In a recent entry, I wrote how I rarely read popular evangelical magazines because most of the articles on social issues come from the very pietistic-dispensational doctrine that led to the downfall of American Christian culture in the first place. A good example of this is David Aikman’s article on same-sex marriage in Christianity Today, “Train Wreck Coming” (October 2006).
Aikman writes, “American Christians need to take a careful look at what is already happening. Looming ahead through a blurry fog of impending lawsuits and court decisions on gay (sic) marriage is a train wreck of epic proportions.”
It’s an oxymoron for any pietist to argue for a Reformation of culture. All he can do is cover his head and rue the inevitable collapse of Christian culture — or as Francis Schaeffer termed it: our post-Christian culture.
Ironically, Schaeffer is popular among evangelicals. He is given significant space in Christianity Today’s 50th anniversary issue. They like his conclusions about the demise of culture, but they almost ignore his Kuyperian covenantal theology.
Aikman is correct in describing the problem. In framing the same-sex marriage debate in terms of civil rights the goal is to establish it as a no different than the battle to repeal discriminatory laws against Black Americans prior to the civil rights movement.
Aikman counters this stance by writing that “the issue is now the freedom of religious people and organizations to criticize that lifestyle.”
And he is correct. Once homosexual behavior gains the status of a basic human right, then the right to discriminate against those who practice the lifestyle in the public sphere becomes illegal. Churches are forced to perform same-sex marriages. Catholic hospitals must hire openly homosexual chaplains. Christian businesses must provide benefits to homosexual “married” couples.
The sad thing is that most 21st century Christians are already in partial agreement with this policy. Even Aikman acquiesces to the legitimacy of “sexual freedom” as long as it is kept in the proverbial “privacy of one’s own home.”
He concludes his op-ed piece with these anemic words, “Sexual freedom? Why not, as long as it doesn’t bother me. But when it affects religious freedom, it bothers us all.”
Freedom, equality, rights, liberty. These are all powerful words that ring in the history of American culture. We find them in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence as promises given by the One “Creator” God of Scripture. However, homosexual behavior is not wrong because Christians have the “right” to criticize and find fault. That is just an opinion, not an immutable truth.
Francis Schaeffer’s mentor, Cornelius Van Til, wrote extensively about the “myth of neutrality.” Van Til explained that one cannot maintain a neutral stance on any issue without acquiescing to one side of the issue or another. To be “pro-choice” is to be in favor of legalized abortion, whether or not you are personally in favor of killing unborn children. Remaining neutral on “private” homosexual behavior ironically pushes us into the corner of those who would paint such civil unions as a “God given right.”
We Christians simply have to ask ourselves: Is homosexual behavior wrong? If the answer is yes, then why is it wrong? Only the moral absolutes of Scripture can comment on why homosexual behavior is wrong. This is why some of our conservative brothers such as David Aikman, although correct in 90 percent of what he says, have cornered themselves on the same-sex marriage issue.
If you do not adhere to the Law of God as being the only legitimate source of right and wrong that is unchanging, absolute, transcendent, given to us by God, then ultimately, you cave in on the homosexual issue, because “these are two consenting adults who say that they love each other. It’s a free country.” And so on.
This is why so many Christian leaders have been silent on the advance of the homosexual agenda: recruiting our children, propagandizing our schools, homosexual rights, and now homosexual marriage. If the Christian community does not return to its roots of loving the Law of God, we are going to be steam rolled not just by the homosexual movement, but also by groups that want to lower the age of consent and legalize pedophilia and even polygamy (already legal in parts of Europe).
And God only knows what is right on the heels of that. The answer is not a “rights” based argument. The answer is legislating the Law of God in the public sphere. That is the only moral code that tells us what is right and wrong: the Law of God stated clearly in scripture.