The video above is from a Roman Catholic group, but I can testify that many evangelical Christians are feeling the same way these folks are.
I am a pastor, and the testimonies in this video sound very similar to what I have been hearing from the folks in my church. Our members by and large don’t have questions about the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality and marriage. They get that. Nor do they have questions about their obligation to love their neighbor, to seek their good, and to be at peace with everyone (Mark 12:29; Luke 6:33; Rom. 12:18). They get all of that.
Their question is how to live out what Jesus has called them to be when folks treat them with hostility. I recently talked to one church member whose boss is gay. About half of her co-workers are also gay. They are her friends, and she loves them. She wants to keep a relationship with them, and she hopes to remain a part of their lives. But she’s concerned that her Christian beliefs on marriage and sexuality will alienate them once they become known. The last thing on her mind is waging a culture war or winning a debate with them. She just wants space to be their friend, even if at the end of the day they disagree about these fundamental issues.
I could tell other stories of brothers who are not only concerned about maintaining relationships with friends at work, they are also concerned that they will face professional suicide if their Christian views become known among their coworkers. Again, they don’t want to pick a culture war fight with anyone. But neither do they want to face losing their job or a reprimand in their HR file when they fail to show up for the office party for their co-worker who just married his same-sex partner. They are trying to figure out how to be faithful to Jesus, a faithful friend, and a faithful employee when those obligations seem to be in tension.
And that is the challenge that I’m seeing among our members. What they are wondering is whether their Christian faith will be tolerated in the public space. And I’m not talking about any desire on their part to engage in aggressive and obnoxious proselytizing. I’m just talking about normal people wondering whether there is room for them anymore in our culture. In so many words, they are wondering if a genuine pluralism will exist in post-Obergefell America, or if Christian views on sexuality and marriage are now being excluded from our national life.
I am so grateful for these dear brothers and sisters in my church. None of them have expressed any thoughts of forsaking Jesus’ teaching because of these difficulties. They are going to walk with Christ no matter what the cost. I praise God for that. But still, I am concerned for them, and I am praying for them. They are the front-line silent casualties of a culture war they don’t want to be in. They just want to follow Jesus in peace. And as the implications of Obergefell trickle down into their lives, I pray that they will be able to do just that (1 Timothy 2:2). Whether they will or not very much remains to be seen.