While I can’t remember the first time I heard the term politically correct, I know that there was a time in my life when I prided myself on being politically correct. I was well versed in the language, policies, and measures one should take to avoid offending others and I understood the steps to take when I was offended. Furthermore, I remember a time when I would sit on my invisible high horse and judge other people because they lacked the ability to code switch. Do you know what that is? In summary, code switching means to change ones behavior, speech, dress, or mannerisms to conform to a different environment. Often times, this occurs in the work environment. A person may dress a different way or use different phrases at work than they would at home. This also takes place in the church and that is what I consider to be a politically correct Christian. This is a person who quotes scriptures and shouts to the Lord that He is good while harboring hate or resentment in their hearts for someone, who may look or act different from them. (Of course, there are other examples, but this is the one that I am choosing for today.)
In my play, A Legacy of Love and Sacrifice, Dr. Knight, a principal and a deacon at his church, used a racial slur to describe three African American students during a private conversation with his wife. When his secretary overheard him, she recorded the conversation and posted it on social media. Without giving too much away, he had to host and attend two Cultural Awareness Training sessions per year as a result. However, the training sessions were nothing more than a means to an end. (Just a way for him to keep his job.) In fact, his wife’s biggest concern about the incident was the recording itself. As far as she was concerned, the secretary was the guilty party because she recorded their “private” conversation. In other words, it doesn’t matter what you say as long as it’s said in private, right?
Well, as I soul searched with our Father, I was led to read Matthew 15. The Pharisees went to Jesus with a concern. They were concerned because the disciples broke a tradition set by the elders. (If that happened today, I guess we could say that they weren’t being politically correct Christians.) Ironically, the tradition involved washing their hands before they ate their food. (With the pandemic as it is, I imagine some of us would have a whole lot to say if someone sat down and started eating finger foods without washing their hands.) Okay! Maybe I’m the only hand washing police around here. Anyway, according to the Pharisees, washing ones’ hands before eating was a religious ritual.
If you read the entire chapter, you will see that Jesus is not concerned with man made rituals or traditions. He is concerned with our hearts. (In other words, He is NOT looking for a Politically Correct Christian.) He does not want us to praise him outwardly in church while resenting our brothers and sisters in Christ. He does not want us to smile in a person’s face, and tell a racist joke about them behind their back. He does not want us to hold a conversation with someone in the boardroom, and privately mock their race or ethnicity amongst our closest friends in the breakroom. (Again, this is not race specific.) In Matthew 15:18-20 Jesus states: “The things that come out of a person’s mouth comes from their heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart comes evil- murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
Dear Present and Future Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we can quote the definition of political correctness. People can turn to that word in the dictionary and find our picture beside it, but our efforts will be in vain if they are not sincere.
No wonder it is a struggle to change schools, businesses, or church climates. No wonder people continue to offend and be offended. No wonder companies continue to be sued for racial discrimination. While Political Correctness and Cultural Sensitivity Trainings can be enlightening, we need His light to shine through us. In John 8:12 NIV, Jesus stated: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” If you are confused about the darkness, treating people with kindness while despising them in your heart is an example of walking in darkness. Closing your heart and refusing to truly love others is walking in darkness. So! I beg you by all means necessary to please follow the light. Jesus is the answer to racial unity.
# Soul Searching with our Father#