Randy Greenwald

Concerning Life as It Is Supposed to Be

The Middle Man

Ron Unz of the American Conservative has thought for some time that so-called ‘gay marriage’ was an inevitability. What is somewhat troubling in his re-statement of his position here is his cynicism regarding the power of the church to shape thinking. I post this not to take a position on marriage, but to encourage thought about preaching. The relevant passage is this (emphasis mine):

Above all, the transformative power of the American media is once again revealed. Some time back I joked with a conservative friend that after a few years of relentless media pressure the very same preachers then denouncing Gay Marriage as the “sin of Satan” would probably be uniting same-sex couples in holy matrimony at their own churches, and so far the social trend lines seem to be supporting my prediction. After all, in modern American society the Word of the Almighty and His Holy Book may have a powerful influence, but they are regularly trumped by whatever our electronic media tells us to believe. Perhaps churches should just install television sets in front of their pews and cut out the middle man.

What do you think? Too cynical?

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2 Comments

  1. kbrightbill

    Not to get into a debate on the marriage issue, but as a broader concept, I think that what the quote ignores is that there have been numerous times in the past where the churches and denominations have changed on issues, not because the media told them to, but because they realized that the position they initially held was wrong or short-sighted. The quote seems to wall off the possibility for people to change their views over the course of time and with the addition of new information by suggesting that to do so automatically means being blown about by popular culture.

    • A good point well made. The application of Scripture to life calls for wisdom and humility and courage all at the same time. And it calls for an ability to listen to Scripture without telling Scripture what we want it to say. Therein, I think, lies the greatest challenge.

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