Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Time Magazine: Inside the Evangelical Fight over Gay Marriage
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post that was highly critical of the Southern Baptist Ethics team hosting a conference on the subject of gay marriage. Specifically, I was critical of the tone set by the conference. I felt it sent the wrong message at a time when Evangelicals need their leaders to send a strong message of opposition based on truth and delivered in love. I was upset with Dr. Al Mohler (a man whom I deeply love and admire) and the appearance that secret meetings, between Mohler and Matthew Vines communicated, and the fact that other secret meetings between certain groups of proponents of gay Christianity and the Southern Baptist Ethics team members. The main thrust of my criticism was that the overall message of the conference was confused. I said then that others in secular media would interpret that conference differently. I said that Christians needed to be reassured that their continual battle for the truth and in this case against the onslaught of gay Christianity was precisely what God would expect from them. Christians needed to know that their leaders were with them, and that, without doubt, without hesitation, and without wavering. My main concern was that this conference would fuel the flames of secular media and give them the ammunition they are looking for to at least cast doubt on the Evangelical resolve against gay Christianity. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, my concerns were right on target.
The article points to Matthew Vines as a gay Evangelical activist and the work he is doing in this area. Now, we could say that Matthew Vines is about as Evangelical as the pope. We could say that Matthew Vines is not a true believer. We could say that Vines’ rejection of the divine revelation is a rejection of God speaking and acting in His divine self-disclosure. We could say that Matthew Vines is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And we should be saying all these things. We should be affirming all these things. And we should be saying these things in love, but with the deepest sense of urgency and forcefulness as we can. Matthew Vines does not know Christ. He is outside the Christian community and his work is not to be praised but to be destroyed without reserve, and without mercy. We must stand ready and hopeful that God will grant him repentance and should that happen, we would receive him into our community with open arms. But make no mistake about it: the work that Vines is engaged in is as satanic as any work could be. His aim is the destruction of Biblical Christianity without apology, without hesitation, and without mercy. You have a grave problem in your thinking if you believe that Vines work can be categorized in any way other than satanic deception at it’s core.
It is for this reason that I was so incredibly alarmed by Al Mohler’s agreement to meet with Vines and then to refuse to be transparent about the nature of that meeting. If Mohler wanted to meet with Vines privately, then the fact of the meeting should have been private as well. No one should have known about it except those closest to Vines and Mohler. Why? No one should know because it gives the impression of gay Christianity’s progress into the most conservative ranks of Evangelicalism. It opens the door to the speculation, as the Time Magazine article said, that the last dominoes against gay marriage are falling. And those of us who are out here in the real world standing for truth need men like Mohler NOT to do anything that might even come close to leaving people like Time with that impression. If we know about the meeting, we should know about the exchange. I believe Dr. Mohler called Vines to repentance. I believe Dr. Mohler said all the right things to Vines behind closed doors. But I want others, outside our camp, to believe that also.
At a minimum, the conference should have reinforced the Christian position openly, and without any hint that any sort of weakening is taking place. Optimally, the conference should have either NOT taken place or its focus should have been elsewhere. Do we really need to have meetings about gay Christianity or gay marriage? Are these subjects really up for discussion? I can understand a conference designed to help Christians better understand and articulate a defense for the Christian position. I can understand a conference designed to answer the nonsense we read in books published by men like Vines. Such a conference would be very encouraging and very useful. Perhaps there was some of this at that conference. But there were gay activists at the conference and they were extended the privilege of private meetings. These are not people who are sincerely misled who are truly searching for help with what God says about gay sex. No one needs help to understand what God says about gay sex outside of providing the incredibly clear Scriptures on the subject. These people spend their life looking for ways around those texts. Christians, at least those of us living in the West have allowed the modern phenomenon of political correctness to do its work in our minds. Rather than see these things as the damnable servants of demons that they are, and rather than seeing these men as the wolves and vile perverts that they are, we tidy the language up and it leaves the impression that the attempt to destroy Christianity isn’t so bad, and neither are the people involved in the effort. Either that, or we are so dim-witted and dull that we do not see gay Christianity as the obliteration of Biblical Christianity. We treat the teaching as if it is a small matter of disagreement and we treat those pushing it as if they are sincere people only wanting God’s best for everyone involved. They are ministers of Satan sent out to deceive and to damn the souls of as many men and women as they can. And that is how we should view them.
No, there is no such thing as the Evangelical acceptance of gay Christianity because there is no such thing as gay Christianity. Secular media interprets evangelical churches accepting gay marriage and gay Christianity as the evangelical acceptance of these things. It is not. Rather, it is evangelical churches making a conscious decision NOT to be evangelical any longer. If a church were to convert to Islam would we say that Christianity is adopting Muslim beliefs as part of it’s Christianity or would we say that that particular church is defecting from Christianity? We certainly would say that latter.
Acts 20:29 false teachers that bring false teachings are described as savage wolves. In 2 Cor. 11:13-15, false teachers are described as false apostles, deceitful workers, and servants of Satan. In 2 Cor. 10:3-5, Paul paints the vivid picture of how Christians are to deal with teachers that oppose and contradict Christ. He says we are to stop at nothing short of destroying those speculations and ungodly thoughts. Why is it then that we extend an olive branch to deceitful messengers, servants of Satan, and rather than obliterating their vile doctrines, we treat their teachings with some sort of respect, courtesy, dignity if you will? No one is suggesting that we burn people at the stake here. But at a minimum, they must be put out of the community and refused a seat at any table so long as their goal is to talk about accepting those things that God clearly damns and condemns. We have no right to do otherwise.