And I saw in my dream that Fearful, and his black companion, Encouragement, had reached the stile at Bypath Meadow. Much had changed since Christian first went that way. Doubting Castle had doubled in size, and was soon to be known as the Garrison of Gender. Nearby lay the new City of Confusion. Yet despite this startling increase in accommodation, there was a severe housing shortage, due to the number of pilgrims wandering out of the way of understanding.
Along one of the many paths to Confusion, laid by Pluralist, hurried Politically Correct, a descendant of Giant Despair. He hailed the pilgrims: “Greetings, faith people. Women and men are making great herstorical progress in their pilgrimage to personhood and personalist thinking.”
“Man, that’s strange talk!” exclaimed Encouragement. Politically Correct looked shocked; yet, regaining his composure, he continued: “See the paths of personal liberation. Each is a Way of Equal Validity.”
Casting a bewildered glance across the meadow, Fearful saw a moral maze, teeming with pilgrims, totally oblivious of their danger. The scene filled him with both fascination and dread. Sensing this, Politically Correct fixed his steely gaze upon him: “You would like to change persons’ hearts by imposing your Christian views upon them. In our Way of Equal Validity, we do no such thing: we simply change their vocabulary.”
“Steady, man!” intervened Encouragement. (Politically Correct gulped.) “Fearful merely proclaims the truth.”
“What is truth?” snapped Politically Correct. “Free persons of their religious prejudices, and then they will celebrate what is correct. Besides,” he added, darkly, “you need to consider your position. Haven’t you noticed how our views are gaining ground? Many faith leaders are abandoning their exclusivism. Soon you will be alone!”
Feeling overwhelmed, Fearful would have leapt over the stile had not Encouragement restrained him, saying: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.” And having thus put Politically Correct to flight, Fearful and Encouragement continued along the King’s Highway, the one and only true way to the Eternal City…”
(Peter Murcott is a Methodist local preacher on the Isle of Man and a former headmaster and lecturer in law).