Saturday, May 31, 2014

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According to Slate’s Bill Saletan, the Good GuysTM are this close to winning The Single Greatest Moral Crusade In The History Of The Human Race:

Throughout history, religion has sanctioned and fueled the persecution of homosexuality. That dynamic may be drawing to an end. Polls, clerics, and denominations are shifting. Theology is adapting. Resistance to same-sex marriage is dwindling, and there’s no end in sight.

The conference’s second session dwelled on sin. The speakers, Cornelius Plantinga of Calvin College and Ross Douthat of the New York Times, discussed what we should feel bad about. Homosexuality wasn’t on the list. Plantinga, a former president of Calvin Theological Seminary, noted that some people’s views were changing.  “It used to be that people thought of homosexual acts as sinful,” he said. “Now they think of criticism of homosexual acts as sinful.”

The next morning, we had our final session, on the culture wars. Molly Ball, the Atlantic’s terrific political writer, summarized the trend toward acceptance of same-sex marriage. Forty percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Republicans under 30 now favor it, she reported. So do 57 percent of Catholics and 55 percent of mainline Protestants. Even among the core opposition group, white evangelicals, acceptance is taking hold. “In the past 10 years, the number of white evangelicals who support gay marriage has gone from 11 percent to 24 percent,” Ball observed.

There will always be Christians, Muslims, and Jews who condemn homosexuality. There will be bigots, bashers, and demagogues. And in some places, particularly in Africa and Asia, there will be persecution and oppressive laws. But in this country, religious resistance is crumbling. It’s being overwhelmed by love, conscience, and a God who keeps creating gay kids, even in the most devout families. Over time, He will prevail.

You’ve never actually cracked open a Bible, have you, Bill?  That’s cool; plenty of alleged Christians regard the Bible in the same way that Superman regards Kryptonite.

That Kierkegaard quote’s on top of this page for a reason.

Those of us who have read the thing are intensely familiar with verses like these:

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

There are others.  But we figured out a long time ago that there will always be more of you than there are of us.  And we’re okay with it, at least I am.

But here’s the deal, Bill.  It’s a Protestant concept but in a certain sense, most serious Christians are sola Scriptura whether they think they are or not.  If Pope Francis ever suggests that homosexual marriage isn’t that big of a deal, brace yourself for the biggest stampede into Orthodox Christianity in the history of the world.

Eleven years ago, I abandoned the Christian tradition into which I was baptized precisely because it went Scripture-optional.  And I expect to have a whole lot more company before I finally cash in my stack.

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