A Rock In The Shifting Sands of Culture

Philip P. Eapen

Our critique of Evangelical approval of contemporary trends must be tempered with understanding. Can we remain faithful to God’s eternal Word and be compassionate towards lost sinners who are forever opening new battlefronts in their war against God?

In the ever-evolving landscape of societal norms, Evangelicals find themselves at a crossroads, wrestling with the tension between adhering to biblical teachings and embracing contemporary ideologies.

Romans 12:2 warns Christians against conformity to the patterns of the sinful world, urging believers to stand firm in their faith. Yet, there is a growing trend among some Evangelicals to approve of modern societal shifts, particularly concerning LGBTQ issues, transgender ideology, and the deconstruction of the Christian faith.

The approval of LGBTQ rights and relationships has become a divisive topic within Evangelical circles. The scriptures shaped the historic Christian understanding of marriage and human relationships, emphasizing a heterosexual union. The tension arises as some Evangelicals grapple with reconciling the long-standing principles with a call for acceptance and inclusion in the face of evolving societal norms. The key to resolving that tension is acknowledging that the Laws of God do not change with the times. Neither does human biology.

Marriage was not a human idea. God, the Creator of human sexuality and marriage, must have the last word on marriage and morality. God said of man and his wife, ‘And they shall become one flesh.’ This is a reference to the consummation of marriage through sexual union with the potential to generate new life. The biological definition of sexual organs is not open to debate. There cannot be a sexual union between people of the same sex. Homosexual ‘union’ is a mere fantasy. Any homosexual ‘marriage’ will remain an unconsummated farce.

Transgender ideology presents another challenge. Theological perspectives on sexual differentiation are rightly rooted in the binary sexual distinction observed in human biology and attested by biblical teaching. Recent attempts at portraying gender as a spectrum have not succeeded in supplanting this time-tested foundation of human civilization.

Individuals who are confused about their “gender identity“ deserve compassion. Gender dysphoria has to be treated by mental health professionals. Other contributing factors need to be addressed. However, attempts by the state or by individuals to encourage and facilitate permanent physical changes in minors need to be resisted. Legal frameworks that keep parents out of the loop must be demolished. How can the state claim to be more concerned about children than the parents? What has the state done to help teenagers who regretted their decision to go for life-altering surgeries?

The deconstruction of the Christian faith is a trend that further strains Evangelical unity. As individuals question and reevaluate their beliefs, some find themselves on a path of deconstruction, challenging long-held doctrines and theological frameworks. This process, although portrayed as a beneficial exercise by some, creates tension within Evangelical communities that have traditionally thrived on doctrinal cohesion.

This is a wake-up call for all Christian leaders who promoted anti-intellectualism, opposed theological training, and refused to equip their flock against the philosophies of the world. Christians have a right to know why they believe what they believe. Members must be taught to question their faith and to find answers. Doubting Thomases have a place within the Church. If doubters are guided and cared for, they will emerge strong in their faith.

The essence of the Romans 12:2 command becomes increasingly relevant in our context. The call to resist conformity to the trends of the world should serve as a guiding principle for Evangelicals navigating these complex issues. However, the challenge lies in defining what constitutes conformity. Cultural adaptation is necessary—but not at the cost of fidelity to scriptural principles.

In critiquing the approval of contemporary trends, it is crucial to acknowledge the struggles Evangelicals experience. The desire to show love and acceptance while upholding biblical principles creates a tension that demands thoughtful reflection and nuanced discussions. That tension is evident in Jude’s command: “Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear — hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (v. 22-23). Simply dismissing these concerns risks alienating individuals earnestly seeking a faithful path in a rapidly changing world.

In conclusion, the tension within Evangelical communities regarding LGBTQ issues, transgender ideology, and the deconstruction of faith highlights the delicate balance between adhering to biblical teachings and engaging with the evolving world. Romans 12:2 serves as a reminder to resist conformity to worldly patterns, but the challenge lies in discerning where the boundaries between cultural adaptation and scriptural fidelity exist. Navigating this tension requires a commitment to respectful dialogue, understanding, and an appreciation of the complexity inherent in these discussions.


About the author

Philip Eapen, an environmental scientist by training, devoted his life to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ ever since he realized that the world needs Jesus Christ more than anyone or anything else. Apart from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, Philip teaches Christians in order to equip them for service. He is supported by donations from readers. Philip is married to Dr. Jessimol and they are blessed with three sons and a daughter.

Date: Jan 13, 2024




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