Moral Revolution

Al Mohler recently wrote a post on how he feels the church in facing a moral revolution in the area of homosexuality.  Read this and see if you agree…

The liberal churches and denominations have an easy way out of this predicament. They simply accommodate themselves to the new moral reality. By now the pattern is clear: These churches debate the issue, with conservatives arguing to retain the older morality and liberals arguing that the church must adapt to the new one. Eventually, the liberals win and the conservatives lose. Next, the denomination ordains openly gay candidates or decides to bless same-sex unions.

This is a route that evangelical Christians committed to the full authority of the Bible cannot take. Since we believe that the Bible is God’s revealed word, we cannot accommodate ourselves to this new morality. We cannot pretend as if we do not know that the Bible clearly teaches that all homosexual acts are sinful, as is all human sexual behavior outside the covenant of marriage. We believe that God has revealed a pattern for human sexuality that not only points the way to holiness, but to true happiness.

Thus we cannot accept the seductive arguments that the liberal churches so readily adopt. The fact that same-sex marriage is a now a legal reality in several states means that we must further stipulate that we are bound by scripture to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman—and nothing else.

We do so knowing that most Americans once shared the same moral assumptions, but that a new world is coming fast. We do not have to read the polls and surveys; all we need to do is to talk to our neighbors or listen to the cultural chatter.

In this most awkward cultural predicament, evangelicals must be excruciatingly clear that we do not speak about the sinfulness of homosexuality as if we have no sin. As a matter of fact, it is precisely because we have come to know ourselves as sinners and of our need for a savior that we have come to faith in Jesus Christ. Our greatest fear is not that homosexuality will be normalized and accepted, but that homosexuals will not come to know of their own need for Christ and the forgiveness of their sins.

This is not a concern that is easily expressed in sound bites. But it is what we truly believe.

It is now abundantly clear that evangelicals have failed in so many ways to meet this challenge. We have often spoken about homosexuality in ways that are crude and simplistic. We have failed to take account of how tenaciously sexuality comes to define us as human beings. We have failed to see the challenge of homosexuality as a Gospel issue. We are the ones, after all, who are supposed to know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only remedy for sin, starting with our own.

We have demonstrated our own form of homophobia—not in the way that activists have used that word, but in the sense that we have been afraid to face this issue where it is most difficult . . . face to face.


What do you think?

Is his main point that we have talked about homosexuality without actual talking to homosexuals?  If so, that could be a great point, and a huge mistake for the church over the past 20 years.  You almost never reach people when you talk about them.  Your chances dramatically increase when you talk WITH them.

What will the evangelical church look like on the subject of homosexuality in 10 years?  Will this still be a huge item of contention?  Will ‘the liberals’ win?  If 90% of the culture equates homosexuality and heterosexuality, how will/should the church respond?

Pretty heady questions for today… but I’d love to hear your input…




  • J. July 7, 2011 Reply

    I agree that this is an important topic and it does seem as though the idea of actually entering into a conversation where yelling and ignoring what is actually being said has been seen as a non-option for many on both sides. I kinda wonder if some people simply ignore it like many other areas where, if they don’t struggle with it-then they don’t have to think about it at all. Kinda like, “if the rule doesn’t apply to me, then I don’t care…”. Kinda like when school dress codes were a big issue… Many said, “so what if the kids are feeling marginalized and getting made fun of because they’re being made to wear something?!?! My high school days are far behind me so it doesn’t matter to me-they should just shut up and deal with it…”. They said those words even though they (hopefully) would have at least been a little more gentle about their words if they either had a high schooler or could remember what it was like to be in their shoes. We can be saying the right things but if we say them the wrong way (out of anger, disgust, frustration, etc…) then we’re still wrong… “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”

  • steve miller July 7, 2011 Reply

    Christians should be extremely liberal with love and unflinchingly conservative with morality.

    Because the news media and the internet are usually places to discuss social values they usually only convey are conservative moral stance. The ways we liberally love must be done in person and in our communities.

    I see it as an air and ground war. The air war is what is preached and the ground war is what we do. We do need more troops on the ground showing love in action rather than repeating our positional statements.

    • J. July 7, 2011 Reply

      well said…

  • Jan July 8, 2011 Reply

    We definitely have not talked TO homosexuals and what they believe to be true about Christians they get mostly from the media.

    How many of us actually would welcome an active homosexual in our church pews? Really? It makes us all uncomfortable, that’s for sure.

    I think also, the other “moral revolution” we are dealing with is unmarried couples living together and attending church. More and more I see churches who just want to pretend it’s all okay and hope they get married soon.

  • Sue July 12, 2011 Reply

    I keep thinking about “Resident Aliens” (Hauerwas/Willimon) and the church’s obligation/call to BE the kingdom of God, knowing well that when we gather we are an alternate society (VERY alternate) in this world. The problem isn’t even with what people are doing sexually; the problem is what people think they are here for. Why do we try to hold people to standards that make no sense at all to them, if they have no notion of God or what living a God-ward life would be like? If people believe that their reason for existence is to meet the demands of their appetites (“be happy”), then what we say makes no sense. My take on things right now is not to talk about sexuality, but instead to talk about God and Jesus. In the world we now live in, I believe someone would have to fall in love with Jesus first, and then to walk quite a way in concert with him, before his Lordship began to make sense enough and it began to sink in that *even* sex has to meet his requirements. So, in my ministry, I talk all the time about meeting Jesus and entering into a real and true relationship with him, and that through him our relationship with God, with others, with the world and even with ourselves is about to change.

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