I led this discussion with “secular arguments” because we now live in a post-Christian culture. This does not mean that Christianity is irrelevant. It does mean that we can no longer imagine that our audience will understand, let alone be convinced by Christian derived arguments.
Yet Christianity must still be the basis of our thinking about truth and morality if it is ever to regain a prominent place in our nation’s civic discussion. We must learn by constant practice how to leverage Christian truth into arguments that demand attention by the general public. What we know for certain is that the stylishly arid, transparently partisan and theologically vacuous pronouncements of Mainline Christianity must be relegated to the dust heap of history.
I see two primary lines of Christian argumentation in opposition to “Repressive Tolerance,” those being:
- Claiming to occupy a position of unique, unassailable moral / intellectual superiority is an act of sinful pride;
- Christ specifically condemned as sinful those in his time who sought public status and power rather than the actual good of others by their actions.
Note that neither of these arguments establishes a partisan Christian political position. Rather they provide a spiritual / moral framework within which people of differing opinion can engage in good faith debate.
The Sin of Pride
The foundation of the Progressive Left’s “Repressive Tolerance” is the presumption that they and they alone have the right to decide what is good and evil. And, this right includes the option to flip good to evil and vice versa at their whim. It is only by this presumption that it’s possible to claim reasonableness for the position of not “tolerating” what they define to be “intolerance.”
This position should cause a Bible trusting Christian great concern. For in the preeminent biblical discussion about the sin of pride it is precisely this human temptation that is introduced.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Genesis 3:1-7 (NIV)
And yet, not only do godless Progressives claim this position, but so do supposedly God fearing Christians. Can there be any doubt that the Progressive Left’s adherence to “Repressive Tolerance” is built on the original sin of humankind? No, from a Christian perspective there simply isn’t unless you are a Bible denying “Christian.”
The Sin of Status and Power
The Progressive Left enforces its dictums through their acquired positions of status and power. And the use of this power is not bound by any “ethics” as understood by a Christian or classic liberal:
since history is not made by ethics, ethics are of no importance. In other words, might makes right. The ends justify the means.
Thus the Progressive Left has sought and achieved power for its own sake. Since the purpose of power is to enforce their arbitrary, capricious decisions about what is good and evil, their pursuit of power and status falls exactly under this condemnation by Jesus Christ.
38As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Mark 12:38-40 (NIV)
Yes, these “social justice warriors,” these “virtue signalers,” these mobs of vicious destruction are driven by a pretense of virtue that covers a wicked corruption of terrible sin. These people only pretend to care about the poor and oppressed. What they actually care about is the power and status that can be fraudulently obtained through this deception. They are perfectly happy to have the poor and oppressed stay in that state in perpetuity, as an unchanging justification for their power.
It’s a terrible thing to see godless Progressives carrying out this viscousness over the decades. It’s a scandalous, vile thing to see our supposed Christian leaders prostrating themselves before this wicked idol in return for the power and status it promises.
We must expose and reject all of this if Christianity is to ever recover its moral credibility.