The emerging climate on campus of micro aggressions, trigger warnings, and the construal of discourse as a form of violence is driving Christian professors further into the closet, the professor said. “If I said something that was construed as attacking a gay student, I could have my life made miserable with a year or two of litigation — and if I didn’t have tenure, there could be a chance my career would be ruined.” he said. “Even if you have tenure, a few people making allegations about someone being hateful can make a tenured professor’s life miserable.”
What is the line between prudently closing our mouths and closeting ourselves, and compromising our faith? Christians have to start thinking about this seriously. “We have to fall back to defensive lines and figure out where those lines are. It’s not going to be persecution like the older Romans, or even communist Russia, but what’s coming is going to cause a lot of people to fall away from the faith, and we are going to have to be careful about how we define and clarify what Christianity is.”
“If I were a priest or pastor, I don’t know what I’d advise people about what to say and what not to say in public about their faith.” There is a bitter irony in the fact that gays coming out of the closet coincides with traditional religious people gong back in.
On the political side, Kingsfield said it’s important to “surrender political hope” –that is, that things can be solved through political power. Republicans can be counted on to block the worst of what the Democrats attempt –which is a pretty weak thing to rely on, but it’s not nothing. “But a lot of things can be done by administrative order,” he said. “I’m really worried about that.”
And on the cultural front? Cultural pressure is going to radically reduce orthodox Christian numbers in the years to come. The meaning of what it means to be a faithful Christian is going to come under intense fire, Kingsfield said, not only from outside the churches, but from within. There will be serious stigma attached to standing up for orthodox teaching on homosexuality.
“And if bishops are like those Indiana bishops, where does that leave us?” he pointed out. “We have a problem in the current generation, but what I worry about is what it means to transmit the faith to the next generation.”
“A lot of us will be able to pass’ if we keep our mouths shut, but it’s going to be hard to tell who believes what.” said Kingsfield. “In my area, there’s a kind of secret handshake that traditional Christians use to identify ourselves to each other when we meet. Forming those subterranean, catacomb church networks is not easy , but it’s terribly vital right now.”
Kingsfield said he and his wife sent their children to a classical Christian school in their area. “I can’t tell you how happy that makes me,” he said. “Studying the past is so important. If you have an understanding of where we came from [as a culture], you can really see how insane we have gone.”
This is a time, for Christians to read about church history, including the lives of saints, and to acquaint themselves with the fact that the Christian church has actual roots, and teaching. It’s not about what you “feel” is Christian. Thats the way of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, which is the death of Christianity.
The most important question for Christian parents to ask themselves is do we have a vibrant church. Sadly, only a small number of places have them. “Our family is one,” said the Prof. “Our kids are growing up with good examples that they can look up to, and good older kids who hang on because they can stand together.”
It could come down to Endogamy. Endogamy means marriage only within a certain clan or in-group. “intermarriage is death,” Kingsfield said. “Not something like Catholic-Orthodox, but Christian-Jew, or high church-low church. I just don’t think Christians are focused on that but the Orthodox Jews get it. They know how much this matters in creating a culture in which transmitting the faith happens. For us Christians, this is going to mean matchmaking and youth camps and other things like that. It probably means embracing a higher fertility rate, and celebrating bigger families.”
The professor said we also have to band together behind religious liberty legal organizations like The Becket Fund and the Alliance Defending Freedom to name a few. We can’t assume others will support them. At the moment they are the ones out front fighting the good fight. And we have to make connections not only across denominational lines, but religious one too. That is, with Jews, Muslims, and Mormons.
It can’t be said loudly enough that yes, we have big theological disagreements, but the more we can stand together, the more likely we are to succeed, he said. “The more our struggle is framed as a specifically Christian thing, the more likely we are to lose in the courts.”
Why? Because of liberal culture, and its demonization of Christians as the “Other”. Pres. Obama will speak out for the Yazidis, but not for the Iraqi Christians. When he talks about the martyred Egyptians in Libya, he doesn’t acknowledge that they were killed for being Christians. It’s simply a fact that there is tremendous animus against Christians within the liberal culture, and that liberal elites will tolerate things from Orthodox Jews and Muslims that they’ll not tolerate from Christians. Small-o orthodox Christians had better grasp that the religious liberties of Jews and Muslims are our own religious liberties, and make friendships and tactical alliances across these boundaries.
More broadly, he believes all Christians must take a lesson from many Evangelicals and raise their children to know from the beginning that we are different from everybody else in this culture. We now live in a clearly post-Christian society, and Christian conservatives had better get that straight.
Right now the “live and let live” homosexual group is aging, but a new generation of Social Justice Warriors in their twenties and thirties are coming along. They don’t believe that they should respect anyone who doesn’t respect them. “Those people are going to be in power before long and we may not be as protected as we once where. I’m not saying that all is lost. Only that a wise man doesn’t wait for the flood to make sure his home is waterproof. We can’t possible tell what God has in mind for the Christians of America. Perhaps this is part of his plan for the end days that there will be a great falling away.
All I can say is that this article, though long, was very thought provoking. Seeing the position he holds, and the fact that he’s a practicing Christian makes me believe that what he’s saying has a large grain of truth in it. So, what do you think? Was getting this all down on paper a waste of my time? I know we have a lot of Christians out there. Please let me know what you think. This is the perfect chance to voice your feelings about what is coming for those of us who hold Christ as our Savior. You can’t win the battle without a well thought out plan. And lets admit it, we’re at war.