Today’s message of cultural acceptance is dangerously distorted and deceptive. As Christians, we need to rise against the tide and stand up for the truth with Christ-like compassion for others.
Apologist Sean McDowell warns us that, when it comes to issues of cultural acceptance and tolerance, many feel the need to attack the person, rather than the issue.
“The idea is if you give a biblical point of view, you are attacked personally, which is an ad hominem fallacy. Instead of dealing with the issue, you attack the person.”
He shares a recent example on social media,
“I had a friend two days ago who posted an article about the issue of, ‘How can Christians respond to the larger issue of homosexuality?’
“I said, ‘We need to be kind, we need to be gracious and treat people with dignity, but in our own lives we can’t compromise truth.’
“This person tweeted back to me and said, ‘If it sounds like a homophobe, smells like a homophobe, then you must be a homophobe.’ I didn’t respond back, but really what I felt like saying is, ‘if it sounds like an ad hominem, looks like an ad hominem, then it is an ad hominem fallacy.’”
People are used to expressing themselves boldly behind a computer screen, but Sean encourages us to stand up for the truth in person.
“When I’m in person with somebody it’s appropriate I say, ‘You are personally insulting me. Do you realize what you’re doing? We’re talking about an important issue and you are diverting the issue and insulting me as a person.”
“‘Maybe I’m tolerant or not intolerant. First, you are going to have to give me a definition of what tolerance actually means and second, why is my position wrong just because you think I have a certain attitude and means of which I’m holding it?’”
The Beauty of Intolerance was written to help shed light on the harsh terms that are thrown around in today’s culture. Sean explains the importance of doing our research,
“People drop these words like, ‘You’re intolerant, you’re bigoted, you’re homophobic,’ and they haven’t taken the time, Christians and non-Christians, to think through, ‘What does this actually mean? Where do these words come from?’ And realize that they’re just insulting somebody, instead of dealing with the issue itself.”
Whenever we find ourselves in the wave of an argument, we are reminded that we have to find a way to be compassionate towards others without compromising truth.