So here we go. As predicted the same-sex marriage has had another victory and it is a significant one. The double decision by the US Supreme Court a few days ago has for the most part made the game field in the favor of homosexuals getting married and now the state by state battles will begin. Let me tell you another prediction: slowly one by one we will lose here as well until another case comes up that heads to the Supreme Court and then Christians will lose completely.
The real question is how did this happen? Not too long ago (1995) American was decidedly against the idea of same sex marriage. Now it is gaining ground each day and the majority of Americans do not see a problem with same sex marriage. How did this change take place.
When I was growing up and in my teen years were in progress the homosexual movement was militant. Act Up was constantly interrupting political debates and events. The chants of “were queer and were still here’ and “hell no we wont go” were everywhere homosexuals were present. Then in the 1990s the tactics changed. Homosexuals began to show themselves as human beings and not a militant force. They were respectful in debates with anti-homosexuals. They showed themselves as compassionate and solid citizens not as radicals. The tide turned at that point and Conservative Christianity in America started to take the role of the bad guy. Christians became easy to paint as bigoted, hateful and just plain mean to a group of people who were showing themselves to be just like everyone else except for the fact they were homosexual. The homosexual community was able to show themselves as human beings and the Christians showed themselves as someone trying to strip that humanity away. Not a winning strategy.
Christians should have learned from their own history. In the early days of Christianity, we were persecuted and often with deadly force. In the end Christianity ultimately won the day not because they engaged in political action or used political power (they didn’t have any much like the homosexuals of our time). They simple showed themselves as humans that were being wrongly persecuted. They were good citizens, paid their taxes and lived honorable lives. What became a problem for Rome was hat they were literally killing some of their best citizens and letting rotten citizens cheer them to death in the arenas. Sooner or later Julius Average citizen starts asking his Senator why this is taking place. In the end, even a Roman Emperor (Constantine) realized it was better to join them than try to beat them.
What disturbs me is that American Christianity is not only losing ground on this front but every single other front. What even is more disturbing is that American Christians are still blaming everything from society to the educational system for this failure instead of themselves. Somewhere we need to have a reformation of thought that leads us much like the homosexual movement of the 1980s and early 90s was led to change their ways from being aggressive and militant to being compassionate and showing ourselves once more as fellow human beings and not as a group that opposes of everything we disagree with in our world. In short we need to gain a little humility and realize that we are terribly wrong and sinful ourselves because if American Christianity has anything in abundance it is pride. Pride of the deepest and darkest kind – self-righteousness.
The key to revival for anyone who calls themselves a people of God has always been the same – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – 1) humble themselves 2) pray 3) seek God’s face and 4) turn from their wicked ways. Notice that none of these is outward toward the world focused. All of them have their focus on the people of God changing not the world around them. It also involves spiritual means not political action, social action or economic action. All of it is spiritual action to deal with a spiritual problem – sin. But the sin is not in the people around the people of God but in themselves. It is about genuine repentance and change not in the world but in the people of God.
American Christianity is at a crossroads. We can either continue on the current path we are following and continue to lose because we need to be humbled or we can humble ourselves and realize the problem is us. ‘I have seen the enemy and he is us” needs to be our new philosophy. Humility involves admitting we are and have been wrong and need to once more show ourselves as compassionate human beings to our enemies. We need to do good to those that persecute us and stop acting outraged because we have quite frankly earned the contempt we are experiencing.
The gospel has nothing to do with opposing same sex marriage or abortion or medical ethics issues. It is about the spiritual transformation of a person through being born again in God through the saving work of Jesus Christ. It means to achieve spiritual victory we must turn to spiritual means and that means abandonment of the means we have been trying to use. No vote, no law and no amount of money will change the spiritual condition of a human being. They must have an encounter with God.
The real problem right now is that it is the people of God known as the American Church that are more in need of encountering God than any other group in America. Truth is we simply do not have the humility to believe in prayer or seeking the face of God. We certainly do not have the desire to turn from our own wicked ways and that is not our TVs or smart phones but the simple fact we do not believe in God to change our land and think we have to do it ourselves. Until this changes, we will continue to fail.