George Orwell’s 1949 book, 1984, was about the future. It was a scary and suggestive look at what could happen to society if we didn’t protect our freedoms from totalitarianism. The idea that “Big Brother is watching” was a fearful one, as this fictional story gave the feeling that what we say and think are monitored and forcefully used to keep us in line. So, here it is, 2017, and the year 1984 passed 33 years ago without Big Brother watching. But wait a minute – the sexist and alarming thought of Big Brother watching would invade safe spaces and be recognized as a potential trigger for some. We need to be gender and social status-free in our policing of the masses. Instead of Big Brother watching, we should say, “Thought interpreting humans are guiding the collective.” The point is, we have entered a time in history where the policing of thoughts and words has overtaken us in a unique and disturbing way. What would Jesus do in this environment? Would he stand in support of it or against it? Would Jesus be politically correct?
The short answer to that last question is an emphatic NO! Jesus never did nor ever will fit into the mold of political anything. Besides, understanding how to define political correctness is like trying to hit a moving target. If you look at the history of the phrase, you find that in the early to mid 20th century it was attached to Stalinism and Communism and described a position of holding to the party line regardless of its morality. Basically, it said that to be politically correct you check your brain at the door and unequivocally comply. Scary!
Fast forward to political correctness today and the question arises, are we still being asked to check our brains at the door and just comply? Are we being pressed to accept only those things which certain groups have proclaimed "acceptable?" What if you are offended by specific behaviors labeled as “must accept” behaviors? Now by being offended, I don’t mean you just don’t like something. For some reason, not liking something seems to have become a trigger for emotional breakdown. I guess I never got the memo on that, because I was taught not liking something meant that you let others have their opinions, you respectfully stand up for your beliefs and you move on. Being offended has to do with being crossed, regarding your deeply-held firm and timeless beliefs that are way bigger than you.
Jesus had a fascinating way to address all of these things. There are many important areas of life that Jesus didn’t talk much about, such as children and marriage, but what he did say was extraordinarily powerful and relevant. The key is putting his words in their proper context on these things and then trying to stand for what he stood for, which was spiritual correctness and not political correctness.
Jesus also talked about social tolerance, and he did address politics as well. What did he say and whose side was he on? Take some time and listen to our January 16, 2017 podcast, “Was Jesus Politically Correct?” It may help you gain perspective and insight into how and why Jesus stood for certain principles, and how we can do the same while living in a society that has lost its way.
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