Popular and controversial progressive Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans died on Saturday. In mid-April, Evans had a severe reaction to antibiotics while battling the flu. Originally, she took a lighthearted response to the situation, joking on Twitter that she was going to fall behind on Game of Thrones. But a few days later, Evans began experiencing seizures and was put into a medically induced coma. As Evans was in the process of being brought out of the coma, her health took a turn for the worse on Thursday and she died Saturday morning.
In February, the United Methodist Church (UMC) voted to keep its traditional marriage stance. Last week, the UMC judicial council affirmed several of the measures which had been approved. The judicial council is the high court of the UMC. From their website, it says that they determine “the constitutionality of acts or proposed acts of the General, Jurisdictional, Central, and Annual Conferences.”
The result of the February vote was that the UMC would not ordain openly LGBT clergy, nor would they perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. This is something which some regions within the UMC were allowing as the American Methodist churches became more progressive.
Last week, it was announced that Kevin Hart would host the Academy Awards in February. But then some Tweets were unearthed that used the word “gay” in a negative light. The Tweets were several years old, but as a result of the backlash, Hart withdrew from hosting the awards show two days later.
I notice several theological themes in our current social discourse.
With modern political correctness, there are a dizzying amount of rules. And there is no consideration given to historical context or accepted norms. The rules are treated as universally binding. In June, an award named after famed writer Laura Ingalls Wilder was changed due to the fact that Wilder used terms for Native Americans that were common in her time and vernacular.
The modern PC movement reminds me of the Pharisees in the gospels. The Old Testament had laws, but then the Pharisees added laws on top of laws. So many rules and laws that it became impossible to follow. It was crushing. Jesus railed against the pharisees for placing crippling burdens upon people. Constantly changing language.