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  • Writer's pictureKeith Haney

When Faith Runs Into Cultural Groupthink




We are at a moment where trying to avoid saying things that offend has reached the silly season. Conversation, debate, and even opposing points of view have been replaced by cultural groupthink. We have reached a point where people are afraid to speak the truth. Here are some quotes that connected with me this week on the subject.


"The two pillars of 'political correctness' are a) willful ignorance and b) a steadfast refusal to face the truth." George MacDonald.


Let's start with the premise that truth and honesty suffer when faith meets cultural groupthink.


Afflicted with Truth.


In a quick Bible search, "truth" appears at least 270 times. Truth is a critical foundation in the Christian belief systems. It is so foundational that Jesus Christ refers to Himself as "the truth" in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (CEB)


In our attempts to honor people, protect their feelings, and respect their life choices, we often do it dishonestly. We don't tell people the truth about the direction their life is taking for fear people will see us as intolerant or just mean-spirited. We have become sugar-coat experts.  


I had a meeting where the issue of Christian witnessing came up. I was making the point that, as Christians, we are called to be ready to live out our faith boldly in the world. The pushback came from a long-time Christian who feared that if we did that, we would offend people, and they may push back firmly on us. I thought, "Yes, that is possible, even very likely. After all, they pushed back on Jesus." Jesus points this out in Matthew 24:8-10 "But all these things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end. They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name. At that time, many will fall away. They will betray each other and hate each other."


Faith and cultural compliance are in direct opposition to each other. Cultural compliance tries not to offend; faith is a stumbling block by its very nature because it points us back to the perfection lost in the Garden of Eden when paradise was lost. Faith reminds us of the very high standards God demands and that we can never fully attain.


Conclusion


Faith also tells us that this is the very reason God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to stand in our place and take on the total weight of political ideas and leaders who guide us away from the need to deal with our brokenness, sin, and new identity. We are messed up people with destroyed lives and damaged relationships. We must face that and realize we need "The Truth" to return to the right relationship with God. That means an honest assessment of my life, choices, and flaws. Do I want to look in the mirror of my brokenness? Of course not. Instead, people would tell me it's okay, that I am okay. La La Land looks much better that way. In the end, living there is only temporary. The truth has an ugly way of always revealing itself. And the longer I hide from it, the more painful the fall. Faith not only points us to the truth but also to the solution, Jesus.  

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2 Comments


2PastorGreg
Jan 16

Great post, Pastor Haney! I have recently become more aware than ever, that "We are messed up people with destroyed lives and damaged relationships. We must face that and realize we need 'The Truth' to return to the right relationship with God."

One of my damaging faults, my "brokenness," is the way I talk to people I disagree with or who disagree with me. (I am bad enough, even with people who agree with me!) Even when I am saying what is true, right, and biblical, I have found that the way I communicate that truth is of high importance. Communication skills can make all the difference.

The late George Thompson wrote a book called "Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art…

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Keith Haney
Keith Haney
Jan 22
Replying to

I have not read the book but have heard the quote. It troubles me that we can't have honest conversations. Our society and in particular our youth are harmed by this delusion.

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