In response to the World Vision controversy, progressive Christian Kristen Howerton wants the church to reevaluate it's view of and approach to the same-sex marriage issue. In her article, "Is the Debate Over Gay Marriage What We Want to Be Known For?" she suggests that Christians ask three questions:
- Why is same-sex marriage such a fraught issue?
- How can we find unity in this division?
- How is this affecting our LGBT brothers and sisters?
At this point, I'll bypass the myriad of problems with her piece, to focus on a single question that she asks: "Does the loud and passionate protestation about same-sex marriage draw others to Christ?" Of course, Christians who oppose SSM are not merely protesting, rather they're reasoning about a significant moral and public policy issue. But does Howerton think that if Christians just quiet down a bit, stop arguing with each other, and agree to disagree, this will satisfy the secular culture? That's the sense you get from progressives, that if we just play nice enough and keep our views to ourselves, then the world will start liking Jesus and the church again.
Well, in his response to Howerton's article entitled, "The Debate Over Gay Marriage is Precisely What Christians Will Be Known For," the "Friendly Atheist" Hemant Mehta makes it clear this approach is unsatisfactory:
People like Howerton are too polite, trying to find some magical mythical middle ground on the issue. There isn’t one. There’s the inclusive, tolerant, accepting side…and there’s the side most evangelicals are on...
...you do have to recognize that Christianity as a whole is part of the problem here, not the solution, and it’s up to individual Christians to take action if they want to save the church. Howerton asks “How can we find unity in this division?” and it’s the wrong question. Forget unity. Those anti-gay Christians aren’t going to budge. What you need to do is leave them behind and find community among people who don’t use their faith as a shield against common sense and decency...
...For my gay and lesbian friends’ sake, if they’re Christian, I want them to be able to find a church where they’re accepted instead of merely tolerated.
There you have it. Secularists won't be satisfied until Christians abandon conservative churches and unequivocally accept everything LGBT. Everything. No matter how well-intentioned the call for Christians to stop fighting the culture on this issue, it won't be enough. Only full 100% approval of homosexuality and SSM will do. That's the price the church will have to pay to satisfy the culture. Are progressives like Howerton ready to capitulate to this demand? If yes, that's fine, they're entitled to their view, but I just want them to be up front and tell us, so that it's clear they don't really think there's a middle ground either.