Now that the Revoice conference is in the rear-view mirror, it is officially an event in the past. This means that—it should be obvious that it means that—your standard issue PCA pastor, personally orthodox, can go back to pretending that everything is normal. All is okay. The alarmists were wrong, in that the sky is still blue, and the grass still green. Most of the men I know at presbytery don’t have anything to do with this kind of foolishness. They don’t like it much, but they are occupied with local ministry.
When the liberals captured the mainline Presbyterian church, about eighty percent of the ministers in that denomination were orthodox and evangelical. What’s to worry about? Well, lymph nodes are just a small percentage of a man’s body mass, but that does not really matter if cancer got into them.
Not only so, but it possible to have more than one kind of cancer at the same time.
Writing that Assumes the Center
If my subject here is the mortal threat presented to the church by the mere fact of something like Revoice—and it is—it may appear to some that I will be changing the subject for a few moments. But I am not.
Writing is an essential component in the task of exercising dominion. Writing, when done self-consciously and properly, is an essential part of the creation mandate, and which is in turn an essential part of the renewal of the creation mandate that is grounded in the Great Commission. Let me say it again. Writing is how we should assume the center. Writing is an exercise of dominion. Writing—as distinct from scribbling—wields authority.
Writing all this down accomplishes many things, but I just want to mention two of them here. First, writing enables us to remember. Writing is institutional memory. It wasn’t always like this. That which is accepted as normal now was rejected as beyond abnormal just a few years ago. Writing helps us to remember. Second, writing is an act of authoritative naming. As I have written numerous times before, our gender wars, our culture wars—what might better be called our lust wars–are battles over the control of the dictionary. He who controls the dictionary controls the exegesis.
Why do I write? Because I refuse to surrender this particular outpost. It is strategic; it is the decisive point. Everything depends upon our ability to continue to name in accordance with the naming of God. What God has called detestable cannot be perfumed into holiness with our little spritzer bottles of redefinition. I will say more about this in a moment, but if we want to continue to name these sins rightly, we cannot settle for naming them this way in our hearts. No, we have to name what we name out loud.
A World Gone Crazy, a Church Gone Timid:
The world, naturally, has always been worldly. But the world has not always been—indeed, has usually not been—what someone with the insight of Kierkegaard would have called crazynuts. We are living in a world gone mad, and there are two components to this.
The first part is the spirit of perversion. I am talking about those who actually want to remake the world. They want to the authority to turn boys into girls, not to mention all the other variations possible—the L’s and the G’s and the B’s and the T’s and the P’s and the +’s. This spirit is not of God—it is from the pit.
But there is another spirit that is not from God either, and this is far more common. Most of the church is normal. They are not sexually perverted. If you talk them privately about these distortions, they will expression dismay of some sort. But ask them to go on the record—preach on it, write about it, file complaints at presbytery about it—the spirit of cowardice becomes evident. And this spirit is no more from God than the spirit of perversion is. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
The AI-Attracted Community
If someone wants to write in a satiric vein these days, he really needs to run down the road. If he walks at a leisurely pace, he will find that the absurdities of what is quaintly called the real world will be there ahead of him. If we walks with his hands in his pockets, when he comes to write his withering reductio, he will find that the absurd conclusions that he was going to envision are being seriously entertained by all the woke personages he knows.
Fast forward just a few years—when technology has moved the sex doll industry into remarkable life-likeness. The sexbots can converse with you in spooky ways. And lo! There arises a quadrant of the church—incels who have discovered their affinity for artificial intelligence. Let us call them AI-attracted. I think that this certainly qualifies as a sexual minority. Does the umbrella of that Revoice plus sign cover them, or will the once-forward-thinking people shrink back to be conquered by the forces of reaction and hate?
Oh, the cowards say, we would speak out then. I see. And so what is more absurd about that scenario than what you are remaining silent about now? A man masturbating with a mechanical device is a bridge too far, and a man pretending to be a woman isn’t?
Give them a break. They were busy trying to deal with the ramifications of that PCA church that had ordained as a deacon someone who identified as a man, thus fulfilling Paul’s limitation of that office
We need to face some ugly facts. The contemporary evangelical church is led by cowards. The anti-normals are out on the edges, demanding their way, and the cowards are refusing to deal with them. In this controversy, a comparatively small handful of voices have been raised against what is happening. The besetting sin of the church today is fear. Fear is the wind beneath our wings. Timidity is our oxygen. Faintheartedness is our superpower. Aversion is what our branding experts recommend. Anxiety is our long game strategy. Disquietude is the approach commended by our life coaches.
And so I am reminded of something George MacDonald once said—“what have creatures like us to do with heroism who are not yet barely honest?”
Consumed by Worms
We are going to check out the same way that Herod did, and for the same reason. Herod would not give glory to God, and so an angel of the Lord struck him, and he was consumed by worms, and died. Herod was given a proleptic opportunity to reflect on what happens to all after we die. After we die, we all of us are consumed by worms. He was consumed by worms before he died.
We are still alive. We hold conferences, and these conferences have slick graphics. Slick graphics and credentialed speakers. Just like Herod—royal robes outsides and worms inside. And like him, we are still not giving glory to God, we are still not heeding His Word, and we are still tolerating the hair-splitting defenses of rank iniquity. If you want to see the worms, all you would have to do is cut us open.
You can depend upon it. The public promotion of Revoice was really, really bad. And this means that what actually happened there was far, far worse. The worms of perversion are large, and the putrefaction is advanced.
And the visible cowardice in response has been really bad also. You can also rest assured that the calculations of expedience made behind the scenes at highly respected ministries (“but what about our brand?”) have been grotesque as well.
Fear of God:
The reason our leaders are fearful in the face of this kind of sexual sortie into our midst is because they do not fear God. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: Pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate” (Prov. 8:13).
And the reason they do not fear God is because they fear man. These are the alternatives.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).
“Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews” (John 7:13).
You either fear God or you fear man. You either seek the honor that comes from God or you seek the honor that comes from man. One or the other. “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44).
Our Balsa Wood Heat Shield
NASA just recently launched a probe that is designed to “touch the sun.” By this they mean that if all goes as planned, it will reach the edge of the sun’s atmosphere, which is about three million miles out from the surface. To do this, they built the mother of all heat shields, and they hope to gain a lot of useful information. The project is nothing if not audacious.
Speaking of audacious projects, the evangelical world has just held a conference in which they talked glibly of bringing queer treasures into the New Jerusalem. The intimacy between Jesus and John provides us a model for those who want to cultivate same-sex attracted friendships. And those involved in this conference have written about the prospect of still being gay in the resurrection. Perhaps same sex attraction—not being sin in itself—was even a creational feature prior to the fall. Maybe. One wishes. One hopes. One yearns. The whole thing is a tangle of contradictions—they are driven by the standard issue self-loathing, but they are also smug and conceited, looking down on the duddy world of evangelical straights from their refined heights of aesthetic soooperioriteee.
By way of contrast, our God is infinitely holy. He is a consuming fire. He is like the sun, only He is an infinite Sun, a sun with no center, a sun with no surface. He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Tim. 6:16).
And yet the modern evangelical church has produced these mavens of mendacity, these engineers of rationalization, these space scientists of conceited and proud self-loathing, and they have figured out how to approach the unapproachable light—and all without a mediator! They have built their heat shield out of reinforced balsa wood, and they have used tissue paper for the tiles, which they have lacquered on with pine sap. They are ready for the journey.