Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years. England’s King George III ruled the American colonies when he dozed off. When he woke, George Washington was the U.S. President. Rip had slept through the revolution.
Question: Are we Rip-Van-Winkle-ing through the sexual revolution?
For months I’ve considered writing about it, but couldn’t organize my thoughts well. Now today along comes a essay (“Ask Not for Whom the Volcano Erupts; It Erupts for Thee”)from Dr. Albert Mohler http://www.albertmohler.com/2016/08/30/response-david-gushee/). You can read its entirety at the foregoing link. Below in bold-face are some of Mohler’s quotes interspersed with my thoughts . . .
Christians in America now face a moment of judgment at the hands of a secular culture that grows more intensely adversarial with each passing day. Churches, institutions, and individuals committed to the Christian church’s historic sexual ethic, held consistently over two millennia, now find themselves faced with a stark choice — join the sexual revolution or face the consequences.
Those consequences include social marginalization, overt discrimination,the censure from the cultural elites, and worse. Christian colleges and schools are now openly threatened with the loss of tax-exempt status and participation in federal and state student aid. Christian employees in businesses large and small are told to get with the program or get lost. Getting with the program does not mean simply working amiably with all, regardless of sexual orientation. It means openly and enthusiastically celebrating every demand and aim of the LGBT community. Entire professions will soon be closed to many Christians who, for example, cannot, without violating their Christian conscience, perform sex-reassignment surgeries.
For many, Mohler sounds alarmist. Is America’s secular culture really growing more adversarial every day? Are we Christians truly faced with a stark choice to “join the sexual revolution or face the consequences? If we follow the news (we should), we know Mohler’s assessment doesn’t miss the mark by much. My research agrees: “Getting with the program (of the sexual revolution) . . . means openly and enthusiastically celebrating every demand and aim of the L (Lesbian) G (Gay) B (Bi-Sexual) T (Transgender) community.” We are not permitted to tolerate or even agree with, we must celebrate!
This is the reality we now face, and the onslaught is coming fast. Major LGBT organizations are now pressing their demands and gaining traction. A host of politicians are ready to support any legislation that will make them appear, by their calculation, on “the right side of history,” not to mention on the winning side of the ballot box. An entire universe of regulative bodies ranging from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Bar Association to accrediting agencies and local school boards is poised to drop the hammer on any individual or institution that stands in the path of the sexual revolution.
Once the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage to be the law of the land (June 2015), flood gates opened. The 14th amendment was applied to LGBT practices (“no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction ‘the equal protection of the laws'”). Thus they became civil rights. And, thus, they became a voting bloc politicians craved. This, then, made Christians, who want to uphold biblical morality, potential law-breakers—and left to live as a distinct minority.
Now, along comes a voice to warn us that the deluge is coming and to argue that we had better prepare ourselves for disaster or save ourselves at last by joining the revolution.
How will we respond? Standing for biblical morality will bring down the wrath of the culture. Joining the sexual revolution will bring down the wrath of God. Neutrality is impossible. One can’t dismiss a revolution with a wave of the hand.
That voice is Professor David Gushee of Mercer University. In a recent column at Religion News Service, Gushee announced: “Middle ground is disappearing on the question of whether LGBT persons should be treated as full equals, without any discrimination in society — and on the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs. It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.”
“Discrimination” is a hot-button word. It has two distinct meanings. One, “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Two, recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.” In popular parlance, definition one is most common, and is morally wrong. Number two is morally neutral. It simply is the recognition that my head is bald and yours has hair. I don’t know how Gushee uses it here (I suspect “one”.)
We should read his words again with both meanings in mind: ” . . . the related question of whether religious institutions should be allowed to continue discriminating due to their doctrinal beliefs.” See where this is headed? Holding to the Christian doctrinal belief that marriage is set apart for one man/one woman, for example, is discriminatory and violates the equal protection law of the 14th Amendment.
Mohler (as do I) agrees with Gushee that there is no middle ground on these sexual revolution issues. “It turns out that you are either for full and unequivocal social and legal equality for LGBT people, or you are against it, and your answer will at some point be revealed. This is true both for individuals and for institutions.”
My argument . . . is that the normalization of LGBT behaviors and relationships and revisions of human identity is incompatible with a commitment to biblical authority and the historic faith of the Christian church defined by Holy Scripture.
Christians can be confused over this issue. Shouldn’t LGBT people be given the same rights as others? If they want to practice same-sex, marry same-sex, change their sex, why should we care? Space is too limited to discuss all the reasons. But the first is: God opposes it. We must not thoughtlessly, in the name of 21st century cultural “fairness”, condone what God condemns. At the same time, Jesus commands us to love everybody—one another, neighbor, enemy. And it’s not loving to approve a practice that separates the practitioner from him! This is no time for Christian conservatives (as Gushee calls for) ““to reconsider their position voluntarily.”
David Gushee . . . really means to warn Christians who believe as I do that we are about to be the victims of a volcanic eruption. Hot lava is headed our way . . .I think he would also prefer that we join the revolution rather than be consumed in the lava flow.
Some professed Christians have joined the revolution. These, I presume, are Christians who preach salvation without repentance, Christians for whom the Bible requires revision for the 21st century, Christians who’ve abandoned the church’s 2000-year-old stand on sexual morality.
My aim in writing here is not to suggest steps we can take to counter the revolution and stand true to God’s Word. Indeed, “steps” may be different according to our circumstances. My aim is simply to awaken us to the revolution’s reality—with the prayer that God will give us wisdom and courage to speak and hold to the truth in the humble love of Jesus Christ our Lord.
In other words, I’m writing to shout to us all:
WAKE UP TO THE REVOLUTION, RIP!