Thursday, July 13, 2017

Laodicean

In "Eugene Peterson Shrugs" at Christianity Today Jake Meador explains why indifference is an enemy. (Note that Peterson has clarified his position on marriage):
.... In the aftermath of the break from the Roman church in the 16th century, many Protestants rightly emphasized the idea of adiaphora—Greek for “things indifferent.” It meant that there are many matters on which Scripture does not speak explicitly. The church should therefore not attempt to order a specific practice when Scripture itself fails to do so. ....

But this principle can easily be twisted into something more dangerous. ....

Many of the questions we relegated to the realm of “things indifferent” are pervasive enough that something will eventually have to address that question for you. ....

In American history, that “something else” is often an Enlightenment-inspired progressivism that sees human history as an advancing narrative of people being liberated from unchosen norms and freed toward greater levels of self-actualization. Such progressivism, of course, draws more heavily from Rousseau, Voltaire, and other 18th century philosophers than it does classical orthodoxy. ....

This approach is driving the shift on matters of sexual ethics. ...[B]ecause of a narrow focus on questions of salvation, we have wrongly concluded that doctrines not essential for salvation are, therefore, things indifferent. ....

As a result, we are now witnessing an attempt to relegate questions of sexuality to this same realm, not because Scripture is silent on these matters (it isn’t) but because it is much easier to default to the cultural posture of affirmation and acceptance. ....

It is not progressive argument that will hollow out the Christian teachings on sexuality or the communities that those teachings help to create and preserve. It is indifference that will cause us to neglect the centrality of the natural family and the ways that same-sex marriage undermines these natural relationships. .... [more]