“Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him. Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” – Mark 2:13-17.
We are living in an age of political correctness that goes far beyond being kind and thoughtful. Today’s rules demand that we do our best to never say anything that might possibly offend someone. The result is scores of people walking on pins and needles, striving to be consistent with popular opinion. Political correctness began with good intentions to protect and stand up for the marginalized and the discriminated. In fact. if you take the concept of political correctness at face value, it is a good thing. If being politically correct means that we treat people of different backgrounds with respect and do not stereotype them based on their race or gender, then it is in fact, very biblical.
But somewhere along the way, simple, foundational truths that are central tenets of the Christian faith—treating others as you would like to be treated, loving your neighbor—suddenly became muddled and full of conflict.
We need to remember that the culture of political correctness is nothing new. In Jesus’ times, political correctness was demanded. For example, if anyone dared to speak differently about the traditions of people, or about the kingdom of God, what the official authorities had prescribed, they would be sanctioned. Jesus faced oppressive man-made rules from the Jewish religious leaders of His day. They were a man-made morality, created with good intentions. In a world desperately searching for truth, Jesus reminds us He is the only truth.
Before the politically correct crowd was ever born, believers loved one another. We didn’t love because we were pressured by society to do it. We loved because Jesus said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35). We must continue to declare to the world that God does not judge us for our political correctness, He judges us based on our faith in Him.
Christians are called to prioritize God over everything—elected officials, political parties, laws, and even our own self-interests. Doing this is often irrational and nearly always countercultural, but this is what it means to be a follower of Christ.
- How do you balance political correctness with what scripture tells us?