Five years after “Farewell, Rob Bell,” 2-1/2 years after World Vision, and 1-1/2 years after Obergefell, I’m actually really surprised how many prominent evangelicals remain vague about their views on same-sex marriage.
My instinct is to give these folks the benefit of the doubt: Maybe they are torn. Maybe their “brand” would suffer if their view was well known. Maybe they like receiving adulation, money, and friendship from people on both sides of the debate.
I guess the reason I’m so surprised is that the Reverend Dr. Albert Mohler quite confidently declared in 2014 and 2015 that there would be nowhere for evangelicals to hide. After Southern Baptists censured a California church whose pastor affirmed same sex relationships, and again after the Supreme Court decided that same-sex relationships must be recognized as marriages nationwide, Mohler spoke out.
This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide. The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution. That revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there. But marriage is the most urgent issue of the day, and the moment of decision has arrived.
But I follow evangelical Protestantism pretty closely, and I’m always coming across authors, speakers, and workaday tweeters who I wonder, “Is she/he anti-SSM or pro-SSM?” Part of the problem is that I do not really know whether it is better to assume that people are anti-SSM until they affirm it — or assume that they are pro-SSM until they reject it.
It seems that a large portion of the conservative evangelical publishing industry and Christian conference industrial complex will blacklist SSM supporters. We have seen that. But there are still Lifeway authors who I assume support SSM. And there are are people outside evangelicalism’s “in” crowd who I assume do not.
Am I simply naive or clueless? Or is Dr. Mohler wrong? It seems to me that plenty of professional evangelicals are still very much in hiding on same-sex marriage.