Does political correctness and conventional wisdom deter you from speaking up for the truth of the Gospel on issues of life and morals?
In recent years we have seen increasing cultural acceptance of governmental actions that erode the sanctity of life, God’s institution of marriage, and sexual identity. Our health care laws require Catholic institutions to provide medical insurance for abortions. Public accommodation laws require Christian business people to provide services for same sex marriage in contravention of their personal conscience.
More recently, the Fairfax County, Virginia School Board voted to include gender identity in their nondiscrimination polices. Critics are concerned that it will lead to allowing students to choose bathrooms, locker rooms and even sports teams based upon their perceived sexual identity instead of their biological sex. The school board’s excuse is that they are being mandated by the U. S. Department of Education to do this under the threat of the loss of federal funds of more than $41 million.
All of these proposals present a dilemma to Christians since they run counter to God’s Word found in the Holy Bible, natural law and even basic common sense. How should we respond in the face of the so-called conventional wisdom and political correctness that seem to accompany these issues?
When God called Ezekiel to be a prophet to the Israelites in the sixth century, B. C., he said, “Do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briars and thorns are all around you and you are living among scorpions. You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.” (Ez. 2:6, 7) The Lord went on to tell Ezekiel that he would hold him accountable if he did not speak up.
How often does fear of what others will think cause us to withhold our comments on proposed government actions that erode our First Amendment rights to live out our faith in our daily lives?
Fear is a powerful human emotion. Perhaps that is why God was preparing Ezekiel to deal with the resistance he would encounter when he began to speak God’s word. That is why God told Isaac, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Genesis 26:24) He encouraged Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” (Joshua 1:6) The first thing the angels told Zachariah, father of John the Baptist, Mary, and Joseph was not to be afraid. The first words of St. John Paul II to the people in St. Peter’s Square upon his election as Pope were, “Be not afraid.”
The more a culture moves away from God, the more it moves away from truth. When Jesus, the embodiment of all truth, stood before Pilate and told him that he had come to testify to the truth, Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38)
Fear is the favorite tool of the enemies of truth, but Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid. I am with you always.” (Luke 5:10; Mt. 28:20)