Do you catch that? It’s not made up! I had to re-read the statement after I picked myself up off the floor! This is a retired bishop from a mainline denomination. Homosexuality is the subject; the context is the Church’s position. Rader made the statement following a conversation she had with a seminarian who felt ostracized from professional ministry due to their sexual orientation and practice. The bishop and other retired leaders are advocates for changing in the church’s position on homosexuality.
While I have a position on the subject, the greatest concern here is not with homosexuality, but with the decision making philosophy demonstrated by the bishop. According to Rader, if a position held by the church is culturally unpopular (regardless of Biblical narrative), you must abandon your conviction and go with the cultural tide. By all means, don’t hold to a conviction, especially when it’s politically incorrect! Where is the real wisdom in this? Rader advocates compromising one’s personal integrity so as to not appear judgmental. Her statement supports the dilution of conviction. Without conviction, there is no faith. Without truth, there is no foundation – there no worship. Pull off the robes and call off church, God long left the room which is void of turth.
Truth is truth regardless of its (un)popularity. How can someone schooled in Biblical teaching advocate compromising one’s integrity when a position is unpopular? Christianity isn’t called to conform to the culture; we’re called to engage the culture. Those who went before us died for what they believed. Conviction was all they had at times. We’ve never been called to compromise truth, but to be the light and banner for truth. I’m concerned that Christian leaders are demonstrating inappropriate decision making processes void of conviction. I’m concerned that a Christian leader would advocate compromising your personal integrity for the sake of popularity. What a tragic example!
Where are the men and women who live by conviction who are unwilling to compromise the truth of Scripture? Where are the men and women who are willing to go against the grain of the culture? Where are the men and women who hold to truth unwaveringly? These are the men and women God is looking for to do His will.
“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.” – John D. McDonald
“Character is higher than intellect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson