Well, it’s been a week since five lawyers on the Supreme Court decided they had “new insight”—their words—that no society since the dawn of man has had and declared same sex marriage a constitutional right.
Predictably, many Christians, as they have erroneously done throughout history, declared this the sign the end is near and that maybe Harold Camping was right after all.
Those who do so, though, have ignored the lessons of the past. Christians throughout history who have declared the end of the world near have a perfect record—they have been wrong every time. Those at the end of the first millennium who were convinced the end was near had a much better argument than those today, and not only were they wrong, but within fifty years the tide had completely turned.
Given all the postmortems coming from church people since Obergefell, I wanted to contribute to the discussion by offering some perspective. To get that perspective we need to go back to the first century, a time when Christians were thrown to the lions and burnt at the stake throughout the Roman Empire for refusing to worship pagan gods—a time when Christians had to meet in secret for fear of persecution.
I’m guessing if you told those Christians they could be immediately transferred to a nation where they would enjoy freedom of religion, worship without fear of persecution, and their churches would enjoy tax exempt status, but the nation allowed same-sex marriage, they would take that deal in a heart beat.
You see, those Christians—the ones who were being thrown to the lions, burned at the stake, and forced to worship underground—within three hundred years transformed the Roman Empire into a Christian empire that lasted more than a millennium.
History is fluid. Nations come and go.