Pride – EN August

August’s Evangelicals Now article.

Pride

Screenshot 2019-07-22 at 11.20.49This year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York – an event which was the catalyst for the modern LGBT movement. ‘Pride’ marches, days, weeks and months have become ubiquitous throughout the Western world – especially in the English speaking countries. The politicians and the corporations are falling over themselves in the rush to identify with ‘Pride”. Educators want to ensure that children are ‘Proud’. You are automatically suspect as a politician if you do not tweet your enthusiastic approval for any and all things Pride. The corporations are equally concerned to let people know they are ‘on side’ – whether its supermarkets having special LGBT sandwiches, or Bank cash machines being coloured rainbow, or drinks companies providing beverages coloured according to one’s perceived sexuality – no one wants to miss the party. The Pride march in London even had a Red Arrows fly past.   It seems as though LGBT ‘rights’ have now become the sacrament of our society.

But all is not well in the Church of Stonewall. There have been some interesting and new developments as the sexual revolution threatens to eat itself.

Firstly there is the civil war within the LGBT movement between Stonewall and the TERFs. Stonewall and other LGBT groups have decided that the cause celebre for today’s society is the Transgender part of their acronym. But a significant number of feminists and those who identify as lesbians are concerned that the full scale adoption of Queer Theory (the belief that gender is just a social construct and has nothing to do with biology) will cause damage to the women’s liberation cause. They have good reason to be concerned – women’s sport is being decimated by men who identify as women yet retain the male physical advantages. Women have been redefined as ‘menstruators’ by ‘woke’ journalists. We are told that men can become pregnant. The TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) are fighting back – and the resultant bitterness is not a pleasant sight.

Others within the Gay Rights movement expressed concern at the overt sexualisation and lewdity on display in some aspects of the Pride marches.   They again rightly questioned whether they want gay rights to be tied in with sexually perverse practices.

At the other end of the movement, Peter Tatchell, who wants primary school children to Screenshot 2019-07-22 at 11.21.15be taught about these practices, has complained that Pride “is becoming too corporate & commercial. The big corporates are the only ones who can afford extravagant expensive floats. They overshadow the community groups. I’m all in favour of a party, but there’s not enough about LGBT rights at Pride.”

What should the church’s response be?   Certainly not that of the former evangelical Baptist minister, Steve Chalke, who tweeted “I love Pride weekend; it’s the public declaration by the LGBT+ community (and committed allies such as me) that despite the homophobia and transphobia that still seeks to exclude & discriminate, we will celebrate as we work to give birth to a world of equality!”

“On Pride weekend, why do so many parts of the church still struggle to welcome, celebrate and offer equality to everyone regardless of their sexuality, gender or even faith? And how can we change it?”

Chalke’s response is described in Paul’s analysis of the Roman culture of his day:

Rom. 1:28     Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

But whilst we reject the approach of those like Chalke, who deny the Lord who bought them, we cannot go the route of anti-Pride demonstrations. The apostle Paul did not march on the streets of Athens, Corinth and Rome, waving banners stating “down with that sort of thing’!   Instead he preached the Good News to those who were lost in their search for identity, and he insisted that the Church live up to a different sexual standard than the world around.

Rather than ‘Pride’ the churches approach is to be one of humility. Rather than the worship of lust, it is to be the practice of love. Our modern world is regressing to the pagan goddess of Aphrodite. Christians want to progress to the God who IS Love – Jesus Christ. Those who confuse the two are not helping either the Church or the world. These are days of great danger and darkness, but they also offer a wonderful opportunity to let the light shine all the brighter…

Renewing Youth – EN July

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Pride – EN August

  1. Well yes there is danger and darkness and opportunity to shine light – just as there always has been.

    That’s an interesting point your make David about developments within the LGBT community. I learned something – hadn’t head of TERF before, I wonder what the equivalent term for “menstruators” would be for men, seeing as we are keen to be promoting equality.

    I do hear Tatchell’s concern about commercialisation of Pride. I’ve also heard others in the LGBT community question the relevance of Pride and even regard it as patronising or the like. When someone who is gay talks about gay issues, I’m inclined to listen.

    Indeed Paul did speak in Athens about good news and became a Greek to the Greeks in order that there be no hindrance to such news. I’m not sure I would go to the extent of taking a literal interpretation of that to encourage changing sexual orientation to that aim. But perhaps Christians who experience same sex attraction are better able than I am to speak into this.

    On a closing note I would hope that pride can be taken in ones facing and overcoming darkness with light. It seems to be that this is what Paul was proud of with his ministry. I find it a little strange that on one hand having “pride” in one protected characteristic seems to be celebrated in our culture and in another seems to be condemned. That doesn’t seem to be very equal to me.

  2. Well I guess many parts of the church struggle to welcome, celebrate and offer equality the way Chalke describes because if they did they’d be as empty as the ones who have already.

  3. More and more Christians are supporting same-sex marriage according to Pew Research if you accept evidence that contradicts your preconceptions.
    https://religionnews.com/2018/05/01/same-sex-marriage-has-support-among-most-american-religious-groups-study-shows/
    The Presbyterians in the USA supported racial discrimination and segregation into the 1960s and according to Christian Today have only just apologized this month. So some denominations take time to catch up with human dignity and rights.
    https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2016/june/pca-apologizes-for-new-and-old-racism.html
    David, you said you have never been a homophobic bigot and I believe you because you have always been welcoming to everyone in your Church but saying you are not homophobic but oppose same-sex marriage is the same as saying you are not racist but don’t believe in multi-racial marriage.
    Greeks and Romans were the first to develop monogamy whilst polygamy was the norm in the Bible.

    1. Tom – this has already been dealt with. The pew research does not show that more and more Christians are supporting SSM (and I’m not sure what your point would be if we they did). To compare opposing SSM with racism is as daft as saying that opposing polygamy is the same as racism. It’s just irrational name calling. You can do better. And no – the Greeks and Romans were not the first to develop monogamy. I would suggest you broaden your reading beyond internet memes!

  4. “Menstruator” is ageist, functionalist, (as if a human being was merely a walking womb!) and also denies the value of younger people who have had hysterectomies or other period-stopping interventions for medical reasons. And it’s not even accurate when the new trend is for “menstruators” who don’t wish to start a pregnancy to abolish their periods for very extended lengths of time.
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jul/18/women-dont-need-to-bleed-why-many-more-of-us-are-giving-up-periods
    When trans-women, for the medical moment, still can’t do it, and cis-women choose not to do it, “menstruator” starts to sound like a term of disgust, on a par with the revulsion expressed right through history for the whole process of female “uncleanness” and childbearing. And the Lord knows we have enough people at the moment finding excuses to hate one another, without creating ever more finely-divided interest groups to provide more of them.
    The sports people can simply devise a handicap and contest group system like tennis and boxing, to take account of physical advantages the same way you wouldn’t pit a flyweight against Mike Tyson or a sprinter against a distance runner – and each group similarly having its own champion. That way no pronouncement need be made on a contestant’s sex, gender or refusal to declare – just their physical power and skill as individuals. It would even eliminate the rows about “equal pay”!
    And many cafes with limited space have large single toilet compartments, often in view of the main traffic area (which provides a measure of security – one of the headline issues of so-called “TERFs”) where men, women, children, anything else and those with disabilities can all do what they need to in peace and safety. In fact those are a definite improvement as they have more space than the cramped multiple compartments we are used to. Are we only now suddenly, and very belatedly, discovering and fearing for women experiences we’ve routinely exposed young men and boys to ever since we stopped having attendants (potential witnesses) in public conveniences?
    If God doesn’t put wind in its sails, the gender war will flag and die as with so many movements of the past, subdividing ever more rancorously into sects over ever more trivial differences before fading into history. And even the force of law and violence couldn’t impose the Communist régimes – or, for that matter, our own State Churches – permanently and universally.
    But if it remains – as Gamaliel said of our Faith – we will need to revisit our pre-existing ideas and work to find “both new wine and old” we can share. God give us wisdom and faith to meet with whatever He sends.

  5. Whilst I mostly agree with the article there are some points that need to be addressed. Paul did not live in a democracy and did not have a legitimate say in who was in charge. In the providence of God you and I have been born in a democracy. That great privilege is also a great responsibility. We have a duty to look at all scripture and not just one or two here and there. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked bears rule, the people mourn.” This is true for all ages and all cultures. If we wish to see the righteous (or the most righteous possible) in government then we will have to vote accordingly and campaign accordingly. This is a duty for all Christians. Like John the Baptist we must also be brave enough to speak out against perversion, hypocrisy and immorality, knowing that we shall all appear before the Lord. We should certainly speak out against perversion and immorality in the very strongest of terms when it comes to the education of children as judgment will be so much the greater – better a millstone was placed around the neck and thrown into the sea rather than one of these little ones (children) should be led astray. Peaceful protest is a tool we can legitimately use providing it is done with politeness. Just because the world tends to hurl abuse when protesting does not mean we have to.

    As Christians we have a democratic duty to work actively to repeal bad legislation as the effect of it is to ultimately criminalize religious opinions. If we had all been more active in praying and speaking and standing for office perhaps the legislation would not have been passed. We can also unite to boycott certain products and corporations – they all care more about profit than morality.

    Much of the churches response to the avalanche of sin has been gutless and sometimes I am ashamed of the leaders who will not confront the lies and false narratives peddled so regularly in the media. They may not be called to the political arena but they still have a voice.

    Then we must recognize that we all have different callings and giftings and that God will call some people to the political arena to serve him there and to proclaim the truth of God’s Word there, as wisely as they can. We must support them and pray the God thrusts even more into this field.

    When our Lord ministered he was compassionate but very straight with people – neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. No discussion, no debate and a straight order from God.

    And Israel Folau needs support from every Christian in sport. I’d love to see other Christians refuse to play for Australia in solidarity until he is accepted as a Christian who can say what he believes. Christian rugby fans can refuse to watch the country play and peacefully demonstrate outside. There is much we can and should do.

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