Much of the Western world is awash in diversity and “political correctness”-the notion that no one should be criticized, maligned, mocked, or even spoken of in a derogatory manner with regard to one’s race, nationality, appearance, religion, or morals. Laws, now called hate laws, have been established in many countries that prohibit the above practices, except of course, as these infractions may apply to Christians. Long prison sentences have been meted out to some who have refused to be “politically correct.” Christians are defined as people who, when not preparing for the Rapture, are trying to make gay people miserable. In reality, political correctness can be defined as unearned respect, and is as hollow and valueless as those who demand it. Many who clamor for diversity and tolerance have little tolerance for Christians. Some astute writers have noted that if political correctness continues unchecked, America will cease to be the great nation it is. While many people refuse to acknowledge it, America was founded on Christian principles. An examination of statements made by the framers of the Constitution shows that many used the Scriptures as a guide. Since the Bible was an important document employed in forming our government, what does it reveal about God? And how tolerant is He?
How Tolerant Is God?
The nation of Israel was established to be a representation of God’s righteousness. The laws and statutes given to these people were for this purpose. If Israel followed these laws they would become a prosperous and happy people.
This is what Moses said:
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? (Deut. 4:5-8)
The Law of God was not given to deprive anyone of happiness. It was given so that men could avoid the pitfalls and sorrows that result from sin. How does the Bible express the value of the Law of God, and what are the benefits?
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Ps. 19:7-11)
God is the One who defines good and evil. Man has never been given this prerogative. God says: “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil . . . . I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut.30:15,19).
In brief, the Law of God defines good and evil, righteousness and sin. In time, however, the nation of Israel became tolerant of the sins of the nations around them. They adopted many of their practices and became contaminated. Soon they participated in evil of every kind.
Here is what God warned:
When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. (Deut. 4:25-26)
The Israelites did not take this warning seriously, and failed to teach their children the importance of obeying God.
Here is the historical record:
And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel . . . . And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Balaam. (Judges 2:7-11)
Later, Solomon fell into this same trap.
But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: forsurely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love . . . . And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. (1 Kings 11:1-2, 9-10)
Those who demand political correctness and diversity want all kinds of conduct to be accepted. This was what ancient Israel did-following the path of licentiousness and evil of every kind. These practices had been prohibited by God (Lev. 18). The consequences were eventually disastrous. “Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only” (2 Kings 17:18). These tribes that were removed are known today as the “lost ten tribes of Israel.”
When the New Testament was introduced, God ushered in a New Dispensation, one in which the gift of the Holy Spirit enabled Christians to resist and overcome the pulls of the flesh. Of this Covenant God said: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Heb. 8:10). The Apostle Paul spoke of the Holy Spirit when he said: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). True Christians avoid evil and know that fellowshipping with those who practice evil will have an adverse effect upon them. ” . . . Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” (1 Cor. 5:6)
This is why Christians are admonished:
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (2 Cor. 6:14-17)
The Christian View of Tolerance
While it is not the duty of any Christian to pass a sentence of condemnation upon those who practice sin, the New Testament makes clear how sin is viewed in the eyes of God. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10). The reason Christians have not been given the right to condemn others is that any sinner, if he or she chooses, can repent of sin. This is the reason Paul wrote in the next verse, that is in 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Fellowship with sinners is forbidden, though one may of necessity come into contact with sinners at work, shopping, traveling, and so forth.
This is why Paul stated:
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (1 Cor. 5:9-11)
The Moffatt Translation makes this statement: “Make no mistake about this: ‘bad company is the ruin of good character.’ Regain your sober senses and avoid sin. . . ” (1 Cor. 15:33).
As noted above, since any man may come to repentance, Jesus warned about an attitude of self-righteous condemnation toward the wicked.
Judge [condemn] not, that ye be not judged [condemned]. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-5)
Yet those brethren who practice sin must not be allowed to fellowship with Christian brethren. Those of the world are in the hands of God. Paul wrote: “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:12-13). The final disposition of each man will be decided by God. “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (1 Cor. 4:5). It is the duty of Christians to judge, that is, evaluate the conduct of those within the Church and have no fellowship with those refusing to repent of sin.
Disapproving of sin does not mean that one is passing final judgment. But this is what makes those who uphold political correctness and diversity so upset. They believe they are being condemned by those who disapprove of their moral conduct. They cannot stand to hear any criticism about the lifestyles they practice or tolerate. A typical example of such a reaction recently occurred in the ski town of Telluride, Colorado. World Net Daily, January 3, 2005, reported that a promoter of tourism stirred up a controversy among local residents when he posted a warning to potential visiting families about the city’s Gay Ski Week. Advocates of this homosexual event demanded that the promoter remove his warning to families because it was discriminatory. The promoter’s warning to these potential visitors was as follows: “Although this week should be fun for those not offended by alternate lifestyles, with events including: The Pleasure Hunt, the Blue Ball Dance, Drag Races and more, we are strongly suggesting that families concerned with exposing their children to homosexual behavior schedule their vacations at another time.” Communications the promoter received afterward expressed the outrage felt by members of the community who appear to be so desperate for business that they are willing to invite anybody to town. What is clear is that their desire for profit far exceeded any concern about morals. Although the promoter admitted he was not opposed to alternate lifestyles, his concern was that the community was labeling people by having special weeks for certain kinds of visitors. This reaction by the community is becoming more and more typical of what the prophet Amos wrote: “They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly” (Amos 5:10).
What Should Not Be Tolerated
Evil is defined by God, yet many people do not know what evil is. The Bible states: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Sin is evil (Ps 51:4). Sin is the opposite of righteousness. And what is righteousness? “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Ps. 119:172). What, then, is required for righteousness? Consider the Scriptures on the following page. They demonstrate the importance of obedience to the Law of God, which defines sin (Rom 7:7).
“Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked” (Ps. 97:10).
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word. I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me” (Ps. 119:101-102).
“Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path . . . . Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Ps. 119:104-105, 128).
“Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties” (Ps. 141:4).
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Prov. 8:13).
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” (Prov. 16:6).
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20).
God has given men free moral agency. No one is forced to keep His Commandments, but by refusing to do so the suffering in this world is great. God has set a spiritual law in motion that exacts a penalty if broken. There is both a physical and spiritual penalty. The following text refers to the physical penalty: “Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him” (Eccl. 8:6). Paul refers to the spiritual penalty: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Only by obeying God and living by His commandments can man achieve the happiness and joy he really craves. We have little control over what others do, but we do have a choice over what we do. All men must come to realize that evil and sin in their lives must not be tolerated.