Same-Sex Attraction and the Continued Collapse of American Evangelical Christianity
Christianity isn’t collapsing! The gospel hasn’t changed an iota! Jesus Christ is the same today as he always has been and always will be. The gospel is still saving men just as effectively and efficiently as it always has. That’s what the gospel does. Men of God are still standing in their pulpits and thundering the truths of Scripture just like men of God have done since men of God began to exist. The Holy Spirit is still applying the truths of biblical revelation to the hearts of the elect and transforming their lives more and more into the image of Christ. Amen! Biblical Christianity has not changed. American Evangelical Christianity on the other hand? Well, that’s a horse of a very different color. And the color of that horse, if it is not changing, is at least becoming clearer today than it ever has been. This deistic moralism parading as Evangelical Christianity in America has been mortally wounded and is drawing her last breaths. Well, she is drawing her last breath as far as being able to pass herself off as being truly Christian. She is dying from the standpoint that she will no longer be able to hide her pseudo-Christian nature. Everything in the dark is finally being brought to light. We are beginning to see just how many hypocrites and fakes there are in the ranks of the so-called American Evangelical Christian Churches.
One of the clearest indications that American Evangelical Christianity is drawing her last breaths is the onslaught of a tribalism that has finally revealed itself to be inside the churches just as much as it is in the world. One of those tribes is the homosexual movement. It is partly the low view of marriage among American Evangelicals that gave rise to the gay marriage movement. Evangelicals had abandoned God’s view of marriage long ago. The divorce rates and lack of subsequent discipline regarding those rates serve as sober proof that this is the case. Now, those gay marriage chickens have piggy-backed on the SJW nonsense of racial reconciliation and the utterly absurd #MeToo movement to take the church by storm.
As you are probably aware, there is a conference taking place inside at Memorial Presbyterian Church located in St. Louis, MO. This is more than a little disturbing. The conference is endorsed by prominent SBC personalities like Matt Chandler and Karen Swallow Prior. It is also endorsed by Gabe Lyons, a man strongly defended by Darrell Bock over at Dallas Theological Seminary. Finally, it is also endorsed by Francis Chan, a man who has obviously swerved far from the truth after graduating from TMS.
I am going to use two sources to point out some very basic flaws in this worldview. And yes, “gay Christianity” is a worldview. One that Christians have to be aware of and one that we have to repudiate and refute. One source will be Jason Harris’ blog article responding to Phil Johnson’s post and the other one is the Statement of Marriage, Sexuality, & Gender from The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender.
Incipiently, paragraph 3 of the Statement of Marriage, Sexuality, & Gender reads this way: The Fall has corrupted God’s original intent for human sexuality in all persons; therefore, all people—straight or non-straight—experience corruption in their sexuality. I added the emphasis. Note that there is a presumption that being straight or not being straight is in the same category. This implies that non-straight or gay tendencies or desires are morally neutral or worse, just as natural as those of straight or heterosexual people. This is deliberate. The first aim is to normalize homosexual desires, proclivities, or as Jason Harris calls it, same-sex attraction. The next article says, Simply experiencing attraction to the same sex (or being gay) is not in itself a morally culpable sin. So, according to this statement, being a homosexual is not a morally culpable sin. Is a person’s sexual desire, appetite, preference a morally neutral trait? Jason Harris distinguishes attraction from desire and both of these from lust. He has constructed an elaborate scheme designed entirely to remove any and all moral culpability from homosexual desires. But what about this distinction? Can one be gay, celibate, and therefore a true Christian? Can you have sexual desires to be with a man and be a Christian, as long as you are not acting on those desires?
To begin with, there is nothing in science to support the theory that same-sex attraction is genetic. In other words, the gay gene is still a thing of myth. It doesn’t exist. Second, there is no reason to think that human beings cannot recognize that a particular desire is wrong, unnatural, unhealthy, and harmful, and as a result made a conscious choice to abandon that desire. What you will hear is that people just don’t do that. But there is evidence available that suggests they can and they do, even if it is rare. There is no science anywhere that demonstrates that gay people are really women stuck in a man’s body or that lesbians are men stuck in a woman’s body. These are the facts. So why is it so difficult for someone to take charge of their sexual desires and attractions and change them? The simple answer is they don’t want to. Their desire lies in the other direction. The sexual desire we feel has to be replaced by a stronger desire. It has to be replaced by a desire that is more important, more powerful, stronger than it is. Unless that happens, the sexual desire will continue. Now, that explains why it is so terribly difficult to change one’s sexual desire/attraction. But it does not answer the question, is sexual attraction in and of itself morally neutral?
In the beginning, God created man, male and female. And he created man with a natural desire, a natural sexual attraction to a woman. God said in Gen. 1:31 regarding this state of affairs that it was very good. But we all know what happened not too long after that. Man played the fool, believing that he could live autonomously. He thought that he could get along without God, carry on his life independent from God. The result was disastrous. Man fell into a state of moral depravity. Evil entered the world. Two kinds of evil entered the world to be precise: natural evil and moral evil. Natural evil involves natural phenomenon like a tornado that destroys things, including peoples’ lives. Moral evil is that contamination of the being of man, not his physical being, but his soul. Every part of man has been corrupted by the fall: his intellect, his will, and his emotions. While this does not mean that man is as depraved as he could be, it does mean that there isn’t a part of the human person that is untouched by sin. Evil resides in every part of every human being that has existed after the fall.
Now, Jason Harris, in agreement with the statement on marriage, sexuality, & gender believes that sexual attraction is a morally neutral thing. On the other hand, however, Jason admits that same-sex attraction is the product of the fall. He compares it to earthquakes, cancer, and cavities. He then compares a teenage boy who is attracted to a female classmate to same-sex attraction as if they are somehow equivalent. Jason couldn’t be more wrong. SSA is not like a cavity. Unlike the natural evil that is the cavity, SSA goes to morality because it resides in the human psyche. It is not physical. It is mental. It belongs, not to the body, but to the soul. It is a composition of the human person, not the human body. Remember Genesis 1:31: sexual attraction between a man and a woman is very good. It is God’s perfect design. It is an act of the human person. Being an act of the human person, it cannot be morally neutral. It resides in human desires. The victim mentality says that we are servants of our desires. They control us. We do not control them. This is stated by the LGBT movement ad nauseam. The problem with this worldview, and that is exactly what we are dealing with, is that it is antithetical to Christianity. Genesis 1-3 provides us with the clear design of God’s world and the fall of man into sin that brought about the curse.
In addition to same-sex attraction being a component of the human person, and therefore, subject to the curse and possessing moral qualities, the apostle Paul informs us in the NT on more than one occasions that desires can surely be immoral in and of themselves, contrary to the gay Christian arguments. For instance, Col. 3:5 says, Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Jason Harris and others claim that SSA is the result of the fall. They go on to claim that it is better for Christians, at least many of them make this claim, not to identify themselves as being gay. Well, if SSA is just as natural as opposite-sex attraction, as Jason has so clearly argued, then what is the problem with identifying as a gay Christian since it is morally neutral?
To add to the issue, Paul paints a picture in Romans 1:24-28 that clearly tells us that same-sex attraction, or homosexual desire, is a shameful, or degrading, disgraceful passion. For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. If it is forbidden that a man lies with a man as with a woman, then it naturally follows that it would be forbidden for a man to desire to lie with other men in such a fashion. You are only kidding yourself if you think you can separate attraction from sexual desire. It is impossible and anyone who attempts to tell you otherwise is only kidding themselves. Can you? As a woman or a man, can you dispense with your sexual desire and only always have just an attraction to the opposite sex? I don’t mean a person specifically. I mean the desire for sex itself. Unless you have the gift of celibacy or have been injured in some way, you cannot have attraction without sexual desires in the mix. It is utterly foolish for us to think otherwise. My point is that if the “attraction” is not mortified, the desire won’t be either.
Finally, we turn to 1 Cor. 6:9-11. In this section of Scripture, Paul moves through a list of sinful people, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, etc. And adamantly tells the Corinthian church three things: these kinds of people will not inherit the kingdom of God; second, the Corinthian church contained people who used to be these kinds of people at one time in their past; third,but now, they are no longer these kinds of people because they have been washed, sanctified, and justified. At one time, some of the Corinthians were fornicators, and Paul says, but no longer! At one time, some of the Corinthians were homosexuals, and Paul says, but no longer. Now, I confess that I find it odd that a person who supposedly has come to Christ in faith and repentance from the homosexual lifestyle would insist on still identifying themselves as homosexual. If this text is rightly understood, it seems to me that Paul would have been opposed to this practice. They are no longer homosexuals. Why insist that they are? I am convinced that these people who claim to be Christian but who insist on being identified as gay, homosexual, or SSA are not at all Christian because they are still a homosexual with homosexual desires that they are not interested in abandoning. That is speculation on my part. But I think I have good ground for that speculation. So it isn’t baseless speculation. It isn’t sheer conjecture.
- There is no science to prove that SSA is genetic.
- There is no science to support the view that SSA cannot be changed even by the conscious efforts of the individual.
- SSA attraction is a perversion of the fall. It is not physical or biological. It is a component of the human person and as such is not morally neutral.
- Opposite sex attraction is very good according to Gen. 1:31. It’s opposite is very bad.
- Col. 3:5 clearly teaches that there are evil desires as do many other passages in the NT. Desire is not morally neutral.
- Romans 1:24-28 describe homosexual desire as a degrading, shameful, disgraceful passion that leads to unnatural sexual activity.
- 1 Cor. 6:9-11 denies the idea that homosexuals should still identify themselves as homosexuals after conversion. They should see their homosexuality in the past tense and identify themselves as washed, sanctified, and justified.
- SSA is difficult to change because people do not desire to change it. The only thing that can change any human desire is for a competing desire to present itself as more desirable.
- People only stop being same-sex attracted when another desire that conflicts with it takes over. In this case, a desire to please God, to glorify God is sufficient to kill same-sex attraction.
- If your desire to please God is not enough to cause you to hate same-sex attraction, then you either do not desire to please God or the Bible is false, and Christianity is a lie.
- If the gospel of Christ, applied by God the Holy Spirit to the human person is not enough to deliver one from the sin of SSA, then again, the Bible is false and Christianity should be abandoned.
- My conclusion is that the SSA proponents are American Liberal and Evangelical Christians with a very low view of God, of sin, of the power of the gospel, and a very high view of man.