Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Calling Evil Good and Good Evil

This morning as I tortured myself on the exercise bike at the gym, I listened to ESPN radio’s Mike and Mike. The headlines today are dominated by NBA player, Jason Collins, who has gone public with his sexual orientation. He is gay and after years of secrecy, wants the world to know. 

As I listened, the opinions being presented made me sad. I like listening to Mike and Mike — when they are talking sports. These men are both bright, passionate, and entertaining. As they dissected this issue, I began to see them as representative of the zeitgeist of our country. Our world has changed. They brought on a guest who is no stranger to this conversation, Martina Navratilova. Martina is one of the all time greats from Women’s tennis whose lesbian lifestyle was made public in the early 80’s. As she was talking about the issue, she was noting how much the culture has shifted from the early 80’s. Back when her announcement was made, she was socially shunned. Fast forward to 2013, Collins comes out and he’s celebrated for his bravery, integrity, and boldness. He has publicly received commendation from many big time athletes via social media. Mike and Mike reported, he even got a call from President Obama for his bravery. 

So what is the problem? The problem is we have created a culture where it's virtually impossible to disagree. Anyone that dares to voice a dissenting position is automatically a bigot. A perfect example is ESPN’s Chris Broussard who simply said what the Bible says. Amazingly he said on air that the Bible says sex outside of marriage even in a heterosexual relationships is sin too. I say it's amazing because I can't believe that aired given our cultural allergy towards strong convictions. [See here for the clip and some great commentary from Denny Burk.] I will be surprised if Broussard doesn’t lose his job over this. It’s a topic you are not allowed to disagree about. You must bow and worship the idol of tolerance or be tossed to the furnace of public mockery. (Thanks Jeff Kinley [twitter @fabmaclen] for the word picture).   

I keep thinking about Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

As a culture, we are not simply tolerating sin, we are calling it good. Think about it. We now say abortion is good (not evil). We think homosexuality is good (not evil). The judgment is the sin and the sin is the judgment as Romans 1 makes clear. The wrath of God is being revealed, more and more obviously everyday. (Rom 1.18)

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