This week, Sean and Scott discuss:
- A New York Times opinion piece on transgender treatments and the emerging concerns and regrets from those who have undergone such procedures.
- A story of anti-Semitism in the context of sperm donation in Australia, where a couple rejected a Jewish sperm donor due to ethical concerns related to his identity.
- An Atlantic magazine article advocating for a more balanced view of the evangelical movement, highlighting the positive contributions alongside the criticisms.
- The conviction of Jennifer Crumbly for involuntary manslaughter due to negligence related to her son's school shooting, raising questions about parental responsibility.
- Listener Question: Is it morally wrong to enjoy hunting?
- Listener Question: Should I listen to apologists for other religions?
- Listener Question: Addressing "woke" ideologies within Christian organizations and the challenge of maintaining unity while navigating social justice issues.
Scott: This week, the New York Times opinion page issues a cautionary note on transgender treatments. Anti-Semitism hits the world of sperm domination. And in the Atlantic magazine, a story urging people to see the whole story, the good stuff, not just the ugly side of the evangelical movement of the last 40 years. This is a Think Biblically weekly cultural update where we will look at current events with cultural significance through the lens of a Christian worldview. And we'll answer some of the questions that you all have sent in. As a reminder, this is in addition to not a substitute for our regular Think Biblically podcast. We will post our weekly cultural update every Friday, and our regular Think Biblically podcast will post on Monday or Tuesday. I'm your host, Scott Rae.
Sean: And I'm your co-host, Sean McDowell.
Scott: This is a part of Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. Sean, this week, front and center in the New York Times editorial page from the Times editors themselves, stories of people who underwent transgender treatments and are now having major reservations.So Sean, tell us a little bit more what the story is about and what's your take on it.
Sean: Yeah, I read The New York Times pretty consistently and this story stunned me. And I don't say that with any sense of exaggeration. I was like, holy cow, I can't believe—now, here's why. This is written by Pamela Paul, who's a journalist. By the way, I read a book she wrote about two decades ago called Pornified about how our culture had become essentially pornified. And she kind of raised the alarm on this for mental health, for society, for the brain, etc. And she's kind of doing the same thing here with certain trans ideology that's taken place. Now, what stuns me is not the arguments, because these are arguments and issues we've heard for a while, but that it appeared in The New York Times, is this an indication of things that are yet to come?
So just a few things to jump out is she starts a story with a girl who's 12 to 13 years old and was not feeling comfortable in her body, thought she was in the wrong body, and was told that transitioning was the only and obvious solution or she'd kill herself. By her senior year, she started cross-sex hormones, ends up getting a double mastectomy. Well, at no point during her medical or surgical transition, did anyone ask her about the reasons behind gender dysphoria or her depression? She was never asked about her sexual orientation, no previous trauma, it turns out she was sexually abused as a child, and then, no surprise, she comes out with some regret because of her transition. Now, this story is about 10 or 11 pages long, and Pamela Paul walks through and she says, "There's an awful lot of people who transition when they're adolescents and now look back, maybe a decade later, and are happy with it, but there's a growing number of detransitioners who feel like it's only conservative outlets who will even hear their stories, and when they come out and detransition are marginalized and demonized." So really, what Pamela Paul is calling to is she's not saying to stop any kind of what's called gender care for minors whatsoever. She's just saying, "We have swung so far to the left," so to speak, "where no other narrative is even heard, no other possible reason or contributing factor to gender dysphoria is considered, and people just move forward with this treatment, and many times surgery, that needs to be balanced out."
And just a couple of things that stunned me about this, she points out in countries like Sweden, in countries like the Netherlands, which are oftentimes considered more progressive and more advanced than, say, the US is, and Britain and its Tavistock Clinic, these kind of places are pulling back and putting the brakes on this kind of care, saying, "Wait a minute, we need to slow down." The evidence that this kind of treatment rooted in this narrative is thin, and there's even some evidence of harm. So she says in this article, Pamela Paul says, again, in the New York Times, that the US is way behind on where the data is, and she's calling for a more balanced approach.
Now, I would rather things go a little bit further. Personally, I don't think under any circumstance, unless it's the physical health of a child in particular, should there be castration or any kind of, like, double mastectomy. But the fact that this is in the New York Times pushing back on this certain gender narrative and saying, "Let's have a more balanced," in her own words, "tolerant discussion," I want to say, "Hallelujah, this is a great sign for hopeful sanity yet to come."
Scott: Sean, it'd be very interesting to see the reaction of the transgender activists to this editorial, especially being so front and center in the New York Times. A couple of things that stood out to me, too. I think the notion that there's very little assessment of the causes for the depression and gender distress, gender dysphoria that a person is feeling, especially with this relatively new phenomenon called this "rabbit onset" gender dysphoria. And especially if the person involved is pre-puberty, she cites data that shows the overwhelming number of cases where you have these kinds of feelings, and the gender dysphoria experience pre-puberty resolve themselves after puberty, which is not a big surprise because once a young boy or a girl goes through puberty, that period is a significant part of their development of their own sexual identity.
The other thing that I found, I was happy to see that it came out. The increase in both parents of kids who wrestle with dysphoria and medical practitioners who have reservations about the transgender narrative and the way we so quickly affirm the child's transgender narrative. The pressure that parents and practitioners are getting routinely to give in and simply affirm the child's transgender narrative without any assessment of other things that might contribute to it and to start them on treatments that we have a very difficult time reversing. That I don't think is getting all the kind of publicity that I think it needs to.
Sean: This is really important because Abigail Schreier really kind of blew the whistle on this one in her book that was probably four or five years ago called, "Irreversible Damage." Like you said, with the rapid onset gender dysphoria, she said it's more of a social contagion that has a range of other factors that contribute to this, such as watching a lot of videos on YouTube, having other friends who also have rapid onset gender dysphoria, having autism, a high percentage of kids have autism. And so she called that out and was demonized by a whole bunch of people. And in this article, it's really kind of saying while there's still some debate about this, the evidence seems to show that there is something to this and a high percentage of the people that had transitioned, rather than having this early gender dysphoria that can sometimes emerge at like three, four years old—it's rapid. And so their effects now de-transitioning are very, very different and we need to hit the pause button on it. So to hear her talk about that is huge.
The other thing that jumped out to me too, Scott, was that one of the narrative is if you don't affirm your kid, this, your child is going to commit suicide. Parents have been bullied into this. Parents have been threatened into this. And frankly, I've put myself in the position of parents thought, gosh, if somebody told me that and my child was suffering, I would be vulnerable to that narrative. I’m being completely honest with myself. And they came out in this article and just said the evidence for that is lacking. It's not the case. This kind of treatment we've seen in Sweden, again, in the Netherlands and in Britain, does not get the results that we're looking for. And she even talked about another story in here of somebody who was told that this person, Emmerich, is a story that started seeing how Emmerich was now 23, but started as a teenager, I believe, transitioned. And there's all these stories behind it about sexual orientation. There was some trauma that she experienced from her father, ends up getting the double mastectomy. And then really, she says, quote, transition felt like a way to control something which I couldn't control any other way in my life. In other words, there's psychological, relational, social issues at play. Now, Emmerich is 23 years old and looks back and says, after living as a trans man for five years, the mental health symptoms were only getting worse. So, pushing back in the New York Times and the narrative that if you don't affirm the gender identity of your kid, your kid is going to take their own life. That's significant.
And by the way, last thing, sorry, the article said, you know, it acts as if this is news and it says to the trans activist dictum that children know their gender best. It's important to add something all parents know from experience: children change their minds all the time. This hopefully feels like a return to sanity to me. You and I have been making these points for years, but to see it in the New York Times, I just got to give a thumbs up to the New York Times. So friends, if you're watching this, there's plenty of times you can be critical of the New York Times. Share this, talk about it, read it, get the word out. This is an important moment.
Scott: Yeah, and watch for the reaction.
Sean: Yeah, good point.
Scott: It'll be very interesting. All right. Story number two, this is from Down Under where anti-Semitism hits the arena of sperm donation. One of the places where I admit I was caught completely off guard by this. I did not expect to see this at all. This is the story of an Australian lesbian couple who rejected a potential sperm donor, because they had to have a sperm donor to conceive a child, they rejected a potential donor simply because he is Jewish. A couple maintained that there were, quote, ethical challenges, which made it difficult for them to navigate parts of his, the donor's identity. Now, if you're wondering what on earth that means, let me give you my best, my best assessment of what they meant by that.
Scott: I think what they apparently mean is that based on what Jews are doing in Gaza, they can't have a Jewish sperm donor who will be genetically half of their child. Because they do, they do in the article that describes this, they do cite, having been deeply troubled by all the things that are going on in Gaza. And they recognize for the Jewish sperm donor, who is Australian himself as well, that must be huge for him to navigate, you know, as a Jewish person. But I think they also suggest as a decent human being what's going on in Gaza with, you know, with Jews fighting for their survival against Hamas and with all the collateral damage that's taken place in Gaza. And so they apparently just said they don't, they don't want somebody who is having to navigate that. And that they don't have the wherewithal to navigate that themselves. And I think what they simply mean is that they don't want somebody who's Jewish being genetically half of their child.
Now, an interesting part of this is that the ex-CEO of a group called the Council for Australian Jewry, which is sort of a Jewish advocacy group in Australia, pointed out that this is an example of someone being anti-Semitic and claiming the moral high ground at the same time.
It's nothing I haven't seen before. And we've seen this, I think maybe in a little bit in some of the protests about Gaza being, you know, being, you know, the protesters being openly anti-Semitic, but also claiming to be on the moral high ground. But this is the first time I've seen it where, you know, an individual has, you know, has flat out said that we're rejecting you because you are Jewish and we think we are doing something morally right at the same time. That's, in my view, that's what makes the story so remarkable. And we just don't, we just don't see people often with the, I'd say the sense of moral ambiguity to be so openly anti-Semitic and be able to claim the moral high ground in something related to Israel at the same time. Your thoughts?
Sean: So what sets that apart is if somebody chose because of the race, because that person was, say, black or Asian or a certain race and claimed to get the high ground, that would be laughed off and clearly considered out of bounds. You don't get to have both. But somehow in this person's mind, thinking it's going to land that way might be an indication of a larger anti-Semitism at play in the culture. Is that how you see it?
Scott: Well, yeah, I think that's, that's certainly a possibility. It's a little hard to know because we, you know, we haven't talked to this couple. And the one thing I actually, I appreciate about this couple is that they are, you know, they recognize that their sperm donor is going to make a significant contribution to their child. They're taking that seriously. And this is not something where it's just, you know, we're just getting sperm from an anonymous person. He's just a means to an end to produce our child. I think they rightly recognize that this person is going to make a really significant contribution to their child. Now to reject him because he's Jewish, I think is, you know, is going way, way over the line. But I don't think they're being entirely callous about the sperm donor relationship just in general.
Sean: Interesting. Now, I appreciate that you see the positive side of them taking this seriously. Of course, I'm going to take issue with any sperm donation in principle, regardless, for other ethical reasons.
Scott: Right. And we've had several guests who have, I think correctly raised questions about sperm donation. And we could, I think there's, you know, the scripture, I think is pretty clear about that where let's just say the scripture is very skeptical about third parties that enter the, the procreative, the better the matrix of marriage for procreative purposes. So, but that's a whole, that's a much longer subject than this. But I think you're right. We would take issue with the whole sperm donor arrangement to begin with, because in our view, we don't think that's good for children.
Scott: At the end of the day.
Sean: It's hard to know how widespread something like this would be from one story in itself. Right? That's what's interesting. How much can we draw about society from an individual couple? And so that's a part of the question where I'm somewhat torn on this because as soon as anti-Semitism, you know, rears its head, so to speak—I just saw a tweet yesterday that said, if I give someone an inch, they take a mile every single time. And we've seen that over and over again with anti-Semitism. So, we need to call it when we see it. Yet one couple making this decision, what does that mean on a broader scale for sperm donation? I mean, I don't even know where to start and answer that question, but it's interesting to draw attention to it, talk about it and see if there's a deeper trend here.
Scott: I think a fair question to raise. All right. Story number three.
Scott: This is from the Atlantic magazine just yesterday. An article asking for an honest assessment of the evangelical movement to bring out the good things that have been achieved by the evangelical movement to complement all the negative publicity that has come to light in recent years through books like “Jesus and John Wayne,” which we've talked about on episodes of the podcast. So what's the good stuff that this article claims has been missing from the discussion of the evangelical movement? And what's your take on this piece sort of in general, Sean?
Sean: Yeah, this piece surprised me somewhat. Again, it's in the Atlantic, which is not a conservative publication, certainly not a Christian publication. The author is John Faye. The title is “What I Wish More People Knew about American Evangelicalism.” Now, when I read this as an evangelical who's conservative on a lot of issues, there's times where I want to push back and go, wait a minute, I disagree with this. I'm going to argue with the author, but he's not writing to me. He's not writing to conservatives and probably most of our audience who listens to this podcast. He's writing to a more secular audience, say, who probably has brought into the narrative about evangelicals through a certain political lens. And he's just saying, timeout, let's have a more balanced approach. So he, for example, starts off and says there's been a bunch of books that have come out recently. He lists a number of them and says he's been part of that trend for taking evangelicals to task for their support of Donald Trump, things like Christian nationalism. He calls it evangelical Trumpism and other warped politics that are so prevalent in my religious tribe. So, he doesn't pull any punches in terms of his concern for what's happening in evangelicalism. But then he says seeing the good in evangelicalism is essential to understanding its appeal to millions of Americans. I love that. Now, when you look at some of the criticism of evangelicalism, it's often been things like purity culture or figures, like he mentions here, James Dobson. What he says is he has issues with some purity culture, and would take issue with some of Dobson's teachings. But he says there's a larger story here of massive good that came out of even James Dobson. And by the way, I have to give Faye credit for defending Dobson, given where he's coming from and the medium in which he's defending him, because it's so often people just demonize him and don't even try to see the good. And he's saying, OK, timeout. This idea of disciplining your kids in love, not out of anger. He says he's thankful to Dobson because of some of the ways that echoed into his own family. So, I love that about it.
There's stuff we could push back on here. You know, I'll make a couple of points here that I thought was interesting. He says, I'm waiting to see my father and tells the story of his dad who had a radical transformation through the evangelical movement. And it changed his life. This is a part of the good that he's saying that evangelicalism contributed to his own father. His life was transformed for the better. And there's many like him. And he says, I'm waiting to see my father's story and the stories of others like him in books about American evangelicalism in the 70s and 80s—I'm not holding my breath. And when I read that, I said, I'm not either because it's so much easier to write a book, do a podcast, write a blog being critical of a movement because it riles people up to get angry. But holding back and saying, you know what, there's positives here, it's just not going to sell as many books. So, I think that's a piece of it. But as far as the positives, here's something that he says. I love this point. Scott, I think this is so important that he said journalists don't sufficiently distinguish Christian nationalists from conservative evangelicals who simply and reasonably believe that. They simply and reasonably want to bring their faith to bear on public life. And I said, amen, thank you for not just putting every evangelical who cares about their faith, wants to live it out, label them as a Christian nationalist. Holy cow. That needs to echo from his article.
He also just says this. He says every day you can find—let me take a step back. He says by focusing solely on the moments when evangelicals behave badly, we miss the way most evangelicals practice their faith. He didn't say many. He said most. He says every day you can find evangelicals serving their neighbors, addressing injustice, promoting the common good and doing the things necessary to keep American democracy strong and compassionate. That's powerful. Now, here's the last quote that he gives. And again, he raises stuff about Trump and MAGA, which we're not debating here. We're just showing reference where he's coming from. He talks about how he has this blog he calls Evangelical Roundup, where he has 30 to 40 stories about evangelicals he posts every day. And I looked at it. It looks like a helpful resource.
He says in doing this work for several years now, I found that for every Christian nationalist, nativist and MAGA promoter, there's a believer in Jesus Christ living out the Sermon on the Mount's call to humility, meekness and mercy.
To that, I want to say thank you for drawing attention to the positive. Now, last thing I would differ with him on his assessment of evangelicalism. That's what you and I cover like in our podcast on, you know, “Jesus and John Wayne.” Fine. But the fact that he's a voice that differs with us and is calling for some balance. Amen.
Scott: Yeah, I say here, here. And glad to see it in the Atlantic. And just to our listeners on this, we will post links to these stories. So, if you want to look further and read further on some of these, you'd be welcome to do that. All right. One final item. A brief update we want to give you.
We mentioned last week that the parents of Ethan Crumbly, a young man from Oxford Township, Michigan, who shot and killed four of his classmates at Oxford High School and is now serving a life term without parole. His parents were also being tried for involuntary manslaughter for their negligence in failing to heed clear warning signs. Well, on Wednesday, a jury returned a guilty verdict for the mother, Jennifer Crumbly, holding her partially responsible for the shooting. We don't know yet what the sentence is going to be. Her husband's trial is set to start here shortly. That'll be, I think, very soon. The couple, remember, they were tried separately. And so it will be very interesting to see what verdict comes back for the father. We had talked about a lot of the implications of this and the morality of holding parents responsible for the behavior of their children. But the court, the jury ruled that there was gross negligence involved here that warranted a conviction of involuntary manslaughter. So, they are holding the mother, at least for now, partially responsible, not not to the same degree, of course, but partially responsible for the tragedy that happened at Oxford High School.
All right, let's answer a few questions, shall we?
Sean: Let's do it.
Scott: You game for this?
Sean: Is game a pun on the first question you're going to ask me?
Scott: Well, I hadn't thought about that, but I’ll give credit to my own creativity subconsciously.
Sean: You got it.
Scott: All right. This is from a person who's responded to our animal rights podcast, where we where we reacted with the work of Peter Singer on this. He says, I live in a rural part of America and interact with all sorts of animals. I raise chicken and pigs for food. The chickens are free reigns. The pigs have a good life and are treated more as pets. So, I'm well aware of the moral question of animal rights. But I have a question about hunting. I hunt wild game for food and I take in predator control. But I'm also a big game hunter hunting elk in the mountains. So, here's this question: Is it morally wrong to find enjoyment in hunting or is hunting morally wrong itself? Or is this somehow a gift from God that enables him to provide for his family and to help control dangerous predators? What do you think?
Sean: All right. So first off, I am not a hunter. I have never killed an animal. And some people might say, oh, that's the easy way out because I eat meat all the time. But I'm speaking from somebody who just doesn't practice this. Given that God has called us to care for animals, as we talked about in that interview, but also as animals for food, I don't see why we'd have to kill animals and not in some sense be able to enjoy the hunt and the challenge of trying to find an animal the way that he describes. I don't see in principle why that would necessarily be bad.
Now, I would think it could potentially go bad. Obviously, if you enjoy the suffering of the animal, if it's done in a way that doesn't care, like, for the animal and it's wasteful. But in principle, I don't see why that would be problematic within itself. If the action is not immoral, what would be wrong with somebody enjoying it before the Lord if you recognize this is from God and I give God the credit, I don't see why not. Now push back and tell me if you see it differently.
Scott: Well, the only question I would have for our friends here who sent this in, I really appreciate this. This person sending this question it's a very thoughtful question. And that is I wonder if there is something that is maybe intrinsic to hunting that causes unnecessary suffering for animals that we are going to partake in for food. Because most of the time, of course, factory farming and the stuff we talked about in that discussion on Peter Singer, that notwithstanding, as long as the animals are raised and euthanized in humane ways, we didn't have a problem with them being consumed for food. But I just wonder about whether hunting is the same kind of humane demise for an animal that it would be if it were done in more of a way food is produced.
That's the only question I would have, I don't have real strong convictions about this. I'm not a hunter either. In fact, the only time I went, some friends took me duck hunting when I was about 12. We sat out in a duck blind at four o'clock in the morning, freezing our rear ends off, and nobody told me that a 12 gauge shotgun had a kick to it.
Sean: Oh, Gosh.
Scott: So, the first time I shot at a duck, I not only badly missed, but I nearly ruined my shoulder because I just wasn't prepared for what the gun would do. They thought that was a pretty interesting initiation for me.
Sean: So, that's your excuse for your jump shot, messed up. No, I'm just kidding, Scott.
Scott: [laughs] Wrong shoulder.
Sean: Okay, fair enough. So, really quickly, in principle, you don't see any reason why somebody couldn't enjoy the hunt if it were done in a way to try to minimize unnecessary suffering to an animal, then it wouldn't preclude it.
Scott: It wouldn't preclude it. But what I wonder about, and I don't have a strong conviction about this one way or another, is whether there's something sort of intrinsic to hunting that's connected with that level of unnecessary suffering.
Sean: Fair enough. I can't answer that, but that's a really helpful way to frame it.
Scott: All right. Second question. Sean, I think this would be more for you. In an effort to learn both sides of an issue, I was wondering if you had any thoughts on good apologists from other religions, atheism included, that I should read. I want to avoid the trap of making straw man arguments and remaining sensitive to those who I may be conversing with. What would you tell them?
Sean: So, I love this. I read a ton of people on all sides of issues. I've also taken students through—high school students. I sent out a tweet years ago and I said, "What's the best book to take students through on atheism?" And the number one response I got, probably a few dozen tweets back, was "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, at least on a popular level, had massive influence. So, I took high school students through it. But I have a caveat there that he wrote that distinctly to talk people out of their faith. That's what he was trying to do. So, I wouldn't give it to a high school kid and say, "Go for it." I would only do so with somebody there with you to guide the thinking, to care for the people and just reason well. And so this fellow seems to want both sides. I think that's great. Just make sure he's talking through some of these issues with people as he does so. As far as good thinkers, Dawkins is—I mean, I think "The God Delusion" is not a very compelling book. Even a lot of atheists have said that. I think some of the leading atheist thinkers would be like Graham Oppie. I mean, he's brilliant. William Lane Craig, I think he called him, I can't remember if this is the term or not just like wicked, smart, or super smart. He makes some of the best arguments and pushes back, Graham Oppie does. On YouTube, somebody I've been watching more recently and have appreciated both the tone and the content is known as the Cosmic Skeptic. For example, he had a debate not long ago, just a week or two ago, with Ben Shapiro about God and morality.And I thought, "Wow, he's really smart. He's young. He's charitable, how he seems to engage people from what I've seen." So, I would check out his stuff as well to read the other side. I've read the Quran. I've read the Book of Mormon. I think I would go not only just to apologize to the other side, but go to their primary sources and read them first, charitably. That would be a place to begin.
Scott: Good. That's helpful. I think that advice about reading original sources for other religions, I think, is particularly helpful. And to do so charitably, not looking for a "gotcha" type of things, but to do so trying to understand and to read them in the best possible light that we can.
All right. Third question. This has a little backstory to it so, this may be a little longer question than we normally get. But I'll give you some of the backstory that this person gives. I've been on staff with my Christian organization for more than 20 years. I know this has recently seen certain woke ideological influences becoming more and more evident within the organization. The tension is making me consider whether I should continue to serve with the organization. Many are leaving and starting to feel like we are less like a unity and diversity kind of organization, more like a unity around justice for the oppressed type of place. So my questions are, is it morally wrong to still work at such an organization when there might be more compatible alternatives? And second, shouldn't a church pastor be concerned with this? In other words, am I right to expect my pastor should care deeply enough to equip his flock on these things even if it's unpopular or if it causes conflict?
Sean: Well, I get questions kind of like this regularly, people are trying to just kind of figure out these kind of dynamics. She described woke issues. Oftentimes it's LGBTQ issues. I would say a couple of things. I view this less as a question. She said, is it morally wrong to still work there?
I think it's more a question of wisdom. Now, it might be morally wrong if you get to the place where you are contributing to an organization that is now promoting an idea about faith that is contrary to the faith. If it comes to that point and you work there, maybe you're somewhat kind of guilty by association and you're actually contributing to this. But I don't know that it's quite there.
I think it's more a question of wisdom. Is it wise to stay in this organization? Now, somebody who keeps working there would say things like, I want to have an influence from the inside. I don't want to abandon this. I can still make a difference for good and kind of operate from the inside rather than abandoning ship. I think for me, what I want to do is if I'm going to leave a church like that, I just want to make sure on my conscience before the Lord, I've done everything that I can do to understand both sides, see my own blind spots, work with people to try to see if we can find common ground and get beyond this. And then, if I leave, I have a conscience that says I've done everything. This church is not changing. I no longer agree with where it stands. And then you leave and leave wisely. Some people just leave on such bad terms.That would be my advice.
Scott: I guess I'd want to make a distinction between what the Bible actually teaches is that we have a moral obligation to care for the least among us and to provide for justice where injustices are taking place. So, the Bible has a lot to say about our obligations to the marginalized, to the poor, to the oppressed. And I think there's a difference between that and a worldview that views all of humanity through the lenses of that oppressor-oppressed relationship.
Scott: So, I want to be careful that we don't equate taking issues of race seriously with going over the edge with a woke ideology. Because those aren't the same thing. And you can take race very seriously without succumbing to an ideology that is contrary to Scripture. And I think as Alexander Solzhenitsyn put it, reflecting the biblical notion, the line between good and evil does not go between us and them—it goes right down the middle of a human heart. And so I'd be really careful about an ideology that views humanity through those reductionistic lenses. So, I want to make sure what exactly is the problem here that is getting this person so concerned and so exercised.
In general, what we tell our business students, I think, relates to what you have said here, that oftentimes when we have believers in a workplace setting at the first hint of moral challenge or ambiguity, they quit. And we encourage our students to keep their place at the table unless they're really compelling reasons to walk away. And the reason for that is because the person who will replace you will likely have a less sensitive conscience on these things than you do. And if you leave, your organization loses the salt and light influence that you have. And so I think you're absolutely right to make sure that we do everything we can, before we leave an organization, do everything we can to say our peace, to affect the change that we think is needed, but to do it graciously and charitably.
Sean: That's really helpful, Scott. I think that's wise to make that distinction between what we consider woke ideology, which may be rooted in a different worldview, but also might just be a different emphasis and focus that is scriptural. And I have seen people in a number of organizations take one or two cases and paint a whole organization through that lens without taking the time to listen and understand, hear where people are coming from, and keep your seat at the table, like you said, until maybe at some point you've done your due diligence and it may be time to move on.
ScotT: A lot more we can say about all these things, but we're out of time for this week. So, we're glad that you've been with us for this weekly cultural update sponsored by the Think Biblically podcast from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University. We offer programs in Southern California and online, including our Masters in Christian Apologetics. Encourage you to visit www.biola.edu/talbot in order to learn more. To submit comments, to ask questions, to make suggestions on issues you'd like us to cover, stories you'd like to see us comment on or guests you'd like us to consider, email us at email@example.com. That's firstname.lastname@example.org. Please feel free to share this with a friend. Give us a rating on your podcast app. Thanks so much for listening. And remember, Think Biblically about everything.