Flip on your television set to a news channel, and there is a pretty good chance you’ll hear talking heads boisterously proclaiming the digression of culture after the Supreme Court’s most recent decision to redefine marriage.
Or, pick up a magazine and see a transgendered man celebrated in a photo-shoot as he revels in his newfound identity as a woman.
To a lost and dying world, these are marks of progress. These narratives are celebrated and sensationalized ad nauseam to show how enlightened our current culture has become. To Paul, and to any conservative theologian, these are undoubtedly marks of progress as well. But what type of progress? The progression of a sinful world that exchanged the truth for a lie and is serving the creature rather than the creator (Romans 1).
In a relativistic culture, it shouldn’t come as a shock that these cultural shifts are celebrated. Neither should we be surprised when this sort of progress is sensationalized and broadcast loudly over the airwaves.
But, while we shouldn’t be surprised, and we should be ready to respond, it would behoove the conservative evangelical world if we thoughtfully measured our response.
While it is tempting to try to join into the current media trend of “whoever yells the loudest must be right,” there might just be a better way.
So, before we pound our pulpits and rant and rave about the topic du jour, let’s remember the broken, lost souls who are in the middle of these societal shifts. Let’s remember the compassion that Jesus had for the lost.
In Matthew 9, it says that He saw that people were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. As we fight to convey a biblical worldview and try to help people understand why we believe what we believe, let’s not lose sight of the fact that the problem isn’t simply a cultural or societal issue. Jesus points out the problem towards the end of Matthew 9: they were lost.
The truth of the matter is that no individual will “find” himself or herself by changing genders. No true, lasting satisfaction will be found in a same-sex marriage, or a heterosexual marriage, for that matter. The only way those who are lost will truly find themselves is when they embrace their lostness and willingly give themselves to the Lord.
Further, when the salvation offered up by cultural progress is revealed to the lost and thirsty as an empty cistern, the question becomes where will they go next.
It will be a lot easier to embrace the refugees of cultural progress if we put down our bullhorns and open our arms.
In the current twenty-four hour constant news cycle, we must remember that it isn’t about who yells the loudest; but rather, who cares the deepest.