Have we lost the battle?

By Bishop David Anderson

 

Should Christians keep fighting the “culture wars” surrounding sex or have we already lost the battle?

 

As the conflict within the larger Christian family, and the Anglican Communion in particular, has heated up, three aspects of the conflict have generated a large share of the unhappiness and division. One aspect has to do with the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Another aspect is the authority of Holy Scripture to speak discipline and order as well as grace and renewal into our broken lives, particularly within the church itself. Out of these first two comes a third aspect, and that is the need, or lack thereof, of having our personal lives reflect the moral and ethical models put forward both in Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Christian church since its founding. Today I would like to touch on this third aspect. Is it actually relevant in a modern world and should a Christian fight for his or her right to visibly exercise their faith in the secular world?

 

Some Christian writers, bloggers, and would-be spokesmen have suggested that we have lost the sexual battles and need to get over it and move on: lost on the pre-marital sex issue, lost on the multi-divorce-remarriage issue, lost on the homosexual-bisexual-transgender issues, and certainly the homosexual marriage issue as well. The advocates of this position point to the changes both in culture and law that are taking place in Europe and North America, and these advocates seem to take the Anglo-centric view that what Europe and North America do is of course superior to what other continents, nations, cultures and peoples might think, believe or practice. The truth is, until very recently the entire Christian church family agreed on moral standards for individuals, family and marriage, and the battle for the Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family is anything but lost on a global basis. While many western denominations are rapidly declining in attendance and vitality, non-western Christian churches are booming.

 

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