The Silence of the Gods

Another evangelical megachurch congregation has come out in favour of same sex marriage.  This time it is GracePointe Church in Nashville, TN.

The evangelical collapse is coming.   A set of circumstances is conspiring to make it so.  The external pressure is easy to identify: the sentiment, the aesthetics and the rhetoric of the wider world are overwhelmingly on the side of change.  Then there is the fact that so much evangelical Protestantism does not possess the resources to resist this pressure.  It simply does not have the depth of theological anthropology to realise that this is not a straighforward matter of 'love' or 'equality.'   These terms need a wider phiosophical context to have any content.  Then there are the more subtle weaknesses.  It is surely going to be hard for those institutions and those people who have enjoyed a certain amount of wider social respectability to face the rather bleak future of social exclusion which standing firm and clear on this matter will bring in its wake.  Indeed, I noted here the other week the ambiguity at Wheaton College on the issue.

This is not a time for ambiguity. Ambiguity is the luxury of those who do not have to face the immediate harsh realities of life in the real world as experienced by most Christians, or who know that their pensions are safe whatever happens.  Nor is it a time for the evangelical elites to fail to call their own to account and to maintain their usual gentlemanly silence when one of their own steps out of line.  If I have learned one thing from my dealings with the conservative evangelical establishment in the USA, it is that the silence of friends is always more significant and more dangerous than the noise of enemies.

If a major collapse is to be averted, we need strong, vocal leadership from the leaders of Christian institutions -- denominations, liberal arts colleges and the like. And that sentence sums up why I am so pessimistic.