Are evangelicals changing their minds about same-sex relationships? A surprising way to follow the example of Jesus

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In this April 19, 2019 file photo, a gay pride rainbow flag flies along with the U.S. flag in front of the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

Two reports caught my eye this week.

One: In 2007, 90 percent of evangelicals said their church forbid (63 percent) or strongly discouraged (27 percent) “homosexual behaviors.” In 2020, that figure has dropped to 65 percent (33.7 percent forbid, while 31.4 percent strongly discourage). 

Two: In 2008, 34.4 percent of evangelicals between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five supported same-sex marriage. In 2018, that figure had risen to 56.1 percent. 

Could this data be related? Are evangelical churches changing their position on same-sex marriage to align with and attract younger adults? Are younger evangelicals changing their position on same-sex marriage because their churches are? Or are both happening? 

When perception is reality 

For twenty centuries, orthodox Christians have known that the Bible forbids same-sex sexual relations. (For more, see my website paper, “What does the Bible say about homosexuality?”

However, as we noted yesterday, we currently live in a “post-truth” culture that is convinced perception is reality and truth is whatever you believe it to be. Tolerance is the cardinal value of our day, while intolerance is the cardinal sin. 

This insistence on relative truth and subjective morality directly contradicts the fact that all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) through the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) as unchanging truth (Matthew 24:35). Jesus was clear when he told his Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). 

Nonetheless, the “perception is reality” approach to truth is applied today to moral issues across the spectrum of life, from abortion to euthanasia. It flies in the face of logic (to claim there are no absolute truths is to make an absolute truth claim)….

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