Their eyes had failed them.
Or they had failed their eyes…
~The Glass Menagerie
What have we done? That was the question that overwhelmed me as I was praying this morning—brought me to tears. What have we done? What kind of people have we evolved to be?
Perhaps you have heard it on the news. A nationally recognized health services organization has been recorded while talking openly about the harvesting and distribution of fetal tissue. When I heard about it from one of our household members I thought it was another right wing conspiracy theory, an urban legend that would soon appear at Snopes dot com.
The dispute over the acceptability of the covenant offering of heterosexual marriage as distinguished from a committed partnership is similar to the dispute between Cain and Abel. One offering was acceptable to God, the other was not. Even though Cain was undoubtedly sincere and his offering carefully prepared, his offering was rejected. This aroused resentment in Cain. When he learned that his contribution was not suitable to his Creator, “Cain was very angry, and his face fell” (Genesis 4:5-8).
You Make Me Mad
The same dynamic appears to be playing out today. When we declare that a same-sex partnership cannot be a marriage, an offering pleasing to God, there is a Cain-like reaction. Knowing the final outcome of Cain’s response does little to reassure me as we reject same-sex marriage. Nevertheless, we have to continue to regard marriage as an offering clearly planned by God Himself. Anything else, no matter how sincerely and lovingly presented, simply will not do.
I attended a pre-release showing of Woodlawn last night. I liked it, even though I wasn’t expecting to — I have been disappointed over and over by the mediocre attempts of evangelical filmmakers. But this felt different. What I call “the cheese factor” was missing. That’s the term I use to describe amateurish, poorly written and acted efforts at making the gospel relevant through cinema. Cheesy Christian films, perhaps unintentionally, rely on the patience and charity of church-goers whose love of the message makes them willing to accept mediocrity and suspend disbelief. The same films tend to be soundly mocked by viewers from outside the evangelical camp.
I think Woodlawn succeeds where many have failed because it is based on a true story. When evangelicals attempt to make up a story — cinematic fiction — the “cheese factor” seems unavoidable, but this film, like The Hiding Place (1975), is based on a true story. Woodlawn is drawn from the book by the same title which, according to the Amazon summary, is about “courage, strength, and football at the height of racial tension in Birmingham, Alabama…and tells the story of Coach Tandy Gerelds, his running back Tony Nathan, and a high school football game that healed a city.” Continue reading Movie: Woodlawn. I Was Impressed.→
Like it or not, we followers of “The Way” must weigh in on same sex issues, including same sex marriage.
Admittedly, I would just as soon ignore the whole business, but cultural progressives are not inclined to rest until everyone acquiesces to the agenda, or are at least is identified as miscreants. We cannot yield, of course, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be left to it.
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to affirm same-sex marriage, what should be the response of those of us who follow “The Nazarene?” We must graciously demur. In short, we need to be salt and light, consequences notwithstanding.
First, we must live consistently in our conviction that marriage is to be honored as an unbreakable covenant between a man and a woman. Second, if we have opportunity, we are to explain our objections without judgment and antagonism. We become a social critic without being combative. This is what is meant by being salt in the world.
Here is where certain challenges always emerge. In our synthetic culture (society’s tendency to arrive at new conclusions by combining, affirming and negating old ones) to declare an opposing view is tantamount to saying that something should not be allowed; that there ought to be a law against it. That’s not what I’m saying. Continue reading My Role as Social Critic→