As America’s attitude changes, some evangelicals are digging; Adapt to the other
In recent years, the cultural wars in the United States have increasingly taken place within the evangelical Christian community in terms of gender roles, sexual behavior and the definition of marriage. On the one hand, christians are determined to resist the tendency of secular societies to conflict with biblical teachings. On the other hand, evangelicals who are willing to accept these trends.
The percentage of people who say homosexuality should be accepted by society.
The key question for Albert moller, dean of the southern Baptist theological seminary in louisville, Kentucky, is “whether there is a morality that holds everyone accountable.”
Mr. Moller, the co-founder of the biennial evangelical conference, gathered thousands of evangelicals last month at the louisville sports center, a few miles from the southern Baptist campus. The electronic signs at the top of the arena carry messages such as “we are out of protest” and “we are independent of scripture, not human intelligence”.
“Our theme this year is’ we protest, ‘” Mr. Moeller told NPR. “You might say, ‘take the’ protest ‘back to the protestant.” He and his conservative leaders urged christians to take a “biblical” stance against no-fault divorce, extramarital sex, “sexism” and gay marriage. His new book is “we can’t be silent: telling the truth to culture, redefining sex, marriage, and the true meaning of right and wrong.”
Yet Mr Moller and other conservatives are pushing for strong headwinds. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of americans who believe divorce is morally acceptable, while dissatisfaction with gay and lesbian marriages has plummeted, according to the survey. (click to view changing attitudes toward gay and lesbian marriages.) Even for white evangelicals, one of the most resistant groups of LGBT rights, the latter. For church leaders like mill, the challenge is indisputable.
Albert moeller, dean of the southern Baptist theological seminary, urged conservatives to “protest” back to protestantism.
“Conservative christians in the United States are going through a huge shift in the way we see ourselves in the world,” Mr. Moeller said. “We are in the midst of a massive transformation that will not be reversed in all possible times, in our lifetimes.” In his view, christians must adapt to the changing cultural environment by finding a way to “live faithfully in a world where we will be the moral exception”. (as Mohler says, this goal explains the passage of “religious freedom” laws to protect people who want to express their opposition to gay marriage or “transsexism”.)
Life as a moral exception is the prospect Shared by evangelicals. Most of them were trained as priests at the southern Baptist church. The southern Baptist church was one of the protestant denominations, and even as a church deacon, it did not prescribe women. Some southern Baptist churches do not even allow divorced people to serve as priests.
We are in the midst of a massive transformation that will probably not be reversed in our lifetime.
Albert moller, dean of the southern Baptist theological seminary.
Many of their millennial generation may reject conservative ideas about social issues, but young people who choose to become priests of the southern Baptist church have a comprehensive understanding of the church’s teachings. Their church mission limited: not persuade a wider range of new moral truth culture, but to help their own residents living in them, as the rest of the society “moral”.
Joshua Van der Merwe, 24, a student at the southern Baptist theological seminary, said during the rest of the conference: “the bible claims to be right and wrong, and these statements are often inconsistent with what the average person believes in. “Christians were called to protest and to witness what the bible claims to be right and wrong.”
However, the insistence on strictly bible-based ethical standards may rule out some of those people.
One option for them would be Ridgewood Baptist in the working-class suburbs of louisville. The pastor, matt Johnson, grew up to be a southern Baptist church, but his church broke one of them about 25 years ago. Now there is a variety of suppliers, and who did the boys and girls lie in it and open the door to the “dawn” committee.
“Let’s hope,” Johnson said at a recent conference. “Hope for what could happen here, who can come here and find where to belong.” Committee members include Janney Gilbert, a son is gay and lesbian medical office managers, Estelle Power, a retired former deacons, involved in the church after painful divorce, Janelle Perry, mother is the first female deacon Ridgewood, now he was in the church youth director.
“I’ve been here all my life, and ridgewood is not the same church we were 40 years ago,” perry said. “Everyone can come, and some people are surprised – and [and] the deacons, we’ll get most people to… We’re open.”
The church is not a service to the highly educated liberals, who may support a progressive agenda. The surrounding community is “a conservative area where many people feel deprived of their rights, and I think that represents a new aspect of poverty,” Johnson said.
Roles of women
Economic pressure may be difficult for a marriage, and Ridgewood’s members include several divorcees. “I don’t know what I would do without this church,” will said. “I think I’m the only person in the world who has experienced divorce.”
Ms. Powers, 76, said she had found someone else in Ridgewood, whose life was not necessarily in line with the church’s ideals. She said she could contact them because of her own experience.
“I made some friends, just say hello,” she said. “someone would say, ‘it’s nice of you. I said, ‘no, I’m just myself. ‘but I think when you go through something, it makes you more humble. ”
Power grew up in rural Kentucky and parents divorced. Her father drank too much, but faithfully listened to the Baptist preacher on the radio. In her life, she had heard of the bad side of divorced women, and she welcomed Ridgewood’s low opinion.
John said: “because some people think that all of the church is a place that was condemned and no longer go to church, because they think that all of the church are condemned, and you have just been told, ‘you have to think so. “He says these are the people he now wants to achieve through his ministry.
The collapse of the church and the south Baptist convention is a dispute over the role of women. The southern Baptist believes that men and women “complement each other” but are not interchangeable, which is why women are not allowed to serve as leaders in the church.
The church’s stance on supplementing gender roles seems to be out of date, but it comes directly from the bible, Mr. Moeller said.
“This is we see throughout the text of a complementary the overall pattern,” he said, “from genesis 1:26-28 has been to the book of revelation, therefore suggested that the church can do not small somehow just updated understanding of gender, whatever the cultural understanding around us, this is the place where we must faithfully. ”
More than 15 million americans attend the southern Baptist church. Many christians yearn for the certainty and direction of a strictly bible-based life. However, with the rapid change of culture, the future of conservative evangelical Christianity is not yet clear.
By contrast, the more moderate Baptist church seems to have a growing market. On the other hand, some people who are disgusted with the southern Baptist practice now completely reject the church. Evangelical protestants’ share of the American population is declining, so the prospects for churches such as Ridgewood Baptist are unclear.
From the outside, the cross is prominently placed on ordinary bricks and looks like any other Baptist church in louisville. The church pianist and the most prominent gay member, Nick Wilson, said he would never be close to Ridgewood if he hadn’t heard of it as a welcoming church.
“Driving, seeing ridgewood Baptist, I won’t stop,” he said. “I’m just assuming I already know what’s going on inside these doors, I’m not welcome, or I don’t want to be part of it, and I’m going to continue.”