Juxtaposed in my mind at the moment are at least three different impressions: the recent SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage, the astonishing response of Emanuel AME to the Charleston massacre, and the stories I heard at a recent gathering for Lausanne Movement. I am prone to refract my observations through the prism of global urban mission, so allow me to share a couple of thoughts from that vantage point.
One has to do with the North American evangelical church’s strategy in reaching the culture, which has been largely anti-urban. The SCOTUS ruling signaled what would appear to be a stunning victory for the LGBTQ community and sexual revolution, and a resounding defeat for the evangelical church and its agenda for traditional sexual mores.
It is not my intention to enter into the fray of how one falls on which side of the line here. Nor do I wish to repeat the observation that should by now be all too obvious—USA is not the homeland of Christendom; it is a mission field.
For my present purposes, I simply want to point out that a vital strand in the narrative of the LGBTQ activists’ success, which may go unnoticed, has been their strategic focus on cities, coupled with a long history of the evangelical church’s abandonment of cities.
The City Serves as an Access Point
I noted in passing a couple of years ago, in a blog post arguing for the importance of urban mission, that the city is extremely influential in shaping the hearts and minds of the entire society. The city serves as an access point in a vast global network of resources, relationships, and ideas that connect other cities and their surrounding regions.