“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” II Tim.3:1-5
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” II Tim.3:7
Philosophy: Greek, philo = “love”; Greek, Sophia = “knowledge”
The particular philosophy I want to discuss herein continues on its’ journey along the path throughout history. It began in the Garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve with the opening of her mind to knowledge by eating of a piece of fruit in direct disobedience to her Almighty Father. It continued through time from Babylon and through the esoteric teachings of Jewish Mysticism, also known as Kabbalism, continuing on to touch the entire world through the school of thought and knowledge by Greek philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle, among others. These Greek teachers continued and expanded the philosophy by teaching moderation for the Stoics, disbelief for the Skeptics, hedonism for the Epicureans, and continued on to a place called Alexandria, Egypt. Although, this belief system did not originate there, it certainly expanded in that locale as the world’s epicenter for all high-minded thinkers by those such as Origen, Philo and others and was perpetuated as one of the darkest ancient philosophies in history, one that continues on in this day, even stronger than ever. This philosophy was once known as Gnosticism and Neo-Platonism, but is now disguised by many other threads in modern society. Its’ name, bearing the Greek root word, γνῶσις or, “gnosis”, meaning knowledge, is not the knowledge that our omniscient Lord speaks of in His Word to be sought after more than much fine gold. No, it is the philosophy of a selfish esoteric and intuitive knowledge in the quest to reach the capstone of mystical enlightenment such as is sought after through the various learned degrees of Freemasonry. This worldly philosophy bears the paradigm of shedding one’s self of any heavenly need and focusing on the vain spirituality of worshiping one’s self instead. However, at its’ destructive root lies the usual wile – the very first sin, that sin of pride. Then comes the philosophy of what became commonly known as, “political correctness”, or “PC”.
As God’s Word says in our text in II Tim. 3, one of the signs of the times is that society will be, “highminded” and “lovers of their own selves”. We see it all around us today throughout society broadcast by the television, movies, and social media. PC is part and parcel of today’s modern form of gnosticism. I guess we could call it ‘hyper-tolerance’, or even, the ‘intolerance of intolerance’. Either way, it is the epitome of dishonesty and the height of hypocrisy. Some earmarks of this political correctness movement are:
- no one is allowed to speak of (or even think about) what they believe is good and right; (because, there are no moral absolutes)
- no one is allowed to choose or decide for themselves if it differs from the socially accepted status quo;
- no one is allowed to appear to understand or claim to know more than another unless they possess letters proving themselves to have attained that socially accepted position of “authority”; i.e. Teacher, Professor, Doctor, (…dare I say, B.Th., or, D.DIV.?), et al.;
- no one is allowed to claim to have the, “Capital-T truth”; or, an absolute spiritual knowledge of who God is; and
- no one is allowed to know the unequivocal answers to the “big four” questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going when I die?
Who made up these rules? Let us step outside of the circle for a second and look at the big picture: who in the world benefits the most from making up such insane rules in the race for souls? Ask yourself, who is the one that knows the time is so short? Who wants to dominate the world and sit as God over it and to be worshiped as God? Who is the one that possesses those traits in likeness to a roaring Lion? That well known adversary is the enemy, Satan. He has manipulated society by imposing such rules that ultimately criminalize good and acquit evil and finds society, believers and non-believers alike, walking on eggshells, afraid of anything that might offend to a fault to the point of lying to each other.
The Unbelievers’ Elephant in the Room
Why is it not socially acceptable to tell someone that they are in trouble anymore? Warning that they are headed down the wrong path? I remember a commercial on the television, once upon a time, about a group of seemingly close friends at the end of a party cowering in silence, deciding whether to tell their inebriated friend not to drive his car. Why did this dramatization of the world depict these grown men as so afraid of saying what needed to be said to one that may hurt himself or others by his actions? Or, take, perhaps, a scenario of a distraught teenage girl confiding her pregnancy to a girlfriend and deciding that the best thing to do is abort the baby as the first and the only solution. Why did the girlfriend not immediately and vehemently stand against this as an act of murder and offer another solution? It would have happened at one time in history. Ok. Let‘s just say those are unbelievers’ problems, but what about us as believers in God’s Word?
The Believers’ Elephant in the Room
Why is it not socially acceptable to tell someone that they are in trouble anymore? Why does a well-meaning Christian opt out of saying what needs to be said to their believing friend while they know the end result is their spiritual destruction? Why is it if that well-meaning brother or sister does use the scriptures, in love, to share with a dear brother or sister in Christ that they are backsliding, that it is deemed by that troubled friend, and not only him, but perhaps many in that church body, to be mean-spirited and judgmental? For instance, what about the sacred cow of music in the church? When we hear the worldliness creeping into the church by way of Christian rock, why are we not sounding the alarm so that God’s people will know there is a clear and present danger? Why are these ones attacked as enemies of the church when their heartfelt desire is to sound out against the harm and protect Jesus’ precious name from blasphemy? What about immodest dress? What about the Bible version conversation? The list goes on. I am sure many of you may have a perfect example that illustrates this all too well. There are far too many examples of this fear-induced inactivity out here. I submit to you that this is an earmark of the political entered into the church!
Know this, political correctness originates with the one that will benefit from it the best: our adversary, the Devil. If that enemy can slowly and craftily integrate these worldly correctness rules into the church, he knows it will successfully rot the church out from the inside and that church will die. When we as church members buy into this pridefulness of the politically correct, we stop doing what the bible says: that is, to judge righteously amongst ourselves.
The Bible says to watch for false prophets, to turn from sin, not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers and it also teaches how to deal with Christians that refuse to turn from sin. The Bible even lists the characteristics of those we are to look out for in our text above. Are we being intolerant? Of course! We must be intolerant of sin, but not of the repentant sinner! We need to be sober and vigilant to see these subtleties entering into the church. The Lord has given us the ability to decide for ourselves as we, the saved people, have the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth. We are, in fact, commanded to be discerning. We are to ask for wisdom in abundance. Today, we need even more wisdom to be effectively diligent about what Christians are bringing into the church. We ought to stay on the old paths. Nothing is new under the sun. What worked in the old fashioned church still works today. If we buy into that lie of the old is no longer relevant, we are deceiving ourselves. We must be watchful ready to shun sin and separate from those who bow to sin. We ought not to shun and revile the Christian brothers and sisters who whole-heartedly sound the alarm.
Finally, again, there is nothing new under the sun. The sin of pride continues to rear its ugly head inside and outside of the church in society today. From the very beginning in the garden through to today’s selfish knowledge based political correctness, nothing is new. The church ought to look away from the world’s mentality of political correctness as the benchmark and look back to the written Word. Let us test all the spirits: look at the person or people who are bringing to light these concerns. Are they bringing scripture verses to our attention? Should we not study them in context? Look at their lifestyle: are they faithful to the church; do they attend to the Word; are they known to love God and eschew evil the best they can? Is it a father with their homes in good and godly order? Do their children show a good pattern of biblical behavior? Then, perhaps they are good candidates to consider their concerns in light of the Word. Let us not succumb to the wiles of the Devil, intent on destroying, but let us look to God the author and finisher of our faith. ~R.
© Remi Fernhout 2011; 2021