Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Hey Don’t Say Gay

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on December 21, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Recently I conducted the wedding of an unconverted couple with whom I met some dozen times for premarital counseling.  Alas, during the wedding I committed a costly cultural crime.  I commended the couple for getting their sexuality aligned with biblical norms in a day of rampant fornication, adultery and homosexuality.  That was it: one innocuous reference to homosexuality in a list of sexual sins.  The fornicators and adulterers in the crowd apparently took the comment in stride.  But the homosexuals and a surprising coterie of the concerned complained to the couple.  My cultural faux pas has occasioned a fresh realization of just how far common grace has eroded.

It’s not like I’m unaware that homosexual activists are being culturally successful.  Their success at cultural infiltration has happened in my generation.  I remember attending the first meeting of a new homosexual campus group at a state university in Ohio in 1973.  I wanted to hear how these people were justifying themselves and what they hoped to accomplish.  When the time came for input from the audience, I asserted that their main concern should not be their sexuality but their idolatry.  Scowls and murmured opposition turned into shouting abuse after I read Romans 1:24-27.  For the rest of the meeting I was honored to be the example of the kind of people the gay group needed to silence.  I knew, of course, that it was not me they wanted to silence, but the voice of God speaking to their conscience in the words of Scripture.

In the 1980’s the gay movement swelled.  Marshall Kirk, a researcher in neuropsychiatry, and Hunter Madsen, a public relations consultant, set the gay agenda in their 1989 book After The Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s.  The book urged gay activists to target three sectors of society: the media, the judiciary, and the institutions of education.  They advanced a six-point strategy:

  1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and often as possible.
  2. Portray gays as victims, not aggressive challengers.
  3. Give homosexual protectors a “just” cause.
  4. Make gays look good.
  5. Make the victimizers look bad.
  6. Solicit funds from corporate America and major foundations in support of the homosexual cause.

The onslaught of AIDS in the 90’s set the stage to promote the profile of victimization and advance the language of “rights-speak” to move the discussion away from sexual sin into civil rights and needed legislation.  The media, the judiciary, and the educational institutions have extensively become conduits to convey the “gospel of gay” to an American populace increasingly ignorant of the “gospel of God.”

The argument that we meet now is the “they were born that way,” natural orientation argument.  In other words, the issue is not what homosexuals do but what they are. The terms “sexual preference” used in the 70’s and 80’s revealed too much of an exercise of personal choice.  Now the issue concerns “sexual orientation,” a much more clinically sounding term that points to biology, nature.  I admit that sorting through all this “orientation” stuff is not easy.  There is no scientific consensus that homosexuality originates in genes, or parental influences, or cultural conditioning, or any combination thereof.

As a fallen creature, it doesn’t surprise me that my physiological and psychological proclivities render me liable to certain sins more than others.  Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb, these who speak lies go astray from birth. Scripture teaches me that I am a “natural” liar.  In my now fallen nature, I am born with an inbred orientation to lie.  Lying may come naturally to me, but “to lie” is still an act, a behavior which is measured by God’s moral law.  The act of lying is not rendered less immoral simply because the Bible tells me that I’m a natural-born liar.  No, I’m naturally born in real trouble.  Both my fallen nature and my sinful acts render me blame-worthy before a holy God.  I need to be saved, big time!

Could a man, in this fallen state, have an inbred orientation to homosexuality?  That’s where the debate rages.  But is not homosexuality constituted by one’s sexual acts?  Do not homosexual acts first serve to identify the homosexual who only after indulging in such activity has warrant to even ask “Was I born this way?”  What pattern of sin, sexual or otherwise, is not traceable to our fallen nature?  If we were not sinful, we would not sin.  Who of us does not go astray from birth into various patterns of sin?

Peter tells us that righteous Lot (was) oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (2 Peter 2:7).  The word oppressed means tormented, distressed, or worn out: subdued after a hard struggle.  Lot was offended by Sodom’s society, but he eventually capitulated and was worn down by the oppressive prevalence of their sensual conduct.  Are we being worn down, subdued after a struggle?  Mark Bergin’s article “Evangelical Shift” ( WORLD January 31, 2008 ) indicates that we are.

A Pew survey from 2006 revealed that 30 percent of white evangelicals and 35 percent of black Protestants favor same-sex civil unions. Another Pew study from last year found that 14 percent of all white evangelicals and 15 percent of all black evangelicals support the more radical same-sex marriage.

What’s more, a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner survey conducted for Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly in September found that 58 percent of white evangelicals ages 18 to 29 support either gay marriage or civil unions. For those 30 years and older, the number dipped to 46 percent. (The Rosner poll included those who identified themselves as fundamentalist, evangelical, charismatic, or Pentecostal or who said they were born-again Christians.)

According to the Rosner poll, a full quarter of white evangelical young adults agree that “gay and lesbian couples should have the same legal right to marry as do a man and a woman.”

The spike in such nontraditional views among youth suggests substantial movement on the issue over the past decade. But is a reexamination of Scripture driving that shift?

Good question, Mark.  Are almost 50 percent of Evangelicals being Scriptural or being subdued?  We cannot allow the homosexual agenda to wear us down.  Al Mohler concludes his 2008 volume Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance by alerting us to seven strategies homosexual activists are employing to wear us down:

1.     The psychological strategy: to change the discussion from what a person does to what his self-conscious orientation is.  This strategy seeks to remove moral accountability from sexuality.

2.     The medical strategy: “Anything that can be ‘psychologized’ can also be ‘medicalized.'”  The history behind the American Psychiatric Association’s decision to remove homosexuality from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973 reveals a rationale of political and ideological pressure, not the scientific discovery that homosexuality is in fact, normal.  Mohler points out that the APA’s decision not only affected how we are to view homosexuality, but also how we are to view ourselves.  One day in 1973 the AP agreed that an indicator of healthy moral thinking was to view homosexuality as abnormal.  The next day the APA saw such a view as unhealthy, bigoted, repressive, whereas they then saw the evidence of mental health to be an acceptance of homosexuality as an “alternative lifestyle.”

3.     The political strategy has been the least effective.  Recent voting indicates the American populace, while being worn down, is yet reluctant to give homosexuality full societal sanction.

4.     The legal strategy however has been very effective.  (See Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Regan Books, 1996 which argues that the radicals of the 60’s, bent on social engineering, have extensively permeated the judiciary.)

5.     The educational strategy seeks to separate the child from his or her parents and to advance deviant sex education curriculums from elementary schools through universities.

6.     The cultural strategy employs the media and entertainment industries.

7.     The theological strategy seeks to dismantle biblical morality in those institutions which train future leaders of the church.  Activists justify sexual perversion with a perverted, twisted interpretation of biblical texts which clearly indict homosexuality as abominable sin.  (See Al Mohler’s Bog, “Sex and the Seminary” January 13, 2009 for an eye-opening look at the audacity of those pushing this agenda into the theological arena.)

Mohler concludes his book warning of the potential collapse of Western culture if society allows ungodly social engineers to dismantle the moral foundations of sexual normalcy and the family.  He calls us to counter the attack at each of the seven battle lines drawn above.  He urges us to bear witness by being ourselves sexually pure and exemplifying godly family life.  He calls for us as Christians and as churches to reach into the lives of those ensnared in sexual sin and declare the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are all only saved sinners.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

We need to call men to be what God created us to be: image of God.  Only in Christ are sinners of every sort remade in God’s image, and given the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Ephesians 4:24).

Alan Dunn

  1. The thing is, a post like this may be legally considered hate speech in America some day! May God give His church boldness to call sin, all sin, for what it is, and then may we equally as boldly proclaim Christ as the Savior of great sinners!

  2. And of course praying for the brethren in other countries who already are facing legal ramifications!

  3. Dear Alan,

    I was once asked whether I would perform the wedding of couple whom I knew were unconverted. My deacon’s first wife had died, and the woman asking to be married was the daughter of his second wife. Her first husband had died. In 15 years of pastoring I had never performed a wedding. Nevertheless, I had established a policy that I would not perform a wedding except for those who were members of my church. I shared my policy with the couple and that was the end of it. I remain coinvinced that a wedding is not an evangelistic experience. A wedding by a gospel preaching pastor can be a blessing to a couple who are both Christians. However, I cannot help but wonder if there is not a broad application to the Third Commandment which should keep us from performing ceremonies for unbelievers. I will not allow my position to be a cause for breaking fellowship with any pastor, but that is where I stand.

  4. Excellent article Alan. These are the very issues we face in this whole controversy. The bottom line is the created order and what we are as male and female image bearers of God.The increasing attempt towards an androgenous view of sexuality has massive implications and goes back to pagan ideas about sexuality.As a world view it suits homosexuals, feminists and pro-choice abortionists. The gospel is the answer to rescue the blind and perishing from their sins.

    Thanks for your article.

  5. As fellow Reformed Baptist I am rather perplexed why the author goes so far toward recognizing the prevailing psychological presuppositions on the subject of homosexuality. One statement in particular seems quite worthy of query.

    “Could a man, in this fallen state, have an inbred orientation to homosexuality?” 

    This proposal, in question form, holding out the possible legitimacy of the essential idea of homosexuality as an “orientation” antecedent to a willful choice is highly dubious in my view. One problem is that “orientation” in homosexual dogma denies the element of choice altogether, so that a modified view of it as proposed by the author is really not the same thing. Another is that “orientation,” if agreed to, in principle facilitates the full shift sought by sinful man – blaming God for his acts rather than himself. Having forfeited this ground the argument is quickly turned against us so that to question one’s homosexuality, we are told, is an attack on what God has created. This is precisely the way that it becomes supposedly “Christian” to recognize and accept homosexuality.

    But Paul contradicts this entire thought process when he asks “shall the vessel say to the potter ‘why did you make me thus?’ He rebukes the tendency of man to deny full and total responsibility for his sin and which is exactly what the whole “orientation” position seeks and even forcibly demands. We should not give in to the demand or even the terminology in which it is couched. The word “orientation” is a spiritual Trojan horse. And it seems to me the author is too welcoming of it.

    To bring the 1689 in, it says 9:1 that the will of man “is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.” So much, I think, for the Reformed Baptist idea of homosexual “orientation.” This biblical doctrine rather than a prevailing psychological and scientific view of the subject should be our position.

    In my opinion it is a major mistake for us to grant the essential presupposition of “orientation” or even to raise the possibility of it being true as the author did. I hope he will answer his own question firmly to the negative so that together we can have the strategic ground from which to answer the onslaught of evil in our day.

  6. Sentinel (your real name is preferred) it seems to me that Pastor Dunn gives a good context for the question. He moves the issue to acts rather than “orientation”.

  7. Hi David, Lyle Batey is the name. But sorry, I don’t see the good context for the author proposing the possible validity of the cornerstone of modern homosexual orthodoxy -“inbred orientation to homosexuality.” Anything said after making this concession is in the context of fundamental agreement with the basic tenet of homosexual apologetics.

  8. There should be no mistaking the Christian doctrine of original sin for the homosexual establishment’s teaching of “sexual orientation.” When they say “born like that” they aren’t talking about original sin. They don’t generally believe in the soul much less a soul characterized by original sin. What they believe is that homosexual behavior is genetic and a person is basically hard wired as a homosexual and cannot be changed. This is called “inbred orientation to homosexuality” and in adopting this genetic view of behavior, one has completely left the context of original sin and has agreed with the homosexual establishment.

  9. “Anything said after making this concession is in the context of fundamental agreement with the basic tenet of homosexual apologetics.” You’re mistaken in this assumption, my friend. It is precisely at the crux of an effective argument to be able to accureatelyy state your opponents position. There is a profound difference between clearly identifying your opponent and agreeing with him.

    Very good piece, Pastor Dunn. Thank you.

  10. Jack, am I assuming that the author spoke about “inbred orientation to homosexuality” (without denying it) while also saying in a positive and straightforward manner “it doesn’t surprise me that my physiological and psychological proclivities render me liable to certain sins”? A “physiological” basis for sin is on par with an “inbred orientation.” If words mean anything he is saying there is a genetic basis for homosexuality. But that is not the biblical doctrine of original sin which has to do with the sinful condition of the immaterial soul not a genetic defect. This is what the 1689 means when it says 9:1 that the will of man “is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.” Fallen man, whatever his genes are, is still a free and responsible moral agent not a genetic inevitability as claimed in “born that way” homosexual dogma. The Holy Spirit in regeneration does not change genes, he changes the spiritual relationship to sin. If the author would like to disavow a “physiological” and “inbred” basis for “homosexual orientation” I will gladly ask all my comments to be removed by the administrator.

  11. It’s noteworthy in this regard, that the author’s state governor Cris Christie shares his views and has stated in an 2011 interview “I’ve always believed that people are born with the predisposition to be homosexual.” Since then Christie has signed into a law that bans “the practice of seeking to change a person’s sexual orientation, including, but not limited to, efforts to change behaviors”. Can the author and those defending a “physiological” view of homosexuality really not see the anti Christian nature of it -even while it makes homosexual “conversion” illegal? Discouraging.

  12. @ Reformed Baptist Sentinel.“Could a man, in this fallen state, have an inbred orientation to homosexuality?” Couldn’t you apply this to other sins? Do you only have a problem applying this to homosexuality? I always thought we all were born with “an inbred orientation to” _______(you fill in the blank).

  13. Of course a Christian must oppose every instance of the “physiological” view of human behavior because it is a denial of the soul and original sin and biblical morality. God’s word teaches that man’s problems are spiritual not physiological in nature. If homosexuality (the subject of the blog) is just a genetic orientation some people are born with, as we are told, then it’s logical that it should be protected with civil rights and marriage, and it should be illegal to try to convert the person because genes cannot be changed. Genes have characteristics like blue eyes, you wouldn’t preach to someone that they need to change their eyes, but when you say homosexual behavior is genetic then it is just as amoral and unchangeable. That’s why its illegal to try to convert a homosexual in New Jersey. And if we accept the premise of their argument concerning inbred (genetic) orientation we indeed have no gospel message. But the premise is wrong. Man is a free and responsible moral agent no matter what his genes are, and who has a spiritual problem affecting his immaterial soul. He can be saved because in regeneration there is a renovation of the soul and a change in relationship to sin which is his real problem. This is the only hope of all sinners but we destroy the message when we accept the worlds atheistic definitions of genetic behavior.

  14. […] Hey, Don’t Say Gay — A great article on how the gay movement got us to where we are today. […]

  15. @ Reformed Baptist Sentinel. I don’t have a lot of time to debate all of your points but I will say this one thing: The Bible teaches that men and women who never believe the gospel will be in hell both body and soul. You have made this OLNY a spiritual issue. It is a spiritual issue but its much more. What I get out of the Bible is that EVERY part of us both spiritually and physically has been affected by sin.

    This is more than a political issue thats happening in New Jersey so its pointless bringing it up. I doubt the author comes to the same conclusions as Chris Christie.

  16. Tyrese, Yes every part of us has been affected by sin. The body is physically affected and the soul is spiritually affected. But it is mans spiritual condition not his physical condition that is at the root of his alienation from God and his behavior whether it is homosexuality or any other sin. The view that man does what he does, not as a result of a sinful soul but because of a genetic inbred orientation is what is taught by the modern atheistic homosexual mainstream because they do not believe in the soul or original sin. Christie is highly relevant because I am illustrating that he and the author share a presupposition. Christie follows this logically to outlawing homosexual conversion because genes can’t be changed. The author, perhaps, does not realize he is logically invalidating his own gospel message, but he is -we have no gospel for changing genes. The author admitted that “sorting through all this “orientation” stuff is not easy” I think he needs to think more about it and I hope he will reconsider his views.

  17. Loved your title, “Don’t say Gay.” Many years ago, a pastor, whose last name was Gay, pleaded with his brethren in a letter to a leading Christian magazine, asking them not to use the homosexuals self-designation as ‘gay.’ My home town is named after the first railroad agent whose name was Gay. My forth grade teacher named her daughter Gay, and when I was at university, she was a prominent student. If you read your kids the Chronicles of Narnia, there will be characters who are described as gay…. Is anyone getting the picture?

    And your article, otherwise, was excellent.

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