Respected pastor and author Charles Stanley once said, “We have no obligation before God to be politically correct. Rather, we have a divine obligation to be Biblically correct — because if we’re Biblically correct, people’s lives will change and we’ll positively impact society.”
This is a hard-hitting statement, especially in a postmodern culture that tends to tiptoe around difficult issues in the name of being “PC” and not “offending” anyone of a different persuasion. Christians often find themselves in this quandary — many of us have experienced similar situations, whether feeling uncomfortably silent at a dinner party where friends or co-workers railed against the “intolerance” of people of faith, or experiencing waves of nausea when even fellow “Christians” deny the existence of absolute truth and preach that all religions or doctrines are valid in the eyes of a vague God.
The dilemma of choosing between political correctness and Biblical correctness is nothing new under the sun. In fact, numerous historical examples exist in the pages of the very book that unapologetically contradicts political correctness — the Bible. One such example, 2 Chronicles 14, is a fascinating account of part of the life of King Asa of Judah.
In verses 2-4 we read that, “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment” (2 Chronicles 14:2-4, NKJV).
King Asa knew that God declared Himself to be the only true God, and Asa didn’t just hold that inside his heart and quietly reassure himself that he believed in absolute Truth when his buddies were openly talking about how great their wooden idols were or how delicious the incense that they burned to their idols smelled. Instead, Asa took action.
Imagine if King Asa lived in modern day Washington, D.C. and knocked down altars to gods of other religions or statues built in honor of modern day figures of worship. News outlets like The Judah Times and CBS (Cable-less Broadcasting Station) would report on the “insanity” of King Asa’s actions. Talking heads would bemoan the “destructiveness” of his actions to relationships within the political and spiritual communities and that he was an “intolerant bigot” who arrogantly thought his beliefs were “superior” to others.
We know how both government and non-government organizations would react. The Association of Foreign Gods would immediately release a press statement denouncing the “hateful” and “unfair” treatment of their altars and shrines, and political leaders would hold press conferences to distance themselves from the king. Commercials would air calling for a king who “tolerated” everyone and did not “force” his beliefs on others.
In the meantime, let’s flash back to Biblical times and see what happened after King Asa obeyed God. In 2 Chronicles 14:5-7, it says, “He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. Therefore he said to Judah, ‘Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.’ So they built and prospered.”
Often, when we obey the Lord, we do indeed have peace and rest in our lives. King Asa experienced this, and even the talking heads of his day must have noticed the subsequent lack of chaos or political instability. However, we later read that King Asa’s obedience to the Lord did not guarantee him peace and rest forever. On the contrary, he would soon face attacks from the leader of Ethiopia, who led an army of one million men and 300 chariots. The little country of Judah, from a worldly perspective, didn’t stand a chance against the powerful army that wanted to snuff it out.
As 2 Chronicles 14:11 shows us, though, King Asa’s previous act of obedience to God prepared him to face the imminent attack on his land. “And Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, ‘Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!’”
In the end, the Lord spared King Asa and the people of Judah by decimating the powerful Ethiopian army. The king who, in obedience to God, began by performing a very politically incorrect project ended up being blessed with a time of peace and was then already in the habit of being obedient to God when the next challenge arose. As they say, practice makes perfect.
This Biblical example provides a great challenge to modern day Christians in their everyday interactions with an increasingly sensitive, PC culture. Notice that King Asa didn’t run around yelling at those who worshipped at the foreign altars or trumpeting his own holiness. Instead, he quietly but firmly took Biblically correct action and let God worry about the rest.
As Charles Stanley observes, Christians will impact society not through resigned political correctness, but through steady Biblical correctness. By simply living a faithful, grounded life of obedience to God in a fallen world, people’s lives will be impacted.
After all, if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.