Chris' Blog

08.17.10

Chris Philbeck

"Restricted Topics"

Recently, as part of a college speech class my daughter took this summer, she was required to give a seven-minute “persuasive” speech. This wasn’t the first speech she had to give, but it was the last one and by virtue of that, it was important to her grade. In preparation for the speech, the professor gave the class a list labeled “Restricted Topics,” which included date rape, drinking and driving, going Greek, euthanasia, AIDS, teen pregnancy, smoking, physical fitness, marijuana, drinking age limits, alcoholism, teen suicide, eating disorders, recycling, child abuse, procrastination, washing your hands, seatbelt usage, abortion, safe sex, STD’s, organ donation, and global warming. These restrictions were based on not wanting to offend someone in the class.

In one class leading up to the speeches, the professor went around the room to get an idea of what each student was thinking about with regard to the speech. Tricia said she was leaning toward “volunteerism.” He didn’t seem too excited about that topic. Another man said he was considering a speech focused on how foolish the Christian faith was, which emphasized the ridiculousness of believing in the supernatural or miraculous stories of the Bible.

In the end Tricia spoke on volunteerism and got a very good grade. The man I mentioned above did his speech on the foolishness of faith. He began his speech by saying, “What would you think if I told you that 92% of all the people in the U.S. believed in unicorns? He went on to liken that to a belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible citing a Fox News survey that indicated 92% of Americans say they believe in the Bible. You can just imagine the rest of his speech’s content.

Here’s my question. When did we get to the place where we won’t talk about something like physical fitness because we don’t want to offend someone who is overweight or out of shape, but it’s okay to completely trash and dismiss someone’s personal faith in God with ridicule and a condescending attitude? That, friends, is an up close and personal illustration of the state of our culture. At first it makes you angry. Then it just makes you sad.

The way Tricia described this man in her class made it clear he was pretty impressed with himself. How do you respond to someone like this? Proverbs 26:4 says, Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be like him yourself (NIV). In the end all we can do is pray for someone who openly mocks God because the Bible makes it clear the day will come when that will no longer be an option.

Pastor Chris