Josh Daffern says that all of the current controversies Christians are facing over religious liberty, sexuality, and the like are all symptoms of something bigger: “The biggest issue American Evangelicals will face for the next 50 years is how we handle our transition from a moral majority to a prophetic minority.” [Read more…]
Political scientist James R. Rogers (a member of the LCMS) argues that a big part of the problem in American Christianity today is that, for a long time, churches have relied on the culture to instill morality, rather than instilling Christian morality themselves. Ever since the Sixties, though, the culture has been taking a different turn. . . . [Read more…]
Russell Moore on the gay marriage ruling and on how churches should respond:
As I write this, the Supreme Court has handed down what will be the “Roe v. Wade” of marriage, redefining marriage in all 50 states. This is a sober moment, and I am a conscientious dissenter from this ruling. The Court now has disregarded thousands of years of definition of the most foundational unit of society, and the cultural changes here will be broad and deep. So how should the church respond? [Read more…]
Rod Dreher takes a bleak look at the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage. It is now clear, he says, that we really do live in a post-Christian culture. Now that homosexuality has been given the status of race, the government and the public really are going to go after those who don’t believe that homosexuality is moral. The institution of marriage as a whole is going to be affected, since, if it can be redefined at will, it will no longer have any boundaries. So Christians will have to live as exiles in their own country. Dreher goes on to advocate “the Benedict option.”
What do you think about this? Is Dreher over-stating the problems? Are things really going to be that bad? [Read more…]
The outrage from big business (even Walmart!), the media, and the culture at large over Indiana’s Religious Freedom bill has many Christians thinking that America is a lost cause. The dominant culture is so fixated on gay marriage and sexual permissiveness that it will not tolerate dissenters. Even religious liberty, in the court of public opinion and likely legal opinion, will have to give way, and conservative believers will increasingly be demonized and punished.
Whether we are actually at that point or not, a number of thinkers–mostly of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox persuasion–are raising the possibility of what they call The Benedict Option.
After Rome fell to moral chaos and then to the barbarians, St. Benedict formed distinct Christian communities where believers could practice their faith separated from the world. Similarly, mainstream American culture may become so hostile to Christianity, so the reasoning goes, that Christians must form alternative communities, carrying on an alternative culture, until, as with Benedict, the barbarians are converted.
Rick Strickert posted some powerful quotations on this subject on Lutheran Forum, which I give after the jump. And then I want to pose a question: Can there be a Lutheran version of the Benedict Option, and, if so, how would it be different from the Roman Catholic and Fundamentalist versions? [Read more…]
My longtime friend, the Rev. Harold Senkbeil, has an article in the latest Concordia Journal entitled “Engaging the Culture Faithfully.” It is a scathing critique of how the Church as a whole has been accommodating the culture instead of truly engaging it. At the same time, it offers a genuinely pastoral response.
The article isn’t online, but Pastor Matthew Dent has posted some piercing quotations at Steadfast Lutherans, which you can see after the jump. [Read more…]