So it has been a few weeks since I’ve last posted, and I’ve been mulling over topics to write about when reading the Bible or other books and articles. As I was productively browsing Facebook today, I came across an article posted by a friend titled “Young Evangelicals Are Sick of Abstinence Pledges and Homophobia.” Naturally, my interest was piqued and I clicked on it. (you can read the article here) I was very disheartened as I read about young, 20-something, self-proclaimed evangelical Christians and how they “increasingly care less and less about abstinence, abortion, and same-sex marriage.” Here are some quotes used in the article:
” Ken Wilson, senior pastor of the Vineyard Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, argues, “The culture war stuff just does not appeal to younger generations.” Many are children of divorce, he says, and they’ve tired of conflict: “They’re not interested in a spirituality that helps them become culture warriors. They want to repair the culture.” “
”…when young evangelicals talk about “life issues,” they don’t just mean abortion, says [Jonathan Merritt, author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars,] – “They’re talking about an ethic of life from the womb to the tomb. They care about issues like war, poverty, the global water crisis, environmental degradation.” “
Okay, so these things don’t sound incredibly harmful ( although my first thought was “what the hippies?!” in regard to that second quote), but I think that I was more disturbed by some of the comments posted in responses.
“Good to hear. Abstinence is bullsh*t. The people who preach abstinence know it is (and the people who preach it have never practiced abstinence). The only reason why abstinence worked centuries ago is because people were getting married when they were teenagers. Nowadays, the acceptable age to get married is in your mid 20′s. Most people don’t wait that long to have sex and most people who are virgins in their 20′s aren’t virgins by choice.” – ichelleray
“As the token agnostic queer at a Christian work place I can attest to this. I work with a lot of twenty somethings and me being gay is just a non-issue. In fact they are all about trying to find me dates. I had one say to me the other day that it just blowes her mind that gay marriage is even an issue. Progress people.” – BoSephus
A few things here– First, keep in mind that this is a website called Jezebel.com (that should say something already) and it is primarily a gossip/sex/fashion type website with no Christian connection, so most people that are posting are probably not Christians, as is probably obvious in the aforementioned comments. I understand and am well aware of that.
My ultimate concern with this is that there are many Christian young adults in America that are so desensitized to our immoral culture that they are not focusing on the Word of God and what Christ says (this happens through television, media, internet, whatever we allow ourselves to put into our minds). Yes, we are supposed to love everyone, regardless of how they sin, but ignoring that a sin is a sin and/or embracing it is picking and choosing what you want to believe in the Bible. To promote homosexual relationships by encouraging dating is encouraging sin!
Also, if we look at the laxity (is that a word?) in the view of abstinence before marriage, it is almost unbelieveable to me that a Christ-following, Bible believing evangelical could say “Hey, you know what? I don’t think sex before marriage is that big of a deal. Yeah, it says not to do it in the Bible, but look at the time we are in! It’s totally unrealistic.” I understand that Christians screw up and make mistakes, whether it be sexually or any other kind of sin there is. None of us are perfect (thankfully, the saving blood of Jesus Christ redeems us from all of our sins..past, present, and future!!), but that does not mean that we can just accept sin because morality is “old-fashioned” or “politially incorrect.”
In regards to the “culture wars” against gay marriage, abortion and sex before marriage that are prominent in our society today, I am not saying that all Christians should go out picketing these social issues, because there are ways to address these in love and stand firmly on the foundation of the Word. But we should not back down from theses issues, because the Word of God clearly states that these things are wrong. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:29-32, Psalm 139:13-16 )
*Just a side note, the article did end by saying that the hope is that “young evangelicals will see the world “through the lens of biblical theology rather than through the lens of conservative politics.” I agree that we should have the Word of God as our compass, not any political parties or agendas, but this is a whole other issue. Today I was just addressing the cultural issues addressed in the article.*
Romans 12:2 says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” As the saying goes, Christian living is to be in the world but not of it. I read a really good analogy that following Christ is like scuba-diving. You are in a different, hostile environment when scuba-diving, because you cannot just take off your mask and breathe like you do on land. In the same sense, we are in a hostile world that will disagree with the Word of God, and we cannot live in it and approach situations without our mask, the Bible.
It all goes back to our Christian philosophy as I mentioned a few weeks back–it should be based solely on the Bible, the inspired Word of God. It should be applied to all of our situations–either big or small–because living for God should be full committment to love and obey him by following his commands, no matter what our “progressive” culture says. And we cannot back down from that.
What do you think is our place as Christians in the “culture wars” of homosexuality, abortion, and abstinence? Do you think we should stand and protest? Accept immorality as inevitable? How can we approach these issues, both individually and collectively? Let me know your thoughts below!