Monday, September 7, 2009

"Whose Glory is Their Shame"

Recently President Obama signed a declaration proclaiming the month of June as "Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Pride Month." Unfortunately, the churches in the Northeast (from what I could tell) seemed to be largely silent on the event. I, in an effort to not be accused of being too political, avoided mentioning it. I will try not to make that mistake again.

Terry Johnson, pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia wrote a thoughtful article on the topic.

President Barack Obama recently signed a proclamation designating the month of June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2009.” This follows the precedent set by President Clinton, who with a similar executive order declared June of 2000 “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.” Pride. The use of this word by Presidents Obama and Clinton communicates what Al Mohler, President of Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, calls “a vast moral judgment.”

Christian civilization, or more precisely, civilizations influenced by Christianity, determined centuries ago that some forms of sexual expression are inherently sinful. This judgment was based on the reading of Scripture, as well as the laws of nature. Polygamy, prostitution, sodomy, incest, bestiality were universally held to be evil, both because the Bible said so and because such acts were unnatural and degrading, so contrary to human nature that they could only be the acts of those who are either desperate, confused, or perverse.

The “consenting adults” argument would have been dismissed by countless generations before ours. Two or more women, pushed by desperate circumstances, may consent to live as wives of a single man, but laws forbade it because a polygamous household was seen as inherently degrading to the women and children involved. A man and a woman may consent to a financial arrangement in which money is exchanged for certain favors, but prostitution is inherently degrading to the prostitute especially, and to her customer as well. What besides
desperate circumstances would drive them together? Two men may consent to sodomize and etc. each other. But anyone could see that the desire to do anything so unnatural and bizarre was indicative of startling moral confusion and moral corruption. What could be more degrading to any human being than to be on the giving or receiving ends of these acts? Similar things could be said about incest and bestiality.

Our nation has traveled a vast moral distance in a single generation. What was clear to previous generations, stretching back at least to Moses (c. 1500 B.C.), is not merely unclear. Rather, its opposite is now celebrated. Now the unnatural, the strange, the perverse, the degrading is to be a source of “pride.” So says the leading political figure in the entire planet! So says the government of the most powerful nation on earth. So says our President.

How can our laws, institutions, and customs continue to draw any line, any line whatsoever, distinguishing between moral and immoral sexual behavior? We are morally at sea, rudderless, without compass or any means of navigation. How can laws prohibiting polygamy, incest, prostitution, bestiality, or public indecency continue to stand? They won’t. The logic of “Gay Pride” eventually, over time, will erase the remaining lines. It is the logic of a culture of unfettered and ubiquitous perversion, which “glories” in what was once our “shame.”


TUG said...

A rainbow, really?

What's their slogan, "Nyah, nyah, Nyah, nyah, nyah"?

Wow, irony at it's worst.

DreamCamelot said...

I’m glad you decided to mention it! Johnson laments that we are morally at sea and rhetorically questions how moral laws and customs can stand. This is a broad problem, but I believe that such laws and custums are aided as the church addresses them and also speaks to the larger issue of a Christian worldview. Our culture insists on silencing us by labeling these issues “political” and therefore spiritually untouchable, but this is a ruse we must avoid.

Mark W. said...

Not such a bad thing to tread carefully when it comes to politics, particularly when your personal views may alienate those to whom you could minister. Piper does a good job of knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet. And he's refreshingly non-partisan, meaning that if your views are hard right or left, he will eventually irritate you if you hang around long enough. (See his comments today regarding the President's address to students.) Reminds me of one pastor's comment that the gospel isn't conservative or liberal, it's better than both of those.

I agree that this subject entirely appropriate for pastors to address. Pride indeed.

Thanks for your leadership Todd.

Todd Pruitt said...


Thanks for the kind words. It is indeed a dangerous thing for a pastor to "go political." And yet there are issues that are inevitably political. Others are merely seen as political when they are something else entirely. For instance some say that speaking up on abortion is political because one party largely supports abortion and another largely opposes it.

Anyway, we all get it wrong from time-to-time. I get it wrong more often than that! So thankful for God's patient work of sanctification.