A bungled print order to a gay couple by an online printing company has revealed a sobering shift in our cultural consciousness. Our modern liberal culture now considers stock standard Christian teaching on sin and temptation as ‘anti-gay’, ‘hateful’ and ‘anti-LGBT rhetoric’. Yes, really.
Gay couple Stephen Heasley and Andrew Borg received what they thought was their wedding invitations from major boutique printer Vistaprint, only to discover that the company had mistakenly sent them pamphlets which featured Christian teaching that contained advice and Bible verses to avoid temptation and to abstain from sin.
Some of the text from the brochures included, “Satan knows our flesh is weak. He preys upon our weaknesses to tempt us to sin. Satan can only influence us to want to sin. He cannot make us sin,” the pamphlets titled “Understanding Temptation: Fight the good fight of the faith” read. “Satan entices your flesh with evil desires.”
The gay couple reacted with horror. “Both of our initial reactions were ones of shock … utter shock. The wording and imagery was aggressive, threatening and deeply personally offensive.”
The media went into meltdown calling the pamphlets ‘anti-gay’, ‘hateful’ and ‘anti-LGBT rhetoric’, despite the fact that the pamphlets DID NOT contain any writing even mentioning homosexuality. Only standard Christian teaching that you would expect to find in any evangelical church or Christian organization.
The couple were justified in their frustration for being sent the wrong product (as anyone would), but their outrage over the Christian material is unwarranted and disingenuous, considering this is normal orthodox teaching has been consistent with Christianity since its founding 2000 years ago. Where was the outrage over this 100 years ago? 50 years ago? 20 years ago? Even less than 10 years ago?
Something pernicious has happened to our culture.
Consider these other examples:
- In Australia, Archbishop Porteous was hauled before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Commission for simply promoting the traditional Christian teaching on traditional marriage to the parents of children in Catholic schools.
- Facebook has banned the “Warriors for Christ” Facebook page for its Biblical teaching on marriage on grounds that it violated its community standards on ‘hate speech’.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture threatens to shut down a farm for an article that expressed the traditional Christian view of marriage that was left in the break room.
- In Australia, former Townsville City Council employee was suspended for six months after leaving a book which makes the case for traditional marriage at work.
- A Canadian Christian school has been ordered by its school board to refrain from reading parts of the Bible (that addresses homosexuality) that might contravene Alberta’s human rights legislation.
10 years ago, you would never have believed that Western society would get to the point that basic Christian teaching on sexual morality would cause such a furore within contemporary culture, but it has — and it’s getting worse.
Why has there been such a seismic shift in our culture?
I believe the seismic shift in our culture can be explained Biblically. Jesus said in Matthew 24:10-12, that in the lead up to his return, there would be an increase of wickedness, the love of most would grow cold, many false teachers deceiving the masses, a great falling away from the faith, and followers of Christ hated and persecuted for their faith.
True Christians have not become more wicked over the past 20 to 30 years (although I would argue that many Christians have allowed their love to grow cold). Yet, secular society however, has definitely become more wicked. This is evident everywhere. And I believe George Orwell’s quote rings true here. “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” Jesus also reiterated this in John 3, “This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”
The age old principle is at play: evil people hate good people; and the more evil they become, the more they will hate good people. This is why 30 to 40 years ago the church was a highly respected institution within society and Christians were regarded as upstanding citizens within society, but not any more. Now churches are derided and demonised, Christian organisations are labeled as ‘right wing extremists’ and ‘hate groups’, and Christians are ridiculed, detested and labeled ‘bigots’ ‘haters’ ‘homophobes’ ‘fascists’ and ‘Nazis’. Exactly what Jesus said would happen. He said, “…and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matt 24:9b). Why? Because of the “increase of wickedness” (v.12a).
At this stage in our society, we are in a ‘transition phase’ from a Christian culture to a post-Christian culture. Western culture used to be (and still is to some extent) undergirded by Judeo/Christian principles, which are objective, absolute and transcend human opinion. As a result, our society was truly a inclusive, tolerant and pluralistic society. But slowly and incrementally, the West has rejected its Christian heritage/values; and as a consequence, has enthroned itself as “God” and by doing so has become the new moral law giver for society.
A consequence of this is that a post-Christian society gets to invent its own definition of good and evil, right and wrong. Incidentally, we should not be surprised that the so-called ‘righteous’ virtues invented by a secular society are not the same as a society that honors God.
Secular values are increasingly becoming polar opposite of Christian values. The Prophet Isaiah had a stern rebuke for people who inverted morality.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” – Isaiah 5:20
The great philosopher and thinker G.K Chesterton said, “Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God.” And Francis Schaeffer who said, “The humanist worldview, with inevitable certainty, leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no God, must have something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government or the state.” The rejection of Christian values in our nation is ushering in a new social order.
Political correctness is the new moral code for this new social order, and virtue signalling is the ‘preaching’ of this new social order. As you have probably noticed, political correctness and virtue signalling is getting worse as our society tries to shake off all Christian influence.
One of the more terrifying aspects of a secular society is the fluidity of its moral code and its redefining of words.
The moral code of the Left has changed and fluctuated so much that only five years ago we had never heard of the belief in multiple genders. Now we cannot escape it. And the fluidity is getting so wild and varied that even ‘truths’ established by gay activists now need to be revisited. For example, the ‘B’ in the acronym “LGBT” stands for “bisexual”, which is now a major problem, because the concept of a bisexual assumes that there’s only two genders. Oops.
And then there’s the redefining of the words. Leftists understand full well, that by controlling the language of a society, they can control society itself. The centerpiece of the Left’s totalitarian arsenal in controlling the language is the invention of ‘hate speech’. Via ‘hate speech,’ the Left can conveniently determine what words they don’t like and demonize anyone who uses them. And as we have just discovered, even Bible passages are not off limits.
The great irony of this cultural phenomenon is that the Left tells us that they are moving us toward a less bigoted society — but the opposite is true. The Oxford Dictionary definition for ‘bigot’ is “Intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.” If there’s any group that’s guilty of being intolerant towards those who hold a different opinion, it’s the Left.
The other great irony of this cultural phenomenon is that the Left tells us that they are moving us toward a more tolerant society — but the opposite is true. We now have homosexuals calling common ‘run-of-the-mill’ Bible passages as “hateful” and “anti-gay” demonstrates that our current society is far from tolerant.
The fact that such benign and innocuous Bible passages are causing so much angst and outrage indicates that as a society we are getting far less tolerant when it comes to diversity of opinion — and that is a major concern.
It seems that the way things are going, it is just a matter of time before the Bible itself is banned because of ‘hate speech’.
Yet, as bad as that thought is, I fear there is even a more worrying trend. The Left’s moral fluidity coupled with their growing contempt for their opposition highlights a very real danger of them going from demonizing their opposition to dehumanizing their opposition. And the history books are full of what happens to people that have been dehumanized.
Let’s continue to cry out to God for our leaders and our nation. Only God has the ability to turn these disturbing trends around.
Register your interest for Daniel Secomb's new book, "Politics of the Last Days"
Daniel's new book explores the integral and fascinating role that politics will play in the end times.
He demonstrates that political philosophy is actually underpinned by biblcal principles and that by examining the political history of the past can give us a fascinating glimpse into how Biblical end times events will unfold.
Be sure to sign up with your name and email address to be notified of updates and the upcoming release date of the book.