Christian Witness in the Public Square? It’s Complicated
Christian Witness in the Public Square? It’s Complicated
I can remember when public Christian witness was a welcomed contribution to the life of the culture. In my recent article The Fourth Phase: Persecution? I mentioned Aaron Renn, who describes three phases of the relationship between the secular culture and biblical Christianity. He notes the general acceptance in the 1960s to general opposition today. I have lived through that period, since I saw the enormous influence of evangelical Christianity when I came to study in the US in the 1960s. In its adamant rejection of God the Creator, today’s progressivism illustrates the chasm between two opposing moral systems of social justice in the culture; between biblical faith and wokism. Both compete for the same ground. This is perhaps why Christian cultural witness is now so confusing for Christians. Politics has become religious and, in the main, religiously anti–Christian, ever ready to “cancel” traditional biblical morality.
Progressivism attempts to normalize what was once considered abnormal behavior. It seems to be succeeding. Christians must be ready to live in this new situation, just as the early Christians, who lived in Rome, were surrounded by an overwhelmingly degenerate culture. Imagine the President of the United States publicly marrying two men, one as his wife and one as his husband! That is what the Emperor Nero did during the time of Paul. Imagine a Vice President as a lesbian witch.
From Abnormal to Normal
Our leading politicians openly endorse Drag Queen Story Hour readings for children. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a professing Roman Catholic, posted a clip on Twitter in which she declares that drag queens are “what America is all about.” A Department of Energy whistleblower’s letter notes that a drag queen, Sam Brinton, had been picked as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the DOE “over other more highly qualified candidates.” Brinton is a self-proclaimed “kink activist” (dog fetishes are his specialty), who belongs to a drag queen group known as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The administration sent Brinton to a diplomatic function for a Bastille Day celebration at the French Embassy in Paris. He proudly appeared in his dress and heels together with the first trans-woman Admiral, Rachel Levine, father of two grown children. The public worship of scandalous, unbridled sexuality is waved aloft around the world as an emblem of our newly enthroned US morality. It’s all perfectly normal. We have normalized LGBTQ+ sex, drag, pornography, abortion, and a host of newly named iniquities. It has recently become known that Yoel Roth, chief of Twitter’s “Trust and Safety board” determining what was published and what was silenced for the general public on Twitter, including the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, was a gay practicing drag queen. In the same vein, a well-known drag artist, Marti Cummings, invited to the White House to celebrate the new law on gay marriage, celebrated his invitation to the event by tweeting, “To be a non-binary drag artist invited to the White House is something I never imagined would happen. Thank you President and Dr. Biden for inviting me to this historic bill signing. Grateful doesn’t begin to express the emotions I feel.” One of his tweets about children is so degrading that I only dare put it in a footnote. Open decadency has climbed into the highest seats of power in the country.
Christian parents are quickly realizing that their children are in danger and under attack. One California teacher boasted about a “queer library” she keeps for her class. It contains sexually explicit content, including kink and orgies, as well as information on BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, and sadism). She claims that these books help students to “figure out who they are.”
In the recent Children’s and Family Emmy Awards, sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the winners’ acceptance speeches overwhelmingly promoted pro-LGBTQ content and other far-left concepts. Hosted over the course of two nights, the event was intended for an audience of children ranging from “infancy to age 15.” One quarter of the awards featured characters or stories involving sexual preference or gender identity. One winner, the Disney-owned series “Muppet Babies,” received the award for Outstanding Writing for a Preschool Animated Program. One episode in that series puts a heavy focus on “Gonzo-rella,” a male character, Gonzo, who decides to identify as “non-binary,” to wear women’s dresses, and to use “they/them” pronouns. Our ruling elites are recasting sin as virtue and virtue as sin, daring us to object. Kurt Schlichter bluntly and sarcastically suggests a way of reacting: “America, We Can Choose Not to Tolerate Weirdos: Time to stop accepting the idea that we need to pretend weirdos are not weird.Unfortunately the situation is not amusing. At the highest level of leadership, we find a determined agenda to make the weird normal.
Christians must find a way of speaking in the public square, especially to the LGBTQ sexual ideology. Knowing and honoring God is at stake, and gay sex, says Paul, is unnatural; against nature. Progressives howl in rage if you say they are grooming children. But they are. Why are pedophiles and their sympathizers allowed to run rampant in our society? Victor Davis Hanson, a guest lecturer at Hillsdale College, proposes ten political ways to save America, but the closest he gets to sexual issues is the phrase: “Like it or not, the nuclear family remains the bulwark of the American nation, which will not survive if current fertility rates of below 1.7 children per woman continue to diminish and age the population. The government must incentivize childbearing and child raising.” Even our more conservative politicians will not save us from cultural sexual degeneracy and demographic collapse. Even Ex-President Donald Trump has emerged as a social radical, which we already knew he was. At a reception at Mar-a-Lago for the gay Log Cabin Republicans on December 16th, 2022 Trump received a standing ovation after delivering an enthusiastic affirmation of gay rights. “We are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard.”According to Gallup, 55 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Americans overall support same-sex marriage. In normalizing homosexuality, our culture is determined to follow the example of ancient Roman culture. That culture eventually collapsed, of course. Apparently “conservatives” do not see the problem. Can Christians join the happy chorus?
Standing in the Gap for our Children
Statistics show that COVID-19 lock-downs and closed schools have caused many school children to suffer psychological problems, including suicidal thoughts. Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network, which studies educational issues. Among the problems seen among children learning via the internet was “anomie,” that is, “no law.” In thinking about this issue, Strand follows American sociologist Robert K. Merton, who pioneered the sociology of deviance, based on Emile Durkheim’s theory of anomie. Following Merton, Sand describes this situation as
the breakdown of law…a breakdown of the ties that bind people together to make a functional society…Periods of anomie are unstable, chaotic, and often rife with conflict because the social force of the norms and values that otherwise provide stability is weakened or missing.
Sand remarks that anti-racist classrooms have devolved into little more than a series of “scoldings, guilt-trips, and demands to demean oneself simply to make another feel empowered. And of course, the schools’ forays into intimate sexual areas are also doing great damage.”
Changing laws about male and female, which have lasted for thousands of years and are confirmed by human biology, can surely be described as creating a situation of anomie, of unsettling lawlessness, to which Christians must speak, even at the risk of cultural rejection, for the sake of human beings and for the honor of God.
But speaking out is costly. Paivi Rasanen, a 27-year member of the Finnish parliament, has been accused by government prosecutors of hate speech, for comments she made on three occasions about gay people. Mrs. Rasanen denies the charges and stands by her words, which she says are based on the Bible. In America, Christians may also be charged for hate speech, incendiary language, or of speech leading to intended or even unintended violent actions. Their words are considered to be an encouragement for real-world violence. Christians must speak carefully, while still speaking truth.
In denouncing gay ideology, Christians must find a discourse that avoids emotionalism, moralism, hatred or bigotry, while reaching to the heart of the issue. There can be no contempt for gay individuals. A homosexual or trans person deserves respect and love as a unique and complex fellow human being, made in God’s image. God extends love to any who will come to him in repentance. In the original Fall, every human being apart from Jesus himself, is tainted by sin. In addition to the basic respect we owe every individual, we must also be keenly aware that many have known much suffering and hurt by early sexual abuse, rejection, confusion and even from heartless, dismissive expressions of judgment from misguided believers. Christians cannot forget the gospel context in which there is a priority for the communication of God’s forgiving love, of which all human beings stand in need. If God is rich in “kindness, forbearance and patience…that lead to repentance” (Romans 2:4), so must be God’s people. We must love our homosexual friends.
Millennial Christians are leaving the church in droves over this issue and need a clear statement of the truth from their elders. To understand sexuality, we need to hear not a judgmental, but a holistic, ontological account of what the Bible says about sexuality. If you worship God, you will believe that he is the Creator—an external, intelligent, personal God. According to Scripture, the world is the work of an external Creator who caringly made it but is separate and different from it. We have a hetero-cosmology (a binary worldview based on otherness and difference), not a homo-cosmology (the nonbinary blending of all things). Homo-cosmology has nothing to worship except the creation itself, since it rejects the God who made the world and put distinctions within it. As the Apostle Paul argued, we worship either the Creator or the creation (Romans 1:25).
How have these two fundamental worldviews worked themselves out in recent culture with regard to sexuality? People now speak of non-binary spirituality and non-binary sexuality. They are clearly related. Non-binary spirituality believes everything is God and that there is no divine, separate Creator. Non-binary sexuality holds to androgynous sex, in which there are no ultimate sexual distinctions. Binary, distinction-making thinking is the foundation of the gospel, in which God the Creator, totally other from us, in his Son, identifies with created reality, dies to pay the price of sin, but remains distinct from the creation. Binary sexuality witnesses to this truth in its own way, since we are made in God’s image, distinctly male and female.
Some this Christmas will stand next to a pagan priest of Satan, rather than worshiping the newborn King. We should not be surprised. The early church witnessed this in the pagan cities of the Roman Empire. Some of the Christians had once participated in such ceremonies, but the power of the gospel is unquenchable.
We may think that our culture has wandered far from binary gospel truth, but as I drive around in late December, I see our neighborhood festooned with bright lights telling me it is Christmas. Christmas means the worship [Christ-mass] of Christ. Though it has largely been stripped of its true message, the Christmas celebration is still a major event in our cultural history. Let’s use this so that people hear the good news of God, which, in turn, is good for the culture. The Incarnation is the greatest gift ever given in the history of the universe. God, the Creator of the universe, distinct from his creation, is so great that he cannot be wrapped up by our limited human minds, yet in the manger, God was wrapped up as the gift of himself to us, in the person of his Son, the Redeemer of sinful creatures. This immense God humbly entered human culture via a baby in an animal feeding trough. He humbled himself for our benefit. This should be our attitude to others as we humbly speak the gospel that defends binary sexuality and also offers us a place at the wedding feast of Jesus Christ.
Have courage. We are on the winning side.
A blessed Christmas to you, dear reader.
 David Strom, “Biden’s transgender DOE appointee is charged with a felony,” Hot Air, Nov. 28, 2022.
 “Kids are out to sing and suck D!” https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/4116181/post.
 Eric Lendrum, “First-Ever Emmy Awards for Children Heavily Pushes LGBT Content,” American Greatness, (16 Dec, 2022).
 Victor Davis Hanson, “10 Steps to Save America,” American Thinker, 18 Dec, 2022, “Cut the Debt, Secure the Border, Tap Natural Resources, Oppose Discrimination, Disrupt and Reform Higher Education, Revive the Armed Forces, Fix Voting. Drain the Swamp, Upend the Welfare State, Restore Norms.”