Only a few years ago popular democratic leaders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were opposed to same-sex marriage—what was once a fringe progressive stance has quickly become the norm. This is only to show that values are shifting, values once held by those on the left only a few years ago are now seen as socially repugnant. The 'taboo' of last year is now the guiding principle in social affairs.
A moral compass for morality?
True morality is static and absolute, unshifting as God is unshifting. It is not shaped by the winds of public opinion. Morality is an extension of God's character, it doesn't change because public opinion changes.
The Supreme Court's recent ruling to legalise same sex marriage in the United States is a symbolic watershed event. Western civilisation has fully disassociated itself from its Christian roots. There is no ambiguity now that western civilisation is post Christian. Those who hold to an orthodox Christian value system with regard to sexuality face increasing marginalisation and targeting. We see this in the news-media routinely.
Those who keenly oppose elements of the LGBT agenda have been actively targeted in the public sphere. Logically this leads to the conclusion that this marginalisation will ramp up until society has been fully transformed to one of unanimous endorsement of certain sexual lifestyle choices, which Christians are traditionally at odds with. This is until every last vestige of Christian morality has been erased and those who hold such views must keep them secret for fear of legal recrimination and social ostricisation.
Dissenting businesses and individuals have been the main focus for this targeted marginalisation—those who have refused to cater to a gay wedding on religious grounds. It is reasonable to conclude that pastors and seminaries may become targets in the near future for refusing to toe the line of gay tolerance with regards to marriage ceremonies, or providing services to gay couples. The issue here is religious freedom and self-determination on moral issues, not a moral judgement on same sex marriage.
In the near future Christians in the work place, or in taxpayer-funded positions, may be probed to reveal hidden discriminatory or homophobic views (orthodox Christian morality), potentially opening them up to punishment or termination of their employment.
Disagreeing with gay marriage is already a social taboo, and pastors who do so in the pulpit risk offending segments of their congregation and losing donations (and eventually their tax exempt status), so many pastors may be tempted to remain silent instead of preaching traditional Christian viewpoints on sexual morality.
The stamping out of religious freedom is already prevalent in many parts of Europe. An Irish pastor is currently facing the possibility of jail time for calling Islam a religion of Satan. Closer to home, the New Zealand government has passed a law which, under the guise of an anti-bullying law, could potentially decimate free-speech. The Harmful Digital Communications Bill contains clauses using vague and open-ended language, with the potential to be interpreted by judges to prosecute legitimate opinion if someone finds it offensive.
An eerie silence
With Christian orthodoxy at the wayside and an eerie silence at the pulpit it is not surprising that many Christians have come out recently in support of gay marriage on Facebook, by displaying the rainbow flag. If Church leaders fail to take any notice or engage vocally with the monumental shifts going on in society, they do so to the detriment of their congregations. Christians need to be able to robustly understand and have confidence in traditional Christian views. Pastors have an opportunity to equip their congregations with sound teaching.
Understanding law under Jesus
Mercifully we are saved by faith in the works of Jesus, rather than by adherence to the Old Testament laws. However, this doesn't mean the law is entirely irrelevant.
Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial obligations of the law—the ritual aspects allowing people to approach God. So we have freedom in Christ to worship and follow God without worrying about unclean foods or ceremonial cleanliness.
However, Jesus actively and verbally endorsed the moral principles of the law. Therefore we must continue to uphold moral law as a guide stone for righteous living. The New Testament further expounds on what it looks like to practically uphold the moral principles of the law.
When it comes to forming a Christian perspective on morality, we are mistaken if we believe the early Church fathers and eminent Christian thinkers of the centuries have all apparently been wrong. If we are led to change only when leaders like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton change their minds, then we must admit their authority trumps everyone else—even God and His unchanging, unshifting character.
Amos is an evangelical conservative who cares about where the world is going, and seeks to understand why it is happening, especially in light of prophecy and the spiritual powers behind the scenes. Amos currently lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Amos pursues salvation for the lost, and considers himself a defender of traditional Christian values, liberal democracy and the historically unprecedented freedom and liberty established and defended by our forebears—which unfortunately, is gradually being eroded.
Amos Sale's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amos-sale.html