From BMO to No Mo’

The Bank of Montreal is my soon-to-be former bank. They’re great as a bank, and had they stuck just with banking I’d be happy to recommend them. But they want to do more than just work with money, they want to work with morals; more specifically, with the vile affections that today masquerade as morals, the darkness that thinks it can play at being light. BMO, along with 72 other major corporations (Shell, Ford, Target, among piles of others; see ARPA for details), are working not just for the promotion of the gay agenda but against those who would choose to live in true righteousness and holiness.

The suits at BMO have grown bitter that a Christian university, TWU, would strive to obey God and keep his precepts with diligence. So, in a rather regrettable huff, they have traded banking for belligerence against the Most High and have directed their considerable influence to see that TWU does not get its law school. They pressured the Ontario Bar Association to stand opposed to TWU and to “deny the accreditation of any legal education programs… that are discriminatory.” But the huff is strong with them, and having succeeded in pressuring the OBA wasn’t enough. Any law firm that does business with BMO must “disclose the diversity statistics of their associates, partners and management committee.” Apparently the bank wants to work with law firms that showcase various bedroom practices, not primarily the ability to practice law.

It may be tempting for us as Christians to respond to BMO by playing their game. After all, in opposing TWU for discriminating against homosexuals, BMO is itself discriminating against Christians. The bank isn’t exactly being a picture of the tolerance it demands. What’s more, Bible-believing Christians can pass themselves off these days as an oppressed minority, which is true. But that way of responding is at best unhelpful, and at worst detrimental. Implicit in all this talk of “tolerance” and “discrimination” is a framework of assumptions and beliefs that support the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

The problem is quite simple. Modern man insists that what he does in the bedroom is beyond moral discrimination, yet Scripture goes ahead and discriminates anyway. That’s the problem. In order for a Christian to shape his life with the chisel of God’s law, he must discriminate where Scripture discriminates. If Scripture says of those who practice homosexuality that “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,” then that’s how Christians ought to think of that sin. And we shouldn’t begrudge this judgment of Scripture either, as in, “I really wish the Bible didn’t say that, but it does, so I must resign myself to its teachings.” The humility of the psalmist is ever instructive, who says, “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law,” and, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” God’s revelations of righteous and holy living are a joy to discover, for living in holy covenant communion with God is life itself. Those who desire life must by definition discriminate against that which brings death, and so we rightfully earn the charge of being “discriminatory.”

This also uncovers the pseudo-thought that lies behind being “politically correct.” Politically correct speech gives the impression of being neutral, but BMO’s actions reveal that nothing is neutral. In one of my undergrad history courses the teacher told us of a museum she had visited in Montreal. In one of the display cases was a cannon ball mounted on a piece of wood. On the front of the wood was a shiny gold plaque that said, “Fired by the Patriots, 1837.” But if you turned the wood around, on the back was a faded plaque that said, “Fired by the rebels, 1837.” Same cannon ball, but different story depending on the owner. The same is true of politically correct speech. Words like “discrimination” and “tolerance” are like that cannon ball, and beg the same question: according to whom?

BMO and friends are clear about their answer, and that’s great. We as Christians, then, can toss aside the bloodless corpse of political correctness and its sham neutrality, and return to having our thoughts and speech shaped by words that are alive with genuine human feeling. The words of Scripture, without any officious pretense, cover the whole spectrum of the heart from trembling at judgment to dancing at salvation. And not a jot or a tittle can be tamed for the reprobate mind. This Word is our beloved bias, its “statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.” On the other hand, BMO and friends have insisted on discriminating against and being intolerant of God’s moral statutes, and as a result, “their heart is unfeeling like fat.” Clearly, there can be no neutral ground between the two.

When we take full ownership of our bias, then we can properly tell the story as it is. The story isn’t a new one, and we can see that by slightly revising a passage from the book of Daniel: On the plain of our contemporary spiritual wasteland, man has set up an idol of perversion. BMO and company are like the Chaldeans who dart about, having assumed for themselves the mantle of liturgy enforcement. They’ve come across certain Christians who, “at the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer” have not bowed before the heathen idol, and do not worship their gods of vice. The Christians are hauled forth for judgment and respond with a simple, godly dignity, something like: “We have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from your lawsuits and legislation, and he will deliver us out of your hand. But if not, be it known to you that we will not serve your gods or worship the perversion that you have set up.” The response, as you know, will be one of inordinate fury on the part of man; and the response to that will be the humbling of said man before the Triune Majesty.

I will conclude with another encouraging and wonderfully biased passage from Scripture. Fourth-year Rick delivered a sermon at Providence yesterday morning on Psalm 27. David’s message in this psalm is a straightforward assertion of confidence in God while being encamped about by those who hate him, and while having his flesh “eaten” by evildoers. Rick emphasized the startling fact that the one thing David asks of God is not that he would be protected, or be delivered. Rather, it is that he “may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”

Again, like the response of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego above, that of David is firm and humble in the face of anxiety-inducing adversity. We can pray, of course, that BMO and company would fail in their attempts to force our knees to buckle in worship. Yet there is one thing that bursts from the horizon of eternity before us, a vision that obliterates the shadows. That is the beauty of the LORD, a holiness that is seared into our souls and that fills us with an immortal hope. In the presence of that brilliance, which gods of man can manage even the most pathetic whimper? Rather, they are decreed for the flip side of God’s holiness, which is a searing of another kind, one that smells of sulfur and lasts forever. So, may those who take counsel against the LORD be warned; may they yet tremble and kiss the Son, and find their blessed refuge in him.

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