My 19 year-old brother, Jared, recently shared his thoughts in a brief essay on today’s politically correct, post-modern concept of “tolerance.” I’m admittedly biased, but I thought he exhibited insight beyond his years. He did, however, open the door for a debate on whether Christians focus too much attention on the sin of homosexuality while giving other sins a pass. His musings and my response follow:
“Certain things, if not seen as lovely or detestable, are not being correctly seen at all.” – C.S. Lewis
It has become difficult to hold true to strongly held beliefs. The problem lies in the fact that behaviors, once held simply as sinful actions, are being lauded as definers of identity.
So, when one states that one believes fornication, homosexual behavior, or adultery to be wrong, the modern world calls this person an “intolerant” “oppressor” of “sexual freedom.” Or they are called “hateful.” The rationale is that they are oppressing “the way people love.” Sexual behaviors, in particular homosexuality, are called “identity.” “This is who we are.”
This is a problem, grave and immense. This rationale seeks, in its innermost, to undermine the ability of others to challenge these beliefs. By setting themselves up as minorities, people in this realm make disagreement “hatred,” “bigotry,” “judgment.”
In reality, it is statement of fact. Morality is what it is. To attempt to rationalize it away is lunacy.
Another problem arises here, though; and it is this: Christians, as a whole, focus too much on the homosexual issue alone. They attack it solely, denounce it, and live whichever way they please. Adultery, fornication, racism, pride, jealousy, selfish ambition, drunkenness; all of these immoral acts take to the background in view of homosexuality, and so we as Christians are set up as anti-gay instead of anti-immorality. We need to end our own hypocrisy, all of us, I as much as any, so that we can more blamelessly broach this subject and others.
And foremost, we must remember that Christ preached one thing above all else: Love. We must love others, with, as [C.S.] Lewis said, “...a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.” We must hold to the standard of morality which binds all mankind. We must not allow behaviors to define identity. We must do away with “tolerance” in its modern form which simply indulges behavior despite what morality says. But above all else, we must love.
To which I replied:
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).