The hysteria is mounting as the evangelical world wakes up to the reality of Tony Campolo’s apparent encouragement for the church to fully accept people in same-sex relationships.

The dividing line is being etched ever more fiercely, separating those who are determined to keep the true faith from those who have wandered astray in pursuit of an easy accommodation with the spirit of the age.

The latest luminary to enter the fray with guns blazing is Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In a piece on his website he demands “Which Way, Evangelicals?” and then challenges “There is Nowhere to Hide.”

Apparently homosexuality is the issue that is going to reveal who still stands with the timeless truth of the Gospel of Jesus. It is such a strange litmus test for orthodoxy. But it is the one upon which some evangelicals seem to have settled.

Mohler writes,

The real news of recent days, prompted by Campolo’s comments, was the statement made by David Neff, who was on the staff of Christianity Today from 1986 until his retirement in 2013, serving for some of those years as the magazine’s editor in chief. On social media Neff expressed his agreement with Campolo. Explaining his own position on the issue, Neff said: “I think the ethically responsible thing for gay and lesbian Christians to do is to form lasting, covenanted partnerships. I also believe that the church should help them in those partnerships in the same way the church should fortify traditional marriages.”

Now, that is a thunderclap – not so much because David Neff made that statement, but because David Neff was once editor-in-chief of Christianity Today.

But, thankfully for Mohler that bastion of fortress-evangelicalism, Christianity Today has distanced itself from its former editor in Chief. Mohler reports,

Responding only hours after Neff made his statement, current editor-in-chief Mark Galli issued an editorial on behalf of the magazine in which he registered surprise and disappointment at Neff’s newly declared position. “At CT, we’re saddened that David has come to this conclusion,” Galli wrote. “Saddened because we firmly believe that the Bible teaches that God intends the most intimate of covenant relationships to be enjoyed exclusively by a man and a woman.”

Galli also made the case that the vast majority of Christians around the world — 2 billion by his estimate — stand with 2,000 years of unbroken Christian witness of that definition of marriage. That view, Galli wrote, is “a consistent, nuanced, and, we believe, biblical working out of a theology of sexuality.”

It is curious and perhaps a bit disingenuous that Mohler, a Southern Baptist, would choose to find solace in the agreement of “the vast majority of Christians around the world” At least 1.2 billion of that “vast majority” are Roman Catholics with whom it is unlikely that many Southern Baptists would have much agreement on anything, even if that 1.2 billion were united in agreement with Dr. Mohler on homosexuality, which they are not.

But Dr. Mohler will take solace wherever he can find it and the faithful adherence to the truth by Chrisianity Today, certainly brightened a dismal day

Galli added: “We at CT are sorry when fellow evangelicals modify their views to accord with the current secular understanding on this matter. We’ll continue to be sorry, because over the next many years, there will be many who will similarly reverse themselves on sexual ethics.”

Dr. Mohler is pleased with the stand taken by Chritianity Today.

Those statements, drawn from the editorial, are clear, convictional, and timely. Galli put Christianity Today on the record as opposed to same-sex marriage and to the affirmation of same-sex relationships in the church.

But Mohler’s enthusiasm is dampened when Christianity Today, dares to entertain the possibility that there might still be some value in bridging the great gay divide and continuing in relationship across the barriers of disagreement. (see “The Great Gay Divide #4” tomorrow)