January 04, 2005

2005 predictions (Or, blatant Carnival-bait)

(Wow, some original title, eh?)

I have been sitting out of the Christian Carnival for about the last month. Christian Carnival 51 (which I would abbreviate as "CCLI" except then I would have hordes of lawyer-toting Christian artists banging on my door) is being hosted at Weapons of Mass Distraction. This being the first carnival of 2005, the host asked contributors to consider making some predictions for the next year.

I'm certainly no prophet, or even much of a pundit. I pay far less attention to the news than even I would like to. No doubt about half my readers are going to think this is about the most naïve thing they've ever read, and the other half will think they're pretty unoriginal. So be it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? These are the sorts of stories I expect to see in the news over the next 362 days, extrapolating from what I have personally observed over the last year or so.

In the world:

  • The secular Scrooges get a lot of press every Christmas season for their attempts to squash every last vestige of Chrsitianity out of December 25, but it seemed to me that the exposure was a lot higher this year. For 2005, I predict a major backlash against the ACLU, Americans United for Separation, and their ilk, as Christians and others get fed up with being told to keep their beliefs out of the public square. Remember a few years back when a graduating student brought a lawsuit against the high school that resulted in an injunction against an invocation at the commencement ceremony? Another student who was to deliver a speech that evening staged a sneeze, and a number of students who were in on the stunt replied, "God bless you!" thereby circumventing the court order and thumbing their nose at it. That kind of backlash, orders of magnitude larger.
  • The election in Iraq will go ahead as scheduled, but it won't be pretty. Whatever the outcome, I predict a lot of violence leading up to, and during, the election, and afterwards, as insurgentsterrorists continue to attempt to destabilize the country.
  • At least one of President Bush's Cabinet or Supreme Court nominees is going to get Borked, big time.
  • Here at home, the passing of legislation legalizing same-sex "marriage" is a foregone conclusion, but at a price to the minority Liberal government. I expect to see at least a few defections from Paul Martin's Cabinet, and possibly a few members actually crossing the floor over this. This issue is going to weaken the Martin government. (This is also the first year in a long time in which a minority government tabled a budget. For those unfamiliar with a parliamentary system of government, this is the most important legislation of the year, and a defeat of the budget is a vote of no confidence in the government, forcing the dissolution of Parliament. To pass this year's budget, the Liberals need around 20 more votes than they have seats.)
  • Generally speaking, same-sex "marriage" will continue to be the main battleground on which the culture wars will be fought this year.

In the church:

  • If same-sex "marriage" remains a hot-button topic, then Bible-believing churches are going to start to examine their relationship with the state as the line between politics and religion becomes blurred from the secular side. Notwithstanding the fact that there are plenty of mainline churches more than happy to solemnize such a union, I see the possibility that someone will try to sue to compel a clergyman of their choice to do so. (Whether they will prevail is another question, particularly in Canada where supposedly the proposed legislation specifically exempts clergy from this obligation.)
  • Judging by the way the issue is heating up amongst the Godbloggers, the whole Emergent Church thing will start to look less like a fad and more like a full-blown theological controversy, as more people read and scrutinize what its leaders believe and stand for.
  • While Open Theism remains an important controversy, the furor that culminated in the controversy over Pinnock and Sanders in the ETS has largely died down. The justification/imputation/"New Perspective on Paul" controversy will cease to be an in-house debate between professional theologians and interested by-standers, and take its place as a front-burner issue.

But most importantly: "the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power" (Acts 19:20). This is, as it has always been, inevitable. Soli Deo gloria.