“the Christian religion and I have different views on social issues like abortion or gay marriage.”

As you read this, you are probably wearing pants.

Some of the most animated discussions in our focus groups for this project regarding objections to Christianity had to do with pants. “When can I take off my pants?” “Where can I take off my pants?” “Who can be in the room when I take off my pants?” And one of the biggest problems people have with Christianity is all about pants. “These are my pants, you can’t tell me what to do with my pants, and just because you quote a really old book called the Bible doesn’t give you a right to tell me what to do with my pants.” Half of our survey participants (50%) agreed that “the Christian religion and I have different views on social issues like abortion or gay marriage.”

I have been a Senior Pastor for roughly twenty years. And while my neighbors have always been quick to throw off what they consider outmoded values, the pace of social change has picked up. In recent years, we have seen same-sex marriage legalized, recreational marijuana decriminalized, and physician-assisted suicide approved. These are the kinds of issues I have discussed in with folks like Barbara Walters and Piers Morgan. I have seen what I believe even misrepresented as is the case with controversial cultural issues. It seems inevitable that polygamy and other marriage alternatives will be up for consideration before too long.

FEEDBACK

Once home to the legendary hippie counterculture of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco still wears its progressive reputation proudly. I looked forward to hearing from a group of men gathered there to let us know their thoughts on the Christian faith. After introductions, our focus group facilitator sprung her opening question: “What is your first reaction when you hear someone talk about Christianity?” It was no shock when “same sex marriage” was among the first responses. Also unsurprising was the fact that every participant assumed that same sex marriage and abortion were good things and not really up for debate.

No one mentioned even in passing that these practices could possibly be morally wrong. When one man stated that “the Bible says being gay is a sin,” he held it up as a key point where Christianity is mistaken.


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