Once upon a time, Christianity condoned and even encouraged owning black people as slaves. Today, we know better, and lament the behaviors of our ancestors. History tells us that every generation of Christians has had its own particular culture war. For our parents it was Jim Crow laws, and today, it’s gay marriage.
What do slavery, Jim Crow, and gay marriage have in common? Scripture has been used, and is still being used, to condemn all of the above. In the case of the former two, most Christians today admit that Scripture was twisted to justify those actions, and perhaps the enforcers weren’t really Good Christians. My question for Christians today is this: several generations from now, what’s to stop our great-great-grandchildren from maintaining that Christianity has no moral issues with being gay?
Before you reach for your Bible to point out the exact verses that say otherwise, remember that our ancestors did the exact same thing with slavery and persecutions of other minorities. We say that the Bible is the unchanging Word of God, but we haven’t let it remain unchanging. Not as much as we’d like to think. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a handful of minority sects where the women only wear ankle-length dresses, never cut their hair, and push out as many babies as their bodies can bear. The Bible addresses these things, but somehow they’ve become non-issues over time. How many Christians do you know with pierced ears, dyed hair, and tattoos? I know a handful of pastors with all three.
I’m not making any moral proclamations on whether homosexuality is biblically sanctioned or not. But I will throw it out there that gay marriage will be a reality in all fifty States in the near future, and the Church will need to prepare itself for mass exoduses of once-faithful followers. We at least need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we are not as immune to cultural norms as we’d like to think: we no longer care (as much) about body ink and other modifications, most of us take man-made medicine when we don’t feel well, and go out for recreational drinks every now and then. One generation’s great moral crisis is another generation’s Eh, whatever.
All I’m asking is, how is homosexuality any different?
That’s an honest, sincere question.