Commenting on the commentary regarding the recent U.S. District Court overturn of California's Proposition 8, Trueman makes some excellent points about what the implications will eventually be for Christians. (If you haven't been following, Proposition 8 was an ban on legalized homosexual marriage, and the U.S. District Court overturned it on August 4.)
Maybe these implications won't come into effect immediately; I wouldn't be surprised if an appeals court overturns the District Court's decision if for no other reason than it was a bit extreme in a few statements. But I think Trueman is right with regard to the general trajectory of our culture, and Christians will need to do some business with their beliefs.
Trueman's points are:
- We can no longer assume our children will agree with us on this issue.
- No one will be allowed to offer any criticism-- however reasonable-- of gay culture without being labeled a "homophobe".
- Churches will find inconsistencies to be very inconvenient.
- Evangelical leaders who take a stand against homosexuality as sinful activity will be likened to white supremacists.
I think Trueman's point about our children and the presumption that has been exercised is especially poignant. Jay Adams made a similar point about the relative decline of marriage in general in his book Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible: cultural support and overlap of public opinion with what happens to also be a biblical teaching allowed generations to ignore the need for solid Bible instruction on a difficult subject. When public opinion and cultural support shifted (as it did for marriage and divorce, and now is doing for homosexuality), the church was left without much general, lay-level knowledge about the Bible's teaching on the subject. That leaves us with sound-bite style (mis)quoting of a couple of familiar passages, which a thoughtful opponent can too-easily dispense with.
My fear of the coming changes Trueman outlines isn't so much that it will make ministry and life more difficult for Christians and the church; rather, it is that American Christians (and churches) that are too comfortable with the ease and lack of difficulty we've enjoyed for centuries will compromise rather than face the reality of deciding between culture and Scripture.
Prove me wrong, Lord-- please, prove me wrong.