Clean water. After a large-scale natural disaster such as the recent tsunami, that’s one of the most immediate needs. It’s needed for drinking; for cooking; for washing dishes and cutlery; and for personal hygiene. Without clean water, refugee camps can be plagued by diseases such as infectious diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. 
Sure, other things will be needed down the road in the aftermath of a disaster. For example, building materials will be needed for reconstruction — eventually. And problems may well arise when we get to the “eventually” stage. For example, it could be that some types of building materials might be unsuitable in the particular environment, or even dangerous, and therefore shouldn’t be used.
But suppose the first relief workers to arrive on the scene were to spend their time fighting over the details of the building materials. They would be severely criticized, and rightly so, for neglecting the urgent, immediate priorities.
The church needs to take a lesson here. In recent decades, society’s faith in God has been hit by a spiritual tsunami, a tidal wave of unbelief in the secular culture. As we fight among ourselves about sexuality, it would behoove us to remember that as a result of this spiritual tsunami, thousands, and perhaps millions, of people lack the equivalent of clean water — a basic belief in God.
Some people affected by the spiritual tsunami pay lip service to the idea of God, but that’s about it. Others flatly reject the idea, sometimes even buying into the notion that to be a believer, you pretty much have to check your brains at the church door.
We don’t have to look hard to find such people. We find them in our schools and colleges; in our workplaces; in our neighborhoods; and even in our families.
As Christians, our number one priority ought to be restoring the basics of belief to these unfortunates. We need to demonstrate, with credible real-world evidence, that it makes good sense to acknowledge God’s existence and to put our trust in him. We need to do this before trying to indoctrinate the unbelievers with one or another specific set of dogmas. That can come later.
Some traditionalists disagree with this view; they seem to think that it’s all or nothing — that the only belief we should ever preach to anyone is a full-blown Nicene Christianity. They disparage the basics of belief as mere Rotary Club theology, or as BOMFOG, the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God. These traditionalists are grievously missing an important point: Most unbelievers will never make the leap to Nicene Christianity without first, as a necessary first step, getting comfortable with BOMFOG.
(Moreover, something very much like BOMFOG seemed to be good enough for Jesus — see his emphasis on the Great Commandment and Summary of the Law in Luke 10: “Do this and you will live.” But that’s an argument for another time.)
Let’s stop dissipating so much of our energy on our internal wars about sexuality. In the aftermath of society’s spirtual tsunami, let’s refocus on what’s really needed to help our unbelieving brothers and sisters; first things first.
 See Shewin B. Nuland, After the Deluge – A Report from a Relief Mission, The New Republic, Apr. 11, 2005, at 30, 31. Dr. Nuland, a surgeon, is the author of, among other things, How We Die.