Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cultural Influence of a Committed Minority

According to many mainstream news commentators, a majority of Americans are in agreement with the recent Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage.  The supposed minority who disagree are challenged to exercise tolerance and get on board with the changing mores of our culture.  But, not so fast!  Consider two indicators that Americans who oppose the latest high court decision are not in the minority.

First, recall that the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage by a narrow 5-4 decision.  Amazingly, this decision means that 1 vote overturned same-sex bans in 31 states and altered the millennia-long definition of marriage.  The same five justices had already struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  That instance of “legislating from the bench” meant that a 1-vote margin brought an end to a law that had been ratified by huge majorities in both the U.S. House (342-67) and U.S. Senate (85-14).  The highest court in the land had sided with the liberal minority of Americans against the will of a large majority of Americans and their elected officials. 

There is even more evidence that a liberal minority is revolutionizing America while conveying the false impression through liberal media that they represent the majority.  This evidence comes through a Washington Post-ABC News Poll published this month.  According to authors Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement,

In this poll, 63% of people say they are uncomfortable with the country's overall direction on social issues these days; four in 10 feel "strongly" uncomfortable about the nation's changes. 

Some core Democratic groups are finding a disconnect with the rapid change in social issues as well. Fifty-one percent of non-whites, a growing group of Democratic supporters, say they are uncomfortable with the pace of social change. Two-thirds of women also say they are uncomfortable, as are 50 percent of adults under age 30.

Even some liberals worry that expanding the legal definition of marriage to include same-sex couples and allowing them to adopt children may push us rapidly down a slippery slope.  Already, Montana polygamist, Nathan Collier sees the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage as a gate-opener to legalizing polygamy so that he can legally marry his second “wife.”

Since the Garden of Eden, the Bible and history have repeatedly taught us that actions based on human reason, when contrary to God’s principles, will always yield a bitter harvest.  Adam and Eve reasoned that God was holding out on them and ate the only fruit that God had forbidden them to eat.  The result was spiritual and physical separation from God.   Genesis 3: 8 describes the nature of this alienation between God and mankind:

They heard the [familiar] sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and [for the first time] the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 

But when Adam and Eve heard God calling to Adam, the husband, they realized that their physical hiding had failed.  So, they tried to “hide” by playing the “blame game”—Adam blamed God for giving him Eve; Eve blamed the serpent that Satan used to deceive her.  But God’s response decimated their poor effort to deny individual responsibility for their action. 

Since the Garden, we have continued to rebel against God’s plan for His creation.  We have continued to “hide” our sin by blaming others, by “hiding” in groups, and by trusting in human reason, or “group-think” to justify disobedience of God’s laws.   The collective judgment of the masses, no matter how well intentioned or how popular, is still folly apart from submission to God.

Today, God still calls, “Where are you?” to men who are the stewards of His unconditional love toward women, and toward wives.  Instead, men often view women as objects of self-gratification, thus depriving themselves of true fulfillment and godly leadership, diminishing the key role of women in God’s plan, and leaving both themselves and women vulnerable to Satan’s lies. 

Just as Satan convinced Eve that she would find fulfillment in eating of the fruit, so he has convinced many women in the mid-20th century that they could be fulfilled sexually outside of marriage without the unwanted consequence of a baby.  If contraception failed, then abortion of the baby would “clean up the mess” so her life could go on without hindrance.  But last week, the latest bitter fruit of abortion became evident.  We learned that Planned Parenthood has begun marketing functional body parts of babies by modifications of abortion procedures designed to “protect life” or at least the parts needed.  What began with deception and departure from God’s plan for the sanctity of marriage and procreation has gradually led America down a dark and slippery slope to the horrendous reports in recent days.

Returning to the recent High Court legalization of same-sex marriage, my first reaction was to resent how five unelected justices could alter the definition of marriage as one of the foundations of our culture.  I blamed President Obama because he had already surrendered his moral leadership when he changed his mind and supported same sex marriage.

Then I realized that biblical morality is not ultimately upheld by the bench, the legislature, elite focus groups, or the will of the masses.  I believe the Bible teaches that a nation rises or falls based on whether or not individuals and leaders respect God’s enduring moral absolutes, or “ancient landmarks” (Proverbs 22:28; and, see Oikonomia, “Stewardship and ‘Natural Law’.”)  On the other hand, the ongoing social reengineering of American culture represented by the High Court decision reflects nonbiblical moral values.  These values are being imposed by a very different but committed minority as explained above.  The question Christians must ask is “Which minority will determine our future?”

According to many Christian leaders, America needs revival.  Historically, the power of God’s Spirit has brought awakenings through the repentance and prayer of a few committed persons—a very small minority.  In the next Oikonomia article, we will look further into how God has used and can still use a “moral minority” for His glory and for the benefit of a nation when men and women accept individual accountability before God as stewards of His Mercy and Truth.

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