Trying to navigate the maze of political correctness is an ever-changing ropes course with serious social consequences. Who is the most offended party of the day? If you do not conform, horrible, scathing name-calling will ensue. Jobs are at stake. Lives can be ruined.
Political correctness has been compared to Hitler’s Brownshirt brigade of youths torturing anyone who disagrees with the Nazi party. Some say Donald Trump’s victories are rebellion against this tendency toward lockstep unity at all costs. To others it is anti-individuality, 1984 come to life, totalitarianism on the rise. At the very least it is the childishness of schoolchildren fully grown.
So, where’s the beauty in that?
At its core is the realization that something is wrong. Something is deeply, disgustingly wrong with the world and some of the people in it. Something is broken.
It is the determination that this situation is intolerable. It is the recognition that something needs to be done. It is an attempt to change things, however badly implemented.
It is nothing less than C. S. Lewis’ argument for God.
Proof of God? Come On!
After years of dedicated atheism, this realization turned Lewis toward theism and eventually Christianity. He wrote about it in Mere Christianity. The beginning of it is this:
- There is a way we should behave.
- We don’t.
The question is, why should we ever think such a thing? Why do societies the world over, throughout history, agree on the basics of right versus wrong? Why should anything be wrong? Is there a moral law built into us? If so, where does it come from?
From this simple beginning so many questions follow. Lewis’ arguments are deep and rigorous and far beyond the scope of a blog, but they all spring from this initial problem. Theologians have another word for this realization.
The Recognition Of Sin
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
Political correctness does a great job of recognizing the sins of others. That’s the point. “Look over there. Those people are sinners.” It can’t really be argued with because it will always be true.
The problem is that it is designed to excuse our own personal sins. It places them in the context of the other guy’s evil. All you have to do is magnify their sin and yours pale by comparison. At least in your mind.
It is distracting. It allows you to hide your sin in a crowd by pointing out the sins of others but it doesn’t really deal with sin. It deals with blame. Your sin doesn’t go anywhere. You see it in the mirror and when you close your eyes late at night. You are shocked when it appears naked, blatant, with no crowd to hide in.
All of that blaming and comparing is corrupting. You know they aren’t really worse than you. You tell yourself that sin doesn’t exist and get lost in it. The spiral begins.
Law Without Grace
You are at the mercy of the law. Moral law rings in your heart and the law of the jungle lurks around you, waiting for you to slip so they can pounce. You start longing for safe zones where other ideas can’t exist. You stay with the crowd because there is no other relief in sight. You are stuck.
Or maybe not . . .
The question you have to ask yourself is, why do I feel something is sin to begin with? Is it just so an angry God has an excuse to eliminate me? That sounds pointless. Why did He create me in the first place if He only intended to wreck me?
When I look at the beauty and complexity and magnificence of the world around me such a twisted idea seems out of place. Except maybe inside my twisted head. Maybe there’s more to it.
In the Bible, God is described as being both holy and love. They seem, in our minds, to be opposites. Holiness is what we aren’t. It is judgement to us. Punishment. Until you think about it a little.
Holiness also includes justice. And injustice burns in our souls. It angers us like nothing else when someone we love is unjustly accused, condemned, punished or slandered. We see the good parts in them, the love, the potential for good in the world, and we do not believe they deserve it.
This is how God feels when someone sins against us. Only it’s worse because we are all His children. Imagine having one of your children hurt another of your children, or even kill them. It’s too hard to seriously consider for long. You would love both of them. But if you forgive the one you are abandoning the other, whom you also love beyond words.
Love Without Sin
God wants us to live together without hurting each other – love without sin. That’s what holiness really is. And that is very, very good. Just imagine it across the world.
But sin happens.
God is love and love is not captivity. He can’t truly love us as He does without giving us a choice. He wants us to return His love by choice and not by decree because that wouldn’t really be love at all. And we choose wrong.
Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Gods holiness comes from His love. He cannot abide sin that injures His children. Injustice cannot go unpunished. So, God chose the most amazing solution of all. He chose to take the punishment for us by Jesus’ sacrifice. God laid down His life for us.
The slate is wiped clean. The debt is paid in the most unfathomable way. The word grace is inadequate, as is all language combined, to contain such love.
The goal remains the same: love without sin. But sin is not ignored or hidden. Blame is not shifted and lies not told. No one else has to be hurt or demonized. The price is paid. The slave is freed.
But it all begins with the recognition of sin.
The Beauty Of Christianity
Jesus dealt with sin. God’s gift of forgiveness is an option. We keep our free will. Why would we not choose such a magnificent gift of love?
In a word: pride.
If we say we have no sin then we believe there is nothing to forgive, no need for a sacrifice. But we know that is wrong. Just look at political correctness that points out the flaws in everyone – everyone else. So, here’s the question. If they are all so sinful, then why aren’t you? Take a very close look. It’s a matter of life or not.
Grace or pride. Your choice. But keep this in mind. Jesus’ closest friend and beloved disciple said this:
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 1:5 – 2:2
Photo by Conal Gallagher via Flickr