Politically Incorrect: Do You Stand With Me?

My wife said it so perfectly I decided to share it here. “The world is upside down.”

I don’t recall when I first heard the term “political correctness,” but I’m sure I laughed. It struck me as one of the most perfect oxymorons I’d ever heard. The very idea of linking something that is often as improper and incorrect as politics with “correctness” in the same sentence seemed like a perfect contradiction.

Although I still feel that way, I’m not laughing anymore. Not when I can’t quote what the Bible says about marriage and homosexuality without being accused of being homophobic. And when I can’t say that Allah is not the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity and that Muslims will not be in Heaven. Not without being called Islamophobic.

Rather ironic in both cases since “phobic” means “suffering from an irrational fear of something” and I’m not afraid of specific gays or Muslims. I’m only afraid of the ones who’re intolerant of me, and that’s realism, not an irrational fear.

Furthermore, I’ve reread the United States Constitution fairly recently–in its entirety–and you know what? Nowhere does it give American citizens the freedom from being offended. You hear that, Mikey Weinstein?

History has provided some wonderfully apropos quotes. Sir Winston Churchill said, “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.”

George Orwell, whose futuristic novel 1984 spoke of many things that seem to be coming true now, said, “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” And that freedom is what Americans are all too quickly losing.

I’m not advocating that we say mean things to or about specific people, but when has it become illegal to express our opinions openly about what we consider right and wrong? How ironic that Christians are condemned for that kind of “hateful speech” and yet those who accuse us of being hateful and intolerant are usually the ones being hateful and intolerant.

The Bible teaches us to love our enemies. Christians are to be recognized by their love. I take that seriously.

Hmm. When’s the last time I said or did anything hateful to a Muslim or a gay person? I would dare anyone to scroll back through my years of life and find a single time. My wife and I have made friends with several Muslims and have even had them in our home. Although we shared our faith with them, we were careful not to say anything offensive about Islam.

Fear of being called hateful? Not at all. Demonstrating Christian love. And being good hosts.

We attended a Gay Expo in NYC several years ago to visit a gay friend we might not have gotten to see otherwise.  A very nice fellow who was the roommate of one of my stepdaughters for a number of years. She brought another gay guy friend to my daughter’s wedding. We treated him just as we would any other guest.

Do we approve of the homosexual lifestyle? Of course not. But would we show animosity towards homosexuals?  I should hope not.

Disagreeing with people doesn’t mean hating them. Especially for us as Christian. Jesus had a reason for saying, “Love your enemies.” Not just because of the way Christians would be persecuted in His day, but perhaps looking forward to our own day and age.

Regrettably, some people who call themselves Christians are not recognizable as such. Perhaps their unloving attitude is the hatefulness and intolerance that others find so offensive. But they’re in the minority. And even though we disapprove of them, we don’t hate them, either.

Yet there seems to be no end to the hatred that’s targeted at us. And at anyone who opposes militant liberals. As Mat Staver, the head of the Liberty Council and a well respected Constitutional lawyer points out, “The day has come in America when we are facing overt hostility to Christianity, free speech, and freedom of religion through coordinated assaults by the Obama administration, extremist groups, and corporate bullies.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of political correctness. In a land where freedom of speech is one of our most precious constitutional rights, why should ordinary citizens like us have to walk on eggshells regarding numerous aspects of contemporary life?

What about you? Do you hate people just because they disagree with you? I doubt it. Do you fear the loss of our freedoms because political correctness has run amuck? Do you have the courage to stand up for what’s right–or what you believe is right–without fear of reprisal and without animosity towards those who oppose you? How about leaving a comment?

~*~

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

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The ACTS of Christian Prayer

Anyone who thinks prayer is the same for all pray-ers hasn’t paid much attention to those pictures we frequently see of Muslim men–sometimes hundreds of them at a time–prone on their prayer rugs and looking very intent and devout. I’m assuming their prayers are of a prescribed nature.

Kind of like Christians who always pray the Lord’s Prayer. And pray quite sincerely, But never a prayer directly from their own hearts.

While sincerity in prayer is desirable, I wonder how many Christians–even among those who pray frequently and faithfully–manage to keep from falling into a routine. One that makes them feel they must cover certain areas each time they pray. And makes them feel they’ve misspent their prayer time if they leave something out.

I’m constantly fighting against that routine, and what makes it especially tough is the “ACTS” way of praying I learned many years ago. ACTS is an acronym:

  • A =  Adoration (telling God how great we think He is)
  • C =  Confession (admitting our wrongs and asking His forgiveness)
  • T =  Thanksgiving (thanking Him for His many good and perfect gifts)
  • S =  Supplication (asking God’s help for self and others)

Pretty nifty, isn’t it?

One advantage of this approach is that in adoration we praise God for who He is rather than for his blessings. The distinction between adoration and thanksgiving is important.

Confession is a toughie for me. I haven’t robbed any banks or killed anyone, but there are still plenty of lesser things I’m guilty of. If you doubt that, you should see me turn my head the other way at the mall rather than “admire” the posters in the window at Victoria’s Secret.

Sin is anything that displeases God…and creates a needless barrier between Him and us. So my prayers of confession always include a request for God to reveal anything specific I need to repent of (that means “turn away from”).

I love thanksgiving, though. God has so blessed my life that I can’t begin to think of everything I’m thankful for. But there’s always something–or several somethings–that are on my mind at prayer time.

Supplication is where too many Christians–myself included–spend far too much of their time. At the same time, though, the Bible tells us we don’t have because we don’t ask.

I believe God is listening to all pray-ers. Don’t ask me how He keeps us straight or handles multiple simultaneous pray-ers; God is far beyond my ability to explain or understand fully.

I’d like to believe I spend far more time praying for the needs of other people than for myself. A plus, right?

Hmm. Not if I’m patting myself on the back for being unselfish. Better that I should start praying to be more unselfish in listening to others’ needs and trying to be helpful. Some problems are things I can ONLY pray about. But some I might be able to lend a helping hand with if I cared enough.

I hope you can see how useful ACTS is, but also how easily a pray-er c an fall into routine. While the details may change from one day to the next, there are certain things I simply MUST pray about every day without fail. Else I feel my prayer is incomplete.

I’m not offering a solution to that problem, although not praying ACTS in order sometimes puts a new spin on my prayer.

What do you think? Do you pray? Do you purposely or incidentally cover the elements of ACTS? Do you fight routine in praying? How about sharing a comment?

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger