I’ve been saying for almost a decade that gay marriage will be accepted and legalized throughout America. And all manner of cultural forces will be progressively unleashed in an effort to normalize homosexuality and other related beliefs and practices.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to not consider – and thereby, in effect, reject – the appeals of five states (Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana ) whose prohibitions on gay marriage had been ruled unconstitutional by regional federal appeals courts is a huge step in this normalization process; perhaps the largest to date.
As a result, the number of states permitting gay marriage just jumped from nineteen to twenty-four. Six more states (North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado) have similar bans that are directly affected by the same lower-court rulings. The Supreme Court’s tacit endorsement Monday of those rulings means those bans will likely soon fall as well.
Thirty states down, twenty to go.
In addition, within hours of the ruling, two 26-year-old women became the first couple to be legally declared “wife and wife” by the Commonwealth of Virginia. They will be followed by many more homosexual couples in Virginia and the other four states, joining the tens of thousands of same-sex marriages performed in America since Massachusetts became the first state to recognize them in 2004. And observers on both sides of this issue agree: you can graph the increase in the number of homosexual marriages against the likelihood that the Supreme Court will eventually rule that state bans on gay marriage are constitutional and thus permissible. The lines go in opposite directions. In other words, the more gay marriages take place, the more accepted and entrenched they become as a legal right and a cultural norm.
I hope I’m wrong. But I will say it again: “Gay marriage will be accepted and legalized throughout America. And all manner of cultural forces will be progressively unleashed in an effort to normalize homosexuality and other related beliefs and practices.”
Let me be very clear: In saying this I’m in no way suggesting so-called traditionalists throw their hands up in defeat and stop defending as truth and an optimum social norm the Bible’s prescriptions concerning marriage, gender and human sexuality. God has called us to be faithful, not necessarily always successful – at least not in the short term. If we are to suffer temporary defeat (we have and I predict it will continue and intensify); if some of us end up suffering loss, or are jailed, beaten or worse for peacefully refusing to go with the flow on these issues: let’s go down faithful and fighting – with our boots on and integrity intact.
This battle will be won by the Lord eventually; truth in time will always trump a lie. But that doesn’t mean it can’t “stumble in the public square” and unrighteousness prevail for a season. (Isa. 59: 14) Still we should ever take heart: light will at last dawn and push back the darkness.
The question before us now is just how dark it will become…and what the “children of light” (1 Thess. 5:5) are going to do in the midst of it. We’ll explore this in more detail in subsequent parts. I would also love to hear your own thoughts and suggestions on the subject. Email them to me at WhenTruthStumbles@gmail.com.
Have you every noticed how the Book of Acts just kind of….ends? It’s almost as if Dr. Luke got an emergency call while working on chapter twenty-eight and had to quickly bring it to a close. I mean we find Paul in Rome, teaching and preaching, handing out but another rebuke to some unbelieving Jews and then:
He lived there two whole years at his own expense, welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (28:30) The end.
Talk about leaving the reader hanging!
But then again, maybe not.
One commonly accepted explanation is that Luke’s last sentence is really more of an ellipsis than a conclusion, suggesting that more can and will be said about the advance of the kingdom of God. The baton is being passed from the apostles to the Church that has been birthed by the Holy Spirit through their faithful efforts. In other words, it’s a big to be continued…
To which every Christian should say a loud “Amen!”
But there may be another reason Luke ended his account to Theophilus (can it be a mere coincidence that his name means “Love of God” or “Friend of God”?) on this note. He very likely was employing a common literary device—particularly for his time*—in order to sound a loud symbol as he ended his two-part (Luke and Acts) symphony. The purpose of the symbol crash? To put a strong emphasis on the inexorable advance of Christ’s Kingdom reign.
The device is called a chiasm or chiastic structure. The term derives from the 17th century term chiasmus, which refers to a crosswise arrangement of concepts or words that are repeated in reverse order. In essence, a chiasm is a repetition of similar words or ideas in a backward sequence. A simple example would be ABBA, where the second word or idea (B) becomes the first word or idea in the following clause or sentence. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) and “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” (Hesitations 3:33) follow this pattern. But chiasms can be more complex (Joel 3:17–21 would be diagrammed as ABCXCBA) and sometimes encompass broader themes that can span an entire book or body of work.
Such is the case with Luke’s two books; his Gospel and The Acts of the Apostles. All manner of chiastic structures are found therein. But the one I want to emphasize here is how the beginning relates to the end of the overarching narrative.
Luke’s Gospel opens with an overture. The advent of Messiah is described and celebrated amid a chorus of prophecy and worship – with chiasms everywhere. Of particular note—because with chiasms the center letter (word, phrase or idea) is often the emphasis of the passage—are the following:
1. Gabriel: the Lord is with you (vs. 28); the Lord God will give Him the throne (vs. 32); son of God (vs. 35)
2. Elizabeth: mother of my Lord (vs. 43)
3. Mary: He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones. (vs. 51,52)
4. Zacharias: The center point is the covenant (vs. 72) and the oath (vs. 73) but is surrounded on both sides with promises of Messianic dominion; of God’s people being delivered from their enemies: that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us (vs. 71); that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies (vs. 74).
Then, with all these promises of Messiah and His godly reign sounding throughout Luke’s overture, it ends with this most pregnant of sentences:
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance (anadeixis: showing, exhibition, revealing) to Israel. (vs. 80)
Let the show begin!
Act 1, verse 1: In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. (Luke 2:1)
We open then with a snapshot of the fallen world as it was at the time: under the dominion of a pagan emperor cult, one that John would later identify as the beast.** So the first line sets the stage. Babel appears to have won. Man, not God, seems to be ruling over the earth.
Fast forward. How does it all end? With the son of man taking on the full wrath of the Roman imperial system and defeating it through His resurrection from the dead. With Jesus ascending and sitting down at the right hand of God, enthroned as the true Lord of heaven and earth. As the book of Acts winds to a close, with Paul freely preaching Christ as Lord on Malta, an island off the coast of Italy that served a major naval base for the Roman Empire. The leading citizen of the island (Publius, a very common name that essentially means “public,” an everyman in other words) hosts God’s apostle for three days and a healing revival breaks out, no doubt leading to any number of Roman citizens being converted and acknowledging Jesus, not the emperor, as the true kurios (Lord). And finally with Paul receiving something of a celebrity’s welcome as he arrives in the capital of the world, “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance”…under the very nose of Caesar himself.
There is evidence to suggest that Luke finished the second half of his two-book narrative after Paul arrived in Rome but before A.D. 64, when a great fire burned down much of the city and Nero used it as a pretext to begin his persecution of Christians. Similarly, it’s likely that Paul’s epistle to the Philippians was written during this same period of imprisonment. If this is true—and it almost certainly is and further that Luke would have been aware of the events described therein—we’re granted in Paul’s letter even more evidence of the prevailing power of the Gospel and the grand reversal that at that point was well underway. The world was slowly being turned right-side up again!
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Phil. 1:12-14)
Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. (4:21-22; emphases mine)
And so Luke’s saga opens with the City of Man and its fascist leader “large and in charge.” But it ends with the City of God being built and the emperor’s power being incrementally conquered by the Gospel, a counterinsurgency of love and faith. In this chiasm, the essential message of the entire Bible is writ large. Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot contain or comprehend it.
*Oral literature—which ruled the roost until the invention of the printing press—particularly relied on chiasms, both as art but also as a mnemonic device (aid for memorization). For example, two of the most memorized and performed works of ancient literature, the Iliad and the Odyssey, have a chiastic structure “of the most amazing virtuosity” that permitted the oral poet to better recall the basic formula of the composition during performances. (Cedric M. Whitman. Homer and the Heroic Tradition. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1958) Much of the Bible is like this.
** This is according to the many scholars who see John’s last book as describing what Jesus promised the generation then living would see: a great tribulation that ended with the destruction of the temple and the Old Testament world. (For the reader who may consider this approach absurd (likely because they have never heard it before and have further been marinated in the “Left Behind” worldview), consider that twice in the first three verses John notes the imminence of the events he is about to describe (1:1, the things that must soon take place; vs. 3, for the time is near). And there are number of other places (21:12; 22:6; 22:10) in Revelation where there are strong suggestions its prophecies were going to unfold near the time of their composition.)
Once upon a time the son of a Great King decided to plant a vineyard on a certain hill.
His Father had done the same years before. But because the gardeners — husbandmen they called them in those days — had been unfaithful, the vines had withered and the fruit had turned bad. Now weeds and toppled stones were all that were left. Worse, those first husbandmen had also fraudulently mortgaged the land. Now the hill was “owned” — as far as any mere creature could ever own something that ultimately belongs to God — by a very evil man.
Still, the Prince saw something in the land — a potential treasure of great value. So he set out to redeem the hill and re-establish the vineyard.
We don’t have time now to tell of all the amazing things the Son did to fulfill His dream. In fact, all the time in the world wouldn’t do justice to His mighty deeds. Suffice it to say that the impossible happened. The hill was ransomed and the evil man’s authority was destroyed. The stones were removed, a walled enclosure was built, and a strong tower was placed in its midst. And perhaps most incredible of all, a vine of the most unusual sort was planted. Virtually impervious to disease and able to withstand every challenge that the weather and the environment could throw at it, this vine was guaranteed to produce bountiful harvests of the sweetest, most wonderful grapes.
Once again, gardeners were hired. But these were not just strangers as before, who worked only for wages. They were actual kinsmen of the Son.
And though they weren’t necessarily the smartest, or the strongest, or the best natural-born gardeners in the world, they were loyal to Him. They loved the Prince very much because of the way He loved them.
The Son trained these husbandmen well. He gave them a manual that contained all the information they needed to ensure both their well-being and the success of the vineyard. And on top of that, both the King and the Prince sent…well, we’ll just call Him the “Helper.” This is deep magic and hard to explain in human language, but basically having Him was the same as having the Father and the Son invisibly present, assisting the husbandmen, overseeing their on-the-job training, strengthening them when they grew weary, protecting them from the evil man and his friends who liked to roam outside the walls looking for trouble… all manner of wonderful and magical things.
One day the Son left to go on a long journey from which He would one-day return to receive the harvest of the vineyard. But having left both the manual and the Helper, the Prince had made certain His kinsmen-gardeners had everything they needed to ensure both their success and that the vine would grow to fill the entire hill. He reminded them one last time of his absolute authority over the hill and even the enemies who would seek to take it back. (Later, many would wonder, particularly when these adversaries would attack, why the Son didn’t use that authority to permanently banish or destroy them. But the wiser among them eventually realized that the Son was as interested in them as he was in the vineyard and that dealing with these enemies was preparing them for something even more grand awaiting them after his return.) Mounting his horse, the Prince turned and restated their Prime Directive as if it was a benediction: “Because I have won this hill and vanquished its enemies, fear not: go throughout this land, cultivate it and help this vine that I have planted send forth new branches until it covers the hill even as the waters cover the seas.”
Seeing this happen, they soon learned after he left, wasn’t going to be easy. But things of great value never are. There were times when the vine’s growth slowed. Often it was because of mistakes made by the gardeners. Eventually they would learn from their blunders and the vine’s growth would pick back up again….that is, until the next lapse or mistep occurred.
“Two steps forward and one step back!” became a common refrain among those gardeners who took their eyes off the temporary setbacks and considered the bigger, long-term picture. “He who has promised is faithful,” they would say, “and will He not bring to pass what He has promised?”
Other times the slower growth was caused by inclement weather over which the gardeners had no control. But over time they — or at least some of them — learned that the vine would grow even faster after these bouts of severe weather and, even more wonderfully, the next harvest of grapes would be all the more sweet.
Many years passed and the vine, by fits and starts, grew so much that over half of the great hill was covered. Seeing the great patches of green, some of the husbandmen began to forget that there was still much work to be done. Others made wine from the succulent grapes that previous generations had toiled to produce − and their over-imbibing resulted in an even more relaxed attitude towards the work at hand. And there were those who contemplated the growth, and then made the same mistake as previous gardeners who experienced their own season of blessed fruitfulness: they took for themselves the credit that belonged to the Helper, the wisdom of the manual, and the incredible vitality of the vine itself. Eventually there were even those who began to question whether the manual was the best authority on husbandry. New theories were floated and published—and in no time a good percentage of the gardeners were infected with these novel, man-made ideas.
The result was that the vine was increasingly left untended. More and more gardeners stopped cultivating the land where the vine was supposed to spread. The walls surrounding the vineyard were deemed unnecessary by many; and some even began removing its stones in order to build monuments to themselves or to some new idea. More and more, the tower was left unmanned.
And so the inevitable happened. The growth of the vine grew slower and slower. Weeds sprang up everywhere. And missiles from the enemy outside were increasingly able to find there way into the garden sanctuary. For those who had forsaken the manual, the explosions falling around them suddenly seemed fresh and even exciting. More stones were removed to let more rockets in. On and on it went, until it seemed — for about the tenth time in the history of the vineyard — that all hell was breaking loose.
But where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. The Helper began to move on the hearts of those gardeners who were trying to be faithful. Seeing all the chaos and damage, they were compelled to come up with answers, trying to make sense of what was happening around them. In time, two theories and plans of action were developed and then presented to the loyal remnant. Though frightened and at times confused, they all wanted to obey the Prince.
“This is primarily the Evil One’s doing,” proclaimed Mr. Moody. He was a good and well-respected gardener who had done much to help the vine grow. He had also become the primary spokesman for one of the two courses of action. “Let’s continue to do what we can to be personally faithful to the Prince and His manual,” he cried. “But it’s inevitable that the Evil One shall prevail against us. The weeds will all but choke out the vine. Look around you. It’s already happening. There’s no way that we, as mere gardeners, can prevail against the weeds. But do not fear,” he continued. “The Prince will return and take us away, and then return to judge the Evil One and this corrupt vineyard. And then He will plant the true vine — and we will be His true branches — and we will live with the Son forever.”
“No, No!” countered Mr. Edwards. “With all due respect to my dear brother, his way with a hoe is commendable − but he is dead wrong about this!” Mr. Edwards was a key advocate for the other position. He was also known as the great, great, great grandson of Jonathan Edwards; the famous husbandmen who helped tend the vine during one its greatest periods of growth. But most gardeners on this day agreed that his plan of action, like the Edwards’ name, had fallen on hard times.
“Yes, the Evil One is a party to this, “he thundered. “But the greater fault lies with us. We’re the ones who have forsaken the ways of the Prince. It is we who have been unfaithful in our care for the garden. We’re the ones who have damaged the wall and invited this wickedness in. It is no wonder that our world has become as it is. Truly, it is mostly our fault!”
Many of the husbandmen now looked nervously at the ground, not sure they liked where this was heading. Several looked back to Mr. Moody, hoping he would speak up and take back the discussion.
“But all is not lost!” Edwards continued. “For the Prince has promised that if we will humble ourselves and repent and give up our evil ways, that He will forgive us and the Helper will step in and heal the vineyard. We can, by the Helper’s hand, rebuild the walls. We can pluck up the weeds. We can and shall repel our enemies. Remember, the Prince, not the Evil One, holds the deed to this land. The Son has crushed Him before; He will do so again. Only now it is His delight to have us, His brethren, join Him in the battle!” Mr. Edwards then closed his impassioned speech with a great cry, “TO OUR KNEES—AND THEN TO THE WALLS!”
No sooner had Mr. Edwards uttered these words than a great missile landed in the midst of the gathered gardeners. Seeing the wave of fear rippling through the crowd, Mr. Moody stepped back to the microphone. “Take courage my friends! The Prince will soon come to save us. These are but the birth pangs; the sign that the end of all things is at hand.”
As the panicking crowd dispersed to their homes, Moody shouted one last word of encouragement. “I’ll see you here, there…or in the air.”
There were only a few left to notice as Edwards turned to face the tower that stood atop the great hill. “One step forward…and three steps back,” he said softly, as if to himself. And then louder, his voice echoing throughout the valley, “Another trip around the mountain, eh Lord?”
An explosion from just on the other side of the damaged wall cut him off.
One doesn’t have to study or think long about the current trends in our culture relative to the normalization of homosexuality before realizing that it’s a significant front… but only in a much larger battle. Whether intended or not—and for most homophiles I don’t believe it is—the disconnection of marriage, sex and gender from the gold-standard of Judeo-Christian scripture and tradition has made the equivalent of runaway inflation in the arena of human sexuality inevitable.
To paraphrase Yeats in his celebrated poem “The Second Coming,” once the center no longer holds and the voice of our Creator is lost, an incremental anarchy will be the inevitable result. (And a rough beast in now slouching towards Sodom and Gomorrah to be born.)
I believe we need a meme, a word or phrase, that better captures the bigger picture, the end-game of this third and final stage of the sexual revolution. “Homosexuality” doesn’t come close to describing what we’re up against. And it also carries with it an air of prejudice and hypocrisy because many if not most of the manifestations of this “rough beast” will be heterosexually inclined.
Paraphilia has been suggested. And it’s a apt term. But I suspect it’s too cold and clinical to catch on.
Allow me to recommend we use pomosexuality.
Pomosexual is a made-up word (as all words were at some point) that comes from combining an abbreviation of postmodern (“pomo”) with sexual. It was developed within the LGBTQ community to encompass the numerous categories of sexual and gender identities, orientations and appetites that have and are still emerging.
I believe it’s also a significant, even prophetic, word in that it represents a modern example of what happened when Jesus confronted the demoniac of Garasene and demanded that the evil spirits oppressing the man identify themselves. (Mark 5:1-9) With pomosexuality we have truth in advertising; an instance where the LGBTQ world is actually being honest about itself and the worldview/presupposition driving their movement.
So what does it actually mean?
Well, we first need to define postmodern. Briefly, postmodernism was a reaction (hence post) to modernism, the overtly (and overly) rationalistic and materialistic worldview that was born of the Enlightenment (so-called) and developed in and through the scientific and industrial revolutions. Where modernism sought certainties rooted in supposed objectivity and human reason, postmodernism insists that truth is relative and certainties ephemeral. Where modernism was concerned with drawing clear lines and categories, postmodernism is given to blurring those distinctions; constructing instead multiple subjectivities and exploring difference, plurality, textuality, and skepticism.
As Christians there are some things we can sympathize with in this counter-revolution. Modernity often sought—with some success culturally—to attack the idea of God and transcendent, Spirit-breathed truth. If it wasn’t something you could analyze in a lab, materialism insisted, it either wasn’t real or relevant.
Unfortunately Christians have done a so-so job filling the vacuum and the opportunity left by the collapse of modernity. Instead a radical relativism has flooded western culture; “a revolt in the direction of a pagan polytheism—multiple gods, multiple voices, multiple laws, and a general clamor out of which it is possible to select whatever suits one at the time.”**
The result, sexually speaking, is “the queer erotic reality beyond the boundaries of gender, separatism, and essentialist notions of sexual orientation.” (From the back cover of PoMoSexuals.) In other words: People have the right to be what they want as regards their gender identity and sexual orientation; to do anything they want and with anyone they want.
I remember well the national consternation that arose as the “gay rights” movement picked up steam in the early 1970s. Over the next decade America gradually got used to it…only to wake up one day and find that an “L” (for lesbian) had been added to the “G.” Then came the “B”, followed by a “T.” And now all kinds of other letters (“Q” for queer; “C” for curious; “P” for polyamorous; etc.) are being added to the bizarre alphabet soup that defines the bleeding edge of the sexual and gender frontiers.
Many people today, particularly social conservatives, throw their hands up in frustration at this evolving sexual landscape, asking where it all will end. It’s hard to shoot at such a fast-moving and changing target.
Allow me to suggest that instead of confusion and frustration, we see this eddy of “sexual soup” for what it is: a demon telling us its name. And that we then use this knowledge to take the next step biblically: square off against this dark force and cast it down in the name of the LORD.
The continuing addition of letters in this final chapter of the sexual revolution—accurately summed up in the phrase pomosexual movement—is actually a perfectly logical, even necessary, extrapolation from its root causes.
The ultimate root, of course–in this or any other departure from the divine order–is sin, our inborn penchant for self-referential morality: doing and then justifying whatever we want to do. (And sexual desires are among the most powerful and universal of all human appetites–of what “we want to do.”) Coupled with other dark forces, sin and its passions provide the baseline from which secondary causes emerge. Among them relative to pomosexuality are:
- 1. A prevailing postmodern worldview (as discussed above)
- 2. The explosive growth of the cult of the “sovereign self” that took place in the 20th Century
This cult was driven by all manner of forces, each interacting with the others so as to create a vast and powerful feedback loop. They include but are not limited to:
- — postmodern thought,
- — Western affluence and the enormous increase in personal leisure time,
- — a massive campaign of thought and behavior control waged by the public relations/advertising industries as they discovered how influential and lucrative it was to evoke/create the notion of the sovereign self…and then sell it things,
- — disenchantment with the establishment thinking that gave us two World Wars and Vietnam,
- — the sea-change that was the 60s, when “Do your thing”—with the emphasis on the “you”—became axiomatic,
- — the breakdown of the family and the general atomization of society,
- — creeping socialism: the growth of entitlement spending and entitlement thinking,
- — revolutions in technology and digital communications that gave multitudes access to their own car, phone, iPod, computer…and a seemingly infinite world of hard-core pornography,
- — a popular media industry (television, movies, music, magazine, books, video games, etc.) that absorbed the sovereign self motif and then explored, reiterated and milked it endlessly.
But perhaps the most important contributing factor of all was a Church that was far too compromised by all the above.
The stage was effectively set for multitudes “to begin to do what was right in their own eyes.” (Deut. 12:8; Judges 21:25; Pro. 12:5, 21:2)
- Enter now #3: The increase in the instances of physical, psychological and spiritual trauma impacting people’s families, sexual and gender identities and practices.
To adequately explore this last point would take a book, a big one. But in a nutshell the trauma was rooted in:
- — the breakdown of the family (whether through divorce, out-of-wedlock births or the dearth of responsible, godly parenting in technically “intact” families),
- — the explosion of pornography,
- — the increase in sexual abuse (and the laxity of the laws and penal sanctions dealing with it),
- — teasing, bullying and rejection on the part of one’s peers during early, key developmental periods for failing to conform to simplistic gender stereotypes,
- — the culture’s growing acceptance and then celebration of “diversity” regarding twisted sexual and gender identities—coupled with the popular lie that sexual orientation is inborn and immutable,
All of this and more came together to create, populate and legitimate the fabric of lies and deceptions that is the homosexual and now pomosexual subculture. And truth is its only cure.
The truth is that each of us was created by God to be both heterosexual and monogamous. Furthermore, God—being the infinitely creative, diversity-loving Tri-unity He is—fashioned each of us with unique temperaments, personalities, cognitive abilities and other aspects of our internal “wiring.” As a result, we each respond differently to the diverse situations and stimuli we encounter in our journey through life.***
Biologically, all of us are innately attracted to our gender opposites–gender being defined by our chromosomes and corroborated over 99.9% of the time by physiology (genitalia, hormone ratios, and hundreds of other gender-specific differences). But this congenital orientation towards heterosexuality—while varying in intensity from person to person—can be impacted by a broad range of negative external influences, the “trauma” mentioned above. (It’s important to keep in mind here the ultimate “trauma,” one’s that both external and internal: the baseline of man’s sinful nature.) Depending on their type, frequency, and magnitude, an individual, again contingent upon their disposition and internal wiring, can be pushed towards various deviant sexual practices specifically defined or alluded to by scripture. Some are volitional, connected to the choices we make. Others—particularly when we are young and vulnerable—are involuntary; are things that happen to us. (Initial sexual experiences, like viewing pornography or being molested, are also very important in this regard since they set a kind of bonding “norm” and exert enormous influence on the development of one’s sexual appetites.)
The final form these adaptations or coping mechanisms take depends again on the individual and their internal “wiring.” (People, and the reasons they do certain things, are, in other words, extremely complicated.) So, for example, one girl experiences trauma from being sexually abused by a male relative and for whatever reasons—grace, disposition, counter-balancing life experiences, counseling, etc.—maintains her inborn heterosexuality and gender identity and eventually gets married and lives a good, moral life. But another girl experiences the same trauma and later, while remaining “straight”, cannot maintain a relationship, moving from one man to the next (“P” for polyamorous). Another ends up embracing homosexuality (“L”), while another feels that she is really a man (“T”), while still another becomes asexual (“A”).
So calling it the LGBTQCP…XYZ Movement actually makes perfect sense. Each letter is just a sliver from the same shattered coin. In terms of our fallen natures in a fallen world, anyone can potentially “become” almost anything.
The big question we need to address as individuals and as a society is whether we want to hold and aspire to the standards defined by God, to the notion that His prescription for sexual and gender expression produces true and long-lasting happiness and health for both the individual and society. Or do we throw up our hands and simply bow to the idols of postmodernism and fallen, broken sexuality?
It has become painfully obvious which road the pomosexual movement has taken and is promoting.
I’ll close with three quick and illustrative examples of where this road is taking us:
One of the contributors to the fifteen essays that make up PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality is Riki Anne Wilchins. The book describes her as “a lesbian or bisexual, transsexual or transgender, man or woman living in Greenwich Village…Her hobbies include the Transsexual Menace, the Lesbian Avengers, and attacking false binaries.” (p.191) Depending on the homophile, there is the end-game–or the unintended consequence–in a nice little nutshell: a person who is a lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered man/woman–all at the same time. And the book is filled with similar, even stranger examples of gender and sexual chaos.
A more philosophical exploration of this same chaos can be seen in the life and work of Marco Vassi, another contributor to the book. Vassi was a prolific and internationally respected writer/chronicler of the bleeding edges of the sexual revolution. His Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):
He was married three times, but was well-known for sexual, drug, and alternative-lifestyle experimentation. He viewed life as the theory and practice of liberation, an exploration of being sexual, that is an all-sexual being, bisexual, and homosexual. Marco Vassi coined the term metasex, which meant any sex outside the bounds of heterosexual marriage. He once wrote (in “Beyond Bisexuality”):
“When one transcends male-female dualism, eroticism becomes susceptible of a more subtle mathematical understanding. For each number, there is a different and unique quality of consciousness, and no one is intrinsically superior to any of the others.
The introduction of the metasexual paradigm is no less a shift in the history of our evolving understanding. The vast majority of the species has not seen past the conditioned strictures of the number *two.* And even those in the vanguard, having their orgies, still operate from the standpoint of a male-female dualism. The most sophisticated among them proclaim themselves bisexuals, not aware that this is the dead-end of that particular tunnel vision. The only way out is to go within to heal the internal split. A monad has no gender.”
This entry concludes with the chilling fact—an irony likely missed by his acolytes—that Vassi was unable to sustain a love relationship and died of AIDS, with only a former girlfriend to note his passing.
Both Wilchins and Vassi are intellectuals, members of the intelligentsia helping define and guide the pomosexual movement. Perhaps of greater interest and significance is the way their thinking has trickled down to the grass roots. Our third example is from one of the millions of web sites, blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook postings exploring and enlarging the boundaries of the sexual revolution; in this case a pomosexual female and musician whose music and writing reflects intelligence, talent and a classic postmodern sensibility. (The censoring is by me.)
Something about the human brain just loves to place people into neat little categories & boxes. Race. Hair color. Height. Place of origin. The gender you prefer to ****.
It’s been established that women who love women are lesbians, men who love men are gay, and women/men who love either gender are bisexual. Anyone involved in the gay community can surely tell you about how close-minded each group can be against anyone who doesn’t fit the description verbatim, despite the fact that close-mindedness & discrimination are the very things gay people are supposed to be fighting against…
They’d rather put me in the bisexual box, thinking this is where I rightfully belong since I take a **** to the **** & face every now & then.
Consider a woman who is married to a man…wait…that was actually born female (and she’s aware of the fact). Is she lesbian, due to the fact that she’s committed to a biological woman? Is she straight, because she’s married to a man? Is the FTM, who is visually & mentally masculine, straight or gay? Are they both bi? Another example would be the guy who doesn’t consider himself gay at all, but he finds pleasure in ***** other guys in the ***** sometimes…and just that activity alone. He is only interested in dating & marrying a woman, is only visually turned on by women. He doesn’t consider himself bi, but most straight people wouldn’t agree with him stating he is one of them.
In actuality, we can be considered Pomosexuals. Pomosexual (a real word) refers to a non-orientation, a dismissal of all labels, by which sexuality is viewed as a fluid experience, rather than a fixed point. This new view understands that love transcends gender, and that one’s identity is not defined by their gender or sexual orientation.****
Welcome to the end-game, the brave new world that is presently being fashioned all around us. Beyond labels. Beyond “the number *two*” and “false binaries.” Beyond good and evil. Man–or whatever name we should now call him/her/it now–is finally and completely free.
Free to embrace the chaos…and ultimately destruction.
* Kate Bornstein (author, playwright, performance artist, and gender theorist; born male, had sex-reassignment surgery, now identifies as neither a woman nor a man) on the back cover of PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality (Cleis Press; October 10, 1997)
** Douglas Wilson, Sermon: Pomosexuality (Psalm 115:4-8; 2 Cor. 3:16)
*** It should be noted that these experiences can then turn around and impact our internal “wiring.” I have interviewed several people who struggle with unwanted same-sex inclinations. A common theme is having experienced, often unwillingly, a homosexual act when they were young. This episode, often their first sexual encounter, had a profound impact on them akin to a type of “re-wiring”—as if they had been diverted to an exit ramp and now found themselves on a highway going in the opposite, and wrong, direction. Given the Bible’s admonition—and warning—in Proverbs 22:6, this should come as no surprise.
There are few things I enjoy more than God’s wisdom, love and sovereign grace shining into darkness…and then watching as unclean spirits fall all over themselves trying to run from the light. This phenomenon can manifest itself in any number of ways. Listening to NPR last night, I heard a textbook example of one of my favorites: When supposedly bright, educated people start sawing away on some rotten branch they’re upset about—not realizing that they’re sitting on the same branch. And that it’s a real long way to the ground.
Or as Fred, the foreman of a pipe-fitting crew I once worked on, would more colorfully put it: When people complain about finding a hair in a @#*! sandwich.
Here’s the hair: According to the NPR story, When States Can’t Control Violent Youth, Is Prison The Answer?, advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth in Connecticut are upset by a recent court decision to place a “16-year-old transgender girl” in an adult woman’s prison.
It’s not completely clear from the story if this teen was born a boy and is now self-identifying as a girl. One would assume so in that referring to the former him as a her is the politically-correct way to describe this type of thing now. (FYI for all you Neanderthals out there.) This would make his/her placement in a women’s prison (one would assume that he/she hasn’t had gender reassignment surgery yet, so his/her “package” would still be present and presumably operational) every bit as troubling as the opposite: that she/he is being placed among a bunch of older woman who could be in the mood for some jailbait. Unless they’re lesbians or she/he self-identifies as a lesbian man or a bisexual woman in a man’s body who really wants to be with another bisexual – man or woman – as long as they … wait, I think I may have lost the thread here. But you get my point.
Anyway, the court has placed “Jane Doe” in the adult prison because of “her” penchant for violent behavior.
Joette Katz, commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, has defended the decision: “She engaged in some of her typical — I hate to say typical — but some behaviors. Assaulting youth, grabbing hair, punching.” The final straw came last January when “she” assaulted a staff member at a Massachusetts facility for girls.
The progressives are up in arms because beyond whatever gender and sex issues may be involved, “her” incarceration is seen as an excessive and inhumane response that will only exacerbate Jane Doe’s problems, making “her” even more prone to violent behavior.
John Tuell, executive director of the RFK National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice, explained: “This step that was taken by Connecticut puts this youth at higher risk for continued failure. It would not be hard to argue that this was simply another factor that contributed to that downward spiral.”
Here’s the sandwich: What do the advocates for juvenile justice reform and LGBT youth see as the root cause of Jane Doe’s violent behavior? I quote:
“The girl has a long history of being sexually and physically abused. She has been in multiple residential programs since she was 9, and some of the abuse allegedly happened while she was in DCF care. Experts say this kind of trauma can make children violent.” (Emphasis mine)
So there we have it. It’s OK, even necessary, that we point out the connection between the type of abuse Doe experienced and “her” violent behavior. And furthermore, that we muster the full power of the state and the therapeutic industry—as well as taxpayers’ money—in an effort to treat and end it.
But we better be damn well sure we never, ever consider or mention that this same sexual abuse may be the cause of this poor child’s gender confusion.
Yeah, right. Professing to be wise…
Last year my hometown of Nashville experienced another flavor of this same type of insanity when a local, gay-identified teen killed himself. In death the poor kid found his fifteen minutes of Warholian fame as homophile spinmeisters promptly made him another causality of gay-bullying. I mean, come on–he was gay and he killed himself. What else could it be?
The problem was that there was little or no evidence he had been bullied. In fact, as is the case more and more in the era of Glee and Modern Family, his gayness gave him a certain cachet, particularly with girls, that more than made up for whatever trash talk he may have received from some idiot-punk. But there was plenty of evidence that he came from an extremely dysfunctional family: no father; an often absent, substance-abusing mother; being raised primarily by his grandmother, etc. To blame “homophobia” and not these negative family issues for his suicide—to say nothing of his sexual confusion—demonstrates just how irrational and agenda-driven this whole crazy LGBTQ thing has become.
The cultural landscape is strewn with examples of this type of cognitive dissonance. And I fear we have only seen the beginning as our nation more and more lifts up its collective fist to heaven’s throne and declares, “We will not have You rule over us!” (Psalm 2:1-3) A scoffing laughter (vs. 4,5) and a fearful expectation of judgment (Heb. 10:27) are the normal blowback.
“It is instructive to know that under the influence of seduction the child may become polymorphous-perverse and may be misled into all sorts of transgressions. This goes to show that it carries along the adaptation for them in its disposition…. it is absolutely impossible not to recognize in their uniform disposition for all perversions the universal and primitive human.” (Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, 1905)
A big part of my job involves studying, thinking and writing about people and cultural trends as they interface with the Gospel and the kingdom of God. Because issues related to sex — along with money, power/politics and religion — make up the vast majority of that interface, I have given a lot of time and attention to it over the years. From videos on the influence of pop culture to a variety of productions on abortion, issues relating to human sexuality have been common themes in my work.
Several years ago it became apparent to me that Western culture was entering a third – and what I believe will be the final – stage of the sexual revolution. Very broadly speaking, stage one involved radically untethering sexual activity from its procreative aspects and potential. Stage two untethered it from marriage as well as the consequences of engaging in non-marital sex: disease and unwanted pregnancy. Antibiotics and abortion seemed to promise the acolytes of the sexual revolution a form of absolution. The third and final stage? Untethering sex from gender and any remaining vestige of biblical morality. Nothing is any longer transcendently true. Everything becomes permitted.
And as the record of both scripture and history clearly demonstrate, once that genie is out of the bottle and the taboos lifted, there is ultimately no constraining them. Profound social consequences and an eventual “plowing under” are the inevitable result.
Glimpsing this trajectory, about four years ago I began to study the sea change in sexual mores in earnest. I have since read, traveled and interviewed people extensively and, more to the point, widely. It may come as a surprise to people who think that Christians are close-minded bigots, but a slight majority of my reading (100+ books and countless articles) and nearly half of my interviews have been on the pro-sexual revolution side of this issue.
Among the many conclusions I have reached — I trust as much on the basis of rational observation as the influence of my worldview and its presuppositions (hey, at least I admit to mine) — is that of all the “soft sciences,” psychology and psychiatry are among the least reliable as far as discovering truth and genuinely helping people. In fact, I would argue they are often doing more harm than good.
There are a number of reasons for this. The near infinite complexity of the human mind and heart and the reasons we do what we do and believe what we believe is a big one. Another is that many (most?) practitioners in these fields consider moral truth to be subjective and situational, a virtual guarantee that any rational enterprise is doomed. Relatedly, two of the most important – and egregious – reasons that aspects of the “mind sciences” have become so soft-headed are the degree to which they have been hijacked by materialistic presuppositions and sociopolitical agendas. The American Psychiatric Association’s decision to declassify homosexuality as a disorder in 1973 is perhaps the classic example of this, as a National Public Radio anniversary story on it inadvertently revealed.
When it comes to issues involving homosexuality, this frequent lack of intellectual rigor and integrity is often on full display. I could – and perhaps will one day – fill a good-sized book with examples: from studies that suggest that a child is no better off being raised by a mom and a dad (even biologically related parents) than by two moms or dads; that homosexuality is as normal and conducive to individual and societal flourishing as heterosexuality; that anyone who resists this normalization is homophobic; that things like absentee or abusive fathers or sexual molestation play no role in many people’s homo-erotic impulses; that homosexual orientations are innate, akin to race or left-handedness and are irreversible; that homosexuals aren’t interested into seducing/recruiting straight people into their lifestyle; that there is no agenda or slippery slope; etcetera.
But even a broken clock is right twice a day – and my reading of Sigmund Freud did uncover something with which I can more or less agree. Along with insisting that we are all born bisexual – and then either stay there or gravitate to heterosexuality (which he did suggest was optimal though not necessarily more normal (?!)) or homosexuality depending on how we transition through his sundry stages of development – Freud also claimed we come out of the womb polymorphously perverse. This means that as babies we can experience erotic (that’s right, we’re sexually charged from the get-go) satisfaction in all manner of ways and from all manner of sources.
Change “babies” to “adolescents and older” and for once Freud is on to something. As a result of the Fall, as a result of our innate thralldom to sin (Eph. 2:1-3), we are all capable, apart from the grace of God, of becoming slaves of any of the one-thousand-and-one libidinous fixations sin has invented. The potential for “polymorphous perversity” shadows all of us.
And this is precisely why our current monkeying with gender and sexual norms is so chilling. Sex is among of the most powerful forces and appetites a person can experience. It is the only thing that has the potential to create new human beings. The intense pleasures associated with it can release all manner of powerful compounds (dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, serotonin) that can affect our brains as powerfully as a potent drug. Younger men think about it slightly more than they do eating, an appetite that unlike sex needs to be satisfied or we, as individuals, will die. (Without procreative sex a culture will eventually die.) And the social and epidemiological fall-out from misusing our sexual capacities can be as destructive in terms of lives lost, money spent and negative social consequences as any major war.
And this is precisely why our Creator was so specific in His commands as to how sex and gender identity were to understood, practiced and circumscribed. The mighty river of sexual energy has to be carefully channeled. It is to be leveed on the one side by rigorous attention to and protection of the image of God as reflected in the fundamental binary structure of man (Gen. 1:27). And it is to be banked on the other by its celebration within the marriage covenant* and corresponding protection by an absolute proscription outside of it.
And when the levee breaks…
* It is sad beyond words that I have to here state the obvious (so obvious to past generations that it would raise eyebrows to even mention this): marriage is a covenant relationship between one man and one woman for life.
File this under ONE OF THE BEST QUOTES ON HUMAN NATURE AND POLITICAL THEORY EVER UTTERED. Would that every politician had this tattooed on their heart; their forehead if necessary.
“There are only two possible forms of control: one internal and the other external; religious control and political control. They are of such a nature that when the religious barometer rises, the barometer of [external] falls and likewise, when the religious barometer falls, the political barometer, that is political control and tyranny, rises. That is the law of humanity, a law of history. If civilized man falls into disbelief and immorality, the way is prepared for some gigantic and colossal tyrant, universal and immense.”
Juan Donoso-Cortes, Spanish philosopher, statesman, and writer.
It is not a stretch to put Charles Darwin near the top of the list of people who have changed the world. His theory of evolution by random mutation and natural selection is viewed by most academics as providing the foundation for understanding the origins of life and biological diversity. Perhaps even more significantly, it supposedly eliminates any need for a divine Creator that give rise to it all. As a result, evolutionary theory has become a key foundation and article of faith for atheists and atheistic movements around the world. As renowned god-denier Richard Dawkins famously declared in his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker: “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
Not as well known, however, are Darwin’s opinions of the primitive, indigenous peoples he encountered during his voyages aboard the H.M.S. Beagle. Upon reaching the southernmost tip of South America and encountering the native Terra del Fuegians, for example, he wrote that these “miserable, degraded savages” were “the most abject and miserable creatures I anywhere beheld.” They lived “in a lower state of improvement than in any part of the world. … These poor wretches were stunted in their growth, their hideous faces bedaubed with white paint, their skins filthy and greasy, their hair entangled, their voices discordant, and their gestures violent. Viewing such men, one can hardly make oneself believe that they are fellow creatures and inhabitants of the same world.” (Charles Darwin, A Naturalist’s voyage round the World, (Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle under the Command of Captain Fitz Roy), John Murray, London,1845)
Such observations no doubt played a part in inspiring the subtitle for his 1859 landmark book, On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection:
or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life
Two years later, in his second book on evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man, Darwin made it very clear who “the favoured races” were and where the indigenous people inhabiting much of the non-European world were to be placed on his theoretical tree of life: somewhere between monkeys and modern (read: white) men. In addition, his new naturalistic faith had, like all good religions, a vision for the future (eschatology) and man’s ultimate destiny: “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world.” (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, John Murray, London, p. 156, 1887.)
As time went on, however, Darwin softened his opinion of native people, allowing that they may not be as far from white Europeans on the evolutionary ladder as he once believed. What brought about this change? The work of Christian missionaries among tribal people. Darwin was amazed, for example, to learn of the impact that Allen Gardiner, Thomas Bridges, Waite Hocking Stirling and other Gospel ministers had on aforementioned Feugians. During that last half of the 19th century, hundreds of the them were converted, educated and in other ways civilized. So impressed was Darwin by the transformation that in 1867 he sent a donation to the South American Missionary Society and then continued to contribute to the Society for the next 15 years until his death in 1882.
Darwin became acquainted with similar transformations that took place among “savages” in the South Pacific, Africa and other parts of the world. All of this inspired him to write in his Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the Countries Visited During the Voyage of H. M. S. Beagle Round the World (London: 1852):
“On the whole, it appears to me that the morality and religion of the inhabitants [of Tahiti] are highly creditable. There are many who attack, even more acrimoniously than Kotzebue, both the missionaries, their system, and the effects produced by it. Such reasoners never compare the present state with that of the island only twenty years ago; nor even with that of Europe at this day; but they compare it with the high standard of Gospel perfection. … In as much as the condition of the people falls short of this high standard, blame is attached to the missionary, instead of credit for that which he has effected. They forget, or will not remember, that human sacrifices and the power of an idolatrous priesthood – a system of profligacy unparalleled in another part of the world – infanticide, a consequent of that system – bloody wars, where conquerors spared neither women nor children – that all these have been abolished; and that dishonesty, intemperance, and licentiousness have been greatly reduced by Christianity. In a voyager to forget these things is base ingratitude; for should he chance to be at the point of shipwreck on some unknown coast, he will most devoutly pray that the lesson of the missionary may have reached thus far.” (p.414)
“All this is very surprising, when it is considered that five years ago nothing but the fern flourished here. Moreover, native workmanship, taught by the missionaries, has effected this change… The lesson of the missionary is the enchanter’s wand. The house has been built, the widows framed, the fields ploughed, and even the trees grafted by the New Zealander.” (p. 425)
“From seeing the present state, it is impossible not to look forward with high expectations to the future progress of nearly an entire hemisphere. The march of improvement, consequent on the introduction of Christianity, through the South Seas, probably stands by itself on the records of the world.” (p. 505)
And Darwin is not alone among skeptics and champions of modern atheism in having the intellectual integrity to acknowledge the fitness – the salutatory benefits – of Christianity as a meme or great, tipping-point idea.
Journalist H.L. Mencken – arch skeptic, fan of “God is dead” philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and champion of Clarence Darrow and the theory of evolution at the famous Scopes trial – nevertheless admitted, speaking of Christianity:
“No heritage of modern man is richer and none has made a more brilliant mark upon human thought, not even the legacy of the Greeks.” (Treatise on the Gods. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930))
English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian H.G. Wells said this about Jesus in an article he wrote on the “greatest men in history” for American Magazine (July 1922):
“He left no impress on the historical records of His time. Yet, more than nineteen hundred years later, a historian like myself, who does not even call himself a Christian, finds the picture centering irresistibly around the life and character of this simple, lovable Man… So the historian, disregarding the theological significance of His life, writes the name of Jesus of Nazareth at the top of the world’s greatest characters.”
More recently, veteran British politician Roy Hattersley and self-described atheist was interviewed by the BBC. (Saturday 2nd January 2010). The interview centered in part on a biography he had written on William and Catherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army. When asked about the relevance of such organizations today, Hattersley replied:
“I can only look with amazement at the devotion of the Salvation Army workers. I’ve been out with them on the streets and seen the way they work amongst the people, the most deprived and disadvantaged and sometimes pretty repugnant characters. I don’t believe they would do that were it not for the religious impulse. And I often say I never hear of atheist organizations taking food to the poor. You don’t hear of ‘Atheist Aid’ rather like Christian aid, and, I think, despite my inability to believe myself, I’m deeply impressed by what belief does for people like the Salvation Army.”
Matthew Parris, another British politician, author and atheist (apparently the UK is awash with them) wrote an article in The Times (12/27/2008) entitled “As an Atheist, I Truly Believe Africa Needs God.” Among his observations:
“I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.”
Facing the ire of atheists, skeptics and “Do What Thou Wilt” moralists in the battle for the soul of western culture, I have at times wished that God would allow them to experience for just one day the “Bedford Falls” (think It’s a Wonderful Life) that would result if their desires were granted, if the meme of Christianity was removed and completely replaced by philosophical materialism. I have no doubt that if they were still capable of rational thought (which is unlikely) the one cry that would erupt from their blighted souls as they drink in the virtual hell now surrounding them would be “God have mercy!”
(I should note here that one day this Bedford Falls will, in fact, exist. And it will last a lot longer than a single day.)
Skeptics, atheists, and follow-your-hearters can rejoice that Darwin’s theory is absolutely true when it comes to the world of ideas. Cream in time does rise to the surface – and the fittest ideas survive. And one day the knowledge of the Lord will cover this earth like the waters cover the seas. (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14)