“There are many reasons for our lamentation, from fear that religious liberties will be taken away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization. But of all the things that grieve us, perhaps what’s been most difficult is seeing some of our friends, some of our family members, and some of the folks we’ve sat next to in church giving their hearty “Amen” to a practice we still think is a sin and a decision we think is bad for our country. It’s one thing for the whole nation to throw a party we can’t in good conscience attend. It’s quite another to look around for friendly faces to remind us we’re not alone and then find that they are out there jamming on the dance floor. We thought the rainbow was God’s sign (Gen. 9:8-17).” -Pastor Kevin DeYoung, 40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags
To open honestly, I have a strong bias against people like Pastor DeYoung because it is people like him who are the reason that I have chosen to walk away from Protestantism; self-appointed popes who are so set in their rightness that to dissent from their ideology renders one irrelevant and invalid. I spent many years studying Scripture from the teachings of people like him. I was so entrenched in their theology that I couldn’t see that I -like them- had become little more than abrasive noise. So if I am to pen what I am to pen honestly, it is important to note that I am hostile and will always look for the ill in the words of people like DeYoung. It is one of the skill sets they gave me that I have been unable to rid myself of.
In a very stern and disappointed post on The Gospel Coalition website Pastor DeYoung poses forty questions for Bible-believing Christians to consider before they pick up their rainbow flags and celebrate this strange new sexual revolution. I read each and every one of these questions, and each of them read as “I’m right, and you’re wrong. Prove me wrong. If you can’t prove me wrong, then you are wrong, and I am still right.” Since I am a dissenter, and thus irrelevant and invalid, I will not waste time answering his forty questions . Besides I am pretty certain he doesn’t care about my answers anyway since they won’t match his own.
DeYoung is no different than every other bullhorn Evangelical who mixes theology with nationalism. and it is unsurprising -and more than a little selfish- that he is lamenting over fear of religious persecution, social ostracism, and cultural marginalization. It is almost as if he is concerned that he won’t be taken seriously anymore, or that he -and those like him- won’t be seen by the world as important. Moreover, he seems upset that not everyone who claims to be a Christian is on the same page as he and his cohorts.
What DeYoung fails to see is that theology and nationalism have no business sleeping in the same bed together. We live in a country that is based on the idea of certain freedoms -chief of which is the freedom of religion. If I firmly deny person ‘A’ the same rights as person ‘B’ because of my own personal religious views and ideology, then what is to stop the same thing from happening to me? As a citizen I feel it is my duty to stand up for the rights of those around me to pursue happiness –so long as it harms no one else. Even if I disagree with them.
Secondly, in the matter of the gay marriage and the gay sex DeYoung and his ilk are so hung up on, what moral high ground do Protestants have to stand on in saying that our way is the best and most fulfilling way? Do we not have the same ~50% divorce rate as the secular world? Do we not have a significant problem with infidelity, neglect, abuse, fornication, shattered homes, and broken family lives? Have we not neglected to charge our husbands and fathers to be husbands and fathers instead of the sports-worshiping, women objectifying, selfish, child-neglecting tyrants so many of them are? Have we not repeatedly told our women that their lot in life is to please God by pleasing us? Tell me, DeYoung, where is our moral high ground when we won’t even practice what we preach?
The American Protestant Church has wasted so much time infighting, pointing to personal Biblical interpretations, and defaulting to secular studies and observations, that we don’t have a leg to stand on. What beyond our own personal interpretations of the Bible (something we can’t even seem to agree on else there would be no need for 23,000 different denominations) do we have to point to with some legitimacy?
Social ostracism? Cultural marginalization? Certainly, Jesus never said anything about the persecution of his people over the foolishness of their Faith, right? These are such minor issues compared to the deep house cleaning the Protestant church ought to have considered many, many, years ago.
As a citizen I will celebrate the equality now offered by the State to its citizens in marriage.
As a Christian I will love God above all else, and love my neighbor as myself.
Besides, if DeYoung’s implication that no sexually immoral person shall inherit the Kingdom of God (question 9) is the standard by which God will grant forgiveness, and not -as the Bible consistently and contextually teaches- our standing with Jesus Christ, then we are all fucked -regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or age.