The folly of worldly wisdom
Last updated on April 3rd, 2020 at 03:48 pm
After Brexit, the crying need to reject political correctness
by Charles Gardner
LONDON, February 7, 2020 – The euphoria of hope and a new dawn pervading the nation following the pre-Christmas election needs to be tempered with a dose of spiritual wisdom and realism.
Though I greatly admire the way Boris Johnson has taken the bull by the horns and delivered on his promise of getting Brexit done, there is an ‘enemy within’ that also needs to be driven out of our culture.
Political correctness in all its forms must be booted out of the country if we are truly to thrive. And much of it revolves around what we are permitted to say. If we fail to deal with this, we are in danger of having swapped the frying pan of suffocating European diktat for the fire of an Orwellian society in which our every move is watched.
Boris’ speech on the historic Brexit night last Friday included stirring words like ‘hope’, ‘renewal’ and ‘revival’ that could well have come from an evangelical preacher’s pulpit. But he also talked of rediscovering “the power of independent thought and action”. Really?
I know he’s thinking about the freedom we now have to act in our own interests as a sovereign nation, but we must surely also guard the freedom of the British people to think and act with independent thought, rather than having to kowtow to the PC line for fear of being accused of homophobia, islamophobia or transphobia.
We were once the envy of the world for allowing people to voice opinions in public, no matter how outrageous – providing it wasn’t incendiary. Growing up in apartheid South Africa where you had to watch your Ps and Qs, I envied Speakers’ Corner in faraway Hyde Park where anyone could pontificate about the world’s problems. But now, even there, the long arm of the law is watching for every false move of the mouth.
Boris also talked of “the potential of this country waiting to be unleashed” – and I have no doubt of this, providing we stop the slide into a form of cultural Marxism that controls everything you say. We have been a great country; we changed the world with the gospel by sending missionaries to the four corners of the globe with the good news of Jesus that brought light, salvation and civilization to many lands.
So much of what we do and achieve in life hangs on what we are bold enough to say. Are we prepared to stand up for our convictions? I was most encouraged by a young contestant on ITV’s The Voice show who sang of how the blood of Jesus is the answer to the world’s problems. Her courage, as well as her beautiful voice, clearly impressed the judges including Tom Jones and Olly Murs.
Australian rugby star Israel Folau, on the other hand, has been booted out of the game in his homeland for expressing biblical views on sex, a punishment backed by British officials of the sport. He has now signed with a French-based club on condition he doesn’t speak of his faith! But of course it’s quite ok to use ‘colourful language’, as one England player was reported to have done during their Six Nations opener against France in Paris last Sunday, which they lost 17-24.
Jesus said: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8.38) And in Proverbs (18.21), we read: “The tongue has the power of life and death…”
Does what you say inspire and build up your hearers, or does it cause bitterness and resentment? The tongue needs taming (see James 3.1-12).
Our beloved nation was not built on gold or diamonds, or even great industry, but on the solid rock of Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,” as the Apostle Paul put it to the Colossians, adding: “I tell you this so that no-one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.” (Col 2.3f) He goes on: “See to it that no-one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.” (Col 2.8)
For all our resources of talent and technology, worldly wisdom will not do. Witness the sheer folly of some major decisions of late, such as freeing a terrorist from jail to commit murder and mayhem on our streets despite concerns over his behaviour. Or the introduction of so-called Smart Motorways, which have already proved to be death-traps. What does it take to see that doing without a hard-shoulder for emergency stops is fraught with danger?
We are not far from turning into automated robots controlled by thought police. A journalist known to me was horrified when his new high-tech Mercedes suddenly veered into the next lane of its own accord because of a perceived obstacle that wasn’t there.
The PC world, meanwhile, is no longer content with containing itself to same-sex dogma and warnings of climate change chaos, but has now accused BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) of being ‘too white’ with its awards – never mind whether winners have been judged on merit. I’m sure most of us have had more than enough of being bullied, bludgeoned and intimidated into politically correct submission. It’s time to press the ‘eject seat’.
As Paul asked the Corinthians, “Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor 1.20) The wisdom he commends is the glorious gospel of Christ crucified, “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor 1.23f)
The search for true wisdom – whether in church or government – must start and end with Jesus, the Saviour of the world. As inscribed in Latin on the floor of our Parliament, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain.” (Psalm 127.1)