In millennial-speak, the more accepted gay marriage becomes in society, the less likely young people want to identify with social institutions that oppose it.
That would make sense.
A closer look at the data, however, paints a different picture…………….
A). Mainline Protestants—United Methodist Church, American Baptist Churches USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Episcopal Church—take the most progressive positions on homosexuality. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which has ordained gay clergy for some time, made headlines in March when it jubilantly redefined marriage as a “commitment between two people.” The Episcopal Church provides a blessing for gay commitment ceremonies and ordains gay clergy as well, as does Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
RESULT: ……..decline in membership among all Protestant groups.
B). Historically Black Protestants—National Baptist Convention, Church of God in Christ, African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Progressive Baptist Convention—take a middle of the road position on average with most holding traditionally conservative positions on gay marriage and/or clergy. The others take officially undecided positions, leaving decisions up to individual ministers on a case-by-case basis; ministers may refuse to perform any wedding for any couple be they gay, straight, or otherwise.
RESULT:…….membership stayed essentially constant. (The most endangered group…see Revelation 3:15-16)
C). Evangelical Protestants—Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Churches of Christ, Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and Presbyterian Church in America—takes an absolutist stance against gay marriage and the ordination of gay clergy.
RESULT: …….between 2007 and 2014, this group is estimated to have grown by two million adherents.
CONCLUSION: The rewards afforded true discipleship are immeasurable, but so is the cost. It’s wildly unpopular to buck the gay tide; interpersonally unpleasant at best, economically and materially threatening at worst.
Many Christians, about two million of them since 2007, have opted for churches with the greatest cost. Perhaps because the fruit of the spirit they find in those churches is a pearl of great price, greater than any transitory cost they may pay in mortality.