At the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting in San Antonio, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Scott Rae (Talbot School of Theology, California) speak at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary dinner about how to negotiate the future of the church in a post-Obergefell context. I like the four suggestions/exhortations he made:
1. Engage the LGBT community with respect and kindness to build relationships and correct misperceptions.
2. Be prepared to go to court to protect the right to religious liberty, a right crucial to a pluralistic, democratic culture. Be careful to avoid falling into the cultural trap of only affirming the freedom of worship instead of the fuller right to religious freedom. Here’s the citation from the British Columbia appeals court in the Trinity Western case I mentioned–“A society that does not … accommodate difference cannot be a free and democratic society–one in which its citizens are free to think, to disagree, to debate and to challenge the accepted view without fear of reprisal. This case demonstrates that a well-intentioned minority acting in the name of tolerance and liberalism, can, if unchecked, impose its views on the minority in a manner that is in itself intolerant and illiberal.”
3. Change the narrative about the contribution of your school/church/organization to the common good of the community.
4. Be prepared for worst-case scenarios that may include loss of funding, student loans, tax-exempt status, shame lists and threats to accreditation.