Thursday, November 1, 2018

This world is not my home

Each generation of young Christians has to face the reality that biblical teaching conflicts decisively with contemporary secular morality. That conflict is often especially acute in the area of sexual morality. Moreover, the price of social acceptance is often theological compromise. Yes, people in good faith reach contrary positions on the authority and meaning of individual scriptures, but one would have to be willfully blind to deny the persistent pressure toward “inclusivity” and the irrebuttable presumption of moral superiority inherent to secular progressive ethics.

That is the temptation of faith. The temptation of tribe is different. It’s the temptation to find a “place” in contemporary American culture outside of the church. You’ll see Christians acknowledge that, yes, they’re members of the church, before asking with anguish, “But where else do I belong?” They have a religious home, but they want a political home, too, and as American society becomes increasingly politicized, the latter feels more important every day. ....

I confess I’m vulnerable to this temptation. I’m not “merely” a Christian, you see. I’m part of the “Christian conservative” sub-tribe. And I realized how much that sub-tribe meant to my life when, for the first time, it fractured over politics. I remember feeling a sense of homelessness when the vast majority of friends and neighbors and colleagues in the conservative movement chose Trump, and I did not.

This attitude was fundamentally wrong. My true home had never changed. Only my false home was exposed. ....

So, young Christians, hold your faith tightly and your politics loosely. You will not find a home here. As Peter says, you are a “foreigner and exile.” It’s best to get used to it early on. Trust me, it can be a gut-wrenching discovery to make when you’re old.