PART 12 - WHY ANTICHRIST WILL
HAVE NO DESIRE FOR WOMEN?
Of all the social issues today, homosexuality seems to be the main firebrand leveled against conservative evangelicals. The mainline churches are largely given over to it. Episcopal,[i]ELCA,[ii] and PCUSA[iii] not only accept homosexual unions, but put homosexual clergy in charge of their churches.
At President Barack Obama’s inauguration, an openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, expressed his horror at how specifically Christian past inaugural prayers had been, and instead prayed to the “God of our many understandings.”[iv]
Baptist fundamentalist John MacArthur has argued this represents God’s judgment on America in line with:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did exchange the natural use into that which is against nature;
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was fitting. (Rom. 1:26–27)[v]
Of course, liberals try to explain this away as first-century exploitation. New Testament scholar Peter Jones addressed the mainline interpretation, arguing, “Some critics say that Paul was speaking of exploitative relationships of domination and that he didn’t understand homosexuality as we know it today—a loving, mature, stable commitment. But Paul argues (v. 27) that men burned with desire for each other, not that one exploited the other.”[vi] Another conservative evangelical pastor, John Piper, points out that these denominations are knowingly leading people to hell by approving of and modeling this behavior (1 Cor. 6:9–11).[vii] It is also important to note that the 1 Corinthians passage reads “And such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11a, emphasis added), forever dispelling the notion that one cannot become a former homosexual.Because it is representative of the divide, this entry will provide arguments against same-sex marriage based on a moral category distinction.
A Category Distinction
The first task is to distinguish the moral category of marriage from the moral category of same-sex relationships. This presentation will first give an overview of the biblical-theological distinctions, then it will examine the social-secular differences. Same-sex relationships are ontologically different from marriage between a husband and wife. The difference in moral category will be explored in a face-value manner. According to a standard reference, “Category differences are articulated as a way of diagnosing and avoiding various philosophical problems and confusions.”[viii] Western culture is deeply confused concerning the attributes of a same-sex relationship as compared to attributes of a marriage. If same-sex relationships and marriage are in different moral categories, then there can be no such thing as “same-sex marriage.” It will be shown that they are not in the same moral category. For example, a same-sex relationship requires both individuals to be of the same sex, while a marriage requires gender complementarity. That alone should settle the matter, but further reasons are given. Marriage, grounded in a natural teleology and beneficial to society, is in an entirely different moral category than homosexual relationships that are inherently immoral and, from a secular perspective, pathological. Because marriage is a covenant, let’s begin there.
A covenant is an oath-bound promise within which one party swears to bless or serve another party in a specified way. In the Bible, a covenant was associated with ritual sacrifice and involved splitting an animal in half and walking between the two halves, i.e., “cutting a covenant.” The implication was that if one violated the covenant, the fate of the animal would be visited on the violator. Covenants are made between God and man (Gen. 9:12–15) and between humans with God as their witness (Gen. 21:22–34; 31:44–54). Marriage was established at Creation as a covenant bond between a husband, a wife, and God. David Naugle explains: “It was to be a total life union between man and woman in an exclusive and permanent covenantal relationship of faithfulness and love (Gen. 2:23–24).”[ix] In modern ceremonies, the division of the groom’s party on one side of the church with the bride’s on the other is symbolic of the ancient practice of splitting an animal. Malachi 2:14 indicates that marriage was understood as a covenant. In marriage, one man and one woman vow to live together in a lifetime relationship (Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4–6) involving sacrificial love, sexual relations, and joint provision.
Therefore, marriage is a sacred institution defined by a spiritual and moral pledge rather than merely a legal contract, as held by secular society. The seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exod. 20:14) serves to protect this sacred institution rather than mere sexual fidelity. This is illustrated by the fact that the punishment for adultery was death (Deut. 22:22), but the punishment for fornication was compulsory marriage and a fine (Deut. 22:28–29). The distinction is that the former violates a sacred covenant while the latter does not. Children are also at stake, because the bond is essential to healthy child rearing.
In the social-secular realm, the marriage relationship has a natural teleology toward procreation and child rearing. It is an uncontroversial fact of biology that only male and female couples can procreate. Data from the social sciences strongly suggests that intact marriages produce the healthiest children. Children raised in intact, married families are physically and emotionally healthier, less likely to be abused, less likely to use drugs or alcohol and to commit crimes, have a decreased risk of divorce, and are more likely to attend college.[x] In contrast, data on children reared by same-sex couples suggests they are more likely to have social and emotional problems.[xi] Because married couples produce the next generation of citizens for a nation, the state has an interest in preserving and encouraging traditional marriage. This reasoning does not and cannot apply to same-sex relationships, because they do not produce children. There is no legitimate interest for the state.
In the biblical theological sphere, homosexual relationships are inherently sinful and offensive to God. The overarching category is sin or immorality, but same-sex relationships of this type are in their own specific moral category. God affirms healthy, platonic, same-sex relationships. For example, Jonathan and David cut a covenant in which Jonathan acknowledged David’s right to the throne of Israel (1 Sam. 18:3; 23:18). However, contrary to liberal revisionism, this has absolutely nothing to do with the modern debate concerning homosexual couples. Same-sex relationships can be covenantal, but are not necessarily so; marriage is by definition a covenant. God’s moral character does not change, and in the Torah He clearly defines homosexual acts as an abomination (Lev. 20:13). The New Testament affirms this in many passages (Rom. 1: 26–27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim. 1:10). This scriptural categorization is clearly not arbitrary or historic-culturally bound. Even more, an argument from teleology supports the divine rationale.
Homosexuality defies God’s created order. Arthur Holmes asserts, “Paul in Romans 1 speaks of some human actions as contrary to nature: he echoes the Genesis record about man and woman created in God’s image, their lives and their heterosexuality protected therefore by the law of creation (Genesis 1:26–31; 2:18–25; 4:8–16; 9:1–6).”[xii] It is indisputable that there is a definite biological order, indeed a necessity, when it comes to sexuality. Same-sex attraction is obviously a violation of this order and purpose. A same-sex relationship is not designed to be sexual, while a marriage relationship is designed to be sexual. A same-sex relationship cannot result in procreation, but marriage has the potential for procreation. If this is a healthy behavior as its advocates argue, then it follows that everyone should adopt healthy behaviors. The reductio ad absurdum is that, if universally adopted, homosexuality leads to the extinction of the human species. This strongly suggests homosexuality is a sexual attraction disorder. Jones wrote, “Homosexuality is a creational dysfunction and homosexual marriage an oxymoron.”[xiii] In contrast, normal marriage generally benefits the survival of the human species. Accordingly, it follows in the social-secular sphere that same-sex relationships are in a different moral category than marriage.
Marriage can be generally classified in secular terms as a procreative contract. Marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment, “until death do us part.” Some same-sex relationships are dissoluble, whereas marriage is defined to be indissoluble. It seems that marriage is something described rather than defined. One observes the natural procreative order and describes the coupling commitment for child rearing in terms of marriage. It is not something defined to suit popular affinities, but rather a description of natural teleology. Those who wish to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships are engaging in a futile exercise. Philosopher Frank Beckwith has quipped, “You can eat an ashtray but that doesn’t make it food.”[xiv] Semantics aside, same-sex relationships can never really be “marriage.”
Marriage is within a different moral category than same-sex relationships. Marriage is in the category of a covenant bond between God, a husband, and a wife for the purpose of raising children and caring for one another. Only a male can be a husband and only a female can be a wife; this rules out “same-sex marriage” by definition. Homosexual relationships fall in the category of sin and pathology, as they violate God’s law, His biological design, and they do not contribute to repopulation. These ideas are supported by biblical theology demonstrating the establishment of the marriage covenant by God and His prohibitions against homosexuality. In the secular sphere, traditional marriage is good for society, because it produces the next generation, and children are better off with heterosexual parents. Same-sex relationships do not produce new citizens, and even same-sex adoptions are less than ideal. Hence, there is no good reason for the state to endorse or promote them. These facts lead to the conclusion that the idea of “same-sex marriage” is an immoral absurdity that has been deceptively hoisted on a naively liberal culture. Mainline churches that perform these ceremonies are willfully opposing the God they claim to worship.
The Divided "Church" As Prophesied
It is extremely unfortunate that what is called the Christian church is so divided. Even so, this series has shown that not all that is labeled “Christian” actually is consistent with classical Christianity. Liberals suffer from unbelief. The only solution is the gospel. That’s right, I said it: They need the gospel. How can I say that? The gospel entails sincerely believing that Christ died for my sins (1 Cor. 15:3) and that Christ resurrected from the dead on the third day (1 Cor. 15:4). We have seen many examples of emergent (McLaren) and mainline (Spong) pastors and leaders who explicitly deny those very truths. Some do so by folly and ignorance and others by malintent: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Cor. 11:14–15). Thus, we should approach liberal Christians as nonbelievers, keeping in mind that “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). Unfortunately, they have chosen the wide gate Jesus warned of (Matt. 7:13).
I am not saying there are no saved people in liberal, mainline, or emergent churches, but that the theology expressed by their leaders does not lead to it. This should not be terribly surprising, as Jesus’ brother Jude warned back in the first century:
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 3–4)
Although it is more blatant, there is nothing new here. It seems the subsection's title above was somewhat misleading; the church is not a “divided house,” but rather, many who claim to be under its roof, in truth, are married to the world (Rev. 3:17). These “in name only” Christians will most likely lead the persecution of the believing church, already labeled as bigoted and homophobic.
Great Harlot and Return to Pagan Rome
It is not that homosexuality is a special sin more deserving of revulsion than other transgressions, but I have yet to witness an “adultery pride” parade. Homosexuals flaunt and expect everyone else to celebrate “gay pride.” Because its defenders refuse to admit it is a sin, homosexuality is the primary social issue used to marginalize folks who take the Bible seriously. Already, the celebration of same-sex unions is being pressed, indeed forced, upon those who believe it to be immoral.
The year 2013 marked a dramatic shift in American jurisprudence, one with foreboding implications. In 2006, Elane Huguenin of Elane Photography declined Vanessa Willock’s request to photograph and help celebrate a same-sex marriage ceremony between Willock and her partner. Huguenin declined the request because her and her husband’s Christian beliefs would not allow them to participate in good conscience.
Even though Willock easily found another photographer for her ceremony, she nevertheless filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission against Elane Photography. The case eventually rose to the New Mexico Supreme Court. On August 22, 2013, the high court ruled against Elane Photography and concluded that the Huguenins “now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” adding “it is the price of citizenship.”[xv] This was despite the fact that same-sex marriage was not even legal in New Mexico at the time.
It is important to recognize that a wedding photographer is not merely an impartial observer, but rather a cocelebrant in a wedding ceremony. Can the state really force people to celebrate something they believe is wrong? Senior Defense Counsel Jordan Lorence lamented, “The idea that free people can be ‘compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives’ as the ‘price of citizenship’ is a chilling and unprecedented attack on freedom,” and “Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom.”[xvi]
The judge’s decision basically boils down to saying, “You are free to believe whatever you like in your private life, as long as it doesn’t affect how you live in the real world.” The government is quite literally forcing Christian business owners to either celebrate a sin that the Bible teaches leads to hell (1 Cor. 6:9) or go out of business. The legal precedent set by this case lays the legal groundwork for further persecution. Like with the first-century Christians who were commanded to bow down to the Roman Caesar as god or be crucified, homosexuality is the foil to legally marginalize true, Bible-believing Christians. These developments should not surprise students of biblical prophecy.
Jesus prophesied that just prior to His return, “Shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another” (Matt. 24:10). The KJV translators rendered the Greek word skandalizō as “offended,” whereas the English Standard Version translates it as “fall away.” Both are correct as far as they go, but the complete meaning likely incorporates both: “to cause to stumble, to give offense.”[xvii] In the American church, the issue of homosexuality, more than any other, is the stumbling block that offends and leads to hatred of those who remain faithful to the Word of God. One should expect to see many more cases like the Huguenins and increasingly punitive verdicts. The liberal church is leading the charge.
The so-called Christianity of the emergents and theological liberals is one and the same as pantheistic monism of Eastern religions known as oneism. The defining issue is the creature/creator distinction from exegesis of: “Who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:25). Notice that the text juxtaposes “the lie” with “the Creator.”[xviii] The lie is oneism that “all is one.” Androgyny and homosexuality flow naturally from this spiritual system, as explained in Romans chapter 1.
Biblical scholar Peter Jones explains, “The open practice and approval of homosexuality is precisely what Paul affirmed two thousand years ago—that homosexuality flows directly from the One-ist worship of creation.”[xix] The following bullet points are quoted directly from Dr. Jones’ seminal work One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference(essential reading for a twenty-first century believer):
- In ancient Canaanite religions, effeminate priests served the goddesses Anat, Cybele and Rhea;
- In the Roman Empire, androgynous priests castrated themselves publicly as an act of devotion to the Great Mother;
- In Hinduism, anyone who unifies the sexes in sexual practice has reached the highest self-identity;
- In the Medieval West, Alchemists who transformed heterosexual energy into androgyny produced spiritual “gold” (“a tremendously deepened sense of the oneness of all….beyond gender differences”);
- The pagan spiritualist Jacob Böhme (1575–1624) believed the ideal human state was androgyny;
- In ancient Aztec and Inca religions, homosexual and bisexual priests were common; in American Indian religious practice, homosexual transvestite males are its shamans;
- In Latin America and the Caribbean Islands, homosexuals were magicians with supernatural powers; frequenting gay temple prostitutes was a means of sanctification;
- Jewish Kabbalah celebrates the ideal of the first cosmic androgyne, and in its modern form, is committed to “global, spiritual oneness.”[xx]
Thus, one should not find it so surprising that the nominal church has embraced homosexual behavior. They are primed for absorption into the great harlot one-world religion, “with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Rev. 17:2). Those who dissent are already called “bigots” and “enemies of progress.” Even so, all true followers of Jesus, while loving their neighbors, must stand on truth no matter the consequences. The context of pagan Rome in the book of Romans has come full circle, and the end-time believer will eventually find himself or herself in the same predicament: martyrdom or compromise.
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