Pride Cometh Before the Fall

Pride Cometh Before the Fall

The “new” tolerance demanded in our current political and social milieu is not one that is concerned with the truth, but your truth. If one’s beliefs run counter to what you believe to be praiseworthy, it is an afront to your very identity and personhood—at least if what you believe to be praiseworthy is in line with the prevailing cultural dogma. It is decisively not something one can tolerate, nor can the free inquiry and exchange of ideas take place over such matters. If you don’t agree, you’re bigoted, racist, homophobic, and whatever other slur one might throw to try and get it to stick.

As we enter into yet another June pridefully bedazzled with rainbow rhinestones and glitter, I can’t quite help but think of the prescient words of Carl Trueman from ten years ago:

“…the beautiful young things of the reformed renaissance have a hard choice to make in the next decade. You really do kid only yourselves if you think you can be an orthodox Christian and be at the same time cool enough and hip enough to cut it in the wider world. Frankly, in a couple of years it will not matter how much urban ink you sport, how much fair trade coffee you drink, how many craft brews you can name, how much urban gibberish you spout, how many art house movies you can find that redeemer figure in, and how much money you divert from gospel preaching to social justice: maintaining biblical sexual ethics will be the equivalent in our culture of being a white supremacist.”

In one sense, I wonder how much more proverbial ink can be spilt in the Twitter wars before people simply move on within their respective camps. On the other hand, I know that you have to run a good smear campaign on conservative Christianity before the dust settles because the goal isn’t merely to get the broader world to see people as narrow-minded fundamentalists. That is fairly easy to do in a culture like ours and if we are keen on the times, we see that much has already been accomplished.

What Trueman was getting at here is at the heart of what Christ said when He told His followers to count the cost. In many ways, this has already reached the ivory tower of academia. Professors have lost tenure for refusing to bow the knee to one’s preferred pronouns, Biblical scholars have been maligned by their peers if they are seen as too stringent on things like gender roles within the church, and many a seminary institution is broadening their appeal to make up for low enrollment numbers by doing nearly everything but returning to fidelity to the Word of God. And yet, as it always does, what runs through the seminaries trickles down into the pulpits and through the pews.

In another work that was well ahead of its time, Don Carson spoke of the Intolerance of Tolerance. First, with regard to what would be coined “traditional tolerance,” Carson said:

“This older view of tolerance makes three assumptions: (1) there is objective truth out there, and it is our duty to pursue that truth….”

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