This morning, I read a very interesting post by Kevin DeYoung. I would encourage anyone at all interested in the church’s response to the recent SCOTUS decision to check it out.
It got me thinking about another wrinkle in this whole thing. Like many other Christians, I believe the Lord is going to use this whole turn of events in some pretty wonderful ways. In a lot of ways, this will be very good for the church in America. And in this connection, another realization has come to mind: Some Christians who already were or are now becoming progressive on the so-called “same-sex marriage” issue will end up coming back to a more biblical point of view.
Years ago, I heard Os Guinness tell a story about a man who was shaken from his atheism when he went to a movie theatre in New York during the early years of WWII (I think he said it was W. H. Auden). The United States was not yet in the war, but newsreels were being shown as pre-feature trailers in movie theatres here. This theatre was in a largely German area of New York, and when the newsreel showed the persecution of Jews in Germany and Poland, the crowd cheered and yelled hateful, anti-Semitic epithets. The man left the theatre stunned. As he walked around thinking about what he had just seen, he found he could not deny that human beings were evil. It was the death of his atheism.
Over the next few years, there will certainly be a huge rise in the venomous vitriol, social ostracism and legal persecution of evangelicals who stand by a traditional, biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality. And some heretofore progressive Christians will find themselves so revolted by it that they will come to see the whole thing in a different light.
These progressive-minded folks are currently embracing the popular ‘rainbow flag’ revolution, but that embrace is largely based on the feeling that this is mostly about good people finally winning the right to live like other good people. But when they see the bare-toothed attack—and be assured, it will come—of those good people upon Christians who do not agree with them, they will experience a revulsion in the pit of their stomachs. And some of them, like the man in the movie theatre, will find themselves awakening to a reality that there are great, dark spiritual forces at work here. (BTW, I am not equating homosexual people with Nazis or anti-Semites. If you think that’s what I’m doing, you’ve misunderstood me.)
Undoubtedly, in the coming heat-tests, many traditional Christians will defect to the secular, progressive camp. But there will also be some who go the other way. I think it will be very interesting, then, to hear from them.