A push for compromise on LGBTQ protections may tear evangelicals apart

"Last week, World Magazine reported that two respected evangelical institutions, the National Association of Evangelicals and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, both quietly adopted a set of principles that call for comprehensive religious freedom protections combined with explicit support for LGBTQ protections in employment, education, housing and adoption, among others." - RNS

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ScottS's picture

I don't see how there will ever be a middle ground to this issue. One statement in the article caught my eye in particular that illustrates this:

“The goal should be that gay people are treated with dignity in every respect and people who can’t fully embrace it are permitted to step aside and no one is the worst for it,” she said.

Two issues with that statement that are against a traditional Christian perspective in a way that traditional Christian is in fact made "the worst for it."

  1. I'm for treating all people with "dignity in every respect," but a traditional Christian view says that such dignity must include truth (i.e. that the gay person is a sinner just as we all are, but including any engaging in homosexual activity) and love of who they really are (i.e. that God made them to be like Him, to reflect Him, which is not done through any form of sin). However, that view is not going to be seen as treating with "dignity" by others, who believe such treatment is to tolerate the individual's decision to be homosexual (or in their view, to live out who they really are as a homosexual). So the traditional Christian view is already supplanted by the homosexual's viewpoint in the definition of the "compromise" wording.
  2. Then by not being allowed to hold to the traditional Christian view, that person is supposedly "permitted to step aside." But the underlying "threat" is that they are not allowed to do anything else (i.e. stand for their view) without consequence. So it is "step aside" or else, and even in the "step aside," that implies possible consequences as well (i.e. Loss of job? Loss of position? What exactly is one "stepping aside" from?) Whatever it is, the one not willing to "fully embrace" is being moved in that stepping aside in some way they would not be otherwise. So again, the traditional Christian is in fact "the worst for it."

While that quotation stated specifically "gay people," the same logic can be said of any sinful sexual orientation behavior and any gender identification that is not the God-given one (i.e. DNA and in most cases original genitalia; I recognize that there are a few very rare cases [due to sin's effects on the flesh of humanity] of people born hermaphrodite). 

The only true middle-ground is what is not being tolerated today, which is freedom of speech (and freedom to make classification), in which if someone wants to identify as some other gender or sexual orientation, fine (they are free to do so), but I also have the right to classify and refer to them as I see their gender/orientation (I should be free to do so); and I should have the right to try to sway them to my view, even as they have the right to try to sway me to theirs.

That "respect" and show of "dignity" would be true "tolerance" of each other; but I do not see that as being a truly plausible middle ground. Traditional Christian's regularly and often quickly degenerate in their speech toward or about those with such sinful issues (the Christians "forgetting," so to speak, that they are sinners themselves), and those against the traditional Christian views rarely elevate their speech to respectability toward or about those holding such views. So sinfulness gets in the way of even finding a middle ground.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16