How Gay Marriage Will Save the Evangelical Church in America

In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in Obergefell v. Hodges, and is widely expected to impose homosexual marriage on the whole of the United States. There has been some speculation as to what the implications of such a ruling will be. Given the hysterical reaction to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, along with the cases of florists and bakers who have been made to pay exorbitant fines for having refused to serve homosexual weddings, it is clear the goal of the homosexual movement, despite for years claiming their only goal was “tolerance” and “equal rights” (with regard to marriage), is really about silencing dissent.

To the LGBT(etc.) movement’s credit, they were incredibly effective in taking advantage of the enormous sentimentality attached to weddings in our culture. “Why can’t we have our tearful, happy, once-upon-a-time day as well?” homosexuals weepily bemoaned. And every bridezilla who  ever spent $10,000+ on a dress she would wear exactly one time, added her hearty “amen.” Never mind the absurdity of assuming people who view how they gratify their sexual organs as the very core of their identity as human beings would pledge sexual fidelity to one person for the rest of their lives. These people love each other. It should come as no surprise that the exponential growth of the wedding industry is in direct proportion to our culture’s (growing) contempt for the institution of marriage. The rhetorical case that homosexuals should not be denied the ooey-gooey sentimentality everyone else enjoys was driven home to perfection. After all, who could dare deny homosexuals the opportunity to dance to Usher’s “Yeah!” with all their closest friends and family?

During the debates over same-sex marriage over the last decade, when conservatives would try to look down the road at what implications acceptance of same-sex marriage would have, they were decried as slippery-slope scaremongers. “It is preposterous and offensive to say polygamy would gain acceptance as a result of same-sex marriage.” Yet, as a result of the very same post-Christian cultural shift that has given us same-sex marriage, polygamy has begun to gain acceptance. When it comes to pondering the implications of same-sex marriage, conservative evangelicals who opposed it unfortunately but all-too-predictably have been vindicated. Because conservative prognostication  with regard to same-sex marriage has a strong track record, this should cause us to ask, “what’s next?”

Given that the homosexual movement has already played its hand, we have a pretty good idea: they are after cultural dominion—any expression of opposition to homosexuality must be banned. As has already been pointed out above, Christian bakers, florists, and caterers are the first to come under attack for opposing gay marriage. Former Mozilla CEO, Brandon Eich, who at the time supported gay marriage, was deposed for having once donated money to a group opposing gay marriage in California. As Rod Dreher has pointed out, a jeweler who did not refuse service to a lesbian couple was forced by the LGBT lynch mob to give them a refund after the couple discovered he opposed same-sex marriage. Speaking of Canada, that country also has Human Rights Tribunals which can levy fines for hate speech. Here in America, the terms “unsafe speech,” “verbal rape,” “trigger warning” have entered our common vernacular. It is not hard to find an example of someone who can, with a straight face, actually utter “I believe in free speech, but hate speech should not be tolerated.”

Churches, Christian schools, and Christian homeschoolers are the next, most obvious target. Within a generation, pastors who preach on Romans 1 or First Corinthians 6 should expect to be fined. Christian schools will be forced to hire homosexuals or admit homosexual students. Homeschool parents will have their children put into foster homes for promoting hate speech within their own homes.

In the space of one generation the greatest cost of believing in Jesus in America could go from the inconvenience of having to take your kid from soccer practice to youth group at the middle class, suburban megachurch to having your children kidnapped for teaching them to believe the Bible. The church in the United States will be forced from its lackadaisical comfortability to experiencing what Dietrich Bonhoeffer would call “costly grace.” It will take courage to be a Christian.

Despite being a defeat, it isn’t all bad. Secularists famously don’t let a crisis go to waste, and neither should we. Even if conservative evangelicals become actively oppressed, we are still a significant minority in the United States. Just look at what happened when Chik-fil-A or the Robertson family was threatened for their respective stances on homosexuality. Look at the massive outpouring of support Christian florists, bakers, and pizzerias have received when the LGBT lynch mob has struck. What is that? It is sheep without a shepherd, but perhaps forcing belief in Jesus Christ to be costly will force the church to find some leaders with some sand.

Perhaps pastors will finally preach from the Bible and against sin, since any sermon could be their last before being sent to jail or losing their house. Perhaps, if you are at risk of losing your business because you attend a church which preaches “hate speech,” your worship will go from being vapid and irreverent “Jesus is my girlfriend songs” to the battle hymns and psalms to Lord Sabaoth, the God of Armies. Perhaps the evangelical church will be forced to engage with culture in a way that makes the Moral Majority look like the lightweights they were. The majority of evangelical Christians might even become aware of the key role of cultural formation education plays and pull their children out of public schools—the training centers of anti-Christian, secularist dogma responsible for much of the cultural shift that has already taken place. Just think about that. It could happen.

It has been said “the kingdom of God advances through a series of glorious victories cleverly disguised as disasters.” If we have eyes to see it, the disaster of same-sex marriage could very well lead to the glory of a reformation of the American church.

 

Andrew Isker writes for the Kuyperian Commentary–where this editorial first appeared.