I might have coined a word. I know I didn't invent the idea. Many have addressed the issue. But a friend was recently commenting about the fact that these days, if you disagree with someone, especially concerning immoral lifestyles, they label you as "phobic." Homophobic is the term used to blast anyone who dares to point out sodomy as a sin. The latest, thanks to the subject of my last post, is "transphobic." Anyone who dares to say that Bruce Jenner is not "courageous" for mutilating himself to pretend to be something he biologically is not, is "transphobic."
My response to that friend's comment is simply this. Those folks are opiniphobic. And while mine not be a real word, at least I'm using the concept in the right way. Others are not.
A "phobia" is a persistent fear of something. Someone who suffers from arachnophobia is someone who displays a genuine fear of spiders. I know. I suffer from this! Spiders aren't nearly as dangerous as I perceive them to be, hence my fear is a genuine phobia. I cringe at the sight of the things. And don't get me started on snakes!
But here's the thing. People use the label "homophobia" to simply describe someone who disagrees with them about the acceptance of sodomite behavior. I don't fear those who claim to be homosexual. I have no fear of homosexuality in general. I simply disagree with those who claim it's acceptable behavior. God's Word clearly says it is not.
It would be akin to two people discussing the issue of whether or not eating meat is acceptable. One calls his friend "meataphobic" while the friend returns with a "vegaphobic" label. It's not that either one has a dread fear of eating or not eating meat (for the most part), it's just that they disagree about whether or not it's appropriate.
Since when did we decide that disagreeing is a phobia. Because I don't support Jenner's "transgender" claim, it means that I'm automatically afraid of it? Of course not. Mr. Jenner doesn't scare me. Well... No, anyway. I would gladly sit down and have lunch with him, share the gospel with him, pray with and for him. I don't fear him, I simply share a differnt opinion about the ethical, moral, and spiriutal nature of his chosen lifestyle.
On the other hand, those who use these kinds of labels are genuinely phobic. They are terrified of others' opinions, if they don't line up with their own. They can't stand disagreement with them. And so they lash out with claims of "hate speech" and "phobia", which ironically in itself is usually accompanied by hateful speech and phobic actions. Thus the idea of "opiniphobia." The persistent fear of others' opinions.
As I said, the idea is nothing new. It's been on the rise for quite some time. The liberal side of things has for a long time labeled anyone who disagrees as "phobic." Primarily because it shifts the abnormality to the other person. It makes it seem like those who disagree are the ones with the problem. Again, even though it's an inaccurate description. But since when are those who desire to redefine everything under the sun concerned with accuracy?
There are two streams of thought here. One, as an American, people are entitled to their opinions. I don't have to agree with them. Mr. Jenner has the right to voice his opinion. I have the right to disagree. That's our society.
Two, as a Christian, I'm compelled to go beyond my own opinion to see what God's Word has to say. Once God has spoken, my opinion is worth nothing. He is the Sovereign Creator of the Universe (I guess that makes me "evolutionaphobic"). He makes the rules. He created male and female in the beginning. He determined marriage is between one man and one woman. He ordained that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, according to Scripture alone. You are free to disagree with that. I'm not opiniphobic myself. But it's not me you will answer to. And when you stand before the great Judge, I'm not really sure your opinion and your "phobic" labels are going to carry much weight.