But you know what? No vocal, committed Christian in history has had a different experience than this, I’m willing to bet. The first Christians endured it, and the last earthly ones will, too.
This is what I hold on to:
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.