Frankly, I don’t know why The ‘Gospel’ Coalition lets women write for their blog who don’t seem qualified to operate from behind the curtain in a children church’s puppet ministry. I assume it has something to do with their bleeding-heart, kinder, gentler, limp-wristed form of “sophisticated” Christianity that probably insists on a gender inclusion quota. Nonetheless, it seems that when The ‘Gospel’ Coalition wants to show their soft underbelly toward the LGBTQXYZ community, they break out Cru theological development director, Rachel Gilson. She previously had written for TGC why and how the church could become a “safe space” for homosexuals (link) and how Same Sex Attraction and Christianity are perfectly compatible (link).
Traditional Christianity has – oh, I don’t know – from the beginning argued that sexual desire oriented away from the male-female marital union was sin in and of itself. Jesus clearly taught that sinful desires are still innately sinful – even if not acted upon – in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:27-30). Jesus was teaching nothing new. God gave the Tenth Commandment (Exodus 20:17) at Sinai, which prohibited sinful lusts, as much as sinful behavior. This is where The ‘Gospel’ Coalition has been departing from a Biblical sexual ethic (with no shortage of help from Russell Moore and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which has gradually merged with TGC into a singular organization, practically speaking).
Conservative evangelicals – particularly those who fancy themselves Calvinists – simply cannot be seen by their constituency (that is, those who pay them and patronize their parachurch ministries) as “going soft” on homosexuality. They must maintain the pretense of not compromising on the subject of sexuality. Although groups like TGC and the ERLC are widely in the business of appealing to a broad stream of evangelicals and marginal Christians who share their articles, promote their material, and attend their conferences, their revenue streams come from a relatively narrow branch of extremely conservative believers (with a small trickle of funding from George Soros, which is not widely reported on). The mainstream, middle-of-the-road organizations like TGC and ERLC have to appease their fan base (which is strongly to the left) and their financial supporters (strongly to the right). Therefore, an interesting strategy has developed to appease both, which you can see frequently with your own eyes at The ‘Gospel’ Coalition blog. Their solution has been simple but deceptive; de-sin homosexual desire while remaining relatively quiet on homosexual behavior, celebrating those with homosexual desire but resisting homosexual behavior as spiritual role models and moral champions, and apologize repeatedly for not being inclusive enough to the LGBT “community.”
This strategy is a clear departure from two thousand years of Christian Orthodoxy, but the progressives at The ‘Gospel’ Coalition are savvy enough at cloaking it with religious language and making it sound “Gospel Centered” that it’s hard to pick up on at first. Their leftist-fruity articles come across as maybe a rogue “how did that slip by the editors?” article, which is accompanied by shrugged shoulders and rolled eyes. A clearer survey of TGC website, however, reveals a concerted strategy to not only de-sin Same Sex Attraction (SSA) but to celebrate those in the church who sin in this way.
In today’s article at TGC, Gilson writes a glowing review for Daniel Mattson’s book, “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay.” Mattson’s book is standard fare for the last four or five years of this concealed-compromised position. Chiefly, he argues that he’s made peace with how God has made him, that he struggles with wanting to commit sodomy, but he refuses to identify himself as “gay,” not letting his sin define him. While the latter half of that is good – sin should never define us – it is not alright to make peace with sin. It is not alright to act as though SSA isn’t a sin. It is not alright to rip the Tenth Commandment and the Sermon on the Mount out of the Scripture. That’s not okay.
Of course, Gilson loves the book because it fits into the light-in-the-loafers approach to homosexuality of The Gospel Coalition and the progressive strategy. However, this isn’t my chiefest (or newest) concern with the article.
Mattson is a Roman Catholic. Gilson admits as much earlier in the article. She writes:
As a Roman Catholic who experiences same-sex attraction, [the author, Mattson] adds to the growing discussion within the church about labels for people like Mattson and me, and more importantly, the identities those labels imply.
courageously shamelessly outs herself as desirous of unnatural affection. In fact, she begins the article by writing, “I’m a Christian woman who experiences same-sex attraction. Should I call myself a lesbian?”
First, my answer is “No, you should not call yourself a lesbian.” My second answer is something along the lines of, “You also should not be directing the theological direction of Cru or writing columns for Christian publications until that aspect of your sin nature is completely and totally mortified.”
Consider this: If someone began an article for a Christian publication by writing, “I am deeply desirous to sleep with my neighbor’s wife” or “I struggle with sexual feelings for children,” would the article ever be published? If someone acknowledged unnatural affections for their dog would they be championed as a self-disciplined, albeit flawed, individual? Or would we call their pastors and have some serious spiritual meetings, putting them under deep watch-care and showering them with grace and ministry instead of making them into a teacher or minister to others?
For those who believe that this line of thinking is no real threat, consider that all of the mainstream denominations that now ordain practicing homosexuals started out 30 years ago by embracing celibate homosexuals. This is absolutely no different from what the “conservative evangelicals” at TGC and the SBC’s Ethics and Religous Liberty Commission are now doing.
To make a long article shorter, Gilson goes on to write of Mattson’s book:
This is a full-blooded vision of Christianity that takes seriously the call to die, and doesn’t for a moment consider chastity a gift that costs too much, though it can feel at times like it costs all one has. Here he becomes not aloof, but relatable, as he describes how he won this vision through years of pain.
No, lesbian Cru theological development coordinator. No, a Roman Catholic does not present a “full-blooded vision of Christianity.” No, we will not let you give the Gospel the shaft in order to say some nice words about a fellow sodomite and ooze your words with political correctness. No ma’am. We are Reformers. We are Protestants. Roman Catholicism is not Christianity, even if you’ve happened to find a rare homosexual Catholic who’s not molesting children. I don’t care. Catholicism is not Christianity, and who at TGC is responsible for editorial control? This is sacrilege.
In the paragraph preceding the one in which Gilson affirmed a Roman Catholic as presenting a “full-blooded vision of Christianity” (whatever that is), she described what very clearly is promoting an idealized form of gay monkery and a Romanist version of ascetism. And then she calls this full-blooded Christianity, as though she’s either a Romanist herself or has no idea what it is she’s reading. This brings to mind the question of exactly what it takes to write for TGC other than a commitment to progressive, leftist-Christianity.
It seems that being a homosexual-in-the-heart and being a lady campus ministry leader isn’t cutting it. Why is this woman writing for TGC at all? The answer is, she struggles with homosexuality. That’s what makes her an asset to TGC. That’s her one contribution; her sin. This is a case-in-point of the problem.
[Contributed by JD Hall]