Why would anyone except a professional organist take the magazine The American Organist? A friend gave me a recent issue of this highly specialized publication. The stunning picture on the front cover got my attention. The foreground features a glorious pipe organ with five key boards, endless foot pedals and a hundred stops. In the background is the grandiose nave and the vaulted ceiling of the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago.
To me, the church organ is a symbol of high Western Christian culture, made famous by the soaring oratorios of Johann Sebastian Bach and the stirring grandeur of George Frederic Handel’s Messiah. Incidentally, on the portal over the St. George’s Church in Eisenach, Germany, where Bach was baptized, is the inscription of the hymn of the Reformation: “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott”—“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”—one of Luther’s striking contributions to Western Christian music, and wonderfully sung accompanied by an organ. Indeed, in the same issue, a long article on “Luther’s Theology of Music” declares with conviction that Luther believed music was a gift from God, the ultimate Artist and Musician. This full front-page color picture of a massive church organ, in its own way, places us in touch with the heart of Western Christianity.
Strangely juxtaposed on the previous page, before the article on Luther, is an interview with a “gay” church organist and director of church music at a Presbyterian church in Portland, one Marshall Cuffe, who is photographed in a sexually-provocative picture as a performing “gay drag queen.” He is pleased that “a lot of church members attend my shows,” and he helpfully adds that he was inspired by another drag-queen organist’s “high-heeled organ shoes.”
What does the juxtaposition of these two articles in The American Organist tell us? No judgment is given because, apparently, no judgment is appropriate. Moral pushback would be immoral bigotry and hate. Once again, shocked readers are intimidated into silence, as the LGBTQ movement continues to establish its “ethical” system as normative for once-Christian Western culture. There is nothing in Western history that explains this deviance. The magazine speaks of “God’s view of music” but can no longer speak of God’s view of sexuality. Today the all-important notion of self-defining personal liberty has become the ultimate moral value, silencing all other opinions, on pain of punishment. This is the contemporary inviolable “right,” as Justice Kennedy, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey said—“the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” This is the new meaning of the Constitution, the new declaration of independence—independence from our Creator, the true source of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Opposing that pure source is fraught with peril.
Indeed it seems like nothing will stop this movement, if the four-day conference Equality Forum for LGBTQ issues is any indication. Held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention in late July 2016, the pan-sexual Equality Forum enthusiastically developed a plan for the total integration and normalization of perverse sexual practice in American. It traced a fourfold goal:
- passing the draconian Equality Act that will punish all forms of “discrimination”;
- engaging in a program of litigation to deny religious freedom and to promote unlimited sexual indulgence;
- defeating state and local laws that have sought to defend marriage;
- partnering with Black Lives Matter to create an unstoppable pseudo social justice movement.
As German president Merkel just said about Islamic terrorism, “taboos of civilization are being broken.”
The attempt by rebellious creatures to create their own reality will ultimately fail, of course. For fallible, limited, ignorant creatures to define their own identity is an act of unthinkable foolishness and hubris that can only end in utter failure. Alas, our surviving gothic cathedrals and organs now utter pagan heresies and cannot revive the hearts of men. We need a mighty fortress back in our lives—the presence and knowledge of Almighty God, whose pre-existing Being gave us all life, meaning and dignity. This spiritual fortress may still be evoked by the stirring sounds of a cathedral pipe organ, but is truly built only on the foundation found in the pages of Holy Scripture and in the truth of the Gospel. As Luther said so well at the time of the Reformation:
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle!