PC PhariseesDecember 13, 2007
Two Christian apologists have helped us define the moral dilemma that America has been in for at least a decade. In his book “The Christian in Today’s Culture” Chuck Colson describes the death of what is called “A Moral Consensus”. Moral consensus is a culturally shared belief that there is a set of right and wrong actions that all members of that society must adhere to. Though this is not the true basis of law, the principle of Moral Consensus is the only way that we can be truly outraged when someone does something wrong. Moral Consensus allows us to lay consequences on those who break the law. Moral Consensus allows us to censure those who will not live their lives according to accepted ethical and moral standards.
But with the development of the idea that we cannot tell other people how to act in their private lives we allowed our Moral Consensus to be eroded. We now have a molehill of moral imperatives where we used to have a mountain. No longer can we say that fornication is wrong, infanticide is wrong, debt is wrong, hatred is wrong, treating parents with contempt is wrong. If we do, we are meddling in the affairs of others. So instead of making moral statements, we have traded them in for a more innocuous, and perhaps more sinister form of societal censure. I am speaking of being politically correct.
Here is where Ravi Zacharias comes to our aid. In a series of messages he delivered at Yale University earlier this year, Ravi said that we have replaced our moral imperatives with a series of societally accepted phrases and haute couture ideas that really don’t mean much at all. Instead of doing something about a morally offensive problem, we rename it in nicer sounding words so that people don’t have to feel alienated. Someone isn’t committing adultery, they are simply being polyamorous. We aren’t in debt, we are investing in the economy.
Politically correct language has replaced Moral Consensus as the basis upon which we feel and express our ethical/moral belief system. Unfortunately, this is not much different from what the Pharisees did. Instead of honoring their parents, they found ingenious ways of giving their money to other religious causes instead of helping mom and dad. They became expert at sounding like biblical geniuses but only talked the talk…they didn’t walk the walk.
Today’s Pharisees are those who demonize how people word their criticisms of society instead of focusing upon the real moral issues themselves.