Many are aware that about a week ago Eugene Petersen was “put on the spot” by the question of whether he would perform a same sex marriage. Eugene answered in the affirmative and thus ensued 24 hours of social media backlash against this oft revered pastor. So, as is so often the case these days with politicians, reporters, entertainment or sports figures, Eugene walked back his comments saying “on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that”. The fact that Eugene “saw the error of his ways” garners little respect from me since it took an almost overwhelming flood of reaction to cause his eyes to be open to what is already clearly pronounced in “The Message” (with full double meaning!)
This, unfortunately, is just another example of how social pressure is dictating church policy and practice in a modern world controlled by the click of a mouse or the posting of a poignant mem. The church is losing respect and participants in droves today and it’s not for the reasons one might think. Society is not impressed when Christians “get on the right side of history” by acquiescing to rapidly changing social practices any more then ISIS is impressed with efforts to appease their message of hate. Giving in like this makes us (the church) look like spineless milquetoast minions with no guiding principles – and who wants to be a part of that?
I believe principled people who practice their beliefs with grace and kindness will be the ones looked to for guidance and wisdom for the seismic challenges in the years to come as well as being pleasing to the Lord – if that even matters anymore!