A current problem within the world today is what I am calling, “OSTRICHISM” (pron. “ostrich-ism”). What is this? It is the fact that when someone brings up a topic that supports a person’s or group’s view or practice, people will clap, applaud and be interested in what is said, but if someone brings up a criticism or challenge to a person’s or group’s view or practice, people become like ostriches and hide their heads in the sand. They ignore it, don’t address it, and hope that it will just go away. The problem is, it doesn’t.
OSTRICHISM is not the biblical way to approach issues or problems. God does not teach or endorse this approach to anything. For example, in Matthew 18, Jesus teaches,
Moreover if your brother shall trespass against [or offends] you, go and tell him his fault [or offense] between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 18:15-16)
When someone offends you, Jesus does not say, “avoid the person,” but instead, He says to go and talk with them. Go and explain to them how what they said or did offended you, and then work it out between the two of you alone. He does not say to go and gossip about what that person did, or to slander them behind their backs or out for everyone to hear by posting it online or in the newspaper. But to work it out alone between the two of you, but if that doesn’t work, try it again, but this time with one or two witnesses. These one or two people not only work as witnesses, but they can also work as objective mediators, to help bring reconciliation between the two parties.
But is this the methodology we see people practicing inside or outside of the church? No, it is not. Instead of speaking to people and working out issues and problems, people follow OSTRICHISM. And why? Because people do not want to violate today’s “Politically-Correct” (PC) idea that we are to accept all people, all views, all beliefs as being equally valid and true. In the book of Proverbs, we read,
There is a way that seems right onto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25)
This same verse is repeated twice in the book of Proverbs. Just because something “sounds right” or “seems right” does not make it “right.” But the problem is that in OSTRICHISM, people are doing what “sounds right” or “seems right” to them, even though, the end result of this method is disastrous, it brings death and not life.
You see, this PC belief to accept all views, all beliefs as being equally valid and true is NOT TRUE logically, nor is it true biblically. For example, if I say that 1 + 1 = 2, and you say that 1 + 1 = 3, both views cannot be equally true. One is true, and the other is false. They both cannot be true. And yet in this PC view of society, it is saying that both are, in fact, true. But this PC view is wrong. There is a right, and there is a wrong. Truth is not subjective. Just because I want something to be true, or believe it is true, regardless of how sincere my belief or desire, it doesn’t make it true. No matter how much I believe or desire the answer to be three, my answer is wrong. The right answer is two. But answers are NOT equally valid or true.
And this is true not only in this simple example, but in addressing issues, problems, and opinions as well. We cannot resolve issues, problems and conflicts caused by differing opinions by ignoring them. We must face them and effectively address them. The problem is that society’s PC view of OSTRICHISM is teaching people to do the opposite. But this approach, at its best, is really an act of apathy, but at its worst, it is an act of cowardice and hatred. But in either case, it is not an act of love.
The underlying motivation for OSTRICHISM is the belief that if we challenge someone’s beliefs or views that we will in some way damage their self-esteem, and our PC society today says this is always wrong to damage anyone’s self-esteem. This is why schools give ribbons out to everyone, whether they won a competition or lost. This is also why many schools no longer retain students if they failed a course beginning in 7th grade. But what is more damaging to a student’s self-esteem, being held back for another year or graduating high school not being able to read their school diploma or being able to read well enough to fill out a job application? Did you know 25% of kids graduating high school are functionally illiterate? Did you know that 99% of kids in Juvenile Detention are functionally illiterate? In their minds, if they can’t read to fill out a job application, how else are they to get a “piece of the American dream” than to steal? Am I justifying their position? No, I’m saying, we are being ostriches, putting our heads in the sand, and we are ignoring the real problem.
Consequently, in my view, schools are only doing our children harm in the long term by teaching and practicing this PC view of OSTRICHISM, because they are not preparing our children for life in the real world. Because in the “real world,” people get offended all the time for various reasons. They get written up for not doing something, they get fired, relationships break up, or people get divorced. Offenses are everywhere! We are not protecting our kids by teaching them OSTRICHISM, we are only setting them up for failure in the future. The fact is, that in life, there are “winners” and “losers,” and instead of ignoring this and “PRETENDING” as if losers or loss does not exist (a form of OSTRICHISM), we should be teaching our kids how to lose graciously and how to deal with loss in their lives.
Secondly, they say, if we damage someone’s self-esteem, then we cause them offense. And the PC view is that we are NEVER to offend anyone. But this again is not living in the “real world.” As a parent, I have offended my children on numerous occasions. For example, we go to the store, and they want a particular toy. I say, “No,” and they begin screaming. I have offended them. Am I sorry? No, because as the adult, I know how much money I have, and I know where I need to spend it, and I know if this particular toy would be good for my child or not. So can I be a good parent and follow this PC view of not ever offending my children? No, of course not. Just think back to your own childhood. How many times did your parents offend you? So instead of teaching people this ridiculous idea that we can ever live our lives without offending anyone, we should be teaching people how to deal with offense. THAT would be the logical and biblical thing to do. NOT hiding our heads in the sand and saying, “You better not offend me; you better not offend me.”
You see, according to this PC view, if we do not cause any offenses, then we will not cause conflict, and people today are terrified of conflict. They erroneously believe that whenever conflict is aroused, people become violent. This is an erroneous assumption. People though will point to the shootings at schools, different places around the country, and recently, in a church. And they will say that “guns are the real problem, so we need to get rid of all guns.” But they are NOT the problem. People can kill with almost anything, knives, pipes, chains, including their own hands. Getting rid of guns will not get rid of killing. I had a friend growing up whose dad was a gun shop owner. He had guns lying openly in a couple places around the house. But he taught his two sons how to handle a gun, shoot it, and even how to make their own bullets. Did his sons grow up to become mass murderers? No, the complete opposite. So guns are not the problem.
The real problem is in how we are being taught to deal with conflict. The PC method is OSTRICHISM, ignore it, push it down, walk away from it, but do not NOT address it. Instead of dealing with it in a constructive manner, this erroneous PC approach only causes anger to remain within individuals, and as it is being pushed down, and being pushed down, and being pushed down, it slowly escalates and builds up until it finally erupts into the violence that the PC advocates then point to as an example of guns being the problem. But in truth, it is their PC methodology of OSTRICHISM that’s the problem, and that has led to the violence.
OSTRICHISM does not solve the problems, it ultimately only causes the violent outbreaks. And this PC social view of OSTRICHISM has come into the church. In Christianity, instead of dealing with issues, people OSTRICHISIZE: they just leave and go to another church or they stop going at all, or they spend their time come gossiping, slandering one another, holding onto their grudges and unforgiveness, and ultimately leading to splits within the church. More new churches are formed as a result of OSTRICHISM and division than by anything else.
So rather than bringing up disagreements and issues to be discussed within the church – which is the biblical model (for example, Acts 15) – people pretend everything is fine, they smile and say “praise the Lord,” and then gossip and slander behind the back of individuals or the church, again, ultimately causing a church split. It is no wonder that Christianity in America has become the watered-down mess that we see today. Instead of the church changing society, society has changed the church. Now some will reject what I’m saying, hide their head in the sand, and say, “The church is just fine,” but it’s not. And the first step to getting better is being able to admit there’s a problem.
In fact, there’s a number of areas and teachings within Christianity that are contradictory to the Bible, but should anyone bring these contradictions up, then another form of OSTRICHISM occurs. People say, “It’s all the matter of the heart. If I think it’s right, then it’s right for me, but if you think something else is right, then it’s right for you.” In essence then, we ignore the issue and a possible conflict by saying, “Truth is relative, and there is no absolute right or wrong.” So how can we say with one breath that the Bible is our only standard of truth, but then when issues arise, we turn around and start espousing this PC view that all Truth is relative? If the Bible is our standard of Truth, then Truth is NOT relative, but if Truth is relative, then what’s the point of saying what we obviously do not truly believe, and that is that the Bible is our only standard of Truth?
If Truth is subjective, then it is not objective. For Truth to be objective means that it is not based on how we feel, think, or believe. It is not a creation of humanity, and that the source of Truth does not, in fact, begin and end with us. Instead, the Bible teaches us that Truth begins and ends with God, not humanity. God and His Word is Truth, and anything that violates that Truth is a deception or a lie. A deception is something that may appear true, but when you start peeling away the layers of what it is saying or presenting, and comparing it against the Bible, we begin to see the deception and the lie.
Some people have begun to rewrite or re-interpret the Bible, so that it matches the teachings of society. In doing this, they say that the true standard of their life and their view of Truth is not the Bible, it is not God, but society. People say, “Man created God in our image,” so therefore, man can recreate Him based on our everchanging needs. But God says, “Man did NOT create God, but God created man in His image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26).
This means that God cannot be held or judged by the standards of men, but humanity, men and women, are held and judged by the standards of God. We will not be judged based on how “good” we are in relation to other people, because we were not created in the image and likeness of man, but we will be judged based on how like God we are in our attitudes, thoughts, words and actions because we were created “in the image and likeness of God.” So how “good” or “bad” you are in relation to other people is not the real question, but if we were to measure ourselves against God, how would we do?
As we can see, then, OSTRICHISM “leads to death” and is destructive in the long run. We cannot live our lives ignoring and avoiding issues and problems. This is how sin has grown and has flourished within the church. Christianity needs to get off of the fence. If the Bible is our standard of truth, then let’s follow the Bible, not society’s PC view that truth is relative. But if the church is going to follow society’s PC view of truth, and satisfy itself, then follow that. It is only hypocrisy to try and do both. But what the church needs to know and to understand is that God is not pleased with it today. Until it gets off the fence and begins to use the Bible as THE STANDARD OF TRUTH, and to truly follow the leading of the HOLY SPIRIT (not man’s spirit) in walking out what the Bible has to say – instead of today’s PC view of truth, values, and beliefs – it will not please God, and it cannot walk in holiness.
As far as my wife and I are concerned, there is only ONE TRUE STANDARD OF TRUTH, and that is the Bible. I hope that you can claim the same.