A recent Pew Research survey revealed that 72 percent of those polled believe the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable.” Even among the 42 percent who oppose the redefinition of marriage, a majority regard it is inevitable. Strong Christians can even sometimes fall to prey to this kind of defeatism that assumes history is on an inevitable trajectory to normalize what Scripture calls sin and we are helpless to resist.
The Bible rejects notions of inevitability
The Bible takes a different view. “What is impossible with man is possible with God,” Jesus told his disciples (Luke 18:27). There are many instances in Scripture where the supposedly “inevitable” did not come to pass. Remember how Abraham lamented to God that it was inevitable that his heir would be a close relative and not a son, “O Sovereign LORD…You have given me no children, so a servant in my household will be my heir” (Gen 15:3). Abraham soon learned that God had a different plan, and that plan’s name was Isaac.
We see the failure of the ‘inevitable’ every day
Recently, the French defied the myth of inevitability. In the fall of 2012, 60 percent of French respondents supported same-sex marriage. Less than a year later, the support dropped to 39 percent. Robert Lopez, an associate professor at California State University, attributes the change to “education and broader public debate.” Lopez writes, “As the French knew more gay people individually and learned more about the ramifications of their legalized marriage on the community at large–especially children and poor communities overseas targeted for adoption and surrogacy–they liked the idea of same-sex marriage less and less.” (Read his article here).
Pro-life movement turns inevitability on its head
We only need to look at the pro-life movement in this country to see another example disproving the myth of “inevitability.” Many people assumed that once abortion was legalized by the Supreme Court in 1973, everyone would “get with the times” and moral qualms about abortion would disappear. However, statistics tell a different story. After the number of abortions peaked in 1990, there has been a steady decline. In 1996 a Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Americans called themselves pro-choice. Today it is 45 percent and young people are less likely to support abortion than older people.
Smoking habits are not inevitable
Consider also the former “inevitability” of smoking. Once the Marlboro man rode proudly across the TV screen and 40 percent of American adults smoked. Now only 20 percent do, and they usually aren’t proud of their habit. Smoking’s disfavored status is signaled by bans in public buildings, restaurants, hospitals, and even many outdoor areas.
Church history shows trajectories reversed that seemed inevitable
Alan Wisdom in his 6-part video, “What’s the Big Deal about Marriage?” notes that at one time polygamy, incest, forced marriage, and same-sex relations were behaviors widely accepted in ancient cultures. The witness of the church, through the power of God, changed the inevitable by transforming the culture thus marginalizing those behaviors by the time of the Reformation.
Scripture teaches that God’s word won’t return void. As we courageously, firmly, and lovingly speak God’s truth, it has the power to change men and women’s hearts and transform the culture:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
If you have not ordered Alan Wisdom’s 6-part video series, “What’s the Big Deal about Marriage?,” we will soon have additional copies available. A donation of $10 is suggested.
Other videos available are: “Is Jesus the Only Savior?” and “The Best of Luke” by Dr. James Edwards.
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