Monday, September 19, 2016

Paleo-Orthodoxy: "No, I Don't Respect Your Beliefs."

Imagine being in the midst of a conversation between a Christian and say, someone advocating for evolutionary theory, gay marriage, and abortion- just as an example. Now any orthodox Christian will disagree profoundly with these ideas. Meanwhile the advocate of such errors might say, "Well no matter what you think, that's what I believe." Now, imagine our Christian friend responding with, "I respect your beliefs, even if I disagree with them profoundly." Do you see the erroneous thinking in that statement? Look carefully. I understand that because our culture is so permeated with politically correct speech and thinking that it might not hit you at first, so take a moment and repeat the response if you need to.

"I respect your beliefs, even if I disagree with them profoundly."

Okay, if you're tired of guessing at it, here it is; why is a Christian respecting beliefs that are false?

In today's society such statements roll off the tongue almost without thought. Others- wanting desperately to be seen as "different" from other Christians (You know, those who the Leftists dislike)- will almost crawl on their knees to appease the Leftist, thinking this is somehow "loving them into the kingdom". Don't get me wrong. Love is an essential part of evangelism. I get that. However, the milktoast, groveling Christian schtick isn't love, it is self flagellation, albeit on an intellectual level. I'm to speak the Truth in love, not be politically correct and somehow think that makes me more godly. 

I've looked hard. Really, I have. I've looked hard for that scripture verse that says I have to respect error, false teachings and lies. Maybe it's a defect in my study skills, but I can't find it. In fact, I find quite the opposite. Let me give you some examples.

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."- Ephesians 5:11

Now where I come from respecting error is having fellowship with an unfruitful work of darkness. Respecting error does nothing to lead someone out of that error, but rather reinforces the idea that error is on the same platform as Truth. Sorry, can't buy that. And exposing something deemed to be error? Well that's just plain offensive to some. 

"But you don't want to offend anyone."

True, I don't want to intentionally offend someone, but let me ask you this; can one expose error without the potential-just the potential- of offending someone who believes in that error? Should I then not expose error since someone might be offended? And if they are indeed offended, does that make me rude, mean or un-Christlike? Where do we get the idea that we will never be offensive?

Jesus could be pretty offensive at times.

"You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires."- John 8:44

"You snakes! You brood of vipers.."- Matthew 23:33

I'm not suggesting we start calling people names. None of us is God (and Jesus certainly is), and so we don't know a person's heart and innermost thoughts. However, this does demonstrate that Jesus could be offensive, and so will any Christian combating error.Even more so when you're able to label the specific errors and demonstrate how far from Truth they are.

We are commanded to proclaim the Truth, in season and out of season-when it is well received, and when it is not. (II Timothy 4:2) I'm not saying we have a license to be a jerk, because we clearly don't. (Ephesians 4:15) What I am saying is that the Gospel offends. It offends the abortionist, it offends the Progressive, it offends the homosexual, it offends the evolutionist- it offends because error cannot abide the light of Truth, and Truth has no respect for error.

Likewise, to say "I respect your beliefs" is itself an error. As Paul writes to Timothy:

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer."- II Timothy 2:14-17

Can you get any more profane than affronts to God's Truth?

Again, to say you respect error is to give error a dignity it does not possess and does not deserve. It is placing error on the same level as Truth, even if only in the mind of the one in error. So, while I care about the individual, while I contend with them seeking their highest good (Christ), I don't respect their false beliefs, nor will I pretend to. What about you?

3 comments:

  1. Excellent. We can respect them as persons made in God's image, and treat them with respect, but we should not respect the ideas that are clearly erroneous or ridiculous. I'm thinking that people have confused the idea of respecting people and their right to their opinions with the idea of respecting every opinion as equally valid. Sounds like a post-modern thing to do.

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  2. This is well written. I need to study into this!

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