In recent news, ACLU leader Maya Dillard Smith resigned after realizing that her organization was not interested in protecting the rights of all, or of truly assessing the right path forward in dealing with transgender legal issues. She had been exploring these issues but she found the ACLU did not welcome discussion. After her daughters were “visibly frightened” by the presence of three very large men who identified as women (‘transgender women’) who had entered the public restroom they were in, she realized that the culture of the ACLU did not care about their needs. She stated she could no longer be a part of a system which created such an unbalanced “hierarchy of rights, based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.” Clearly the desires of the 0.3% (transgender population) outweigh the emotional protection of women, in the eyes of the ACLU.
Which should prompt us to ask: how should Christians depending on the Holy Spirit respond to these issues?
Certainly, it should be our aim to surrender intimately to God’s personal, unmediated presence, to rest in His love, and to display this sacrificial love to others. This site urges the reader toward this way of life and away from the sufficiency of merely religious standards. But, since this spiritual yielding, resting, and loving is an admittedly subjective experience, we absolutely do need objective flag-posts (literally, “standards”) to keep us from drifting into sin, self-deception, or enablement of others’ dysfunction.
Examples abound: we have the potential to justify sinful anger as righteous anger, sinful judgmentalism as holy indignation, lust as a manifestation of God’s pure love, slothfulness as rest, pride as healthy joy-in-living, rebukes to Spirit-filled leaders as a Christlike challenge to the ostensibly godless Pharisees of our age, or embracing heresy as a prophetic voice of liberation and fresh truth. The objective guidance of the Scriptures and the community of Christians is absolutely necessary to keep such self-deception in check – for all sides of this issue.
But which community of Christians, and which interpretation of Scripture? Certainly not simply the local one in which we find ourselves. We might be in a community which has fundamental flaws unseen by ourselves – or one that we selected because their flaws aligned with ours! The only safe path is to seek out the united consensus of the worldwide, early church. While they may not be inerrant, they are the only touchstone to the objective witness of Jesus Christ and the apostolic interpretation of the Scriptures. Jesus promised His church would stand against the powers of evil. In the ancient church’s embrace of women as equals, children as precious, and transformation of society away from slavery (more than once), the ancient church stood for the subjective love of God while embracing the objective standards of Scripture and the interpretation passed down by the original apostles.
One can reasonably ask why so many modern Christian warriors for social justice spend so much energy on criticising historic Christianity and not as much in, say, condemning the murderous treatment of alternate sexuality in Muslim countries. Could it be that their inspiritation is not from the spirit of Christ?
All of which brings us to today’s headline. Christians who float with “every wave of teaching” in society have recently embraced various hedonistic and post-modern agendas – many of which remind me of the “progressiveness” of ancient Rome. The thought process seems to be that the highest command is love, that love is helping people feel fulfilled and affirmed (perhaps based on a view that all sin is the result of dysfunctional attempts to meet low self-esteem), and therefore if someone feels most loved and affirmed by rejecting basic truths then we should affirm them in their objective errors. To sum up: Subjective love trumps objective truth.
Christian Social Justice Warriors who have aligned themselves with the secular assault on objective morality (and objective biology) consider themselves to be prophetic voices of love standing for what is right. How odd, then, as such prophetic voices, that their cause celebre’ is always resonant with whatever the most current drumbeat of godless hedonists. These misguided Christians may use large words to pedantically obfuscate their loyalities, but ultimately their heart has been enflamed not by the echoes of the Church founded by Jesus, but by the fleshly urge to “delight in those who do” perversion (Romans 1), to dispose of objective moral truth, to feast on the forbidden fruit of being the arbiters of good and evil, all in the glow of a false “angel of light” blessing them under the banner of love.
But God’s love is a purifying fire. The path to ultimate joy is not an independent self-actualization of what we think we are or who we wish to be. Rather, it is surrendering fully to the One who surrendered even unto death for us – not to spare us from Gethsemane surrender, but to lead the way in a life of dying to self and being filled with His enlivening presence and resurrection power.
Wesley Hill – a Christian who struggles with homosexual desire – wrote,
We experience him [God] both as an unwanted presence reminding us that our thoughts, emotions, and choices have lasting consequences, as well as a radiant light transforming us gradually, painfully, into the creatures he wants us to be.”
Indeed. We all must surrender all, and Jesus calls us to this life of surrender and filling. It is only when the soul in utter humility accepts this, that the Spirit of God will rush in to fill us. We should no more cast aside His yoke from us than seek to lift it from others – for when truly accepted, He promises “my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” The cure of secularism more often than not merely deepens the sickness (such as when sex-change operations for gender dysphoria lead to higher suicide rates than those who do not have the surgery). Loving one’s life should lead us to lose it for Jesus – trying to manipulate or hold on to it will ultimately only lead to despair.
Not surprisingly, objective truth has a way of sticking its nose back into the tent like the old fabled camel’s nose and one can only hope for similar results. When even some “progressive” leaders of change within the ACLU begin to recognize their errors, how long will it be before wayward Christians do, too?