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End times

Throughout the Western world the number of professing Christians is shrinking. Even within their ranks, the definition of what constitutes a ‘Christian’ is ambiguous, and even within the Catholic Church, in one way the last redout of orthodoxy, we have priests arguing for the acceptance of the ‘gay’ lifestyle and accommodation with this fundamentally anti-Christian culture. The siren voices of ”accommodation” are to be heard in the land. Homosexuality is not, after all, a subject on which Christ spoke, it is culturally conditioned, we know better, science tells us … etc., etc., etc. So, all we need is to ignore two thousand years’ worth of tradition and consistent Christian teaching, and the world will love us. After all, all you need is love and love wins! Ignore the reasons for which love exists, it’s all about sex, not the creation of a unit into which children can be born and nurtured, or a place where we learn to put our own needs second to those of others, and where we restrain some of our ‘natural’ instincts in higher cause; love is contextualised and the context is that it is not all about us. That runs so counter to our culture that it is no surprise that it would not get it. Everything is about ‘me’ and ‘my satisfaction’.

But orthodox Christians are not going to fall for such sophistry. We know Jesus stood by the moral law, and we know what that means for all sexual sins. We know that the consistent teaching of all churches until recently is not to be disregarded because of a combination of hireling ministers and a desire not to be ‘harsh”. But we also know that this world isn’t going to change any time soon – it is going to insist on having its way. Some want to go head to head – as though that is going to work. Others suggest withdrawing to a spiritual catacomb. Pugnacious by instinct, I’m in favour of fighting – but as I look at the line of battle, I come to the conclusion it isn’t worth it. The State has a right to define its version of marriage as it chooses, and non-Christians cannot possibly be expected to agree that they cannot have a State version of marriage because a minority group in our society wishes to deny them that opportunity. It makes no sense to them, and we cannot win that fight. Into the valley of death and all that – but the last ditch smells for a reason – it is full of dead bodies.

Better, I think, to continue to make the case that churches are not going to do this. If there are tax exemptions we lose, so be it; let Caesar have what he wants. Here, we don’t get this anyway, at least not for my lot, and it strengthens my view that having nothing to do with the State is the best way to be. We will get on, live our Christianity as an example to the world, resisting where it is necessary.

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