Recently, Ed Stetzer interviewed Trevin Wax, Jonathan Merritt, and Sarah Pulliam Bailey about the future of evangelicalism (see above). This is an interesting conversation that circles back around to the issue of same-sex marriage several times. At about the 38-minute mark Jonathan Merritt speculates on “one possible future” for gay marriage in evangelical churches.
He suggests that evangelicals may end up treating gay marriage like they do divorce. Theologically, they will say it is a sin. Pragmatically, they won’t hold congregants to account for committing that sin. Pastors will try to find ways to include those who live in open contradiction to scripture. That’s how many evangelical leaders deal with divorce. So also–Merritt suggests–it may be with homosexuality and gay marriage.
Merritt says he’s already spoken to numerous well-known megachurch pastors who want to treat homosexuality and gay marriage in precisely that way. They are not announcing that position publicly, but Merritt says that is what many are telling him in private.