Archive | Christianity

How feminism treats heterosexuality as a problem

If you’ve ever wondered about the connection between feminism and LGBT identities, a recent article by Marcie Bianco at NBC News clears things up. Among other things, Bianco says this:

Men need heterosexuality to maintain their societal dominance over women. Women, on the other hand, are increasingly realizing not only that they don’t need heterosexuality, but that it also is often the bedrock of their global oppression.

Patriarchy is at its most potent when oppression doesn’t feel like oppression, or when it is packaged in terms of biology, religion or basic social needs like security comfort, acceptance and success. Heterosexuality offers women all these things as selling points to their consensual subjection.

Historically, women have been conditioned to believe that heterosexuality is natural or innate, just as they have been conditioned to believe that their main purpose is to make babies — and if they fail to do so, they are condemned as not “real,” or as bad, women.

Bianco goes on to tell the stories of two female celebrities—Miley Cyrus and Julianne Hough—who have recently turned from heterosexuality to LGBT identities. Bianco contends that Cyrus and Hough are in the vanguard of feminist liberation. Continue Reading →

Apostasy and Pastoral Preparation for the Conflict Ahead

David French has an insightful column analyzing the apostasy of yet another Christian celebrity. French writes:

As our culture changes, secularizes, and grows less tolerant of Christian orthodoxy, I’m noticing a pattern in many of the people who fall away (again, only Sampson knows his heart): They’re retreating from faith not because they’re ignorant of its key tenets and lack the necessary intellectual, theological depth but rather because the adversity of adherence to increasingly countercultural doctrine grows too great.

Put another way, the failure of the church isn’t so much of catechesis but of fortification — of building the pure moral courage and resolve to live your faith in the face of cultural headwinds.

French is certainly correct that people are falling away in large part due to a failure of moral courage. There is no question about that. Nevertheless, I would take exception with one part of his analysis. When it comes to “catechesis” versus “fortification,” it’s actually not an either/or but a both/and. There are lots of churches failing at catechesis, and there are lots that are failing at preparing people for the cost of discipleship. Both of these things are happening all at once all across evangelicalism. Continue Reading →

I have no hot-take, only grief

Last week Joshua Harris announced that he is divorcing his wife, is no longer a Christian, and has embraced LGBTQ+ views on sexuality.

I don’t have a hot-take on this. Only grief. I am not surprised that apostasy exists in the world. Jesus warned us that it would happen (Matt. 13:20-22) and so did the apostles (Acts 20:30). And yet it is so painful and heartbreaking to witness. I resonate deeply with what Heath Lambert has written:

The author of Hebrews warns, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (Heb 3:12). Think about this verse, and consider that Joshua Harris—the man who summoned an entire generation to purity—has now left his wife, publicly rejected Christianity, and embraced the LGBTQ+ agenda.

Let that sink in.

Let that sink in, and be sobered. If this can happen to Joshua Harris, how much more do I need to heed the warning of Hebrews, and take care to avoid an evil, unbelieving heart? How much more care do you need to take?

No one plans on apostatizing when they come to Christ. Life happens. Troubles come. Faith is tested. The soil is eventually revealed for what it is (Matt. 13:20-22). What will time and trouble reveal about you? About me?

God, be merciful to me, the sinner! (Luke 18:13).

Keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me… Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer (Psalm. 19:13-14).

Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit (Psalm 51:11-12).

Apostasy is real. And there is nothing in our flesh to keep us from it. We are just as dependent upon God’s grace today as we were the first day we tasted it. If we stand, it will be by the power of God alone.  Apart from grace, we would all be careening to our own destruction.

Perhaps this story isn’t over yet. I hope it isn’t. I hope that there is a renewal to repentance. In meantime, we should pray and look to ourselves, lest we also be tempted (Gal. 6:1).

A. T. Robertson on Women Preaching

A. T. Robertson is without question the greatest scholar of New Testament Greek that the Southern Baptist Convention has ever produced. Indeed, he is one of the greatest scholars of New Testament Greek that has ever lived. In 1906, Robertson wrote a sharp critique of the practice of women preaching in “mixed public assemblies.” His brief remarks appear in the introduction to W. P. Harvey’s booklet Shall Women Preach (Louisville, KY: Baptist Book Concern, 1906). I recently came across this short essay and thought it worth highlighting here. See below. Continue Reading →

Ten Thoughts about the “Billy Graham Rule”

Earlier today, I saw an interview on CNN about a Christian politician who practices the “Billy Graham Rule” (watch above). It is an awkward interview to watch, but it illustrates the cost to men and women who are making a good-faith effort to avoid compromising situations. This is by no means everything that can or should be said about the so-called “Billy Graham Rule.” Nevertheless, I thought I would update something I wrote previously on this topic. I personally believe that the rule is wise and ought to be pursued with rigor by Christians who are serious about holiness and witness. So in that spirit, here are ten brief reflections on this particular discipline: Continue Reading →

Spurgeon on the “Business” of Prayer

“Some brethren get up in our prayer meetings, and say some very good things; but what they really ask for, I am sure I do not know. I have heard prayers of which I have said, when they were over, ‘Well, if God answers that prayer, I have not the least idea of what he will give us.’ It was a very beautiful prayer, and there was a great deal of explanation of doctrine and experience in it; but I do not think that God needs to have doctrine or experience explained to him. The fault about the prayer was, that there was not anything asked for in it. I like, when brethren are praying, that they should be as business-like as a good carpenter at his work. It is of no use to have a hammer with an ivory handle, unless you aim it at the nail you intend to drive in up to the head; and if that is your object, an ordinary hammer will do just as well as a fine one, perhaps better…

“When I pray, I like to go to God just as I go to a banker when I have a cheque to be cashed. I walk in, put the cheque down on the counter, the clerk gives me my money, I take it up, and go about my business. I do not know that I ever stopped in a bank five minutes to talk with the clerks; when I have received my change, I go away and attend to other matters. That is how I like to pray; but there is a way of praying that seems like lounging near the mercy-seat, as though one had no particular reason for being found there. Let it not be so with you, brethren. Plead the promise, believe it, receive the blessing God is ready to give, and go about your business.”

-Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Two Guards, Praying and Watching” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 38 (London: Passmore & Alabaster), 206-207.

Amazon bans books on “conversion therapy”

I am a Christian. I hold to what Christians have always believed about sexuality—that the only legitimate context for sexual activity is between one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage. Any other kind of sexual activity—including the homosexual kind—is against God’s design for His creation and is prohibited by scripture. I also believe that we are all sexual sinners of some sort. 

Nevetheless, I affirm that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. I deny that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

This is all standard fare Christian doctrine. It is the unbroken testimony of the Christian church for its entire 2,000-year history. And I think—if I understand this news story correctly—it is a perspective that Amazon has banned (or is about to ban) from the books that it sells on its site. Let me explain. Continue Reading →

How a Christian Patriot Might Love His Wayward Country

I love G. K. Chesterton’s reflections on what it means to be a Christian patriot. If you have never read it, I encourage you to read “The Flag of the World” in his classic work Orthodoxy. Chesterton contends that love of one’s homeland is not like house-hunting—an experience in which you weigh the pros and cons of a place and choose accordingly. He writes:

A man belongs to this world before he begins to ask if it is nice to belong to it. He has fought for the flag, and often won heroic victories for the flag long before he has ever enlisted. To put shortly what seems the essential matter, he has a loyalty long before he has any admiration.

We do not choose our homeland. It is something that we are born into. Thus our acceptance of our home is not like a house that we can leave when we tire of it. It is like the love we have for our family: Continue Reading →

The PCA General Assembly Affirms the Nashville Statement

Last night I stayed up until after 1am watching the annual General Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The debate went into the wee hours of the night because the assembly had several measures before it relating to sexuality and gender identity. The most controversial measure was Overture 4, which is titled “Declare the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood’s ‘Nashville Statement’on Biblical Sexuality as a Biblically Faithful Declaration.”

Overture 4 is remarkable not only because it affirms the Nashville Statement, but also because it calls on the PCA to use the Nashville Statement in discipleship materials produced by the denomination. Here are the relevant lines from the overture: Continue Reading →

LGBT Pride Month as Religious Observance

Joe Carter has a really important article about LGBT Pride Month as a religious observance. You need to read the whole thing, but here is the heart of it:

Because the LGBT agenda of normalizing homosexuality and transgenderism conflicts with Christianity (at least in its non-apostate forms), to “eliminate prejudice” requires anathematizing the beliefs of Bible-believing Christians. In the future the celebration of LGBT views will likely be compelled. But for now, every American is simply required to choose a side.

This is why LGBT Pride Month is also, as my colleague Betsy Howard says, a form of Passover. In the original Passover, the Israelites put the blood of a lamb on the doorposts so that God would “pass over” their house and not bring judgment upon the people within (Ex, 12:7-13). Today, the American people fly a rainbow flag, wear an “ally” pin, or change their social media avatars to show they observe LGBT Pride Month. In doing so, they show they’ve bent the knee to the LGBT cause and will not incur their wrath that will be poured out those who are not “affirming.”

We should expect such submissive behavior from corporations, who have uncritically adopted “woke capitalism.” We can also expect it from government agencies, such as U.S. embassies, since they are often overseen by LGBT-affirming presidents, like Clinton, Obama, and Trump. Corporations and governments can be absolved for showing their support for anti-Christian causes. But what excuse do Christians have?

Why do so many professed believers adopt a symbol that shows the world they are opposed to God’s Word? And why do we overlook such displays of idolatry by those who claim to be both LGBT “allies” and our brothers and sisters in Christ?

Seriously, read the whole thing. The most disconcerting thing about Pride month is not that unbelievers are acting like unbelievers. That is no surprise. The most unsettling aspect of all this is how many professed Christians are accommodating themselves to this idolatry. They fly the rainbow flag in their yard or on their car or Facebook profile. It is as if they don’t understand that following Christ cannot be reconciled with celebrating sexual immorality, that there is no fellowship between light and darkness (2 Cor. 6:14).

Joe’s final question is the correct one. I hope believers who are teetering on the brink of LGBT affirmation with soberly consider it. He writes:

We do not love our neighbor when we tell they can continue to engage in unrepentant rebellion against God. We cannot continue with the “go along to get along” mentality that is leading those we claim to love to destruction. If we truly love our LGBT neighbors, we must speak the Word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31). We may have to accept the fact that those who have fallen away may not ever return, but we shouldn’t lead them to hell because we are too craven to tell them the gospel requires repentance.

We must choose whom we will serve. Will we love our neighbors and stand with the only wise God, or will we hate our LGBT friends by allying with the foolish idol-makers of LGBT Pride Month?

That is the question that no Christian can hide from.

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