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Evangelical pastors are accepting their defeat in the public sphere of values and urging an adjustment to the times, NPR, MSNBC and Nashville Public Radio have reported, running headlines like "Southern Baptists Leaders Seek Softer Approach to Homosexuality"; Will Saletan even wrote a treatise on "The Collapse of Anti-Gay Religion." As evidence, most of these outlets pointed to the comments of one pastor, Jimmy Scroggins of Florida, who spoke at a recent Southern Baptist ethics convention."Let's stop telling Adam and Steve jokes," he said."Because we are a missionary people, we believe in calling sin what it is, but we don’t believe in making fun of people—you don’t ridicule people into the kingdom," he says.It's tempting to look for cracks in the evangelical worldview in this acknowledgment.And the bigger issue is the concept of a "culture war" itself.It provides vivid imagery: Warriors on behalf of two world views, fundamentally opposed, shouting at each other across a giant gulf of values and judgement.
Marriage is biblically circumscribed, a union created by God, not the state.
This doesn't have to be a "war," with one winner and one loser; people can have a variety of opinions that are fundamentally at odds, and Moore seems to believe that can happen with civility.
As he said at a recent discussion held by the Ethics & Public Policy Center: I don’t think that what we’re seeing is a move within evangelicalism ... I do think, though, that we’re seeing an era in which Christianity is able to be clear.
One pastor in Florida may be taking a stand against "Adam and Steve" jokes, but it's hard to tell what that means for any other church—or the overall denomination.
The question is not whether Southern Baptists will finally "admit defeat" and cede their theological views.