Pagan America – Part 1

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Last Tuesday, May 2, Rhode Island became the tenth state in the Union to legalize gay marriage.  The tenth state.  That means that a full 20% of our United States has “evolved” along with our current president on the issue of same-sex marriage.  What caught my attention even more than Rhode Island legalizing gay marriage was how little news coverage this event received.  A state embracing same-sex marriage is now nearly a non-news event in our country.  Last week also saw the first gay professional athlete actively playing their sport come out of the closet.  NBA journeyman, Jason Collins made the front cover of Sports Illustrated last week, yet the majority of the attention to the Collins story seemed to converge on ESPN commentator Chris Broussard who publically dared to state his personal conviction as a Christian that homosexual behavior is a sin as defined by the Bible.  While Collins was lifted up, Broussard was shouted down.

And such is the current state of the “United” States of America.

I am going to make a statement in the coming paragraphs that could garner me some criticism from my brothers and sisters in the Christian community.  That’s okay.  After all, this blog is supposed to be, at least at times, candid thoughts on Christianity, “Churchianity”, and Culture…my candid thoughts.

As a caveat, let me say that I, in no way, am seeking to be hurtful to any body or any group in what I share either now or ever on this blog.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.  My goal is to be helpful and provide perspective.

I have much in my head and on my heart and I have thought and wrestled long and hard with this subject.  Because there are multiple pieces to this picture puzzle I am attempting to put together, I am going to break this into three blog posts that will run this week.  So please take what I say, digest it, and come back.

Now to the matter at hand.  I believe the cultural battle over gay marriage in America is over. The tide has turned.  It’s not a matter of whether I like or dislike what I see, it is a matter of what is.

So when I look around at what is, here is what I see:

  • I see President Obama evolved on gay marriage and declared on the cover of Newsweek as the first “gay” president.
  • I see a full embracement, endorsement, and championing of the gay lifestyle in virtually every media outlet whether it be television, the internet, or even Amazon.com.
  • I see major mainline church denominations and branches thereof endorsing same-sex unions and the ordination of gay clergy.  Elements of Methodism, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, and Episcopalianism, are all included.
  • I see a softening in attitudes toward homosexuality in general and gay marriage in particular.  Most people now have friends or family who are gay – people they know and love, and nobody likes to see another person “abused” or bullied over something that is perceived to be out of their control.
  • I see a shouting-down of anyone who publically holds to the traditional and biblical standard of homosexual behavior as a sin.  The tables have completely turned.  In the past a known gay man or woman was harassed or worse.  Today a known and outspoken Christian faces similar harassment, see: Chick-fil-A, Chris Broussard, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Louie Giglio, Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, etc.

When I see all of this AND I see that now, one in five states, have legalized gay marriage, my conclusion is that the battle is over.  It will be a matter of time (and not much time at that I predict) that the remaining 40 states will fall in line.  The writing is on the wall, to quote a biblical prophecy from the book of Daniel.

I suspect that while many of those in the church may not want to be as bold as to admit what I have just put in writing, most all of us sense it.

So while some people will cheer this news (Christian and non-Christian alike), others will jeer.

Now then, how do we process all of this as followers of Jesus?  And lest you think I am obsessing over a single issue, namely gay marriage, let me say that where I am going in order to answer this last question really has nothing to do with gay marriage or homosexuality at all.  In fact, the issue of gay marriage is really small potatoes in the grand scheme.  I am only using this as a starting point because 1) same-sex proponents seem to be pushing this into the limelight at every turn, and 2) the two events related to this subject from last week make this very current.

So tomorrow, we begin to process what this means for our faith, our country, and the church.

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