Friday, March 28, 2014

Biblical Truth and Political Correctness

"We all win when people and organizations stand up for Biblical truth. Political correctness doesn't change lives, truth does."
-comment on a colleague's Facebook Post

The internet seems to be very concerned with World Vision's recent actions regarding their hiring policy. If you're not sure what's going on, it's worth a google.

The main thing for me is that somehow Biblical Truth has gotten tied up into hiring practices at a child-centered charity. The Bible is a big book/small library written over hundreds of years by dozens of hands. Some Christians call it infallible, other Christians call it inerrant, other Christians are hesitant to ascribe it with any absolute. Some Christians doubt the Christianity of Christians who disagree with their views on the Bible (have fun with that syntax!).

The idea of Biblical Truth, however, is a pretty fuzzy concept to pin down. People have been debating what exactly is "truth" for as long as we've been able to ask abstract questions. Luckily for us, scripture identifies its truth for us:
"Jesus answered, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
John 14:6a
Common English Bible (2011-06-15). CEB Common English Bible with Apocrypha (Kindle Location 50570). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition. 

The person and work of Jesus Christ is the Biblical Truth, and most Christians will spend most of their faith journey trying to figure out what exactly that means. For me, right now, it means that even though we were enemies of God, God still loved us enough to become flesh and walk among us, going even to his death so that we would no longer be separated from the God who loves us.

In the face of that kind of Biblical Truth, how can one turn away anyone? God certainly does not. When people and organizations stand up for Biblical Truth, I do believe we all win. I do believe that God's love is relentlessly transformative, and that our lives are changed by it; Reformed and always being reformed, as it were.

As for political correctness, that term is nearly meaningless anymore. It's too easy to vilify to carry much weight. I think, however, that what many folks characterize as political correctness is an expression of hospitality, which certainly fits within Biblical Truth.

So maybe liberal/progressive Christians can find ways to be a little more hospitable to their "closed-minded" conservative/evangelical brothers and sisters. Maybe, also, conservative/evangelical Christians can make the effort to extend hospitality to their liberal/progressive brethren who "aren't living right."

Because truly, none of us are living right. The Biblical Truth, though, tells us that God loves us anyway, and doesn't wait for us to save ourselves, and redeems us anyway. With that truth uniting us, why in the world would we let a hiring policy get in the way of how we treat those whom God loves? 

We can do better, even if we never see eye-to-eye on the theological or practical issues, we can do a better job of loving one another, and proclaiming Biblical Truth that way. We can extend hospitality to those who we see as sinners, or unrighteous, or hypocrites, or any other label. Because God's grace empowers us to do justice, they will know that we are Christians by the way we love kindness, and all of us are could stand to walk a little more humbly with our God.
13So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. 14I know and I'm convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is wrong to eat in itself. But if someone thinks something is wrong to eat, it becomes wrong for that person. 15If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don't let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16And don't let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. 17God's kingdom isn't about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval.
Romans 14:13-17
Common English Bible (2011-06-15). CEB Common English Bible with Apocrypha (Kindle Locations 52541-52546). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition. 


  1. We can do better. You shed light into this conversation.

    1. Thanks Dr. Watkins. I'm grateful for the opportunities to try and do better, and the assurance that, even if I don't, I'm still loved.