Saturday, September 26, 2015

Are Evangelicals Shifting On Gay Marriage?

Russell D. Moore over at First Things doesn't think so. I don't know myself, but his first three paragraphs are exactly how he should go about it.  People who interview him just assume that there must be a shift.  Because Millennials. Because others have. Because you're-on-the-wrong-side-of-history.

He asks what the evidence is.  There's a thought.

I can't help him out, even off-the-cuff.  I knew lots of young evangelicals, but they aren't young anymore, and most of them aren't evangelicals. They are nonbelievers, mainstreamers, nonattenders, and evangelicals in vaguely similar proportion. I suspect the current young evangelicals at my own church (which is in a bridge denomination to begin with) are not entirely representative.  It's a wealthy suburban church in New England.


james said...

Sometimes I wonder about the necessity of "bright lines in the sand." There are things that are harmless to most people but for me are near occasions of sin.

A pastoral emphasis on welcoming is easily read by the slower of the flock as an indication of at least partial approval.

This isn't a misunderstanding I'm subject to: except when I am, see sentence 2. I have seen it in children, and from time to time in adults as well.

The obvious risk of bright lines is pharisee-ism, which Jesus wasn't very fond of.

Texan99 said...

This was excellent:

"A Gospel-driven convictional kindness will not mean less controversy but controversy that is heard in stereo. Some will object to the conviction, others to the kindness. Those who object to a call to repentance will cry bigotry, and those who measure conviction in terms of decibels of outrage will cry sell-out. Jesus was controversial among the Pharisees for eating at tax collectors’ homes, and he was no doubt controversial among the tax collectors for calling them to repentance once he arrived there. He sweated not one drop of blood over that, and neither should we.

"While I am not worried about Evangelicals’ caving on marriage and sexuality in post-Obergefell America, I am worried about Evangelicals panicking. We are, after all, an apocalyptic people, for good and for ill. We can wring our hands that the world is going to hell, but then we ought to remember that the world did not start going to hell at Stonewall or Woodstock but at Eden. Adam was our problem, long before Anthony Kennedy. Mayberry without Christ leads to hell just as surely as Gomorrah without Christ does. We cannot respond pridefully to the culture around us as though we deserve a better mission field than a sovereign God assigned to us."

Earl Wajenberg said...

My impression is that evangelicals may not have shifted on gay marriage according to any simple binary measure -- it's still No rather than Yes -- but they have shifted on gays, mostly, if you look at the longer term.

Before gay rights was a Thing, as the current terminology goes, evangelicals and everybody else, including all but the most radically liberal, simply reacted with scandalized revulsion at any revelation of gayness.

Now, the official line usually seems to be "Homosexuals are prey to a temptation heterosexuals are not, and for that deserve pity. When they fall, it's a sin, just as when anyone gives into any sin, but we should love the sinner though we hate the sin."

That, of course, is nowhere near enough for any gay rights activist, but it's very different from what the position used to be.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Good point

Christopher B said...

It's quite unusual to find anyone who does not believe that romantic love sanctifies sexual relations.

Christopher B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
james said...

Rare indeed.