Many times this comes from evangelical pop stars, the most recent being when Christian singer Vicky Beeching who disclosed a self-affirmed identity as a lesbian in an extensive interview with the British newspaper “The Independent” (“Vicky Beeching, Christian rock star ‘I’m gay. God loves me just the way I am”). She happily used the media to the fullest to attack the historic Christian stance on a male-female foundation for marriage. On her webpage she now has a whole section devoted to her “Coming Out” which provides over seventy links to media “covering Vicky’s coming out story” for the dates Aug. 14 -21.
Satan and his minions must have openly rejoiced at her “outing” as she sought to destroy the church from within along with its core teachings on male/female sexuality.
Now a group calling itself Evangelicals for Marriage Equality made a public pronouncement for an initiative for Evangelicals to support civil marriage equality in TIME magazine via an article written by someone calling himself Brandan Robertson.
Robertson, calling himself an evangelical Christian and affirming his belief that the Bible is God’s word, said he also believed that LGBT men and women should enjoy the same right to civil marriage as any other couple. “For many evangelicals, these statements are mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be,” he said. Really.
“That is why I am joining forces with Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, a new initiative launching Tuesday that seeks to change the hearts and minds of evangelicals about civil marriage equality,” writes Robertson.
EME is the first organization of its kind that is specifically focused on creating conversations within evangelical churches, colleges, and institutions to help dispel myths about marriage equality and stake out a middle ground for young evangelicals in this contentious debate. It was founded by two young, straight evangelicals –Josh Dickson and Michael Saltsman–who grew up in the church and have an appreciation for both its strengths and its weaknesses.
“As spokesperson for the organization, I represent a growing number of millennial evangelicals that believes it’s possible to be a faithful Christian with a high regard for the authority of the Bible and a faithful supporter of civil marriage equality.”
According to data from the Public Religion Research Institute, evangelicals register the lowest level of support for same-sex marriage of any religious denomination. As of 2013, just 27 percent of his fellow churchgoers were proponents of marriage equality.
Within this topline statistic, there’s considerable generational diversity. For instance, 43 percent of evangelicals in the 18-to 33-year-old demographic support marriage equality. Even among Generation X adults aged 34 to 48, marriage equality support stands at 33 percent.
“Since I began my journey of faith as an evangelical Christian at the age of twelve, I have seen the many sides of this thorny topic. I once was strongly opposed to marriage equality, even to the point of preaching in the streets of Baltimore with my church youth group about the dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage.
“But as I dug deeper into studying the Bible and became friends with many of my LGBT peers, I began to struggle with the clear call of Jesus to love my neighbor and my evangelical community’s insistence that I oppose marriage equality for my gay and lesbian friends.”
Robertson rolls out the old saw that he now understands that Jesus taught that the way we are to change the world is through love, justice, and the proclamation of the Gospel. “But the Church seemed to believe that, on this issue, the faithful pattern was to stand against gay and lesbians rights to be civilly married under the law.”
This is the thin end of the wedge.
Are evangelicals who support civil marriage for same-sex couples watering down their faith to adapt to secular society? Not at all. Instead, we’re making a distinction between theology and politics, says Robertson.
Not true. First of all, sex is not a right, gay or straight. Sex is a gift, given to some, withheld from others. Nowhere in Scripture is it suggested that there is an alternative to sex in marriage between a man and a woman. As C.S. Lewis wrote in his book on Christian Behavior, “Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.” Robertson, therefore, is dead wrong.
“Many evangelicals believe the Bible describes same-sex relationships as sinful; others disagree. Regardless of whether we believe that God views these relationship or sinful or not, our particular Christian definition of marriage shouldn’t dictate the definition of marriage in a pluralistic and religiously diverse society such as ours,” writes Robertson.
But the mere acceptance of same-sex sex, because we live in a pluralistic and religiously diverse society such as ours, is not remotely a reason to change the definition of marriage. This is the triumph of culture over Scripture. Robertson has tumbled over the abyss.
Robertson goes on to say that “people of Good News” (which is what “evangelical” means) have become bearers of harsh proclamations and black-and-white judgments, more in love with politics than with people.
Wrong again. Evangelicals have not politicized this issue; religious and secular pansexualists have done so by persuading a US president along with a majority of secular institutions and corporations of the rightness of same sex civil unions. Revisionist and liberal “Christians” like Episcopal layman Dr. Louie Crew and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson have brokered sodomy into the Episcopal Church. Evangelicals (except for Westboro Baptist Church of “God hates fags” fame) have consistently said the behavior is wrong…love the sinner, hate the sin.
True Evangelicals, a number of whom are ex-gays who have suffered from same-sex attractions have changed, gone straight, married and had children, are regularly vilified by the gay community for promoting the notion change is possible, something Robertson does not address in his riff on why evangelicals should accept civil unions.
The “judgments” have come from the other side, not ours. Most evangelicals feel beaten down about the issue. Some people like the wife of evangelist Dr. Tony Campolo openly embrace gaydom.
Robertson says this, “Proponents of marriage equality aren’t blameless, either. One reason it’s so difficult for evangelicals to have honest conversations about this issue is that they’ve risked the “bigot” label if they express their struggles and doubts. Evangelicals and their critics alike should agree that name-calling and a hostile posture aren’t conducive to respectful and productive dialogue.”
“Bigot” doesn’t touch what true evangelicals experience on a daily basis. This reporter has been called everything in the book from homophobe, uninclusive, lacking diversity, bigot, hate-monger, and much more.
Religious freedom in America now means that evangelicals can have their businesses ripped from them if they don’t bake cakes for gay marriages, or provide abortifacents for employees, and called all manner of names for daring to say, however graciously, that sodomy is wrong. That is now forbidden as hate speech.
If Robertson thinks that evangelicals must now roll over and accept civil marriage equality as an overflow of our love for our lesbian and gay neighbors, he is promoting a misplaced compassion and a false understanding of human sexuality.
There are good reasons why the seven Scriptures condemning sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman are there for our edification and learning. They are there to protect marriage and the very fabric of what we call Western Civilization.
When we destroy that, we will destroy ourselves. As C.S. Lewis rightly noted, “Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices.”
As one commentator put it, “The Word of God must always trump trendy lefty social issues and anti-biblical agendas.”
We, who are Evangelicals, must remain faithful to our beliefs or suffer the consequences personally, societally, generationally and ultimately face the judgment of God.