“We need to recognize right up front that the defining feature of polyamory is not “deep relationships, care for others, hospitality, and community.” The defining feature is the desire to have romantic/sexual relationships with multiple people that you are not married to. If you remove that part—the part that is sinful—we aren’t talking about polyamory anymore. But it’s precisely that desire for sexually immoral relationships that Christians must ruthlessly put to death in the name of Jesus. That’s why telling Christians, “Hey, there something good in polyamory, don’t go too hard on it,” is pastorally disastrous.”
(Denny Burk) If you had asked me ten years ago whether evangelicals would ever give up ground on the issue of homosexuality, I would have said “no way!” Sure, the evangelical movement has always had its “progressive wing.” And yes, even the term “evangelical” has always been notoriously difficult to define….
But whatever “evangelical” means, everyone always seemed to understand that it doesn’t include those who would affirm homosexuality as consistent with God’s will. Everyone always understood that to affirm homosexuality is to affirm your way right out of evangelicalism. That was a clear line that anyone who wished to remain an evangelical was loathe to cross.
And there have been levers within the amorphous evangelical movement that informally identified leaders and authors who had crossed that line. Unfortunately, these checks on false teaching have not always been located in actual church authorities but in publishing houses and magazine editors. So the gauges have been imperfect to say the least, but nevertheless that is what they were.
WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE
So for example, there was a time when Brian McLaren was a well-known evangelical pastor. Time magazine identified McLaren in 2005 among the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, alongside the likes of Billy Graham, J. I. Packer, and Rick Warren. Evangelical publishing houses launched his books, and periodicals like Christianity Today often featured his writing. But all that changed in 2010 when McLaren’s book A New Kind of Christianity appeared. In that book, McLaren planted his flag in the ground to affirm homosexuality and to chide evangelicals for not getting with the program.