In her Sept. 5 (Spiritual Side) column (“‘Coming out’ for marriage equality — a letter of thanks”) Diane Meehl proclaimed her support for legal and church marriages between persons other than one man and one woman. Meehl urged Christian churches to follow suit, saying “does the church want to continue to be associated with a divisive issue about which we likely will never achieve consensus?” There are many “divisive issues” — including the divinity of Christ and the message of salvation — on which the church must take an unwavering position on principle, not on the nose count of a supposed “consensus.”
Whether the “divisive” issue is the legality or sinfulness of slavery, abortion, sex with children, incest, polygamy, or “honor killings,” the church fails in its mission if it takes its positions based upon popular vote or consensus. We might find large numbers of people favoring any or all of these practices, and thus these issues can be “divisive” once they become acceptable to a consensus-breaking number of people. The church must take stands on principle, and not live in fear of mankind’s criticism. The fear of being “divisive” creates what C.S. Lewis termed “men without chests” — moral cowards.