What causes someone to change their mind on the Bible’s view of homosexuality? Part One
What causes someone to change their mind on long-standing Christian doctrine? I recently ran into a woman from my church who, knowing my profession, told me that she was now unsure if Harvest USA’s position on homosexuality was helpful or biblical. Perhaps this was God’s gift after all. Who are we to tell someone they are wrong about how they feel about something so important as their own sexuality?
The encounter really shook me. I knew this person. She was no novice to the faith. She knew the gospel. She has been in my church for more than a dozen years. I wanted to engage her in a conversation about why she no longer believes the historic doctrinal position on sex, but she wasn’t interested in having a dialogue about it. She only wanted me to know that the “old” way of thinking was judgmental and mean-spirited. She walked away.
There are a number of reasons why someone like my church friend is willing to change her mind. For one thing, we live in a culture that is actively engaged in confronting and dismissing God’s truth found in the Bible, on a level we have not seen before. Not just about Scripture, but about religion in general. Religion is now viewed as oppressive; the reason why we have wars and inter-personal conflict today. If someone really wants to be free and follow their own heart, well, religious belief is the obstacle that needs to be swept aside.
The Bible and what it has historically said is swept up in this cultural tidal wave. To believe something that goes contrary to acceptable cultural norms is to appear dated, judgmental and oppressive to people who just want to go about their own lives like everyone else.
Even ordinary Christians buckle under this cultural “pressure.” Do not underestimate the cultural pressure that moves and influences us, even to the point of moving us to adopt unbiblical positions. On this issue right now, the pressure to give in and change our minds is incredibly high, maybe the highest it has ever been. Increasingly, the historic, long-standing position of the church on homosexuality is under attack in the media, in our institutions, in our traditions, and even within the church itself. Do you find yourself having a hard time resisting this cultural pressure? Do you find that it would just be easier to change your mind and be free of the pressure and the potential ridicule that other people might heap on you? Sometimes people change their mind not because of new evidence or persuasive reasoning, but because they are tired of not fitting in.