On the Wrong Side of History?

A common argument against Christian moral positions that are increasingly unpopular (including, but not limited to: opposition to abortion,  gay marriage, sex outside marriage,  belief in hell,  and only one way to heaven, through Christ): "Get your head out of the sand; look around and see where things are clearly headed! You don't want to come down on the wrong side of history!" This argument comes not only from outside the church, but also increasingly from inside it.

But what does this really mean? That wherever history takes us is right? That the latest trends are always a good direction? That majority opinions are always correct, even when God says otherwise? 

When evil becomes popularly accepted in a culture, shouldn't we WANT to come down on the wrong side of history, at least current history? And given the larger picture of God's sovereign rule and the eventual New Heavens and New Earth, won’t history ultimately vindicate God’s Word and God’s Son? Won’t some argue that the Antichrist should be followed because we don't want to fall on the wrong side of history? The opposite is true—following whatever current trends of history crop up can put us on the wrong side of God's plan of redemptive history.

In other words, there’s a lot of sloppy thinking, failure to define terms, and unbiblical worldviews behind this question! It makes a better bumper sticker than a coherent thought, since the current historical drift of thinking is often contrary to God and at odds with His plan of eternal life on a New Earth where "righteousness [not popular opinion or court-of-nine-people's majority opinion] dwells" (2 Peter 3:13).

This discussion between Tim Keller, Don Carson and John Piper is really worth contemplating and sharing with others:

Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries