Boycotting gay weddings? A distorted take on an important book

Albert Mohler appeared on the front page of The Louisville Courier Journal yesterday next to the headline “Mohler: Christians should boycott gay weddings.” The story was later picked up by USA Today which ran a similar headline Baptist leader: Christians should boycott gay weddings. Since then, it has been featured in news outlets across the country.

It turns out that the report is about Mohler’s new book We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong. This book tells the story of our particular moment in American life in the aftermath of the sexual revolution. And yet if all you had were the headlines, you might conclude that he just wrote a book-length treatise on how to boycott gay weddings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, Mohler does address whether Christians should attend gay weddings, and he does in fact say that they shouldn’t. But he offers that counsel in only three paragraphs—about one page out of a 256-page book! I wonder if it ever occurred to newspaper editors that focusing on one page out of 256 might be a little myopic. That slant may be good for clickbait and for selling newspapers, but it’s a distortion of the real import of this book. And I’m not the only one to notice this.

The book is actually about how we got from point A to point B as a culture. Twenty years ago, not one nation on the planet recognized gay marriage. Today, gay marriage is increasingly seen as a fundamental human right. And in our own nation, legal gay marriage is now recognized as a constitutional right. How did we get here? And how did this moral revolution happen seemingly overnight? Those are the questions that Mohler answers in this book.

As cultural analysis, this book is a tour de force. It explains the tectonic plates moving right beneath our feet—how worldview and basic ideas about the human person have shifted in the Western world. The scope is vast, and it illuminates the particular changes that have led us to where we are now. As Mohler himself explains:

We look out on the horizon around us and realize that our culture has been radically changed. In this case, the storm is a vast moral revolution, and that revolution is not even close to its conclusion. In fact, there will likely be no conclusion to this moral revolution within our lifetimes, or the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren.

We are now witnesses to a revolution that is sweeping away a sexual morality and a definition of marriage that has existed for thousands of years. This is the morality and understanding of marriage that has been central to societies shaped by biblical witness and the influence of both Judaism and Christianity. It is also important to note that throughout human history—in virtually all civilizations—marriage has been understood as the union of a man and a woman. That has changed.

This book is about this moral revolution, how it happened and what it means for us, for our churches, and for our children. It is important to trace the revolution and understand that the most heated controversies of our day did not emerge from a vacuum onto the daily headlines. Every revolution has a story, and the story of this revolution is one that we can now trace. To put the truth plainly, this revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there.

This book is much more important than the headlines are suggesting. And it is Mohler at his best doing what he does best—cultural analysis from a biblical worldview. If you want to understand the times that we are living in and the true nature of the challenges Christians face, you need to read this book. Mohler is right. We really cannot be silent. And this book will equip you with the words that you need in the midst of the revolution.

10 Responses to Boycotting gay weddings? A distorted take on an important book

  1. Dena Stewart-Gore October 16, 2015 at 8:10 am #

    I find it fascinating that the C-J is actually only using ONE PAGE out of his book to basically mess with Dr. Mohler. You all really need to work on ethics and writing a little more.seriously. Is it any wonder the C-J is on the verge of closing? I’m A BLOGGER and I know betterthan that!

  2. buddyglass October 16, 2015 at 8:22 am #

    If they portrayed the book as being mainly about boycotting gay weddings then that would indeed be a distortion. But that doesn’t seem to be what they’ve done. What they’ve done is report on a particular position Mohler stakes out in the book that happens to be offensive to the wider culture. It’s newsworthy when a public figure unequivocally endorses a view that many people consider “shocking” and/or offensive.

    For instance, imagine if Ben Bernanke in his new book “The Courage to Act”, which is about the financial crises, included three paragraphs where he says black people are genetically inferior to white people.

    If the press were to run headlines like, “Ben Bernanke: Blacks are Genetically Inferior”, would you regard that as a deceptive headline that gives short shrift to the content of his book? Probably not. Because that one three-paragraph section would be more newsworthy than the entire rest of the book.

    • Ike Lentz October 16, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

      If a famous evangelical gave three paragraphs out of a book to support gay marriage, you best believe Mohler and co. would spend an entire article picking it apart.

      • Glenn Carrin October 17, 2015 at 9:54 am #

        Bingo. Compare with how Mohler isolated and focused intensely upon a few sentences from Licona’s much larger book. Not much difference with how the newspaper article handled Mohler. The “Moral Revolution” is about us.

  3. Roy Fuller October 16, 2015 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks buddyglass, I was thinking the same thing. Rather than distortion, because Mohler’s views are not being distorted, how about “incomplete” which better captures Burk’s complaint about this media coverage.

    • buddyglass October 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

      Maybe. But if they made it sound as if the book was primarily about boycotting same-sex weddings then that would indeed be a distortion of its content. Without having read the article, though, I doubt that’s what they did.

      • Damien October 16, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        @buddyglass – if you doubt that’s what they did, I encourage you to read the article. That’s Exactly what they did. The majority of the article is spent addressing issues the book spends a minority of time dealing with. The issue is not “gay marriage”. It’s the sacredness of sex, sexuality and marriage as God ordained it. However, if you read the article, the reader can easily conclude the issue is primarily “gay marriage”.

        • buddyglass October 17, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

          They may have devoted the majority of their time to those issues, but that’s not necessarily the same as what I said, i.e. “making it sounds as if the book were primarily about boycotting same-sex weddings”.

          I would guess they focused on those particular issues because they’re the ones that are the most controversial and, consequently, most newsworthy.

  4. Christiane Smith October 17, 2015 at 2:11 pm #

    At the end of the day, how many people have the culture wars driven away from Christ?

    There comes a point where division works for the ‘enemy’ in ways that cannot be foreseen or controlled. We need to re-examine the Holy Gospels to understand how ‘the Way’ is different for Christian endeavors than the ‘way’ of THIS world. There IS a difference. We need to honor it.

  5. John Waller October 18, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    As a Christian I would boycott a “gay wedding” only in the way that I would boycott a bank robbery.

    In other words it isn’t a boycott just an event that I have no business being at

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes