This last weekend was the Pridefest in Denver. Last year, I went with two brothers to preach the Gospel. We were not able to make it out this year, and I was very disappointed. As I wrote about here, when we went, I saw my theology before my own eyes. Something I had been told I finally saw and experienced: what I witnessed was the true heart of the social wars, Rebellion against God and the worship of autonomy. All social issues can be described as rebellion to God, and the worship of autonomy.
In his recent episode of the briefing, Al Mohler nailed the heart of the issue in regards to the battle Christians are in against the culture. Mohler said,
“If you peel back the onion and you get back to the most fundamental issue, it is never abortion; it’s never sexuality; it’s never merely marriage. It’s whether or not you believe that God has revealed himself in Scripture and that God alone has the right to define the sanctity and dignity of human life, and whether or not human autonomy is an idol at which human beings can worship.”
This couldn’t be more correct. Ultimately, in a climate of unrest, our bickering all boils down to the question of the garden. Every debate against the Christian ethic is ultimately a recycled question which found its genesis in the king of deception.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
Did God actually say? What a question.
It’s the question underneath all
of our quarrels and squabbles. Underneath every dispute is the fundamental
“Did God really say?”
Satan and Eve both knew Who was authoritative. They both knew that if God did in fact speak, then the debate was ended. Thus, Satan set out to plant skepticism in Eve’s heart. He set out to question her understanding of whether and how God actually spoke to the issue at hand.
When we fight with the culture, we are answering Satan’s question: “Yes, God HAS said! Thus saith the Lord!”
God has spoken. He has entered into history; He has made Himself known to His creation, and this ends all debate, and this is the foundation for all debate.
This is why I believe so many conservatives who find themselves on the right side of the ethical issues, but who reject the God who established them are up against it. The battle is not ultimately won by statistics and evidences. They find themselves useful, but that isn’t the war.
One can quote all the statistics on earth about homosexuality and how it shortens life expectancy, about how children raised in a same-sex house may be harmed by that, how disease is more likely to spread through homosexual sex, etc. At the end of the day, the question is has God really said homosexuality is a perversion and an abomination? Has He really said that? If He hasn’t, then why would we care? It lowers life expectancy. Who cares!? It does harm to your body. Who cares!?
Christians fight against homosexuality whether or not it has particular, piecemeal effects on people. We fight because God has spoken. The Creator of the universe has in fact made us with creative purposes and has given us sexual boundaries. So although there will be pragmatic effects to following His Law because its good, that is not the basis of following His Law. The issue is authority, not pragmatism.
Is abortion wrong because one can find statistics about how many women who have had them suffer intense emotional pain afterward? Is transgenderism immoral because the suicide rates of those who have crossed are so high? Is gay-marriage wrong because it opens up the floodgates for all kinds of marriage ideals that can crumble a nation?
All of these things may be true, and they may have their place, but ultimately the question is Has God Spoken? Is He there and if so, what has He said? What has He decided?
Marriage has been defined by God, case closed.
Our sexual genders and the expectations that follow from those have been defined by God, case closed.
When life begins and whether or not we are supposed to murder our neighbor has been decided by God.
The cases are closed.
The culture is ultimately at war with their Maker. They are ultimately deciding God is not allowed to have a say in their lives, and a rigorous attack on His Law is the only way to strike the God we cannot see. We break the Law because we want to break God.
When an army wants to topple a King, they storm the castle and they kill Him. However, God’s castle is out of our reach, and He cannot be killed. He made Himself prone to that once, only to rise from the dead anyway after we did in fact kill Him. Thus, the only way to effectively rebel against the God we can’t touch is to break His Rules and live as our own gods; we declare ourselves autonomous.
But we are not autonomous; We are not our own. Jesus is King, He does have authority, He has made us with purpose, and there is nothing any one can do to escape that fact. Jesus gets to tell us what to do and what to think.
Our options are always twofold: rebel or embrace, listen or ignore, reject or obey. These are our options.
If God has not spoken, then the debate is over. Do whatever you want, live however you want. You are your own authority. Do what you please and hope you are bigger and stronger than whomever you may bump into during the process. If Jesus is not Lord, no statistic or philosophy in the book can make anything “wrong”. Life would be vanity, the debate would be over.
However, Jesus is Lord. He reigns with justice forever, and that is what all of these debates are ultimately about.