One of the feature stories in today’s USA Today is a glowing feature about a homosexual couple getting married in Maryland, one of the states to legalize homosexual marriage in the last election. The article is also about changing attitudes in our nation. Chuck Raash, the author, states in the course of writing that 53% of Americans surveyed say they think that same-sex married couples should enjoy the same rights as heterosexual couples. Perhaps the statistic I found more interesting was that 36% of people surveyed have changed their mind about this issue during their lifetime. While those numbers are not further analyzed, the tone of the article would suggest that most, if not all, have changed from opposing to accepting it. One of the grooms summed up the “three stages” homosexuals often face when they reveal their preference to the people in their lives–“tolerance, acceptance, embrace” (USA Today, 1/9/13, A-1). I do not doubt any of the statistics in the article, nor do I disagree with the fact of such gradual change in thinking in people’s minds toward matters like homosexuality.
Yet, I would disagree with this man and those who support his lifestyle that such change is positive. Sin is very often met with such a gradual, changing attitude. The 18th Century English poet, Alexander Pope, is actually the originator of the thought from the afore-quoted groom. In “Essay on Man,” Pope said, “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen. Yet too oft, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace.” The idea, especially in context of the whole, is that people’s attitude toward sin soften through the attrition of exposure. That is, the more we are exposed to sin, the more comfortable and desensitized to it we become. When a sin is increasingly portrayed as positive and right and people stop speaking against it, that society inevitably moves from disapproval to embrace.
Isaiah speaks of people getting things spiritually backward, calling evil “good” and good “evil” (5:20). Consciences get seared (1 Tim. 4:2). They become callous, having “given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness” (Eph. 4:19). Someone may deny God’s existence or that the Bible is His inspired Word, but those who claim faith in both cannot consistently do so but tolerate, accept, or embrace what He says therein is sin!