When Habakkuk, the prophet of the Old Testament, realized that God intended to use the ungodly Babylonian empire to bring judgment on the nation of Israel, you could say that he was just a wee bit shocked. He wanted God to do something about the wickedness around him, but… the Babylonians?
God’s reply? You better believe it.
According to author Michael Brown at Charisma News, the church is facing another moment similar to Habakkuk’s shock. When Ireland recently voted to allow same-sex marriage, many in the church seemed to look the other way or to offer no firm defense of God’s Word. And a rebuke came from a very unlikely source:
“You know the hour is late when God uses a gay atheist to bring a sobering wake-up call to the church, but that's exactly what happened after Ireland, traditionally a bastion of Catholicism, voted to redefine the marriage.
“The gay atheist was Matthew Parris, and on May 27, the Spectator posted his article entitled ‘As a gay atheist, I want to see the church oppose same-sex marriage.’
“Parris was grieved over the Catholic Church's response to Ireland's vote, feeling that it was weak and almost apologetic, like someone arriving late to a major cultural revolution and saying, ‘Oh my. I guess times have changed. We'll have to do better with social media in the future.’ ”
Brown says that many Christians have begun basing their moral decisions on what’s trending on social media or what the latest polls say instead of looking to the Bible as our compass:
“How utterly perverse that some pastors make their decisions based on what is trending on Twitter or on what teens are doing on Instagram rather than basing everything on what God has clearly spoken in His Word, with sensitivity, compassion and cultural wisdom….
“And Parris is right to point out that Christians, of all people, should recognize that the majority is often wrong, stating that believers ‘need only consider the fate of their Messiah, and the persecution of adherents to the early church,’ and reminding us that, ‘Popular revulsion [today, in Ireland] cannot make them wrong.’ ”
In other words, a gay atheist is begging Christians to live what we say we believe.
James Bruce of WORLD News Service found similar sentiments from some Christian leaders in Ireland. Young Christians there, who supported gay marriage, have not been taught what the Bible says:
“We’re becoming a church of the likeminded, a safe space for the likeminded, rather than a church that addresses itself to the broader culture, he said. While the church must find a new language to discuss the issues, it must remain firm on its positions on marriage and family.”
Your turn. Do you believe Christians in general are more influenced by popular opinion than what the Bible teaches?