LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Are you paying attention to the response to Kirk Cameron’s recent remarks about gay marriage on Piers Morgan’s television program? Cameron did not come on the program to talk about homosexuality, and he even looked like he was trying to change the subject. But Morgan pressed him, and so Cameron answered.
When Morgan asked him about gay marriage, Cameron said, “Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”
Then Morgan asked him his views on homosexuality, and Cameron responded, “I think that it’s – it’s – it’s unnatural. I think that it’s – it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
What has been instructive to watch has not been Cameron’s remarks, but the response. Cameron is a Christian, and he merely summarized the 2,000-year-old teaching of the church that homosexuality is a sin (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-10). Nothing new here. Nothing has changed on that front.
What has changed dramatically over the last 10 years has been society’s attitudes about homosexuality. By and large, people are more and more open to homosexuality as a wholesome, morally unproblematic way of life. But this, too, should not be news to anyone.
What is instructive about this interview has been how openly vitriolic people have become to the idea of a Christian sexual ethic. It’s not just that people disagree with Cameron. No, they accuse him of engaging in “hate” speech and of being “homophobic.” I saw one public figure accuse him of being complicit in murder. The denunciations of Cameron have been relentless. They accuse Cameron, and those who agree with him, of being intolerant. All the while, they seem to be blissfully unaware of their own malignant intolerance of Christian morality.
Are we really at a place where a Christian who is pressed for his views on a matter can no longer state those views without being tarred and feathered? I think we are. Christianity hasn’t changed, but the moral consensus of our culture has.
“Heed instruction and be wise” (Proverbs 8:33). We are only at the beginning of a process that probably will not go very well for us in the long haul. The trend lines are going against us on this one. Unless something radical changes in our society, we’ll all be found guilty of hate speech simply for holding to the ancient faith that was once-for-all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Right now, we are being censured in the court of public opinion for our beliefs about human sexuality. The days will come when the consequences of those beliefs will become more severe. I find myself thinking more and more about what may come and praying for the grace to persevere in faithfulness to Christ when the going gets tough (James 1:12; Revelation 21:7).
I appreciate Cameron for being so bold. He is under fire now from many, but I for one am grateful for his courage to speak the truth. It may not be very long before all of us are called on to display the same resolve.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Denny Burk is associate professor of New Testament at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. This column first appeared at his website, DennyBurk.com.)