We are huge Survivor fans and have watched every episode over the past 15 years (I have a mix of pride and shame in that truth). With its significant representation of a crosscut of Americana combined with the challenging social experiment of forcing a small group to get food, get sleep, get along or get voted out has kept us cheering great heroes and booing mean villains all along the way. On the first season Richard Hatch, an openly gay business man, won. Although considered somewhat a villain because of his underhanded social game, he did outwit, outlast and outplay the rest of the tribe. Over the years Survivor has been very intentional to introduce both mainstream and fringe characters from our society to keep, inflammatory, sympathetic and edgy social interactions abundant and unpredictable.
One thing we have found is how current the producers of the show have kept with the pulse of societal changes. We have seen everything from wealth envy and the uneducated to racial tensions and challenges to traditional Christianity. The finale of this most recent season was last night (our favorite person won), but the clear agenda of the producers, for progressive social purposes, was on a gay “Christian” couple who were committed to taking their message of helping others like them to feel accepted and welcomed into the church with a special emphasis on the bible belt or conservative parts of America. Another side agenda also focused on one of the contestants expressing that the game had helped her get rid of the shame she felt associated with 3 failed marriages.
For those who do not know my personal story, I was the “token” straight guy in an all gay men’s choir for a few years. I grew to know and truly love these men and they in return accepted this red neck Texan as part of their “family”. The whole story of those years is fascinating but not for this blog. But suffice it to say that I am about as far as one can get from being homophobic while still embracing clear biblical standards. And in fact it is those very biblical standards which are the subject of this blog.
In the last verses of Romans 1 there is a list of sins for which God allots a judgment of death of which the main focus is homosexuality. And that is where some Christians get out their microscope in order to singularly focus on that “shameful perversion” all the while ignoring the same death sentence for “lesser” crimes of greed, gossip, pride, murder, envy …. (you get the point). The problem is many (moving quickly to most) Christians prefer to redact ever increasing sections of scripture in order to placate our progressive society (as well as their own consciences) and make Christianity simply another “more conservative” club to have membership in while we thump our chest and point to the sky in what has become some ultimately meaningless gesture of “honoring” god (intentional small “g”).
It should be no wonder the main focus of progressives is to blur the lines of scripture (and there are plenty which they feel need blurring) which speak to two of the most sacred institutions of the Judeo/Christian faith. The mystery surrounding the union of a groom (male) and his bride (female) combined with the covenantal (meaning never broken) relationship associated with that union – marriage. In Micah, God stopped answering the prayers of Israel because of the high divorce rate. Entire cities were destroyed because of homosexuality. And yet divorce and homosexuality are growing by leaps and bounds in acceptance amongst Christians. And whereas the Church (intentional capital “C”) and those with a relationship with Christ will certainly survive (ultimately), Christianity as an institution is being voted out. True Christians will be challenged more and more to assimilate, will experience greater and greater persecution and the Church will be forced further and further “underground”. But don’t be surprised by the troubles that are coming in order to test you. Don’t feel as though something strange is happening to you, but be happy as you experience similar persecution as Christ (1 Peter 4:12,13). The rest of that chapter is a great read as well as it talks about how your friends will make fun of you for not joining them in their downward spiral.
So whether or not “the tribe has spoken”, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.