The only Christians who are gonna get much secular airtime moving forward, it seems, are those whose lives look a lot like culture.
Christian blogger Glennon Doyle, known for her site Momastery, is in a new Secret ad with her wife, retired soccer player Abby Wambach, whom she married in May 2017, not long after learning her ex-husband Craig Melton had been cheating on her throughout their marriage, which up until their divorce had been the cornerstone of her blogging career.
Part of the reason Doyle has been given that kind of platform, in addition to her connection to Wambach, could be her sexual orientation. She is a Christian writer who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community.
Sure, there are other famous Christians in media: The first two who come to mind are Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame. I also think of actors like Chris Pratt, Candace Cameron Bure, and Letitia Wright.
None of those stars, however, with the exception of Cameron Bure, have directly spoken out about their views on homosexuality. Both Pratt and the Gaineses, though, have been criticized for attending churches that hold to mainstream interpretations of Scripture, which defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
And most recently, Pete Buttigieg, a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has taken issue with Christians who hold to a biblical understanding of marriage. The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has spent time criticizing Vice President Mike Pence, who holds to an orthodox view of sexuality.
“If you’ve got a problem with who I am, then your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator,” Buttigieg, who is Episcopalian, said in April.
Celebrity Christians who are willing to toss aside a difficult portion of Scripture — no matter what the topic — in order to fit more comfortably in their faith is a dangerous thing to do, yet it’s becoming increasingly common, and even necessary, for any person of faith looking for a moment in the spotlight.
But as believers, our aim shouldn’t be to look like the culture around us. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”
We should always be willing to have conversations about difficult issues, like sexuality and the definition of marriage, always seeking to understand the reason people are asking questions. If we separate these tough topics from the people wrestling with them, we have turned our unbelieving neighbors into our enemies, and that’s a far cry from the missional call Jesus has placed on our lives.
Even in those conversations, though, we should feel at home in uncomfortable situations. We should find rest in the fact that we are not the products of our culture, but believers in a God who remakes us and demands we lead countercultural lives.
The Bible promises that will lead to separation, discrimination, and at times, persecution. But we should — no matter how difficult it is at times — find comfort in that. It should remind us this home is just temporary.