Erick Erickson, editor of the influential Redstate.com, argued last Thursday that many young evangelicals know same-sex marriage (SSM) is wrong but “they want the world to like them and to think them a part of the world. They view Christians who are seen as too hostile to others as inferior in spreading the gospel or too judgmental.”
I’d say those young evangelicals are partly right. The spread of the gospel is hurt when people define Christianity in terms of what it’s against. But Erickson is also right to note, “We should not delude ourselves. At some point the world will make us choose. And if we choose Christ the world will accuse us of hating, condemning, and judging.”
After all, loving our neighbors as ourselves means praying we and they will sin less, for we are all sinners. Erickson rightly points out, “God didn’t do it. Our fallen nature did. The struggle with sin in the process of sanctification leads us closer to God. Those who revel in sin do not draw close.”
One young evangelical, M.J. Daniels, replied to Erickson by writing, “Is Homosexuality a sin? I. Do. Not. Care. … The debate over SSM is a divisive political issue that is tearing this country apart culturally and politically, while distracting from other, FAR more serious crises that we are refusing to face because we cannot resolve the differences between left and right on this one issue.”
Daniels went on to note, “Issues like entitlement spending, border security, national defense, over-regulation, reckless monetary policy, education, abortion … will have a MUCH greater impact on the direction this nation takes over the next 20-50 years than will the issue of SSM.” That may be true. I’ve long said that heterosexual adultery is a far bigger problem than homosexuality in our churches and American society.
But Erickson had a good rejoinder to Daniels’ central “I. Do. Not. Care” point. He wrote, “You will be required to care. Gay rights advocates on the steady march toward and past gay marriage will make you care.”
Erickson continued: “Many people say we should have legal gay marriage, but not have religious gay marriage. The left will not honor the distinction. … Your church, should it open its doors to all, but refuse to perform a same-sex wedding, will be accused of discrimination. In some places, the church will be forced to stop performing weddings.”
The bottom line: “Already Christians are being harassed by fellow American citizens for not wanting to participate in a gay marriage. The time will come, more quickly than you can imagine, when you will be made to care. … Evil peddles tolerance until it is dominant, then seeks to silence good. That’s why Christians fight on this issue. It is not to force themselves on others, but to protect themselves from others being forced on them.”