Ruth Graham’s write-up on the recent Q conference in Boston is a fascinating take by a journalist looking in on what evangelicals are doing. In the end, she says Q’s efforts to be relevant will be undermined by its commitment to traditional Christian views on sexuality, which were made very clear at the conference (which I am very grateful for, by the way). She writes,
Today a majority of Americans support gay marriage, including 43 percent of white evangelical Protestant millennials. Those numbers seem bound to tick upward in the years to come, particularly among the peers of Q’s on-trend attendees. And as the Supreme Court hears arguments this week on whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, there are signs that gay marriage will soon be a settled matter legally, too.
The problem for Lyons and his acolytes is that the culture at large increasingly does not think that affirming gay people or calling them to lifelong celibacy are “equally valid options,” either. The gay marriage debate may not be a debate much longer. For evangelicals who value their image as culturally relevant conversation leaders, the clock onstage is ticking down.
These remarks are both clever and ominous. The clock is indeed ticking down, but it’s not just on those attending the Q conference. It’s on all Christians who remain true to Christ in the face of a sexual revolution that has shown it will not tolerate our dissent. No amount of culture-savvy relevance will remove the reproach of following Christ on this issue. That is where we are, and we will be negotiating the realities of our minority status for the foreseeable future.
But that is no reason for despair. Our new situation will be difficult, but it will also disambiguate us from the world. It will offer us new opportunities for witness, and God will be with us. He has a way of plundering the enemy when His people seem to be at their weakest (e.g., Acts 16:30; 18:8). He will surprise us in ways we cannot anticipate now. So we have every reason to be hopeful even as we are sober about what lies ahead.