When the Church goes from queen to pawn

Joe Carter has posted an article at Canon & Culture entitled “The Most Influential Essay You’ve Never Heard Of.” His title is not hyperbole.

The essay is The Overhauling of Straight America and it offers a stunningly effective strategy for making homosexuality part of mainstream American culture–from 1987. Even now the piece qualifies as recommended reading for every Christian and required reading for every Christian blogger, teacher, pastor, and opinion maker.To wit:

When conservative churches condemn gays, there are only two things we can do to confound the homophobia of true believers. First, we can use talk to muddy the moral waters. This means publicizing support for gays by more moderate churches, raising theological objections of our own about conservative interpretations of biblical teachings, and exposing hatred and inconsistency. Second, we can undermine the moral authority of homophobic churches by portraying them as antiquated backwaters, badly out of step with the times and with the latest findings of psychology. Against the mighty pull of institutional Religion one must set the mightier draw of Science & Public Opinion (the shield and sword of that accursed “secular humanism”). Such an unholy alliance has worked well against churches before, on such topics as divorce and abortion. With enough open talk about the prevalence and acceptability of homosexuality, that alliance can work again here. [emphasis added]

I wonder which is worse: being drawn into backwater disputes or being played as dupes?

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Author: Jonathan P. Merritt

Happily married father of six. Associate pastor for education at Edgewood Baptist Church (Columbus, GA). Good-natured contrarian and theological Luddite. A student of one book.

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