My apologies for posting so rarely lately. Seems like life has been crazy, which I guess is always the case. I also find myself deeply reluctant lately to comment on current events in this forum. There are plenty of things to comment on, mind you -- I just don't feel led to plunge into the arguments. My sense is that Romans 1 is being lived out in our culture, and I'm not talking simply about the issues around same-sex marriage (for you Minnesotans). Rather, I think as the culture around us is divesting itself more and more of any kind of biblical worldview, we see God simply turning loose and saying, "You want to go your own way? Okay, I'll let you." Those who hold to a biblical worldview find ourselves more and more pushed to the margins.
While there remains a need for apologetics, I think the task of apologetics has changed. Instead of arguing with and trying to prove the culture wrong, I think the task for Jesus-followers today is to live out the alternative in a way that demonstrates to the world that Jesus is real. So we are to be engaged with culture not on the level of argument and protest, but on the level of compassion and initiative. This will be the only legitimate defense when we are accused of being "haters."
I had an interesting conversation about a year ago with a woman who had come a few times to Central for our food distribution program. She had been told that our church was hateful and exclusive because of our biblical beliefs about marriage. Amazingly enough, instead of believing it and avoiding us she decided to come and check us out. In our conversation she first asked about our stance on marriage and I explained briefly. Then she told me what she'd heard out in the community about Central, and how she had come to see for herself. "What I found," she said, "is that you guys are doing more for the community than any other church I know. You're sending out mission groups all over the world and you're giving away food and caring for the poor here. This church is not hateful at all."
That, I think, is the kind of apologetic that will make a difference from here on out.