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The Right Not To Be Offended

0 comments | 12:10 am | top |
Albert Mohler, the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary comments on what he terms the "culture of offendedness". Mohler places a high value on freedom, while at the same time not compromising on the Christian faith. This is something that very few Christians hold to, let alone are able to articulate. Voltaire had it right when he said, "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." At the same time though, I can't do better than quote from one of my favourite songs by Kutless, "There's nothing you can do to shut me up, to shut me out when I'm speaking the truth". Anyway, I could rave on and on about freedom and truth - but for now I want to share Albert Mohler's latest excellent blog post - a few excerpts of which are below...

A new and unprecedented right is now the central focus of legal, procedural, and cultural concern in many corridors--a supposed right not to be offended. The cultural momentum behind this purported "right" is growing fast, and the logic of this movement has taken hold in many universities, legal circles, and interest groups...

...These days, it is the secularists who seem to be most intent on pushing a proposed right never to be offended by confrontation with the Christian Gospel, Christian witness, or Christian speech and symbolism. This motivation lies behind the incessant effort to remove all symbols, representations, references, and images related to Christianity from the public square. The very existence of a large cross, placed on government property as a memorial, outside San Diego, California, has become a major issue in the courts, and now in Congress. Those pressing for the removal of the cross claim that they are offended by the fact that they are forced to see this Christian symbol from time to time...

...The very idea of civil society assumes the very real possibility that individuals may at any time be offended by another member of the community. Civilization thrives when individuals and groups seek to minimize unnecessary offendedness, while recognizing that some degree of real or perceived offendedness is the cost the society must pay for the right to enjoy the free exchange of ideas and the freedom to speak one's mind...

...Given our mandate to share the Gospel and to speak openly and publicly about Jesus Christ and the Christian faith, Christians must understand a particular responsibility to protect free speech and to resist this culture of offendedness that threatens to shut down all public discourse.
Of course, the right for Christians to speak publicly about Jesus Christ necessarily means that adherents of other belief systems will be equally free to present their truth claims in an equally public manner. This is simply the cost of religious liberty...

Click here to read the entire article.

Dr. Glenn Peoples, PhD will be giving a talk entitled "Chasing the Justificatory Goalpost: Public Justification and Religious Beliefs" on Thursday night at the University of Canterbury - a topic very similar to the thrust of Mohler's article. If you're free Thursday night, click here for all the information on this event.

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