Hints towards a Christian witness concerning sexual sin among the chattering class...

Over under another post explaining the love that leads Christians to continue to use the word 'sodomy' with both unbelievers and believers caught in the practice of same-sex intimacy, one reader commented:

Recently I found myself using the following construction: "The behavior formerly known as sodomy." Kind of like "The artist formerly known as Prince." Is that cowardly? It seems like it gets the point across, without constantly derailing the conversation into "Don't you know that word is offensive? Then why do you keep using it?!"

To which I respond:

That seems even more of a witness than simply to say "sodomy." It calls attention to the PC police who lead the cowards' revolution of thought and word control.

Other options might be, "the sin that now demands the protection of the Academy's thought-control gestapo," "the perversion that preens itself as 'gay,'" "the crime still prohibited by thirteen states called 'sodomy,'" or "the sin whose proponents' death-wish San Francisco Chronicle's gay journalist Randy Shilts chronicled so well and tragically in his classic And the Band Played On completed shortly before he himself died of AIDS." That last one is wonderful because it's an extremely verbose circumlocution and academics just adore verbose circumlocutions.

More seriously, though, when speaking to unbelievers I wouldn't recommend one word consistently used. I'd pepper my conversation with all of the above as well as "queers" and "dikes" and "gays" and "butch" and "clergy" (you know, "there are three sexes—men, women, and clergymen") and "men and women tempted by same-sex intimacy" and so on. But I'd always use the word 'sodomy' at least once to keep the living consciences present on high (or God) alert. The more pressure there were to not use such Divine language, the more I would fear God for not using it. But once or twice will do.

Always keep it firmly in mind that... the goal of secularists and R2K men is to banish God's Word and Law from the public square so that evil may prevail in the public square as it did in Sodom (secularists) and Christians may worship unhindered in our catacombs (R2K men). "You may have your religion in private—PRIVATE!—they say, but try speaking of "sodomy" in any church today and you'll quickly realize they're making sure you're never alone.

Private religion is an oxymoron.

Were I to be speaking to a prof or grad student or journalist or diversity advocate or administrator or gay man or lesbian or anyone relatively knowledgeable concerning the battle to normalize sodomy that is all around us today, I'd pursue a witness along these lines:

To speak of same-sex intimacy in moral and condemnatory terms is of the essence of freedom of religion and freedom of speech today in these United States. See how the battle rages everywhere seeking to deny a fundamental tenet of the Christian faith which teaches that all sexual intimacy is to be within the context of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. Despite sodomites and adulterers and pornographers and child molesters finding my faith, the orthodox historic Christian faith, offensive, there's no way for true Christians to live without confessing our faith. Is our voice not wanted, also? Can we really afford to remove Christians from the grand tapestry of these United States of America? Are we really in such bondage to our lust that we must kill the Triune God and His Law?

It's offensive to the real Christian to have all the language concerning sexual sin forcibly changed by the monsters of the Id who are Hell-bent on carrying out and winning their immoral revolution. We will not give in to their thought-control police who are gagging the Christian conscience and witness. We are not going to be shoved into the closet with their duct tape over our mouths. We are out and about with pride in our God and His kind and loving path of truth and righteousness, and we will not suffer Him to be gagged or shamed in our beloved motherland, least of all the Academy founded upon the pursuit of goodness, beauty, and truth. Especially truth.

If they respond that the language and words we're using are offensive, I'd respond that causing offense is one sure sign that truth is being told in such an evil day, and that the minute they have succeeded in removing all offense from the voices around them, they may know they have been abandoned to Hell. Offense is in the eye of the beholder and it would do him or her well to keep tabs on why orthodox Christian language and witness is so offensive? Likely it's because he or she has turned his or her back on God's Law and will no longer tolerate any witness to it or the God Who spoke it. But what a horrible condition to be abandoned to—that one hates the Only True God and lives to silence Him, His Moral Law, and His faithful servants who live among us witnessing to Him out of love of neighbor.

If they respond that it doesn't "feeeel" like love to them, I'd maybe reply by saying that no discipline feels good at the time, but all discipline is profitable—not simply to produce a good dissertation or football player, but much more to produce repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. And how will they or anyone else know of the mercy and love of God in Jesus Christ if they ban the Christian and His witness from the Academy and the public square because the proud and immoral and greedy find it offensive? I see the terrible wounds all around us caused by sexual sin and I am God's gift to you and him and her and Indiana University testifying to His Law which is the only path to unity and peace. The only healing path that will bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted.

There is no way to listen to Jesus saying "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" without realizing that there are two ways of responding to adultery and rape and child molestation and fatherlessness and divorce and child-slaughter: we may harden our hearts and normalize these crimes against nature and nature's God, removing all laws prohibiting them and learning how to speak gobbledegook that papers over the wounds and blood and pain; or we may listen to our beating hearts and realize that they testify to us of the God Who is there, the God Who made us and the Heavens and the Earth and the Sea and all that is in it; Who calls us to repent of our sin and believe in the Savior of sinful man who Himself came to earth to call us from our sin and pain with these words, with this promise: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

You know which path I've chosen: I've taken my pain and sin to the Cross of Jesus Christ. I've freely confessed my sin to Him and He's kept His promise and given me rest! Would you not give yourself the freedom to consider following this same path so you too may find rest for your soul? Jesus said He came to save sinners. I'm one. You're one. Is it really so very offensive to state publicly such an obvious thing? Are we so insecure in our freedom of speech that this truth must be silenced, particularly the truth that sodomy too is a sin?

You see, either I am allowed to love you or I am bound and gagged and put into the prison where those with hope are forced to live by those given over to hopelessness. But why would you want me gone? Why would you want my hope and love and merciful witness to forgiveness of sin in our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ banished to the Gulag, to Siberia, to Bedford or Terre Haute? Is Jesus Christ such a threat to you that you must gag Him? Can't you hear His love for sinners? Must we really gag him in order to feel good about our sins? And if we're Hell-bent on going to our own grave with a dead conscience and hard heart, what about our children? Are we going to consign then to a world devoid of sin and God's Law and the mercy to sinners in Jesus Christ by screaming about the words of God's Word and Law "offending us?" As in "I'm offended!"

Really, from the perspective of a lover of God in Christ Jesus, from the perspective of an ordinary Christian who lives knowing one day he and all men will stand before the God Who made us as He judges every one of the actions and thoughts and idle words of our lives, the real question isn't what you or I find offensive, but what He finds offensive. 

You say you don't believe in Him?

You ought to because it won't matter one bit whether or not you believe in Him when you stand naked before Him seated on His throne of Judgment. Scripture tells us "It's appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment." Do you believe in life after death, in judgment after death?

You don't?

Well then, what do you think happens after death? Or better yet, why do you think you were made and what's the purpose of your life?

Then I'd try to move into a discussion of sin and guilt and pain—not just the pain of their own sin, but also the pain they have suffered from others' sins, and the testimony of this pain to the love and mercy and holiness and goodness of God our Creator...

* * *

Now I know many reading this think there's a glaring omission in what I've said because I haven't stopped to try to prove that sodomy is in fact a sin and destructive. I respond that in all the many years of working within the Academy and among the liberal elite, I've never argued for the sinfulness of sodomy. I think it's needless. I simply assume it and work from there, building on the obvious pain it comes from (child molestation, fatherlessness, bondage to sexual lust, rape, etc.) and the pain it is (no monogamous male relationships, ever; the emotional black-holeism and awful physical abuse among lesbians; etc.). The point of speaking of the pain is to show one's deep love for gays and lesbians—that one knows their lives and fears and needs and the origin of their particular temptation and what bondage they feel from years of trying to escape it.

But also, while simply assuming the wickedness of (and pain which results from) homosexual intimacy, I'd always place it right next to adultery and fornication and divorce and rape and fornication so they know that all sexual sin receives a fairly equal treatment by God. That every heterosexual man fights against adulterous lusts just as he himself fights against homosexual lusts; that adulterous lusts were there from the very beginning of puberty, or before, and that they are sin we will struggle with until death relieves us just as they struggle with homosexual lusts; and that the only significant difference is that there is not legitimate outlet for homosexual lusts whereas the man who burns for a woman may get married and satisfy that desire; but again, that this won't stop his struggle against pervasive lust; and so on...

I've gotta stop.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.

Comments

"I've gotta stop."

Not so much.  Indeed, don't. 

Love,

    There's another way to respond when someone questions one's use of the word "sodomy". Ask them, "And what would you call the practice of homosexuality?" If they're politically correct, they can't say  "homosexuality," because they've redefined the word to mean "a person tempted by same-sex sexual practice".  I suppose they might say, "gay sex", but already that starts to sound gross. In any case, you could then ask them what to call someone who engages in that practice. Would they say, "a gay sexist"? 

Reading this reminds me of a Scripture I hope does not depict the time we are in right now, "The Lord God sent to them by his messengers the prophets...because He had compassion on His people...But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused the prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy."  (II Chronicles 36:15, 16)

Thank you, Pastor Tim.

"I'd respond that causing offense is one sure sign that truth is being told in such an evil day,"

So if you use a racial slur, is that a sure sign that truth is being told? Just curious.

No, Bob, no one here has ever been talking about racial slurs. Obviously there's nothing godly about being an offensive jerk just for the sake of being an offensive jerk. But Christ did warn us to "beware when all men speak well of you," and that "a student is not greater than his teacher: if they hated Me first, they'll hate you, too." The point being made in the quote that you cited (which should be clear from the context) is that there is a way of talking about sodomy--for example, by calling it "homosexuality," or "gay"--that makes you go out of your way to carefully avoid offending anyone; and it causes all men to speak well of you, and causes no one to hate you. But proclaiming the full counsel of God--including the word "sodomy," which reminds the listener of the city of Sodom, and God's judgment on that city--will cause men to hate you and speak ill of you.

Let's be mature in our understanding.

I'd be concerned that the people you are speaking to would tune you out when you start using an offensive term.

>>I'd be concerned that the people you are speaking to would tune you out when you start using an offensive term.

The Word of God never returns void, but always produces the fruit God intends. Christians who refuse to use God's Word outside the privacy of their homes and churches do so not because they're afraid they'll bore people, leaving their listeners yawning, but because they're afraid God's Word will infuriate people, leaving their listeners looking for stones.

Love,

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