A Plea to Brandon Chase to Shut up

Well, not really, although his latest post strikes quite the obnoxious tone, one that is not new.

At the same time, I’d say he needs to give the conservative Christians some credit here: at least someone is standing up for what is right. Had Christians been more vigilant in the 1950s and 1960s, we probably wouldn’t be finding ourselves on the losing end of the culture wars today, at least not to the extent that we currently find ourselves.

At seminaries–and particularly among liberal Christians today–Chase’s tone is common: just shut up and pray more. This tone is directed by those who support liberal causes–or who are otherwise ambivalent about them–against those who represent the proper Biblical viewpoint.

For lack of better words, it’s a bullying tactic.

While there is definitely a need for Christians to pray for their enemies, it also remains that much of the Christian discussion of these issues involves admonition to other Christians. After all, if not for the Christians who support abortion and gay “marriage”, both would be far from legal today.

I can tell you–having worked on the front lines regarding these issues–that there is a mother lode of Christian women who have had abortions, and who tacitly support abortion, in spite of their outwardly conservative leanings. They won’t argue with you on abortion, but–when it comes time to vote–they’ll vote to support abortion. This is because–while they know it is wrong–they want it available for everyone else “just in case”, just as it was there for them. They won’t carry the picket signs, but they’re every bit in the same league with those who do.

I can also tell you that there is no small number of people in otherwise conservative churches who engage in all manner of sexual immorality–including homosexuality. For some of them, it is a struggle of the flesh that they battle–as they accept that it is sinful–whereas for others, it is something that they flippantly accept and justify. They may not argue this with the pastor, but they’ll support people who carry their own viewpoint.

If you don’t think these types are corrosive for the Church–and for the nation in general–then I’d say you need to read the Old Testament and get back to me.

This is why–in my time discussing prominent issues at places like Boundless*–I directed most of my attention to those who counted themselves Christians, and yet were supportive of sins (abortion, homosexuality) and destructive ideologies (Biblical liberalism, macro-evolution), or were otherwise in the right camp but not reasoning well with those who were not. Christians–as much as anyone else–need to hear the truth, and need to be in a position where they can effectively articulate it.

Don’t believe me? Then read the New Testament and get back to me.

This is because it’s not an either/or proposition. It’s not about “shut up and pray more”, nor is it merely about “stand up for Jesus”. It’s more about “get the logs out of your own eye, get in the Scriptures, gain wisdom and understanding, train and admonish one another, and proclaim the truth.”

Wisdom will always be a howling reproach to the world; there is no pretty way to dress that up. While many Christians do a terrible job and come off like the pastor in Footloose, let’s be honest here: even if Christians did everything right–and they almost never have in their 2,000 year history–the Truth is offensive to many.

The response to those is not so much to call Christians to “shut up” about these issues, but rather to repent of their practice and support of these sins, even as we proclaim the truth about them.

*To my good friends Lisa and Martha: I have not abandoned you at Boundless; at the same time, my work schedule has been nasty and time has not been on my side.

6 thoughts on “A Plea to Brandon Chase to Shut up

  1. Brandon Chase says he affirms biblical teachings on sexuality. Nonetheless, his argument reminds me too much of Rachel Held Evans, whose views on sexuality are more in line with culture than Scripture.

  2. Thanks for you responses to my May 12 comments on the Gay Marriage thread.

    While I don’t agree with Brandon Chase about shutting up, looking at the current US situation I do wonder whether Christians have gained anything by the last 30 years of political activism. Abortion is legal as is gay marriage. There is no Christian “March through the institutions”, there isn’t a single evangelical on the Supreme Court.

    • I think the problem is that the activism was a day late and a dollar short. The slow subversion of mainline Protestantism–and the aloofness of the evangelical world–left the Church sleeping at the wheel as culture slowly declined. Remember: the Kinsey Reports came out in the 1940s. By the mid-1960s, the wheels had accelerated.

      The evangelical world began to wake up after 1973, but the damage was already done: the sexual revolution was on autopilot, abortion was legal, the secularists dominated academia.

      The activism of the 1970s and 1980s had some positive effect. After all, Reagan would not have won without the evangelical.

      And don’t forget that the Christian conservatives who enlisted in the military, went to the service academies, went through ROTC and earned their commissions and served faithfully, they were the ones who helped rebuild a military that was damaged in the wake of Vietnam.

      (While our military is not–and has never been–a convent, it was the Christian conservative who helped restore morale and help make it the fighting force that was integral to Cold War victory. In fact, in the 1980s, recruiters often used profiles of outstanding soldiers, Airmen, Marines, Sailors who were openly Christian, as a means of recruiting those God-and-country conservative Christians.)

      Still, the activism only served to delay the inevitable, as it was, as I said, a day late and a dollar short. Had the Church been awake in the 1930s and 1940s, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

      At the same time, the more I look at things, the more I am convinced that the dogs were going to have their day sooner or later. The post-Christian society will last at least one generation.

  3. You actually only read what you wanted to…. I read both of his blogs and read yours. And you found a small window in the first blog to jump in. You played into what was visible on surface of the first blog, but failed to understand what he was trying to say.

    • Hardly. I’ve met my share of his types, both in seminaries and in churches.

      People like him are bullies who merely serve to antagonize those who do take what goes on in their churches and households seriously.

      This is because the conservative understands that this is not merely about two people who “love each other” going to the courthouse and getting a certificate of recognition, just as that same conservative understands that the soundbite–“Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one”–is a false canard.

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