Pastor Don Green’s Series on Transgenderism

Transgenderism has come avalanching into our lives. There really is no area safe from it’s crushing force that wants everyone without exception to celebrate their agenda, if not by personal choice, then by threat of legislative penalty. Already, true women’s sports has been undone by hulking males claiming they are really females and a lobotomized culture who applaud their “achievements” setting new records. Even Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to work for the full rights and inclusion of the “T” across all areas of society.

How do we respond as Christians? Don Green, pastor of Truth Community Church, did a series of messages addressing that very topic. I’d encourage folks to take the time to work their way through his series on transgenderism. He lays a solid foundation in Scripture of how the Church must respond apologetically to this menace seeking to abolish human civilization.

The Bible and Transgenderism

Can We Redeem Queer Culture?

I tussled with a few of the folks from Revoice right before Easter weekend, particularly Nate Collins. He was bothered by a tweet I posted. I wrote,

The Hunky Jesus and Foxy Mary pageant, along with the Folsom street fair, drag queen library story time, and a number of other similar homoerotic, fetish themed events that take place around the world, is the core of what defines queer culture. Any individuals attempting to normalize same-sex attraction and queer culture within the Christian church may not like that reality, but it is the truth.

The one breakout session that Nate kept insisting I hear is the lecture called, Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure.  Leading up to their first conference in the summer of 2018, that was the most controversial workshop advertised because the original description stated that queer treasure will be brought into the new heavens and earth. It was described as,

For the sexual minority seeking to submit his or her life fully to Christ and to the historic Christian sexual ethic, queer culture presents a bit of a dilemma; rather than combing through and analyzing to find which parts are to be rejected, to be redeemed, or to be received with joy (Acts 17:16-34), Christians have often discarded the virtues of queer culture along with the vices, which leaves culturally connected Christian sexual minorities torn between two cultures, two histories, and two communities. So questions that have until now been largely unanswered remain: what does queer culture (and specifically, queer literature and theory) have to offer us who follow Christ? What queer treasure, honor, and glory will be brought into the New Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelation 21:24-26)?

My detractors implied that after hearing the talk and thoughtful reflection, I would not have made such an incendiary remark suggesting that Revoice leadership is bringing sexual perversion into the church. I took up the request and gave the session a listen. Are there virtues within “queer culture?” Is “queer culture” even a legitimate description? I wanted to provide my review for others to consider.

Disappointingly, the overall presentation was untethered from Scripture. I guess that should be expected, though. Sure, a few passages were mentioned here and there. For instance, Acts 17 and Paul’s confrontation with the philosophers on Mars Hill receives the most examination. In the same way Paul cited a couple of secular, Greek poets in his sermon, so too can Christian utilize positive elements of so-called queer culture.  But what God’s Word clearly says about homosexuality, relationships, marriage, and sins of the heart, was not even expounded upon. Instead, the presentation’s trajectory is set early on with affirming the secular definition of orientation as defined by the American Psychological Association.

After the introductory pleasantries, the bulk of the talk is a hagiographical retelling of the gay struggle in the United States. Gays are identified as “sexual minorities,” an Orwellian-style description that has floated throughout the vernacular of Revoice advocates and their Living Out counterparts in the UK for a while now.

Similarly to how other cultural minorities were mistreated and marginalized in early 20th century America, so too were homosexuals who had to remain closeted for fear of losing jobs, friends, and even family. The heavy promiscuity within the homosexual community is blamed on society forcing gays to live in the shadows. Gay literature, like The Price of Salt and Angels in America, is recommended to the audience as having helpful insight with understanding the gay experience. Christians can gain sympathy for the personal trials homosexuals have had to silently endure, often times alone.

Moreover, the history of homosexuality in America is white-washed and the sexual deviancy of the various activists groups and individuals within the movement is played down or dismissed altogether. Take for instance the Stonewall riot. The traditional gay narrative of oppressed homosexuals standing against bigoted police brutality is advanced, while ignoring the fact that the police were not raiding the establishment for violating sodomy laws, but because illegal drugs and alcohol was sold. Additionally, there is no mention of radical homosexual activists groups like GLSEN aggressively working to introduce homosexuality and other perversions within public school curriculum, nor the various explicit versions of gay manifestos posted online. Instead, what is defined as “gay culture” is the expressions of writers and artists and fashion designers. That is the queer treasure that should be filtered out and brought into the New Heavens and New Earth.

The talk concludes with exhorting churches and straight Christians to recognize the struggles of Christian sexual minorities. Rather than speaking about biological families and the importance of marriage, Christians need to think in terms of biblical families, those who have left biological families, fathers, mothers, and siblings, to find spiritual kinship within a chosen family that is following Christ. What Jesus told the disciples in Mark 10:28-30.

After listening to that presentation, I must confess that I am even more troubled by what is being brought into the church.

Reflecting on the talk I think what bothered me the most was the unspoken assumption that there is a legitimate group called “sexual minorities” and that Christians may identify with them. It’s just an unspoken given that individuals who struggle with the inordinate affections of homosexuality are “born that way” and must accept the reality that they may never change. And as a sexual minority Christian, a person must resign to the fact that he or she will remain celibate, only finding intimacy among the companionship of friends within the so-called shared community.

On top of that, friends, family, and parents also must accept them as they are, never assuming that change in desire can happen and certainly never pressuring them to change. Instead, loved ones need to involve themselves in their struggle, realizing that these sexual minorities have unique needs and produce their own special culture. Instead of looking to change them to like girls or boys, Christian friends should seek to understand and embrace the best of what queer culture has to offer, like creativity, interior decorating, and sharp clothing.

However, the problem with the notion that the best of what queer culture has to offer is vibrant creativity that will provide wonderful treasure for the kingdom of God is that it’s a stereotypical myth that gays own the market on creativity. Artistic expression has never been exclusively a gay culture thing. Bach, for example, is one of the greatest composers the world has known and he wasn’t gay. The same can be said about hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals throughout history.

It truly is a despairing outlook that was presented. I would even go so far as saying Christless. Jesus doesn’t genuinely save souls and redeem lives. There isn’t any newness of life, freedom from sin, or a new heart that is promised in the New Covenant. There is no hope that a man or woman can obtain healthy, natural sexual desires for someone of the opposite sex. Instead of putting off sinful habits and desires and putting on the new man in Christ that is robed in holiness, those struggling with homosexual desire should muck through the sewer that is “queer culture” attempting to redeem various facets and adapting them to Christian living.

Tragically, I believe we are witnessing a similar pattern emerging in the church that happened with Israel in the book of Judges. Rather than casting out the Canaanites from among them, Israel began to befriend them, eventually giving their sons and daughters to them in marriage. Those serious compromises became a snare for Israel. It led them to idolatry and covenant unfaithfulness and eventually to God’s judgment. The more the Christians adopt worldly thinking regarding sexual sin, the quicker we move to having Christ write Ichabod across the doors of our churches.

Where Faith Journey Theology Takes Us

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A Rant

I’m gonna probably set off all sorts of “trigger warnings” with the pearl clutchers, but so be it.

During the last couple of weeks, it has been revealed that Hillsong Church, NYC, has a festering community of sodomites actively participating in their congregation.

While church officials state that no homosexuals serve or have served on their pastoral staff, the two men at the center of the Hillsong controversy claim to have an active “ministry” at the church including opening their apartment to host Connect groups, which I take to mean the Hillsong version of home Bible studies or small fellowship groups.

A day or so after I had tweeted a few stories about those revelations, I got into a bit of a back and forth with a fellow who says he attends Hillsong NYC. He had responded to something I had tweeted affirming that no homosexuals held any leadership positions at the church. I responded by asking him for clarification

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I then asked him specifically about homosexuals actively participating at the church, and his responses I thought were rather troubling, especially when he mentions Hillsong’s view of church membership and salvation in general:

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I shouldn’t really be surprised with his responses. They demonstrate how a diseased theology has infected the Christian church in America to the degree that would allow outrageous perversion like sodomy and same-sex marriage to be considered a “journey” and Christians willing to tolerate it for the sake of loving others.

As I was pondering that whole twitter exchange, I thought of at least three major problem areas that would lead believers to tolerating faith journeying sodomites actively involving themselves in a local church.

First is what really amounts to a default Arminianism that has saturated red-state Evangelical churches. Jesus died for ALL men without exception, what would be the idea of the grace of God already paying for their sins past, present, and future. That autosoteriology bubbles about in nearly every church across the land and permeates what really amounts to our pseudo-evangelistic efforts. Jesus has died for everyone and it is left up for the person to appropriate Christ’s death. Hence, churches should be welcoming to sinful individuals of all shapes and sizes and vices because they need to hear about Jesus.

Everyone is a sinner, so pushing away any visiting sinners from churches because Christians are all smugly self-righteous and don’t want filthy sinners around blocks their opportunity to encounter the Gospel.

It is an extremely man-centered, atheological philosophy.

Secondly is the mush-minded belief that mass popularity, bustling activity, and big crowds means there is a move of God afoot. Activity and big crowds never equates spiritual things. Those characteristics equate a championship football game, not an awesome church service. Churches should seek godly holiness among the members. Not large, writhing crowds of youth undulating to sappy pop rock music and blinding light shows.

A side effect to that mindset is an unquestioned, ready acceptance of any new person who begins attending the church and showing interest in “helping out.” A person who is hardly known is allowed to lead worship, host Bible studies, direct small discipleship groups. Church leadership could not be any more foolish.

Thirdly is what would be a mere Christianity apologetics that attempts to skin down the Christian faith to the bare bones of some heart warming mental assent regarding Jesus of Nazareth. It is a technique designed to be absolutely unoffensive to sinners so as to at least win them over to hearing your life story about what Jesus means to you. In order to be unoffensive, awkward topics like a person’s sinful habits and wrong-head life choices and God-treasonous, self-destructive worldview are often avoided at all costs lest the sinner shuts down and turns off.

Though it is true that not all apologetic-minded believers go as far as Hillsong with allowing open homosexuals free reign to participate in church activities, taking a mere Christianity approach to defending the faith and evangelism more times that naught leaves sinners in a worse state than when the began attending church. They are now under the impression their sin is not that big a deal with God and there is no hurry to make any attempt to change. If no one around them at church seems the least bit alarmed, why should they be?

Now Hillsong NYC insists they affirm the biblical teaching of marriage and do not in any way affirm same-sex marriage. At the same time, however, the gay couple at the center of all this controversy state rather emphatically, at this point anyways, that they plan to stay at HNYC and fight those backward, fingerwaggers who are attempting to wreck their faith journeying experience.

But I’m actually of the opinion that a more insidious plan may be at play here. I think the underground gay culture at HNYC have it in their minds to change the church for the better. Into a so-called “conservative” but gay-affirming church. That could very well happen because all three of those factors I noted above are present: low view of man’s sin, excitement equals God’s spirit, and the tolerant, mere Christianity evangelism. The homosexuals will exploit those factors to eventually pull that church away from God and into apostasy, and Hillsong’s misguided toleration seems content to let them.

The Bible and Homosexuality

After the Supreme Court decision, Pastor Don Green of Truth Community Church in the Cincinnati area, was one of the first pastors to walk his congregation through the subject of homosexuality in a conference devoted to the topic.

Don used to be our boss at Grace to You until he was called to pastor a church plant. It originally met in the Creation Museum and now they have their own building.

The Conference messages can be downloaded in two areas currently.

At their Sermon Series archive and their Conference archive.

The messages are bold and clear and are a much needed encouragement coming from a solid man of God like Don.

Here is the list in order,

1. Refuting the Five Myths on Homosexuality

2. Why Homosexuality is Wrong

3. Scripture, Shellfish, and Homosexual Sin

4. Addressing the Heart of Same-Sex Attraction

5. The Future of the Church and Homosexuality

I believe readers will be exceptionally blessed by his thoughtful, caring, and convicting presentations.

Defining Deviancy

By way of introduction, I originally wrote this post during the prop. 8 debate in California. At the time, I got into a bit of a back-and-forth on a local discussion board with some crabby young progressives on the subject of gay marriage. That exchange led to a number of those commenters challenging my views of homosexuality and how I argued against it. I took a number of their key responses and wrote the following post

In light of the recent SCOTUS decision, I thought I would repost it.

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I have been receiving a bit of push back from some young progressive bloggers in my town. They have taken great umbrage with my perspective on homosexuals and homosexual behavior. All of my views are walking contradictions of inconsistent strawman argumentation, or so they say.

In other words, I’ve been receiving lots of that famous progressive openness, tolerance, and hugs.

Allow me to respond to some of the love.

It’s a great big universe out there, and I can’t believe that any higher power wouldn’t want his/her/it’s children to be completely open and accepting of each other without judgment.

I am always surprised how those who are non-practicing Christians (or any religion for that matter) have a more robust knowledge of theology than the actual Christian being criticized. Yet such is a typical response from our general secular society who think matters of religion and faith are to be simply equated to a person’s favorite ice cream.

“I can’t believe it! You rocky-road people are so narrow-minded and bigoted. You know there are other people who don’t like rocky-road and what about those people allergic to nuts? You bigot.”

When they speak of judgment, they often resort to the one text they are for sure to have memorized: Judge not lest you be judged. As if citing that verse trumps all arguments.

Sure. I’m to conclude that God doesn’t want us to offer any value judgment or exercise any sort of moral discernment when it comes to matters He has actually addressed in the Bible. The expression of human sexuality and the sin of homosexual sex being one of those major issues He has addressed.

To assume that homosexuality is a choice of deviants and sinners is absolutely preposterous and tells me that those who do adhere to that ideal obviously haven’t really taken the time to know homosexuals enough to understand that it’s not a choice.

Here we get to the heart of debate: what defines deviant behavior.

It’s believed homosexual behavior should never be criticized as “deviant behavior” because homosexuals are oriented naturally to have a same-sex attraction. It’s their personal, internal appetite to have a same-sex attraction. They can’t help the way they are born.

In the mind of the homosexual activist, telling homosexuals they need to change their desires would be like telling a black person he needs to become a Chinese guy. Or in this case, telling a heterosexual man to stop being attracted to women and start being attracted to men. It’s not an issue in which a person can merely cut his hair and put on a suit and tie. We’re dealing with a person’s genetic, mental make-up.

But that is where the defense of homosexual orientation runs up against serious problems, because that argument is utterly subjective.

Allow me to raise the specter of pedophilia.

As soon as I did with my progressive detractors, they angrily renounced my comparison. But I am not comparing all homosexuals to pedophiles. I’m addressing orientation; and there’s a difference. Why is the pedophile’s orientation any less of a legitimate, internal sexual attraction as the same-sex orientation?

Honestly?

The pedophile’s orientation is labeled deviant even by homosexual activists. But why? Just because they are sexually oriented toward teens and pubescent children? I am in no way advocating for NAMBLA, and again, I am not saying all gays are pedophiles, but why do we condemn their “orientation” just because it is directed toward children, and not the orientation of adult men directed toward other men?

One is considered a deviant disorder, the other is not. The pedophile’s “orientation” is a “disorder,” but a man who seeks to surgically alter his body to be a woman is not a “disorder” but a minority in need of equal rights protection? Really? A person may retort, “But it’s his choice to have a sex change, the child doesn’t have a choice!” But is it a good thing for our society to allow a person to physically harm him or herself in such a way because it’s his or her choice?

They most certainly are unrelated. You simplify your theological philosophy by lumping those who are not heterosexual in with wonton [sic] hedonists, sexual deviants, those with sexual obsession and other disorders that may manifest themselves in obsessive sexual behavior.

I am curious how one distinguishes the concept of “obsessive” from the idea of “orientation.” As a red-blooded, all-American teenager, I was sexually obsessed with girls, yet I didn’t consider such an obsession a “disorder” requiring psycho-therapy. Of course, that obsession never “manifested” itself in any illicit behavior. Believe me, I really, really wished for it to have manifested, but usually other factors prevented it from taking effect, particularly my absence from the heavy drinking parties put on by my peers. But my obsession was still there, and was still extremely real.

Point of order – pedophilia involves forcing sexual acts on individuals who are not old enough to consent.

Well, to be more precise, pederasty involves a sexual relationship between an adult individual and a younger individual, usually a teenager. It is often falsely assumed that sexually active children are not old enough to consent. But what does age have to do with consent? Teens consent to lots of different sexual activities in our modern society. In fact our glandolatrous popular culture encourages such consensual activity. The lack of cultural awareness on the part of my accusers is amazing to behold.

Do you consider a 14 year old sophisticated? I certainly don’t. I know quite a few 14 year olds who think they are, but it’s certainly not the case. You’re attempting to equate the definition of marriage with the definition of personhood, which deals with the ability to reason and process as a mature adult.

I had suggested that if what constitutes the act of pedophilia is the legality of the “child’s” age, then does lowering the age of consent now take away the stigma of pedophilia?

Contrary to what my detractor states here, there certainly are sophisticated 14 year olds out in the world who willingly have sexual relationships with older adults, and to deny this fact again reveals a woeful lack of awareness of our youth culture. Spain has their legal age of consent set at 13, where as Austria at the age of 14. Those two countries certainly believe 13 and 14 year olds are mature enough to reason and process as a mature adult so as to have a sexual relationship with a person twice their age.

But then the objector shifts the goal posts from being about age to being about the ability to reason and process as a mature adult. This is another subjective objection. I believe I can make a rather compelling case that Lindsay Lohan lacks the ability to reason and process like an adult. In fact, the entire celebrity culture whose disastrous personal lives are played out before the public in the magazines at the check-out lines at Wal-Mart lack the ability to reason and process like adults. But they certainly can consent to sexual relationships, which are often the focus of their disastrous personal lives.

Nothing like making the issue of people who are of the same gender about nothing more than the act of sex. I would ask Mr. Butler based on these assertions are you only married for the purpose of sexual intercourse? It is certainly what you are boiling down those who are of the same gender and wanting to be married to be all about. Keeping them from marrying does not somehow eliminate the sexual acts of homosexuality which is really what you are railing about.

Honestly? Yes, I did get married for the purpose of have sexual intercourse. Why is that a bad thing? I fear God and He has specifically told us how and when we as His creatures are to engage in lawful and healthy intercourse: Within the bonds of marriage as He has defined it between only one man and one woman.

The comment implies people “marry” one another for more than just sex. Such things as companionship and love. Certainly that is true. I love the companionship I have with my wife. But let’s be frank: companionship and love can be experienced without the need for a sexual relationship. Is the relationship of a married couple unable to experience sexual intercourse due to physical limitations make their companionship and love for one another any less meaningful without the sex?

So yes, it is the homosexual sex I am railing about, because let’s face it, it is the same-sex sexual attraction and activity that defines what homosexuality is, and it is what God has specifically marked down as sinful as I have argued in more detail with this post.

A Christian Response to the Parents of a Transgendered Kid

Dear Mrs. McLaren,

My name is Fred Butler and I recently read your open letter to Christians posted at Huffington Post. I am one of those “Christians” you attempt to shame regarding how your gender confused son has allegedly been treated.

Honestly, I am not someone who frequents HuffPo. I was linked to your article from a different page.  I don’t visit HuffPo primarily because many of their posts are on topics I find sophomoric and immature, if not troubling and at times demeaning. For instance, the day I read your letter, linked in the sidebar was an article called “19 Women on the Best Things about Their Boobs.”

Really?

I hope you can appreciate the irony of your letter demanding Christians respect your transgendered kid’s sexual orientation linked along side another article sexually objectifying women’s breasts. And that on a leftist website that pretends to champion women’s rights. It’s that kind of reporting that turns me away from the website in the first place. I would imagine most God-fearing Christians you intend to reach with your letter believe the same way as I do, so more than likely you’re merely preaching to the choir with your open letter. Judging by the fist pumping cheerleaders in the comments that sounds exactly like what is happening.

But let me move on.

Before I begin, It may be helpful to clarify what it is a Christian actually believes. When I read your little jab about “buffet-style Christians,” I am working from the assumption you have been told that belief in Christian doctrine, particularly doctrine that defines human sexuality, is often maligned with misinterpretations from cherry-picked passages. If that is what you think, you have been sorely misinformed.

But please forgive me if I am being presumptuous. You may very well know standard Christian theology and doctrine. However, it is just in my experience with individuals critically hostile toward Christianity, especially individuals like yourself willing to publish an open letter taking us to task for our convictions, that I find those folks woefully ignorant when it comes to the Bible or basic Christian teaching. They tend to burn strawmen built from secondhand critical sources that are just as equally ignorant. Rarely have I encountered a critic writing open letters against Christians who accurately reflects what it is they believe. I sincerely get that sense from you when reading your letter.

As a Christian I believe that God exists and that He revealed Himself through His prophets and apostles in the pages of Scripture. I believe Scripture is God’s Word and that means it is infallible and inerrant in all that it records with both history and spiritual truth. (Yes, I realize the internet is filled with cranks and other self-appointed “experts” who have multi-paged websites supposedly refuting my assertion about the Bible, but a serious evaluation of their charges will easily debunk them).

I further believe Jesus was the Second person of the Trinity come in human flesh. He lived a life obedient to God the Father, was predestined by God to be crucified at the hands of both the Romans and the Jews, and then rose again to life three days later to secure eternal salvation for a redeemed people.

I believe all men and women without exception are born in sin, separated from God. That does not mean that all people are entirely given over to wicked depravity, but that their core, spiritual being is naturally hostile toward God and His law. All men are sinners, but they all may not live as sinfully as they could.

I also believe the Bible has a lot to tell us about sexual matters. God is our creator and His original creative design was one man and one woman for marriage for life. Jesus Christ, who is God and thus our creator, affirms in the four Gospels what Genesis 1 and 2 teach us about men and women and marriage. In fact, the NT writers also affirm the same truths. I also completely recognized that the entrance of sin into the world ruins God’s original intent with men, women, sex, marriage and the family. That is evident by the history of abuse, sexual sin, adultery, divorce, fornication, and  yes, homosexual behavior.

Now, coming back to your letter.

You express anger with the name calling and ugly words people have thrown your way regarding your transgendered child. You go onto complain how the worst culprits in your mind are Christians, because Christians are supposed to be loving, compassionate, and non-judgmental to the “least of these” misunderstood people like you and your family, particularly your child.

But given what I just outlined above with basic Christianity, do you understand why Bible-believing Christians would not be so “accepting” of your life choices you are encouraging with your child? In order for me to be “affirming” of a boy becoming a girl, I would have to deny the fundamental truths of Scripture and change the theological commitments of my Christianity.  Not only that, I’d have to deny the fundamental truth of reality that a man cannot become a woman no matter what he “feels.” The Bible is only affirming the truth of reality, and I’m sorry, but those are truths I will never relinquish.

As I pointed out above, you ridicule the “buffet-style Christians,” but why am I, the guy who affirms what has been the conviction of the historic, Christian faith regarding sexuality for the last 2,000 years, the so-called “buffet-style Christian,” whereas the new revisionists who want the Bible to openly affirm homosexuality are not? They are the ones who are truly picking and choosing the verses they want to highlight, or ignore, rather than taking the Bible as a unified, divinely inspired whole in the entirety of all 66 books.

But I think most Christians are disturbed that you want us to accept a transgendered NINE YEAR OLD! Even more to the point, you recount the story of when your son was five, he pitched a fit in the car one day crying that he was really a girl and after a little bit of soul searching and visits with therapists, you have been encouraging your son to be a girl ever since. If he is now nine years old, that means this transgendered fantasy has been going on for like FOUR YEARS! Can you not understand how any sane thinking person, not just Christians, see this as madness! I as a father of five children myself would even say it is parental abuse!

Mrs. McLaren, I honestly think the Christians you are encountering who have a gut-wrenching aversion to your son’s situation are responding not out of hate because they think your family is “icky,” but out of love and concern.  You have only willfully blinded your eyes to the truth.

Ma’am, your son, no matter how much he may protest and claim he “feels” like a girl will never be a girl. He will never have a uterus or ovaries. He will never ovulate and have a period. He will never experience menstrual cramps or what it is to be pregnant and birth a baby. To cultivate his delusion will only serve to set him upon a course of self-destruction.

What is more, you have been feeding this lie for FOUR YEARS with a son who is now NINE YEARS OLD! He hasn’t even reached puberty yet! And all because he had an episode once when he was five insisting he was a girl. It never once occurred to you to tell him he is wrong? To actually pursue therapy? Instead you start calling him a “her,” telling everyone he is your “daughter,” and dressing him like a living doll? What on earth!?

What I find distressing, however, is that you are engaged with perpetrating what I consider to be the cruelest emotional and mental abuse upon your son and I, the Bible-believing Christian who believes God has established marriage between only a man and a woman and that people can never swap genders no matter how they “feel” about it, is the bad guy. Even more grievous is that our society pats you on the back and applauds your abuse. It truly is a twisted world we are living in these days.

Now. I understand what I wrote is blunt. You are more than likely disgusted with me right now. I am nothing more than another hater cursing your family. I also know there will probably be people coming to you later after they read this letter apologizing to you and telling you that I “don’t represent true Christianity” or that I am a fundamentalist that can be ignored or waving me off in some dismissive fashion.  When they do, know that they are liars and do not love you. Contrary to what you may be thinking about me right now after reading this, I do care for you. I am grieved for your situation and indignant that no one has apparently taken the time to outline the truth of the matter to you.

My prayer is that God’s Spirit will break through to the hearts of your family and bring you to salvation. He can do such a miracle. Your son does not have to be enslaved to his fantasy like he is now. That is the reason Christ came to dwell among us. He, being the God-man not only restores our sin broken relationship with God the Father, but He redeems people to live life as God intended to live. Christ can redeem your son as He can redeem everyone in your family. He is a saving God who grants not only eternal life, but deliverance from sin and inordinate affections.

Beyond Fabrication: Putting the Vision into Revision

Most of the folks in my orbit of friends, acquaintances, and blog readers, are quite aware of the debate on theonomy that pastor JD Hall had with Joel McDurmon of American Revision, I mean Vision, ministries. Lots of drama swirled around in the lead up to the debate and certainly afterward.

Much has already been said on podcasts, written in blog articles, and posted on social media regarding who it was that won the debate. It isn’t my desire to add my analysis on top of the already growing pile of opinions. The debate and the Q&A are online so people can watch both and draw their own conclusions. All I will say is that I think the theonomists crowd, who typically like to pride themselves as being big, bad debaters, were unprepared for JD’s presentation and how their champion advocate stumbled over it.

While I will leave the more detailed postmortems to other more capable commenters, I wanted to address one thing Joel mentioned at the finality of his presentation that caused me to do a double-take. He concluded by citing a handful of gotcha quotes from non-theonomists he claims ultimately agree with his views regarding the death penalty set forth in the Mosaic civil law.

He begins this one final citation starting at the 2 hour and 22 minute mark. He states how two men, when discussing homosexuality, say that if the American judicial system were to apply God’s punishment for homosexuals, they would be executed. One of the men, Joel’s explains, continues to say how the punishment would equally apply to adulterers and rebellious children. And then comes the big reveal when Joel says how John MacArthur and Phil Johnson agree with the theonomist’s view of civil punishment, not JD Hall and the non-theonomists.

Dunn, Dunn, Duuuuuunnnn!

trollLeaving aside Joel mistakenly identifying Phil and John as “Reformed Baptists,” the problem with those scare quotes is that Joel conveniently left off telling his audience where he found them, because if anyone would read the transcript, he will see that John’s comments were surgically revised. He was not promoting some form of inconsistent or even stealth theonomy on the part of Phil and John.

Those quotes came from a couple of interviews Phil Johnson did with John MacArthur on homosexuality called, Answering Key Questions About Homosexuality originally released in 2004.

Immediately before Joel’s particular citations, John talks about the three fold division of the Mosaic law into moral, civil, and ceremonial. He makes a clear distinction between the three and explains how the moral law, which reflects God’s eternal, moral character, transcends the civil and ceremonial divisions of the law in both the OT and the NT.

He then states,

…[R]emember, Israel was a theocratic kingdom, it wasn’t a democracy, it wasn’t a dictatorship, it was theocratic … The structure of the Kingdom, that is the law of the Kingdom, the constitution of theocratic kingdom was the Law of God. And so naturally whoever it was that enforced the Law of God would be the government, the authority. And it would be the priests who knew the Law of God and represented the Law of God who therefore were the officers of the theocratic kingdom … So in this theocratic kingdom, God established penalties for violations of His moral law. And this was a model of a perfect environment, a theocratic kingdom … Thirty-five different moral violations were punishable by death. One of them was homosexuality. Just to spread that a little bit, another one was disobeying your parents.

Following that paragraph comes the comment Joel cites from Phil about how execution for disobeying our parents would certainly cut down on the number of delinquents. But then Joel cites John as saying that if we were to do what was right in America, we would execute homosexuals, and he turns that comment into John unwittingly agreeing with his theonomic visions.

John, however, specified his comment. He states,

The tragedy is, however, the theocratic kingdom which God originally established began to disintegrate very early, didn’t it? I mean, it didn’t take very long. When God established His law, it wasn’t long until the people began to fall into sin, they made all kinds of promises that they didn’t keep. They disobeyed the Ten Commandments all over the place … And what you had then was an unwillingness on the part of those who were responsible for the theocratic kingdom to enact the civil punishments. And because there were no punishments for these kinds of sins, they flourished everywhere, adultery, fornication, immorality, homosexuality, baby sacrifice, offering your children to Molech, etc., etc., etc.

And since God then removed Himself from the nation Israel, there has never been another theocratic kingdom. Okay? And that’s why today the kingdoms of this world, and Jesus said the kingdoms of this world are different than My kingdom, do not punish sin the way God prescribed it. And so the question might be asked, “If we did what was right in America, what would happen to homosexuals?” And the answer is, they would be executed. But before you rush to make that law, that would also happen to adulterers and juvenile delinquents, those who disobeyed their parents. And if that had been the case for the last 50 years, this room would be a lot emptier than it is now. But that doesn’t change God’s standard. And in the end, folks, God gives a reprieve here and God doesn’t give every sinner what he deserves when he deserves it…

Note my emphasis. John wasn’t saying the punishment of death was unjust. Not even JD was saying that in the debate. The punishment meted out by civil magistrates, however, is applicable in a theocratic kingdom ruled by God. And seeing that a physical, national, theocratic kingdom currently does not exist yet because Christ has yet to come to establish it for a 1,000 years, we don’t execute people for the sin of homosexuality. At this time and place, during this *GASP* dispensation, there is a reprieve that God grants. But every person who violates God’s moral law will eventually get what he deserves in the end. That’s the key.

In fact, John goes on to say,

So it’s not a pretty sight when men try to turn an earthly government into some kind of reflection of the divine kingdom. There will be that kingdom and when will that come? When Jesus returns and establishes His earthly kingdom. And that is promised in the Bible. The kingdom will come and the Lord will rule with what kind of rod? A rod of iron, He says, and at that point sin will be punished the way God has always deemed that it should be punished, swiftly and on the spot. And those sins which are worthy of that kind of punishment will receive it, no matter what the sin is, whether it’s homosexuality, or anything else, from the very outset God has provided forgiveness, salvation and the hope of eternal life to those who repent and embrace the gospel.

And he closes out by saying,

I just want to say that 1 Corinthians 6 says, “Such were some of you.” You were homosexuals, you were effeminate, you were adulterers, you were liars, it goes on and on, but you were washed and you were cleansed. And that’s what the Lord Jesus offers. We’re not trying to bring damnation on the head of homosexuals, we’re trying to bring conviction so that they can turn from that sin and embrace the only hope of forgiveness and salvation for all of us sinners, and that’s through faith in Jesus Christ.

Thus, contrary to McDurmon’s assertion that John and Phil inadvertently support his theonomic view of the civil, judicial punishments prescribed in the Mosaic law, He does no such thing. Though he affirms the death penalty for sinners violating God’s moral law, John recognizes that the civil magistrates executing someone for violating that law isn’t the norm for human governments at this time. That is a radical departure from theonomy.

Biological Disconnect

cakeLGBT Orientation and Evolution

LGBT advocates fail to recognize, let alone simply acknowledge, the profound disconnect that exists between the reality of biological nature and the homosexual/transgender lifestyles they promote.

During the social media firestorm over the suicide of Josh Alcorn, who claimed his Fundamentalist Christian parents forbade him from embracing his transgenderism, I got into an exchange with a transgender advocate on twitter — where all serious public debate takes place these days.

Our exchange stretched over the day, but here is the core ideas I brought up with my opponent.

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Notice that my tweeter antagonist never interacted with the point of my argument. The person initially linked two or three online articles in which “experts” allegedly “proved” transgenderism is a biological, natural occurring orientation in some folks. Hence concluding we must accept and celebrate who the person claims he or she is. So if a man says he’s a women, feels like a woman, wants to dress like a woman, no one is to say otherwise. To question the person’s sanity would be cruel, hateful, and harming of the person.

I simply pointed out that similar “experts” have claimed pedophilia is also a biological, natural occurring orientation in some folks. I even linked an article. Rather than dealing with my point, the reaction was to deflect, claiming it is a “red herring,” and that pedophilia harms others and is illegal.

But we are not talking about the legality of pedophilia. It may very well be illegal, and it certainly is harmful. However, those who claim to have a pedophilic orientation are still “feeling” that way. It is part of who they say they are whether it is illegal for them to act upon their orientation or not.

It is here that I see a major inconsistency in the thinking of LGBT advocates. I guess that is to be expected in our postmodern, glandolatrous society.

I once frequented a blog where groups of local progressives often gathered in great shoals to raise toasts and sneer at those dinosaurish, political conservatives. One particular day, shortly after proposition 8 in California had been overturned by a gay judge, one young progressive commented something along the lines of, “Nature (or God) made 10 percent of the population homosexual, so it is really uncool to be mean to people.”

Seizing upon that comment, I pointed out that probably every one of them believed in Darwinian evolution as the infallible, scientific paradigm. I mean, one just HAS to be an evolutionist to be a gay-loving progressive, right? Who wants to be perceived as a stupid creationist? That’s like what Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann believes.

Darwinian evolution is the default “scientific” mechanism to explain why life does what it does to adapt and survive. So where exactly does LGBT orientation fit in? The conundrum becomes even more ensnaring when we consider that homosexual orientation is a same-sex attraction and behavior; yet one cannot reproduce with the same-sex.

So what biological advantage does homosexual orientation confer? Even more to the point: if organisms are merely gene transferring machines as evolutionary dogma insists they are, how did homosexual orientation even come about to begin with? The genes have to be passed along from some previous, homosexual oriented organism, but again, organisms can’t reproduce with the same-sex. This is an especially difficult problem if one is going to argue homosexual orientation is genetic rather than nurture or a choice.

The push back was what I expected: emotional froth.

The first person said I was a hater burning a strawman. Okay, I guess. Heaven forbid I ask for some consistency among free-thinking, intellectual progressives who pride themselves with NOT being narrow-minded, gay-bashing conservatives and big believers in reason and logic.

Another person wrote that monogamy doesn’t confer an evolutionary advantage either, so put that in your pipe and smoke it you ignorant bigot.  I then pointed out that whether a couple is monogamous or polygamous is irrelevant. In a viable, evolutionary worldview, only heterosexuals can reproduce sexually, either with one or multiple partners.

Still another commenter responded to my objection by pointing out how there are many heterosexuals both male and female who can’t reproduce, you homophobic jerk. I acknowledged that was true, but again, it is also irrelevant. According to an evolutionary worldview, those reproductively impotent couples wouldn’t survive either, but the ability to reproduces really has nothing to do with the point: Only heterosexuals can reproduce and pass their genes along to the next generation.

A fourth person chimed in with some homophobia stomping anecdotal stories from around the world. He wrote,

Zoos in Japan and Germany have documented homosexual male penguin couples. They built nests together and used a stone as a substitute for an egg. (Happy Feet!) Both male and female pigeons sometimes exhibit homosexual behavior. Same-sex pigeon pairs will build nests, and lesbian hens will lay (infertile) eggs and attempt to incubate them. Courtship, mounting, and full (*I can’t type it-I’m blushing*) between bulls has been noted to occur among American Bison. Yup- good old mid-western American Bison. And I can’t even post what those naughty Amazon Dolphins do.

whaleOf course. Zoos in Japan and Germany are zoos. You know, where animals live in climate controlled captivity and are pampered by human beings 24-7.

A zoo is not the brutal, harsh real world of BBC Planet Earth. Homosexual male penguin couples would die in one generation without reproducing. So too with the lesbian pigeons. It’s called natural selection in the evolutionary construct, and it weeds out the weakest members of the group so the overall group can survive.

Additionally, bison bulls and dolphins that supposedly display homosexual behavior typically reproduce with females to pass along their offspring. They are not exclusively homosexual, as it were. And if we are going to look to the animal world to justify our behavior, chimps will kill and eat their own babies and male whales of all breeds gang rape females. At this point, I don’t see Washington repealing rape policy anytime soon.

Pro-homosexual defenders are stuck with what could be called a Dawkins’ Dilemma. It doesn’t matter if it is people or animals. How did homosexual behavior arise naturally without the ability of homosexuals to reproduce? If we apply evolutionary dogma, homosexuals are mutations; rejects that should be selected against because of their inability to continue the survival of the group population.

So in the overall debate with gay issues, if progressives on twitter are to be true to their core, intellectual and scientific values, they unwittingly encourage the idea that gays are natural mutations, which make them worst bigots towards homosexuals than religious conservatives ever will be. At least I believe homosexuals can be redeemed and freed from their sinful orientation.

Former Fundies With Truth Issues

A grim-faced Benjamin Corey, known also as Formerly Fundie, sternly lectures us Bible worshiping Fundamentalists who take God’s Word too seriously,

John MacArthur on Having Gay Children: Alienate Them & Turn Them Over to Satan

The post is a cathartic rant against this video over at the GTY blog:

I guess now that Corey has liberated himself from the ironclad bars of Fundamentalism, he no longer feels obligated to be honest with the facts. Particularly if the facts wreck the fantasy mythos of his previous Fundamentalist dark ages.

Go back and watch that video. Corey’s post is so wildly dishonest as to what John said, a person has to seriously wonder if he ever really watched it at all or if he is intentionally lying and banking on the hope that none of his readers will care enough to make the effort to go watch for themselves and complain against his falsehoods.

Corey writes,

John MacArthur was recently asked by a reader how they should respond to an adult child who has acknowledged they are gay. His parenting advice?

Alienate them.

Separate them.

Isolate them.

Refuse to have a meal with them.

Turn them over to Satan.

That is not at all what John stated. John differentiated between two types of individuals: Those who are professed believers who claim to be gay and those who are not believers who claim to be gay. Corey ignores those distinct categories so he can make John out to be a Fred Phelps bigot.

However, John clearly explained that if a child (keep in mind, an adult child; not an 8 year old whose parents abuse him by forcing him to go to a cross-dressing camp) who professes Jesus as Lord and Savior, but claims also to be a homosexual, is to be treated according to the commands of 1 Corinthians 5:1-11. Yep. I know. Those hard sayings in the Bible that I guess rub Corey the wrong way so badly that the only options we have is to either reinterpret them or ignore them all together; or maybe take the Bart Ehrman approach and pretend Paul never really wrote 1 Corinthians.

But as is typical of Ex-Fundamentalist bloggers congregating over at the Pathos webhub these days, along with selective video editing, Corey also lacks reading comprehension skills, especially when it makes his Fundamentalist target look like an unsophisticated moron.

He writes,

One of the key passages folks use to support shunning comes from 1 Corinthians 5– the unfortunate truth, however, is that Paul lists several sins he thought were shun-worthy. Folks like MacArthur have lifted sexual immorality out of that passage while completely ignoring the rest of what Paul taught.

No. John has not “lifted” anything out of context. The point of Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 5 is to address a sexual fornicator who was brazenly participating in the fellowship of the Corinthian church who claimed to be a believer. The fact that this guy claimed a relationship with Jesus Christ yet participated in fornication is the problem and the case for him being removed from the fellowship. I thought former fundies  and survivor types were all up in arms against sexual abuse, but I digress.

Additionally, Corey writes,

Because it would be horribly inconvenient to actually practice this verse. In it, Paul teaches that we are to have nothing to do with Christians who are… greedy.

Which in America, is a whole lot of us. I wonder if MacArthur would also suggest you shun an adult child who makes $200,000 a year but doesn’t tithe or give any of their money to charity? Somehow, I doubt it.

Really? I doubt this guy has done any serious study of that passage. Heck. Why should he? He doesn’t believe the Bible is inspired anyways, so why waste your time on any meaningful Bible study?

But for those who truly want to know, the idea of greedy isn’t someone who happens to be wealthy and doesn’t give his money to charity. The word has to do with extortioners or racketeers who take advantage of the needy so as to enrich themselves. The rich Republican guy (as we play into Corey’s stereotype) who earns his money honestly but doesn’t give to charity is nowhere in view. It has more to do with con-artist hustlers who prey on the disadvantaged for their own gain. More like environmentalists or the Health and Wealth crowd than anything else.

Moving along,

I wonder if MacArthur would teach that we should isolate, alienate, and turn over to Satan our children who struggle with over-eating? That can be a form of greed because it is taking more than you need.

I include this only to show how embarrassing Corey’s argumentation is. If he thinks overeating is equivalent to the greed Paul is addressing he disqualifies himself as a serious commentator on Christianity. He should be ignored.

Or, what about the idolators mentioned in that same passage? I know a boat load of Christians who are trusting in firearms for their safety instead of God– which is idolatry. According to Paul, they should be shunned as well.

Ah yes. Gotta work that anti-gun smear in there somehow. Again, the idolatry that Paul is addressing is religious idolatry. It is the worship of false gods, or the application or practice of false doctrine in the manner that it creates its own pseudo-Christian, religious worldview. The kind of idolaters who openly lie against those they oppose and who compromise with the pagan element of the culture that warmly embraces and gives affirmation to sexually deviant behavior. Say like, homosexuality.

Gay Activists Need to Read this Book

One of the biggest lies spread throughout our popular culture by gay activists and their willing enablers in the media is that homosexual orientation is biologically fixed. So a person is born with their sexual orientation to the same-sex and there is nothing he or she  can do, or should do, to change that.  It is a basic part of who the person is, like dark skin is for the Aborigine.  Anyone, say for instance evangelical Christians, who believes a person’s sexual orientation and same-sex attraction can be “changed” is stupid and essentially uneducated.

This lie has taken such deep root in our society that anyone who even makes an effort with helping a person change his or her sexual orientation is deemed abusive. Counseling therapy that seeks to help “re-orient” a person’s homosexual tendencies to healthy, opposite sex attraction is viewed on the same level as practicing lobotomy and shock therapy. The state of California even recently passed legislation prohibiting professional counselors from offering any therapy for homosexual orientation to anyone under the age of 18.

Gay activists go so far as to deny there is any thing called an ex-gay or former homosexual, because none could possibly exist in their worldview. The crippling problem with their anti-ex-gay narrative, however, is the existence of ex-gays who are now married in healthy husband and wife relationships who renounce their former gay lifestyle.

One such individual has recently published her testimony about coming out of the gay lifestyle and embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Rosaria Champagne Butterfield was not only a lesbian activist, she was also a tenured associate professor at Syracuse University in the English Department with teaching responsibilities in the Center for Women’s Studies. She was on the cutting edge of gay activism, particularly feminist gay activism.

Then God got a hold of her life. Through the ministry of a Reformed Presbyterian minister and his wife, the two challenged Rosaria and God used their simple evangelism to save and redeem her. Her conversion, she remarks, was like an “alien abduction” which is an apt illustration seeing how it is God alone who totally transforms a person.

Rosaria is now married to a pastor with a family of her own. She tells her testimony in a book entitled, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, a book I first heard about through a book review by Carl Trueman. He and his podcast co-host did a 30 minute program discussing the book which I would recommend downloading and giving a listen.

Rosaria also has a website where other interviews, both audio and video, can be downloaded or watched.

She stands as a trophy of God’s redeeming grace. An living monument of how God not only saves a person, but also supernaturally transforms an individual from a radical lifestyle in rebellion against Him to a radical lifestyle submitted to Him.  For only God can take a homosexual atheist feminist university professor and make her a God fearing, Proverbs 31 woman who is a stay at home wife and mother who homeschools her children. That is amazing grace indeed!