Josh McDowell has spent thirty years proclaiming Christ on college and university campuses all across America and around the world. He recently commented on the impact of the “New Tolerance” by observing that students now respond to his message in a completely different way.
In the past when he would present the claim that Jesus is the only hope for the world, the response from students was, “Prove it!” Today the response is, “You have no right to say that! You’re a bigot!”
Josh summed up the new campus atmosphere by stating: “An imbecile’s claim that Ronald MacDonald is the only hope for Mankind becomes equally valid with my claim that there is no hope apart from Jesus. I have no right to judge or condemn his claim, nor do I have the right to point out that he is an idiot.”
I used to teach comparative government and comparative political philosophy at the university level. In both courses, the purpose was to evaluate the competing truth claims. We would consider questions like these: Is democracy more valid than oligarchy? Is Communism more valid than Capitalism? Is Existentialism more valid than Rationalism?
Today such an approach would be considered hardcore bigotry! The purpose of comparative studies today is “to understand, appreciate and accept competing systems.”
Thus, a comparative religion course would no longer evaluate the truth claims of competing religions. Instead, it would strive to show you that Hinduism is as valid a religion as Christianity or any other religion in the world.
The Plague of Multiculturalism
This explains the danger of the current fad of multiculturalism — the hottest buzz word in American education.
Again, it sounds so good. But there are two serious problems with it. First, it is a thinly veiled attempt to dispense with the teaching of Western Civilization. The advocates of the “New Tolerance” loathe the study of Western Civilization because it emphasizes the civilizing influence of Christianity, a religion which they despise because it is considered “intolerant.”
The second problem with multiculturalism is that it teaches that one culture is just as good as another, and that is a lie! The Aztec culture that emphasized human sacrifices was not as good as a Christian culture that emphasizes the sanctity of life. And the Indian culture that is based upon gross idolatry in the form of worshiping every aspect of creation is not as good as a Christian culture that focuses on the worship of the one true God.
Consider for a moment the different results of the culture of India which is based on Hinduism and the culture of America that has been based on Judeo-Christian principles. In India, hundreds of millions of people are starving to death as a result of their belief that all living animals are reincarnated human beings. Because of this belief, they will not kill the animals for food. People starve while animals of all kinds wander the streets. By contrast, the Judeo-Christian principles America was founded upon have produced the most abundant society the world has ever known.
These differences in India and America are obvious, but no judgments can be drawn according to the rules of the “New Tolerance.” That’s because the “New Tolerance” requires the abandonment of convictions. It demands indifference to evil. That’s the reason that President Reagan was so roundly condemned by the press when he had the audacity to characterize the Soviet Union as “the Evil Empire.”
In the next part of “The New Tolerance,” we’ll look at how it is undermining Christianity.