by ProfDave, ©2021
(Aug. 31, 2021) — One of the first things you learn on your first day of school is where the bathroom is and which one to use. Now, thanks to the Biden administration, the teachers are confused – or at least they are supposed to be. They are not allowed to know if you are a boy or a girl. Needless to say, that was never a question in my day – or even a decade ago. Whence this sudden confusion?
You may not agree. But here goes. Many Christians and social conservatives are reacting to the Sexual Revolution, the LGBT agenda and now gender confusion with anger and outrage. We are exhausting our capacity for outrage, but in the bigger picture, the God-picture, the snarling is all wrong!
Before you take up the sword of Romans 1, sister, please notice that it clearly teaches homosexuality is not the cause (!) but the effect – the punishment (think consequences) – for any people who forget their Maker. We have forgotten God, rejecting his law and his framework for human existence and our own fulfillment. Our nation – and the West in general – is under the wrath of God for its apostasy and those hapless LGBT folks are only the first victims of the consequences.
We rejected Truth, so we have what’s left over – Baloney. We rejected what is right and healthy, so we have what’s left over – the wrong and the sick. We rejected the order and purpose, the inherent design, of society, so we have what’s left over – chaos. We rejected the God-given dignity of our own bodies, so we have what is left over – degradation. We rejected reality, so we have what is left over – myth and fantasy. No wonder our children do not know if they are boys or girls. Shame on America!
Fighting God is not a very hopeful proposition. Instead of anger, Jesus-folks should be filled with compassion and grace, moving heaven and earth to rescue broken people from themselves. Wake up, church! Stop wringing your hands. We’ve got work to do! There’s going to be a lot of casualties for us to comfort and bandage before Jesus comes!
Prognosticators are predicting (and they’ve been right before) that Jesus-followers in this country are going to suffer some losses in the days ahead – lawsuits, fines, jobs, contracts, a business here and there, and social service agencies will have to shut their doors on the poor. It has already been happening.
But my point is the losses and collateral damage to the insurgents and innocent bystanders in the cultural rebellion against our Maker are escalating. And in the end, it will be Jesus-followers who are compelled by the compassion of Christ to bind up the wounds of our bleeding land. Actually, many of us have ourselves been wounded by the same things.
What harm does rebellion against God do? I have written extensively on this subject. See “What would a ‘Right’ World look like?” for example. Wrong hurts the participants first, then those who love them, then all around them. The pebble dropped in the pond causes ever-widening ripples that go on and on. Sexual wrong is particularly damaging. Don’t get me started! Is it just a little porn late at night, you and the computer? It changes you, then your intimate relations, then your family, your work, and your whole world – even before your partner finds out!
How does same-sex marriage hurt anybody else? Admittedly, the direct impact is on the partners themselves, and those who love them. A relatively small number. But more broadly, it represents the penultimate step in the deconstruction of marriage. Just short of final destruction. And the damage has been cumulative, from generation to generation. The ripples are becoming a tsunami.
How does trans-gendering a handful of children who feel that they were born in the wrong bodies hurt anybody? It makes the dysphoria of a juvenile a permanent medical condition, preventing any conceivable normal lives and families, forever altering their relationships. Confusion is spreading like Covid-19 in primary schools. Accommodating the contradiction of their physical and social lives throws society into confusion. The consequences for women’s privacy and sports competition are just the beginning. Abolishing male and female is a flight from reality barely conceivable in science fiction. We will have to develop a whole new language.
The deconstruction of marriage began more than half a century ago and is mirrored by the sexualization, not to say pornification, of society. As we have gradually forgotten what marriage is for and what its boundaries are, more and more people are being hurt. Without the framework of marriage, we tend to forget what women (and men) are for and abuse of all kinds has become common.
How is it working for you? How many of you were abandoned by your biological father? How many were latch-key kids as a result (father absent, mother working and distracted)? Did bad things happen? How many of you were abused by a step-parent? How many were raped or sexually abused? How many were exposed to pornography or otherwise sexualized as a child? Have you had doubts about your identity? Were you sexually active before marriage (don’t answer that)?
How many of you have experienced the breakup of your own marriage or long-term relationship? Domestic neglect or abuse of one kind or another? Date rape or sexual harassment?
All these things were exceedingly rare in the 50’s but terribly common experiences today. In the near future they will be “normal.” Some already are. It has become a dangerous world out there. You may be in denial, but these things leave wounds. How are you dealing with them?
Whatever the individual circumstances, the increased incidence of all these are the consequences of the weakening of the “marriage culture” of the West. Deeper still is the weakening of the consciousness of human dignity as creatures of God. All are casualties of the culture wars. And they are mounting.
The de-gendering of marriage is another symptom of the degeneration of human dignity in the West. Take male attitudes towards women. In Christianity women are equal partners in the image of God and “the gift of life,” demanding special respect. In Islam, they are protected property of husbands and fathers. In Post-Christian sexual “liberation,” they are sex objects – and so are men – at younger and younger ages. Sex objects lose their humanity. Here is betting you’ve never seen a dignified centerfold.
Same-sex marriage adds a whole new dimension to sexualization, as public schools strive to explain to children what it is and how it is OK. And since normal is now politically incorrect, how is the next generation to find health and happiness? To establish stable families of their own? Left-stream culture will deny them the tools. It is up to the people of faith more than ever.
The wounds? How has pornography changed your attitudes towards the opposite sex? Have you substituted it for the real thing? How has it impacted your intimate relationships? You will no doubt deny everything. Are you addicted? Try to stop and you will find out. Have you caught your “significant other” using it? How is that working for you? How has it impacted your self-esteem? Your ability to relate to others? To bond with your spouse? To bond with God?
In the 1950’s you had to go looking for pornography in red-light districts; today any eight-year-old can find it on their not-so-smart phone – no, it comes looking for them! Unusual measures must be taken to avoid it. Sexual addiction (porn and other) has become such an epidemic that we are all impacted by it.
Is there any hope? There is “a power greater than ourselves” who can “restore us to sanity” (Step 2). Jesus-followers need to admit their own corruption and lead the way in recovery. Judgment begins with the house of God. When we recover from the adultery in our own hearts we can lead others to recovery by word and example. With compassion, not self-righteousness or hypocrisy. Starting with our own children.
David W. Heughins (“ProfDave”) is Adjunct Professor of History at Nazarene Bible College. He holds a BA from Eastern Nazarene College and a PhD in history from the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Holiness in 12 Steps (2020). He is a Vietnam veteran and is retired, living with his daughter and three grandchildren in Connecticut.