Once there was a nation that may or may not have been built on Christian values, but certainly contained a lot of Christians. In fact, even the unbelievers in this society were non-Christians, not non-Buddhists or non-Muslims. Their values were Christian (or at least Christian-esque), and their culture took on a certain flavor which was decidedly influenced by aspects of Christianity.
This state of affairs continued for some time, until one day it didn’t. The Old Guard had gotten too old, and the New Guard decided that they had had enough of a mildly Christian-themed America. So they took down the old decor, changed a few slogans, and generally redecorated the place. They threw out the old stodgy puritan morals and came up with beautiful new ones, like Tolerate Everyone and Love Without Discrimination and Don’t You Dare Tell Me I’m Wrong. It was a shining city on a hill, this new utopia. And they all lived happily ever after.
Except they haven’t. What amazes me about the new moral majority is the sheer blindness and hypocrisy. I understand that they thought the old Christianish ways were bad; I understand that they wanted a new moral code; I can even understand why they wanted the sort of world they’ve been fighting for. But I cannot for the life of me understand why they chose a moral code and a set of ideals that they have no intention of living up to.
One of the highest ideals of this new sect is that of total moral relativism. You say tomato, I say transgender, let’s call the whole thing off. This in itself isn’t new; what’s new about it is the political and social ostracisation of anyone who doesn’t share their view. It’s incredible, isn’t it? Time was when you could trip up a post-modernist with the old “There are no moral absolutes, huh? Is that sentiment a moral absolute?” line. But not anymore– now, if you take that tack, you’ll be met with an indignant glare and forced to convert whilst looking down the barrel of a glitter cannon.
We could say the same about the ideals of tolerance and free love. The priests of the new order just love love, but they’re not big on loving their enemies, anyone who disagrees with them, or anyone they deem unworthy because of past sins which seem to be arbitrarily chosen based on which way the wind is blowing. They’ll tolerate anyone except those that tell them they’re wrong. Then the teeth come out. What a puritan religion this is, all condemnation and wrath, and not much mercy for the sinner.
At this point, of course, their scribes and Pharisees come howling down the pike, righteous fire in their eyes and invective dripping from their lips. Hypocrites?! Us?! What about you Christians? They remind us of our long history full of discrimination, bigotry, intolerance, murder, and the like. Occasionally they’re even right. Christians have done terrible things in the past. They have committed crimes against God and against humanity. They have been massive hypocrites. They have betrayed their ideals.
And herein lies the point. Christians have sinned and do sin, sometimes egregiously. This is not acceptable, and never has been, because it is an offense against the God who gave us a moral law in the first place, and who has redeemed us after our damnable transgression of it. We don’t deny it, we don’t justify it, and we certainly don’t like it– anyone who does is lying about their confession. But there is a world of difference between hypocrisy and a humble awareness that we are sinners who stand before a holy God by grace. We didn’t establish our morals; we simply acknowledge that the God who did is good and that we are not. The new moral majority, with all its moral smugness and superiority, is much too concerned with pointing out specks to repent of its own sin. Repentance is, after all, about as much fun as a stick in the eye.