"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:6-10
I'm reading through Galatians in my class. Something that impresses me is Paul's strong opposition to those who would change the gospel. This would never go over in today's modern-let's-play-nice-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness environment. I heard a little bit of a story on NPR about how the Columbia University President Lee Bollinger denounced, insulted and challenged the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad directly, especially opposing his position that the Holocaust did not happen. While I would not expect this from Columbia University, I find it refreshing that he would take such a stand. He may or may not have been able to use more civil tones to get his point across. The real point in civil discourse is can I take some hard indictments from my opponents and not get off the real issue. Can I stand for the truth and not get offended, discouraged, or reactionary? These are hard things. It is easy to pretend to play nice. It is easy to isolate myself and take potshots from afar. It is quite different to address the issues.