The battle for marriage is over – and conservatives lost. That's the frank assessment of one evangelical leader who says the fight now is to rescue people one at a time from deception.
The secular world was aghast recently when Franklin Graham tweeted out that homosexual presidential candidate and professing Christian Pete Buttigieg should repent from his immoral lifestyle. MSNBC's "Joe and Mika" were typical:
Mika Brzezinski: "Franklin Graham has called for presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to repent for being gay."
Joe Scarborough: "Oh, shut up. Just shut up, Franklin Graham, you are a disgrace."
A little later on in that same conversation, guest commentator Jon Meacham added this:
Jon Meacham: "These kinds of extreme statements – and they are extreme at this point, given where the country is on these issues. This is no longer a mainstream view."
Dr. Robert Jeffress of First Baptist-Dallas agrees with Graham that Buttigieg should repent. But he also agrees with Meacham that that truth is no longer culturally accepted.
"I think a proper reading of culture right now is to understand that we have lost the war over 'gay marriage,' at least in the culture," Jeffress tells OneNewsNow. "There is no reason to refight that war [or] to think that somehow we're going to make gay marriage illegal."
Has the time come for the church as a whole to take a more prophetic "repent or stand condemned" message to the culture? Not quite yet, says Jeffress.
"I think we need to certainly be conviction-driven, but we also need to be compassion-driven in what we say," he responds. "We're not trying to win an argument – we're trying to win another person."
Lay leader and religious liberty advocate Carmen Fowler LaBerge also said as much almost five years ago when the topic of same-sex marriage came up during an interview with the Washington Examiner.
"When I say that the battle's been lost culturally, I think that what we're recognizing is we have a to do a better job inside the church before the church starts trying to speak again to the culture at large on this issue," she stated.