Advertise On EU-Digest

Anual Advertising Rates

7/3/16

Christianity: Coming to Terms with a Post-Christian World - by Rod Dreher

Political and legal revolutions always follow cultural revolutions. The gay rights revolution is just the latest example of the West’s long process of emancipating the individual from all authority outside the sovereign Self.

Gerson and Wehner are surely correct that Christians must learn to live in a world—I would call it a post-Christian world—that accepts same-sex marriage. And they are right to say that as a general rule, Christians should work with LGBT citizens and their allies on causes both sides support.

But I see two big problems with their essay. First, it is naïve to believe that if only Christians stop making a big deal about homosexuality, LGBT groups and their allies will partner with us in other areas. Many people on the other side see orthodox Christians as the equivalent of straight-up white supremacists.

It’s outrageously unfair, but that’s the world we live in. As long as we hold to traditional biblical teaching on sexuality, all the winsomeness in the world won’t make them like us.

Second, I sense in Gerson and Wehner’s essay a veiled willingness to compromise on Christian sexual orthodoxy. They blame “some Christian leaders” for “associating Christianity primarily with sexual morality.” That’s true, to an extent, but the secular world, especially the media, has played a far more consequential role in this distortion.

Our news-entertainment media have for the past two decades obsessively promoted the LGBT cause. It has been the sole standard on which many outside the church judge us. Why should those who stand on the issue where all Christians stood for nearly two millennia surrender to the radical

If the Bible doesn’t say much about homosexuality, what it does say is uncompromising. The Bible is equally uncompromising about sexual purity, and more broadly, on sexual complementarity as intrinsic to Judeo-Christianity’s theological anthropology.

To affirm homosexuality would mean refusing the clear teaching of Scripture not only on same-sex relations, but also on sexuality itself, and even what it means to be fully human.

The sociologist Philip Rieff, in his prophetic 1966 book The Triumph of the Therapeutic, said that subordinating sexual desire to God’s purposes was at the center of Christian culture from the beginning. Renouncing sexual freedom, and controlling sexual desire and spiritualizing it, was part of the “positive asceticism” of Christian

Today, Rieff said, we live in a “post-ascetic culture” in which we have ceased to be religious, and have instead become psychological. Therefore, individual fulfillment is our goal. “Religious man was born to be saved,” Rieff wrote. “Psychological man is born to be pleased.

Christians who think standing firm on traditional sexual teaching is ancillary to the gospel, and even harmful to its spread, may mean well. But in accommodating the zeitgeist, they surrender something more essential than they realize.

I agree with Gerson and Wehner that traditional Christians have lost the culture war. I agree that we need a “dose of realism” about that. And I agree that offering healing is more important than offering judgment.

No comments: