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Monday, June 06, 2016


You may have heard of a "sea-change". It comes from Shakespeare's The Tempest. He wrote about a man whose father drowned, which produced a "sea-change" in the man. It refers to a metamorphosis, a profound alteration, a systemic transformation.

There is, dear readers, a sea-change upon us. Where once Evangelicals were known as Bible-believing Christians, they have jettisoned that adjective in favor of something ... less. Where once Christians were defined as people of the Word, they have become "feeling" folk, classifying themselves as "compassionate" while rejecting the Word. If the wave hasn't hit where you're standing, wait. It will. This is a "sea-change" in a real sense, in that the tide of cultural values in opposition to biblical values is producing a change in Christendom that will, like the drowned father of The Tempest, leave Christendom no longer Christian.

In 2014, ex-leftist/feminist/lesbian Rosaria Butterfield was invited to one of the most conservative Christian colleges remaining in the country, Wheaton College, to give her testimony. What she encountered was a crowd of students demonstrating against her. Signs like "I’m gay and a beloved child of God. This is my story." and "Rosaria's story is valid, mine is too." declared their complaint that her story of conversion from lesbian to heterosexual would be regarded as the only "true conversion" scenario. They believed that you could be a practicing homosexual and a Christian at the same time. The idea that a person would come to Christ and necessarily change behaviors in this regard should not be considered normative. Lots of people who follow Christ and feel no need to repent same-sex behavior. Thus, "Rosaria's story is valid, mine is too."

It's odd. To attend Wheaton College it is necessary (among other things) to sign a "Community Covenant", an agreement of standards to be upheld during their time at Wheaton. Based on Scripture, they agree to things like "seek righteousness, mercy and justice, particularly for the helpless and oppressed" and "embrace ethnic diversity as part of God's design". Included in this list is "uphold chastity among the unmarried and the sanctity of marriage between a man and woman." They agree that Scripture condemns "sexual immorality, such as the use of pornography, pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior and all other sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage between a man and woman." So ... how is it that these could stand openly on the steps of the college chapel declaring themselves to be liars and hypocrites, agreeing to something that they, in fact, deny and even protest? To hold this position in the world is expected. In a conservative Christian college with supposedly conservative Christian students is unthinkable.

Welcome to the sea-change. Recently NPR reported that acceptance of the concept of practicing homosexuals as Christians is growing among Evangelicals. The NPR story centered around a man, self-identified as "gay" and "Christian", who was seeking to become a pastor. He was having trouble because he was single and, for apparently unknown reasons (1 Tim 3:2), churches wanted a married man. Oh, and he was gay, and for reasons he couldn't really understand (1 Cor 6:9-10), they didn't want a gay man. Well, he found his church and he's happy. He "seeks forgiveness and acknowledges that he is a sinner — but not because of his sexual orientation, nor because of his hope that someday he, too, will marry."

As the Wheaton College story illustrates, much of this shift is occurring in the younger generation. Unshackled by too much Bible learning and too much Bible authority, with views shaped more and more by the world rather than the Word, they're choosing to ignore the biblical injunctions on the subject and the inherent threats. (You have to admit that "the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God" is a serious threat.) Paul says, "We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin." (Rom 6:6-7) They argue, "Why give up the sin?" John argues, "No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God." (1 John 3:9) They counter, "Sure we can; just watch." Or, more subtly, they simply redefine sin.

Today they're discussing the shift in attitudes among conservative Christians. The younger generation is demonstrating that it has already happened. It looks like the best we can expect is for the silly, conservative, biblical Christian outlook to die with age if not be transformed before that. It is a sea-change. Wash away all that "saved from sin" stuff and "God-breathed Word of God" nonsense. Redefine sin to our liking. Reshape God in our image. Call it "Christian".

It's good to know that Christ said, "I will build My church" (Matt 16:18) because if it was left up to many of His current "followers", His church would be gone by now, replaced with something else.

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