John Frame on the First Commandment

The first commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me."

Quote from
The Doctrine of the Christian Life: A Theology of Lordship, pg. 423-424:

It is remarkable that theological errors, including errors about God's being and actions, are often reflexes of movements in the secular culture. For example, the concept of libertarian free will has dominated philosophy (both process and analytical schools of thought) in the late twentieth century. Process theology and open theism followed in the wake of that movement. Secular feminism made great gains in the general culture in the 1960s and 1970s. Following that, theologians tried to show that they could be feminists too. Today there is a trend in theology to say that the scripture blesses homosexual relationships, following the secular movement toward homosexual rights. To a distressing extent, new theological movements follow fashionable secular trends. When a position become popular in secular politics and culture, it seems quite certain that some theologians will discover that position in the Bible and church tradition.

At this point, the first commandment becomes especially relevant. One must ask, Who or what are we worshipping: the God of Scripture or the fashionable trends of secular culture? In my judgment, for example, the Bible clearly declares homosexual activity to be sinful. Others have argued differently, and I try to take those arguments seriously. But I cannot help but feel that some are resolving these issues, not on the basis of honest exegesis, but rather because a pro-homosexual position is required in some circles for academic, political, and cultural respectability. It seems almost too coincidental that theologians began to question the traditional exegesis of these passages in the wake of the secular gay rights movement. I do agree that secular ideas may legitimately move Christians to reconsider their exegetical findings. But in my judgment the pro-homosexual exegesis of these passages is so unpersuasive that it is hard to take as anything other than a cultural reflex.

In many ways, Christians have an easy time in the modern West. For the most part, we aren't asked to die or suffer physically for our faith. But God does call us, on occasion, to hold unpopular beliefs. Can we not even do this much for Jesus? And if not, can we really claim to love God with all our heart? At this point, our theology becomes a first commandment issue. It is a question of whether we value cultural trends more highly than God.

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