F1. War on Christianity, Part 1: Introduction to Diversity, Tolerance, Inclusiveness



A truck in the road threatens to run over all of us … modern idea of love conflicts with obedience … but God’s love requires obedience … love your neighbor is the second commandment, not the first … Christians accused of being judgmental … what Jesus meant when he said “Judge not” … diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness defined by man … by God … by Satan.

A truck in the road

An important part of child rearing in today’s society is encouraging a child to find himself, express himself, figure out what is true “for him.” Obedience, in particular, is seen as an outdated concept, and sometimes disobedience is actually applauded. After all, how can a child (or adult) truly express himself if he is trying to adhere to someone else’s rules?

I don’t believe there is any mother, however, who on seeing her child run out into a busy street to fetch a ball, would not immediately grab that child out of the way of oncoming traffic. It would not occur to her to say, “Johnny is expressing himself now” when a big truck was roaring down on him! The shaken mother would say to Johnny, “Always remember to look to the right and to the left before entering the street.”

This picture of the child running into the street is exactly analogous to what is going on in our culture right now. Most people don’t read the Bible. And if they do read it, they don’t believe it. The Bible — and Christians who believe in the Bible – would tell them to look to the right and the left, because there is a truck coming down the road. But they say, “What truck? I don’t see a truck. If I want to play in the street, isn’t that up to me to decide? By telling me I shouldn’t be out here in the street, you’re upsetting me, and upsetting people is not loving! Why don’t you learn to be loving, like a Christian should be?”

The “truck” I’m referring to here is God’s judgment, and the instructions to look right and left correspond to the laws and commandments God has given us in the Bible. By “God’s judgment” I don’t mean just the Last Judgment at the end of time; I also mean God’s ongoing judgments on us as a society and as individuals.

The modern idea of love opposes obedience

Love is considered important in our culture, but it is portrayed as being opposed to obedience. There is a vague understanding that the Bible speaks about love, which is considered a good thing; but at the same time the Bible is thought to present an idea of love that is way too puritanical. Love is an important element in songs and movies, but rules laid down by a God thousands of years ago should not be regarded as binding today, it is assumed. Sometimes we hear that the only rule of lasting worth is the simple, unqualified rule of love. Just love, love, love, and everything else will fall into place.

So what exactly is this unqualified rule of love? Movies and videos tell us in so many words that love is feeeeeelings … it’s those feeeeeelings deep inside us. Love is seen as an invisible fuel that gets poured into our emotional gas tank and makes us run fast. As long as we have our gas tank full of love, that’s all that’s needed — right? Steering the vehicle is unimportant. As long as love is there, who cares? I fill up my tank; you fill up your tank; and off we go. Whoopee!

God, however, is constantly trying to tell us we’d better follow the rules of the road or we will end up sorely disappointed. God is trying to warn us that if we fill up the tanks and step on the gas without following his rules, we’ll end up smashing into each other and causing a wreck. Your love plus my love plus no steering wheels – that’s not going to work.

A deceitful bow

Christian teachings about love and obedience are examples of Biblical ideas that have influenced American morality, but have gotten twisted out of their original Biblical meaning. Most Americans assume they understand Christian morality, at least to some degree. Some Americans may even throw their perverted ideas about love back in the faces of Christians and say, “Don’t you even live by your own scripture?”

The Bible tells how over the centuries God’s people fell into disobedience time after time. They heard God’s prophets giving them God’s rules, but they wouldn’t listen. Psalm 78 describes the falling away of God’s people in this way: “they twisted like a deceitful bow” (Psalm 78:57). A bow that is twisted may look fine, but arrows shot from it will veer to the left or the right and miss their target.

Today we are seeing words from the Bible – like the word love – being twisted as though shot from a deceitful bow.

God’s love requires obedience

The mother who instructed Johnny to look right and left before crossing the road was unconsciously telling Johnny to be obedient, to do as he was told instead of following his momentary impulses. The Bible also stresses that kind of obedience, and Jesus many times makes it clear that obedience and Christian love are inextricably linked. Here are some of Jesus’ statements to his disciples:

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

“He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” [John 14:21]

“If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23)

“He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” [John 14:24]

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (John 15:10)

As you can tell, Jesus did not just say it once, but many times, so that it would sink in: You cannot have Christian love separate from obedience. God gave us his laws and commandments because he loves us. By obeying his laws and commandments, we come within God’s protection, and receive his love. And at the same time, by obeying his laws and commandments, we return that love to him.

“Love your neighbor” is the second commandment

Most Americans have probably heard the expression “love your neighbor as yourself,” though they may not realize it comes from the Bible. Another related expression is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” which is a Ben Franklin paraphrase of Jesus’ statement, “As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” (Luke 6:31).

Even many Christians, however, may not remember that “love your neighbor” was given by Jesus as the second commandment, not the first. Here is the complete quote:

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

The one-two order of these commandments is not just a matter of being pious and giving God his “credit,” so to speak. The order is important because the ability to love our neighbor is dependent upon our love of God. That’s right. According to the Bible, we cannot properly love our neighbor unless we first love the Lord our God. And we cannot love the Lord God unless we obey his commandments. That is what is meant by the apostle John in this concise statement:

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. (1 John 5:2)

To repeat: The way to love our neighbor is to love God and to keep God’s commandments. Disobedience to God’s laws will ultimately bring disaster both to those who are disobedient, and to those who teach and approve of their disobedience. “Do unto others” can never be used as an argument to overturn God’s moral laws (as the homosexuals and lesbians try to do), or to deny God’s role as Creator (as the transgender people try to do).

Does this sound strange to you? If so, maybe you, too, have the modern idea of love.

Why can’t we see the truck?

The picture I painted earlier of Satan’s truck hurtling down the road toward us is an image that will be met by derision from many quarters. Atheists will even boldly curse God, and say, “See? Nothing happened to me. This truck you talk about does not exist!”

So why can’t we see the truck coming? For one thing, God is a merciful God, and holds back the truck hoping that we will repent and turn to him. David said, “But thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15). God is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love; therefore he holds back the truck.

For another thing, we cannot see the prayers of many Christians going up to heaven, invoking God’s protection upon our society – protection of atheists as well as believers. It is as when Abraham pleaded with God to hold back the destruction God had planned for the wicked city of Sodom. Abraham knew that God might bring punishment to Sodom for its great sins, but Abraham also knew that his righteous nephew Lot and Lot’s family lived there. So Abraham pleaded with God that if God could find just ten righteous people left in Sodom, would God please hold back his punishment? And God answered Abraham’s prayer, and said, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it” (Genesis 18:32). Similarly, today God shows mercy to a land for the sake of the prayers of a small number of his believers.

And then sometimes we can’t see the truck coming because our eyes are blinded. More about this in a future message (“God Speaks to America”).

“Judge not”

Bible-believing Christians are often accused nowadays of being judgmental, with the Bible itself being used as ammunition against them. A Bible passage often quoted is Jesus’ statement at Luke 6:37: “Judge not, and you will not be judged.” Being judgmental is considered to be unloving; those on the receiving end of the judging cry out, “Why don’t you love your neighbor?” and “Why don’t you do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” Their feelings tell them there is something wrong. Their sense of being judged has interrupted the free flow of all those loving feeeeeelings they depend on.

So what is a correct understanding of Jesus’ statement about judging?

I would start by observing that there are two functions served by a judge. First, a judge decides whether a law has been broken and if so, by whom. Second, a judge passes sentence on the guilty party. When Jesus said, “Judge not, and you will not be judged,” he was speaking about the second function of the judge, the part where the judge passes sentence. One way we know this is because Jesus’ next words in the Bible passage are, “Condemn not, and you will not be condemned.”

But modern thinking has taken “judge not” to refer to the first function of the judge, the function that determines whether a law has been broken. The modern emphasis on tolerance takes “judge not” to mean “do not judge someone else’s behavior to be wrong or you may hurt their feelings.”

Here are two examples from Jesus’ ministry to illustrate the difference between the two kinds of judging, and to show what Jesus really meant.

First example: The scribes and the Pharisees murmured against Jesus and his disciples because they associated with sinners. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” But Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:30-32). The modern non-judgmental tolerance movement would have Jesus say something like, “They’re not really sinners; they are all God’s children.” But Jesus did call them sinners; he identified their behavior as contrary to God’s laws. And at the same time he came to bring them God’s mercy through repentance from their sinful behavior. Jesus judged their behavior as sinful, but he showed them a way to avoid the sentencing from the judge.

Second example: One morning Jesus was in the temple preaching, and the Pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. They wanted to trap Jesus into saying something they could use against him before the authorities. They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” At first Jesus did not say anything, but he bent over and began to write with his finger on the ground. As they continued to ask him, he stood up and said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent over and continued to write with his finger on the ground. The Pharisees did not say anything, but one by one they walked away, beginning with the oldest. Finally Jesus looked up and said to the woman, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again” (John 8:3-11).

In this example, once again, the non-judgmental, tolerance people would have Jesus say to the woman, “You’re fine just the way you are. Those Pharisees are just a bunch of nitpicking legalists.” Instead, Jesus tells the woman that she is a sinner, only he does not condemn her for her sin. He commands her not to sin again, which will demonstrate her repentance from her sin. Jesus opposes the Pharisees – not for calling a sin a sin, but for not showing mercy to the sinner.

Diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness defined

Three words have become touchstones of modern American morality: diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness. Taken at face value, these words all have positive meanings.

My Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines diversity as “the condition of being different: variety.” When applied to people, this would mean something like “a variety of people” or “people who are different in lots of ways.” When combined with inclusiveness, the implicit idea is that all different kinds of people should include one another in their lives and activities. And tolerance means that these people should be tolerant of one another’s differences.

Together, these words draw a picture of general human camaraderie: different kinds of people all living together in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance. Who could argue with that? In application, however, the picture is different.

Diversity: in practice

In practice, the diversity movement sees our population as divided up into “minority groups” based on race (black, Hispanic, native American, etc.), sex (female), and gender identity (gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.). The word “minority” carries no statistical meaning here since women are considered a minority even though numerically speaking they are a majority of the population. When all the minority groups are listed, it turns out that the only people not on the list are white males. And actually, any white male who is gay or transgender is also considered part of a minority group; so you have to say that all people except white, heterosexual males are part of some minority.

In the diversity lexicon, every minority group is suffering because it is under-represented in some way in society: under-represented perhaps in government decision making, or in corporate boardrooms, or in athletic activities, or on the pay scale, etc. The additional implication often is that white, heterosexual males are over-represented, and therefore white, heterosexual males must be the cause of whatever grievances the minority group claims to suffer.

I don’t bring this up this last point to make us feel sorry for white, heterosexual males. I bring it up because pictures of the founding fathers of the American government show a group of white, heterosexual males working together to write our constitution. The modern diversity movement sees this picture and concludes that our government’s foundations are corrupt and therefore our constitution should be discarded. There is mortal danger to our democracy lurking here. Now anything done or said by a white male can be brought into question, not based on its merits, but based on the author’s skin color.

Inclusiveness: in practice

In practice, one common use of the idea of inclusiveness is to say that all religions and philosophies – in particular the Muslim religion – are as acceptable as Christianity and should be welcomed (included) in our society. We’ll talk more about religious inclusiveness in “The War on Christianity, Part 2: Academia.”

Aside from religious inclusiveness, the major emphasis on inclusiveness in America today comes from promoters of sexual immorality – most particularly from lobbyists for the LGBTQ community (Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer community).

Inclusiveness is a favorite word of the LGBTQ people. When Joelene Hinkle (a Christian) declined to join the American women’s soccer team because she did not want to wear an LGBTQ “pride jersey,” team member Ashlyn Harris tweeted, “Hinkle, our team is about inclusion.” She further explained, “You would never fit into our pack or what this team stands for.” In other words, the team’s inclusiveness does not include Christian values. That observation can be broadened into a more general statement: The LGBTQ movement has adopted the word “inclusion” specifically to exclude Christian ideas of sexual morality.

(By the way, if I may return briefly to the subject of diversity: Anyone who has viewed a top level soccer match knows there is a strong macho element associated with the sport. Soccer is a contact sport rewarding physical aggression and toughness and guile. Harris not only attempts to mimic men’s aggression and toughness on the field, but she makes a point of dressing like a man off the field. This raises a question: When “diversity women” begin acting and dressing like men, are they increasing – or decreasing – diversity? This kind of diversity ends up robbing women of their womanhood: what God intended to be their true source of diversity.)

Tolerance: in practice

Even if you’re not an engineer, you unconsciously use the engineer’s concept of tolerance when you shop for a new car. If you see wide gaps between the exterior panels on a car’s body, you know instinctively that car is not well made. You realize the panels were fitted with a “high tolerance” – a high tolerance for error, that is. But panels that fit tightly together were assembled with a “low tolerance,” and you know the car is well made and will be long-lasting.

Today’s moral climate is high tolerance, and the level seems to get higher by the day. The “car” will be poorly made and will soon fall apart. God’s moral laws, by contrast, are not even low tolerance; they are zero tolerance! God’s laws are intended to make a vehicle that will last forever. While tolerance is a nice-sounding word, today’s version of tolerance is the avowed enemy of Christian morality, and our society will eventually suffer the consequences.

Diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness and the Bible

Diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness usually come as an implied package in modern discourse. That means that when people use any one of those words, they assume the other two words, as well. We should not be deceived: Though we may find elements of each separate concept appearing in scripture, we should be aware that the complete package they represent in today’s culture is unscriptural.

For example, it might seem that Jesus should be applauded for being inclusive when he chose to eat with tax collectors and sinners. But by today’s standards Jesus would not be called inclusive, because he characterized the tax collectors as sinners who needed to repent. In other words, Jesus did not add tolerance to his inclusive behavior, so he doesn’t qualify as being truly inclusive; he doesn’t exhibit the full package.

The diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness people set themselves above the Bible by picking and choosing among select Bible verses and then twisting them slightly to suit the modern meaning. Some examples:

They like to talk about the Biblical command to love one’s neighbor, using it as a basis for their idea of inclusiveness and tolerance. But they use the word love without admitting what scripture says: that in order to love one’s neighbor, one must first love God, and in order to love God, one must obey God’s commandments without exception.

When they talk about tolerance, they like to point out that the Bible tells us not to judge our neighbor. Then they use that as an excuse to say that adherence to God’s moral commands is not important (it would be “judgmental”), which of course is contrary to Biblical teaching. They point out that nothing bad has happened to many people who disregard God’s moral commands; therefore either God is not there at all (they argue), or he is not very serious about his commands. (Some day they will find out just how serious God is.)

They don’t mind if Christians pray, but to them it is a waste of time; they have no idea that their lives may depend on the prayers of Christian believers. And they have no idea that we all continue to live before God only because he is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8).

God has given us his own perspective on diversity, tolerance, and inclusiveness:

The Lord God is the author of diversity. He made us all to be different for a purpose, and he did not create all people to be “equal.”

The Lord God is completely inclusive. The salvation he offers through his Son Jesus Christ is for all people everywhere, and he has commissioned his servants to spread the good news to the four corners of the earth.

The Lord God is completely intolerant; his law stands firmly fixed for all time. Jesus said, “Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:19). Even though we are not capable of meeting God’s zero-tolerance standards on our own, God has provided salvation for all people through the sacrifice of his Son on the cross. When we turn our lives over to Jesus Christ, his Holy Spirit will lead us in “paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:3), and his righteousness will be imputed (credited) to us so we can stand before God’s judgment seat.

Diversity, tolerance, inclusiveness as used by Satan, the homicidal truck driver

Satan has given marching orders to his many human puppets, telling them:

“In the name of diversity assemble as many kinds of people as possible into the dangerous and busy street. You must tear down all of God’s traffic control signs, and teach people not to be scared by rumors of some big truck coming from the top of the road.

“In the name of inclusiveness, teach them that as a sign of universal brotherhood everyone should join hands and run into the road together. People should assure each other that no truck can break through a line of idealistic people holding hands.

“Invoke the rule of tolerance to insure that no one says, ‘Watch out, there’s a truck coming!’ People should be taught that this would be insulting to the many people who have denied the truck’s existence; those people would feel rejected – that is, not ‘included.’ (And hide from them the fact that my truck of destruction will eventually come, it will mow people down, and I want everyone to be included in the destruction.)”