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The Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation: The Unity of the New and the OldSeptember 8, 2023
By Carl R. Trueman, First Things, Sept. 7, 2023
Carl Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
A recent poll conducted by The Times of London indicates that a majority Church of England clergy now favor gay marriage. The figures (53.4 percent in favor, 36.5 percent opposed) show a significant shift from 2014. Back then, in the aftermath of the legalization of gay civil marriage in the U.K., only 39 percent were in favor and 51 percent were opposed. There are numerous lessons here.
First, the old battle lines between conservative and liberal Christians have changed. In the past, it was the affirmation or denial of the supernatural claims of the Bible, supremely that of Jesus’s bodily resurrection, that divided churches. Today, it is questions of morality, specifically sexual morality, that are the points of contention. And these are of more significance for the broader life of the church within society. To affirm the resurrection might have made you look like a benighted fool, but societies generally tolerate benighted fools. To oppose our current Western cultural regime, where sexual identity is key to personal value, is to deny the humanity of fellow citizens. The world sees that as a deeply immoral act, and not one that will likely be tolerated forever. Christians need to understand that. This is not an excuse for abandoning biblical teaching on kind words turning away wrath or on blessing those who curse us. But it is to say that we should expect suffering, not op-eds in the Washington Post, to be our reward. …