Should religious convictions be set in stone?

Michael Brown writes:

In her recent article on CNN’s Belief Blog, popular writer Rachel Held Evans explains, “There’s a misconception among many faithful folks that religious convictions, by their very nature, are set in stone,” further noting, “People who change their minds are called flip-floppers or backsliders, accused of capitulating to culture and ‘conforming to the world.’”

Evans, who states that she “grew up in a religious environment that vilified LGBT people,” still identifies as an evangelical Christian but has had a change of heart in her viewpoint on homosexuality, just as she had a change of heart on “the age of the Earth, the reality of climate change, the value of women in church leadership, [and] the equal failings of both the Republican and Democratic platforms to embody the teachings of Jesus.”

And so, when Exodus International announced it was closing its doors and when the Supreme Court made its momentous, pro-gay activist decisions, she “celebrated” along with her many LGBT friends.

Should we applaud her for being open and willing to change? Should we acknowledge the spiritual progress she is making, outgrowing her earlier bigotry? Or is some of her spiritual growth dangerously mingled with capitulation to the spirit of the age?

The title of her article is “Not All Religious Convictions Are Written in Stone,” but Evans leaves us wondering if any religious convictions are written in stone.

After all, which seems more intolerant and offensive: to claim the earth is only 6,000 years old or to claim Jesus is the only way to the Father and that Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are wrong? Which seems more close-minded: to believe women are not called to be pastors or to believe the moral codes of a 2,000- to 3,000-year-old book produced in the Middle East are still binding on us today?

In recent months, both Rob Bell and Jim Wallis have indicated that, because society is changing its view on same-sex “marriage,” we need to change our views too, an approach that I branded spiritual suicide, since God’s Word clearly hasn’t changed on the subject.

Why, then, shouldn’t this “religious conviction” be written in stone? Because one of our family members comes out as gay? Because some of the kindest people we know are gay? Because there are people with same-sex attraction who desire to be deeply committed Christians? Do we rewrite Scripture because of this?

QUESTION:  What do you think?  Are/should ‘religious convictions’ be written in stone?

What are YOUR thoughts?

Leave a comment below…

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  • Rev. Robert Barnes July 3, 2013 Reply

    As a child of the Reformation, I acknowledge that we all should be semper reformanda–always reforming, always growing in likeness to Christ and conformity to his Word.

    I presuppose the foundations of Christianity–God’s existence, the truth of Scripture, the functions of the law, the Gospel–and in that I think we are free to hold our convictions as tight or as loosely as fallible people can.

    It’s called humble orthodoxy. And it’s vital.

  • pietrosquared July 3, 2013 Reply

    Yes, all religious convictions should be set in stone… assuming, of course, that at the time that you set them, that you are right about every single one of them…

  • Pete July 4, 2013 Reply

    As the old axiom states,”the Bible should change culture, not the other way around”

  • Monua Cary July 4, 2013 Reply

    Hmm, well, God says He changes not…that He is the same yesterday, today and forever…looks like He doesn’t conform to society’s rules…I’m with Him.

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