Time magazine today published a story about the public stand InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IV) has taken on human sexuality. So the cultural war goes on. But the IV position is neither new nor novel. It is in fact the position that has always been Christian. What is new and novel is the cultural shift we are seeing in the western nations toward sexual license and gender ambiguity. The eighteen page IV document is just the latest summary of the historic Christian view of sexuality in its many expressions. This decisive stand was inevitable given the significant presence of IV on college campuses across the nation and even the world. It is no secret that sexual issues are front burner in the minds and bodies of college students. The IV document addresses all of the major moral questions regarding sexuality, not just the LGBQ issues. The fact that the IV leadership felt the need to clarify its position on human sexuality does not indicate any change in the historic position of this ministry; but rather, the sea-change in western cultural views and practices, not the least of which includes the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage.
It is of the very nature of sin, as Christians understand it, to rebel against human identity with the image of God in which we were created. This resistance to God’s order shows up most powerfully in areas of life that are themselves powerful, like sexuality, to name but one. When sexuality is practiced as God intended it brings pleasure, intimacy and procreation. When practiced outside of God’s plan it introduces suffering, division and disillusionment.
Human culture is necessarily religious. This is so because humans embody in culture their most fundamental beliefs. They may claim that these are not beliefs at all, but merely facts. That claim cannot be sustained. The most basic moral positions and practices of a culture or an individual are truth-claims about reality as believed by the people. Where these claims impact religious beliefs they reveal themselves to be alternative religions. Some prefer to call such cultural positions “world-views.” Yes they are, and all religious claims are also “world-views.” So the cultural wars I alluded to at the beginning of this blog, are in fact religious wars. As we have seen already some of these culture war issues will be settled by force, most likely in the courts. Christians will likely be victimized and subjected to loss of religious freedom if the larger culture continues to move away from historic Christian beliefs. These events will test the faith and the courage of many. Maranatha!