(Before you read any further, pray. Please do. This topic is less about what you already think and more about us digging deeper to what we have missed. Maybe we can listen to God on this and let Him have the most important word on this. Deal?)
Once upon a time in Christianity, there was a phrase that began to float around: “Gay agenda.”
It gained steam quickly. People who felt uncomfortable with even the word “gay” in conversation had something to hang onto that they could talk about. After all, it did seem like there was a deliberate effort by someone – let’s call that person “Hollywood” – to get a certain way of thinking into culture, households and the next generation with greater intensity. Christians felt like they had language to defend something that felt under attack.
The backlash was comical.
I mean that literally. Stand-up comics from George Carlin to Ellen Degeneres were among many who retorted back, almost making the phrase “gay agenda” its own punchline – as if a group of people met on a regular basis to make plans against the heterosexual world. The absurdity of the extremes they proposed softened things quite a bit. Pretty soon sitcoms were featuring major characters who were overtly homosexual, and we got used to the idea of them not going away… from one show to another… from one character to another.
Lately, it’s become an anthem.
Again, I mean that literally. Glee is, well… quite gleeful on this. Popular songs that are repeated day-in and day-out on iPods and smartphones are full of lyrics that shred anyone who would stand against “homosexuality and happiness,” especially if you think God is involved on your side of the fence.
“The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision / And you can be cured with some treatment and religion / Man-made rewiring of a predisposition / Playing God, aw nah here we go / America the brave still fears what we don’t know / And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten / But we paraphrase a book written 3500 years ago.” - Macklemore
Some worried if young kids would catch on.
It’s understandable if you toss in an endorsement from Toy Story’s Woody, change the orientation of a Disney female character, and create new books for children on how this is more common than you think… and you have the ingredients for your answer.
So.. should we be surprised at the two headlines this week around this subject matter?
- Good Luck Charlie introduced Disney’s first same-sex couple. According to Miley Cyrus (I can’t believe I just wrote that), “I commend Disney for making this step into the light of this generation. They control…so much of what kids think! Life isn’t bright sets & wardrobe & kids becoming superstars! This is INSPIRING.”
- The Grammy’s hosted a mass wedding of couples from all orientations. 34 couples, gay and straight, exchanged rings and said, “I do.” It was officiated by Queen Latifah (although I’m not sure she’s actual royalty, wink-wink). The audience gave it a standing ovation. Others pushed back in other ways, tweeting “Why can’t the event just be about the music? So tired of political and social messages being infused into everything” or “I don’t care if they are gay or straight this is wrong. Quit shoving your leftist agenda down my throat. Enough is enough.”Christian singer Natalie Grant even came under some accusational fire for leaving the show early.
It’s not just the Grammy’s. It’s not just Good Luck Charlie. It’s not the next thing GLAAD will demand (you might want to read about it).
It’s not even the Super Bowl, where allegedly Bruno Mars will officiate an LGBT friendly ceremony while he sings “Marry You.” (That’s a joke, by the way – but not everyone knew that and the unbelievable-yet-somehow-believable rumor has gone viral.)
This isn’t a quiet topic, is it?
We’re not being given the chance to “get around to this,” are we? We’re having it placed in front of us, one awards show after another… one sitcom after another… one school group after another.
Ready for the Olympics?
Again, I mean that literally… does Bob Costas have plans for a featurette I might want to know about as I watch snowboarding with my kids?
But now I also mean the “Olympics” figuratively… or rather, theologically.
You have been invited to take part in an Olympic-level calling to share Jesus Christ with the world. To “make disciples of all nations,” according to someone who is actual Royalty.
- Will you instead be passive, assuming it will go away?
- Will you instead be political, whichever way that is?
- Will you instead begin sentences on this topic with, “Well, I just think…” or “Well, I just feel…” – instead of taking people to someplace deeper than thoughts and feelings?
Can we somehow foster a Jesus-centered conversation here?
We have a role in this, don’t we? Do you think it’s merely a squeek… or a roar?
The reality is that whatever is happening in one moment isn’t static. Someone is always pushing for change, and when culture hands a majority of microphones over to artists and musicians (people, who by definition, push the envelope for the sake of their craft), should we be surprised at how things develop?
Another factor is the accusation that Christians seem to care about this more than they should. It’s a fair challenge for some, but… on the other hand… maybe some Christians are coming across a little louder because it feels like someone else starting shouting and we need to speak up more than we normally would to compensate in the conversation.
The other thing is this isn’t just “an issue” or a “topic.” Very real people (many of whom I consider friends) have personal reasons why they’re engaged in this from whatever side they’re engaged in.
So again, can we move off of our sides on this and come around the Cross of Christ together?
- Would you agree or disagree that there seems to be an increasing amount of strategy on how often this is coming up?
(Note: According to LGBT advocate GLAAD, there are more gays represented in TV scenarios than actually play out in real life. It’s causing Americans to assume that 25% of Americans are gay, when the actual number is between 2.2% to 3.4%)
- Would you agree or disagree that it’s hard to listen to God on this and personally opt for how you “think” or “feel” on this?
- Would you agree or disagree that it’s possible to somehow find a Jesus-Centered style approach on how we proceed?
and then let God speak in you and through you.
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)