The Unforgivable World

Cross on vestThe politically correct (PC) world is organized around the principle that anything and everything is acceptable and everyone must accept that. In short, the PC world seeks to create a world in which there are no offenses (what the Bible calls sins). A huge bureaucratic hierarchy promotes and supports this goal across the spectrum of law-making – socially, economically, educationally, and politically. It is not possible, however, to create a world of no offenses through law.

The effort to try to purge human hearts from offending others through law cannot eliminate their alienating tendencies. The effort will in fact exacerbate those destructive tendencies, which are already implicated in the rising sectarian, adversarial, and conflicted relationships that exist between groups in our time. That a peaceful world could be created by that means is a project doomed to failure.

Offenses, when they arise, must be forgiven: “If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, “I tell you not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:21-22).

Forgiveness is redemptive. When that grace is at work in human hearts, as it is in the gospel, real remedies can be sought across the spectrum of life. I don’t doubt that any number of movers and shakers in the PC world hope that their contributions are accomplishing that. But since “it is through the law that we become conscious of sin” (Romans 3:20), the PC world’s law-making machine in effect makes human beings greater sinners than they already are: “I would not have known what sin is except through the law” (Romans 7:7).

To say it another way, PC philosophy is organized around the delusion of individual and collective self-salvation. It is seeking to create a world that has no need of the gospel, a world, in other words, that is unforgivable, for it would be a world of the unforgiving.

©2016 by Charles Strohmer

Image by Natashi Jay, permission via flicker Creative Commons.

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The Snow Forgives Us: A True Story

snow cover over landSeveral inches of snow already blanketed the ground and it was still falling heavily when I left –  early – for the Wednesday evening fellowship. The forecast called for 8 inches by midnight, and I believed it. But this was Michigan. Flatland. Virtually bereft of hills and S-turns, but plenty of salt trucks. (Did you know that under the sprawling city of Detroit, whose suburban streets I was presently negotiating, you will find an enormous salt mine?)

No one who grew up in Detroit, as I did, fretted about driving in this weather. You drove cautiously. You paid attention. And, most likely, you would get there, and back again, on the flat terrain.

I expected the usual crowd at Jeannie’s spacious house. She lived there with her very cute, precocious  4-year old daughter, Heather. Sixty people could worship and fellowship comfortably in the large basement. I parked my rusty old Chevy 4-door at the curb and crunched through the deep snow twinkling up at me from the ground.

I don’t remember why, but sometime during the worship or preaching, I left the basement and went back upstairs. Nobody was there. But as I walked across the dimly lit living room, I saw Heather standing alone, rapt, beside the sliding glass doors that looked out into the large backyard. I quietly slid up alongside.

What a sight! Twelve hours earlier while driving to work, I had seen the world as it is.
Roads soiled by the traffic of cars that dripped oil. Fast food debris discarded along curbs. Sidewalks cracked through neglect. Lawns long yellowed in dormancy awaiting their green spring.

But, now, what a sight! A thick blanket of snow covered the ugly. All of man’s detritus – indeed, all earth itself – not a blade of dead grass could be seen – lay covered under sparkling snow.

I must have fallen rapt, too, standing alongside Heather looking in amazement. Flakes fell gently  and quickly past the bright outdoor spotlights that lit up the yard, glittering and twinkling like I imagine the wings of angels sparkling with colors when I see them.

All was silent. This was another world. Adorned. Pristine. Speechless.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” I whispered.

“The snow forgives us,” she said.

©2015 by Charles Strohmer

A note from Charles: If you want more of the perspectives that Waging Wisdom seeks to present, I want to invite you to follow the blog. Just click here and then find the “Follow” button in the right margin, enter your email address just above that button, and then click “Follow.” Whenever I publish a new post, you will then receive a very short email notice. And, hey, if you really like this blog, tell some friends! Thank you.