As most of you probably know by now, Sunday night at the Grammy’s, 33 couples, both homosexual and heterosexual, were married in a ceremony, in a faux church, with Queen Latifah presiding. With Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and others singing in the background, the couples exchanged rings. As the singing and ceremony ended, the crowd was on their feet with applause, cheers and tears.
Monday morning, article after article appeared on the internet, some approving, some calling it propaganda, some calling it anti-Christian and leftist. Many wrote about how they wished a music awards show could simply be about music. Christian responses ranged from being disappointed to calling the whole thing demonic.
I didn’t see the ceremony live, but I have since watched it. My immediate reaction: “Why are we surprised?”
For the better part of at least 40 years American Christians have been pulling out of society, creating our own…well…everything. We have our own bookstores, our own music, our own schools. Our own music awards show. Our own magazines, our own t-shirts. Heck, we even have our own dating websites and bumper stickers. We’ve done a marvelous job, intentional or not, of creating our own society so we barely have to enter secular society, if we don’t want to.
Why are we surprised that secular society becomes more secular when we Christians give up our participation in it?
Jesus tells us that we are supposed to be salt and light in the world. In New Testament times, salt was used to preserve and flavor food, especially meat. Imagine with me, now, that you stored the meat and salt separately. Would you be surprised to find that when you went back to the meat, it had rotted? Would it be the meat’s fault? Of course not. Why not? Well, the salt was never in the meat. Salt cannot preserve unless it is mixed in with what it is supposed to be preserving.
When do you notice a light’s brightness? Is it when it’s in a room with 15 other lamps? No. You notice a lamp’s light when it enters the darkness.
So it is with us. It borders on absurd for us Christians to forsake our calling in society, and then condemn society for not becoming more Christlike. John tells us that the Light entered the world and the darkness did not overcome it. Of course, he was talking about Jesus. But now it is our job to carry the Light into the world, and we can be sure that even now, the darkness will not overcome the Light. But if we never take the Light to the world in the first place, all that’s left is darkness. The darkness isn’t overcoming the Light. We Light-bearers have just left the darkness alone by itself.
We don’t blame a dark room for being dark. We blame the dead light bulb. Maybe it’s time for us to come alive again in the darkness, and shine.