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Thursday, April 06, 2017

The Emperor's New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen wrote the story about two scam artists who called themselves weavers and declared they could make a marvelous suit of clothes. Not only was it unparalleled in beauty, but it carried the added characteristic that it couldn't be seen by someone that was unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. Well, you know the story. The emperor ordered a set and paid big bucks and sent advisers to check on the progress and eventually put them on and walked out to show. No one said anything about the absence of the clothes because everyone knew that if you didn't see them, it was because you were unfit for your positions, stupid, or incompetent. A small child finally called out, "He isn't wearing anything at all!" and the whole thing collapsed.

Now, lots of scholarly people have written lots of scholarly things about the meaning and intent of Andersen's tale. It was political satire against the emperor. It was about maintaining the courage of one's convictions. It was about the expansion of democratic power. Right. Better minds than I, I suppose. What I see is today's perspective. They tell us, "If you believe that gender is accurately recorded on a birth certificate, you're a bigot." They assure us, "If you don't embrace the beliefs and values of others, you're intolerant." They are quite sure that if you don't agree with them on the redefinition of marriage or the celebration of sexual immorality or the like, you're "on the wrong side of history".

A left-leaning mom in California wrote a blog entry about an experience she had with her kids at Disneyland. A clearly male guy walked into the women's bathroom. No one said a thing. Some fled. "There were women and small children using the restroom and this man was walking around knowing no one would say anything." Why? "We had been culturally bullied into silenced."

It's not hate to be concerned for the eternal soul of another person engaged in sexual immorality, adultery, homosexual behavior, theft, or the rest (1 Cor 6:9-10). It's not bigotry to call sin sin. It's not sexism to agree with God regarding submission of wives to husbands (Eph 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-6) or excluding women from church leadership (1 Tim 2:12-14). It's not wrong to side with God. We need to remain like that child (Matt 18:3). "He isn't wearing anything at all!"

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