Was Jesus Concerned about Being Politically Correct?
by Roger Campbell
By most modern calculations, Jesus was born in B.C. 5 or 4. In terms of eras, He was born B.C., died A.D., and lived His whole life B.P.C. What is “B.P.C.,” you ask? It could be “Before Personal Computers,” but for our purposes we are employing it to stand for “Before Political Correctness.”
The political correctness mentality has swept modern-day America. According to such a mindset, while one may disagree with others, even strongly disagree, even strongly disagree because the other is blatantly wrong, the politically correct thing to do is not to make a big deal out of it and be careful with the language you employ lest you offend anyone. If one is in violation of some moral or biblical standard, then the politically correct thing to do is just let it slide without labeling it as “sin.” Because, after all, calling things “evil” or “sinful” is divisive, or so we are told. Or, if a person of a particular religion or cultural background violates some code of conduct, then the politically correct thing to do would be not to identify the specific religion or background of the violator, because the very mention of such would be proof of prejudice, hostility, or lack of human decency. So goes the reasoning (?) of many today.
What about our Lord? When you study the first four books of the New Testament, do you come to the conclusion that the Christ was concerned about being politically correct? Surely not. Before proving the proposition that the Master was not an advocate of being politically correct, let me hasten to remind you that His approach was flawless. He never sinned – not once (1 Peter 2:21-23). He always spoke the truth (John 18:37). In doing so, His attitude was always right. He loved all people. He showed genuine kindness and compassion. His speech was pure, and His conduct was in complete harmony with the will of the Father (John 6:38). I say all of that in order to emphasize that it is possible not to be an advocate of political correctness, but at the same time speak the truth and be a caring, helpful person.
So, what is there in the Bible record that convinces us that Jesus was not one that put any stock in being politically correct? For one thing, He spoke about “evil.” The Christ said that “evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:23).
Coupled with His message about people doing evil, He also preached about the need for sinners to repent, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17), and, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5). A message of repentance does not sit well with the Washington, D.C. crowd or those that write the scripts for CNN, does it?
Jesus preached about people going to hell (Mark 9:43,45). He labeled it as a place of “everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46) and said that only “few” will avoid going there (Matthew 7:13,14).
Our Lord warned folks about the religious leaders of His day, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not” (Matthew 23:2,3). Jesus referred to such religious hypocrites as “hypocrites,” if you can imagine! (Matthew 23:13,27,28).
Jesus went against the accepted teachings of His day. Many Jews had come to accept the notion that it is okay to hate your enemies. Jesus said to love enemies, pray for them, and do good to them (Matthew 5:43,44). Instead of upholding the man-made doctrines that some were binding about washing hands and utensils before a meal, Jesus said that teaching for doctrines the commandments of men makes worship vain (Mark 7:7).
When Jesus spoke about the sensitive topic of marriage and divorce, He spoke in terms that were clear. What He had to say was true, and whether others liked or received His message had nothing to do with it. He taught, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder . . . Whosoever shall put away his wife, and except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:6,9).
Jesus taught what people needed to hear. That, of course, did not make Him the most popular preacher of all time, but it is obvious that being popular was not one of His goals! God wants us to have the mind or heart of His Son (Philippians 2:5). He was humble as He approached lost people, and we must be as well. He was also courageous, and God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
Brothers and sisters, we must zealously and urgently proclaim the glad tidings of salvation through the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). The world still needs to hear that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God (Ephesians 4:4-6). Let us never be ashamed of our Lord and His gospel. Yes, as we deal with others, even with the God-bashers, morally corrupt, and religious crackpots, we must be courteous (1 Peter 3:8). And, yes, we must be tenderhearted as we live our lives and converse with and about others (Ephesians 4:32). But, we must not allow ourselves to get sucked into the political correctness mentality. Jesus was not concerned about being politically correct, and neither should we be.
— Roger D. Campbell