Can We Live With It?

Evan Wolfson, an activist for homosexual rights, was quoted on February 26, 1998: “We don’t need to have people say ‘yes,’ but only that ‘I can live with it.’ By the time we win this battle, a majority of the nation will be saying ‘I can live with this.” (AFA Journal, May 1998) At the time, Mr. Wolfson’s views seemed extreme. Today such attitudes are common.
Throughout England in the next few days civil unions will become legal. Same-sex couples are lining up to solemnize their vows. Sure to grab big headlines will be the union of superstar Elton John with David Furnish. No, it’s not technically marriage in the sight of British law, but the benefits will be virtually the same. South Africa has gone one step further, declaring same-sex marriage to be legal and of the same status as heterosexual marriages. One can be sure the fight has not ended in the United States.
How do Christians respond to views such as Mr. Wolfson’s? Can we live with homosexual marriages or civil unions?
In one sense we may have to live with it. The tide of popular opinion is certainly running in the direction of supporting homosexual rights. Christians have the freedom in this nation to voice their opinions, but that may some day prove not to be enough. At that point we will appreciate more fully Jesus’ prayer for his followers: “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15, NKJV). As long as we live in an imperfect world, we will be surrounded by evil.
But living in an evil world and growing comfortable with an evil world are two different issues. Jesus acknowledged that in his words that followed: “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:16). There is a profound difference between being “in the world” and being “of the world,” and Christians must live accordingly.
Peter pointed to the example of Lot, “who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds” (2 Peter 2:7,8). Lot proved that a person can be righteous even while living in a godless society. His righteousness was demonstrated by his continual grief over the conditions of his society. (If only his family had clung to the standards of God!)
Individual disciples don’t have a lot of control over events of this world. But we have absolute control over the way we view those events. If “living with” homosexuality means relaxing our opposition to it (on the basis of the Bible’s clear teaching), then may we never give in!

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