These are the notes from my presentation at the Fight Laugh Feast conference, Lebanon, Tennessee, 2021.Show Outline with Links
I came all the way from Idaho to middle Tennessee because I have something I want to tell you.
As you have no doubt noticed, my topic is Gay Pulpits, with a subtitle that runs The Politics of Feminism, Homosexuality, and Unfaithful Children. Inspired by all this, we might want to extend it and turn it into a title worthy of someone who aspires to be a true heir of the Puritans. How about The Politics of Feminism, Homosexuality, and Unfaithful Children, Along With Anything Else That Might be Wrong With Our Nation, or Even Mildly Irritating.
I want to begin with a quotation from Melville’s Moby Dick. This is a good example of how 19th century infidels often knew more about what is actually going on that do 21st century believers.
“The pulpit is ever this earth’s foremost part; all the rest comes in its rear; the pulpit leads the world. From thence it is the storm of God’s quick wrath is first descried, and the bow must bear the earliest brunt. From thence it is the God of breezes fair or foul is first invoked for favorable winds. Yes, the world’s a ship on its passage out, and not a voyage complete; and the pulpit is its prow.”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
A Stipulated Definition of Gay
In referring to gay pulpits, I am not going to be talking about lecterns that are guilty of unnatural sex practices. We sometimes focus on the fruit of perversion, which is where homosexual practices would be located, instead of looking to the root of all our modern perversion, which would be egalitarianism. And the thing that every form of egalitarianism has in common is its dedication to fruitlessness.
So for my purposes here today, gay means fruitless. And as believing Christians, we take our stand against gay economics, which hates the fruit of wealth for work. We take our stand against gay education, which hates the fruit of honors for real study. We take our stand against gay heterosexuality, which scrapes wombs bare of the children who were seeking refuge there. We take our stand against gay gays and gay lesbians, who want a strict guarantee that their orgasms will be always and forever fruitless. This is my stipulated definition—gay means fruitlessness.
A moment ago, I said that socialism was fruitless economics. For this I might be chided by Christians on the left. Was not the rich young ruler told to give away all that he had, and follow Christ? Indeed he was (Luke 18:21). Some cases of gangrene are radical, and require nothing less than amputation. To this our collectivists friends might chortle at my attempts to blunt the sharp edges of the teaching of Jesus. ‘Twas ever thus, they sigh. How could you possibly think there could be any exception to this severe rule? Well, because of what Jesus said about this same topic just a handful of verses later (Luke 19:9). Jesus says that salvation came to the house of Zacchaeus’ house, and he only gave away half of his stuff. Sounds like the rich young ruler got a raw deal. Or was a bad negotiator.
So socialism is fruitless, feminism is fruitless, gay men are fruitless, and so on. God wants lush gardens, and the devil wants a moonscape. The war on fruit is relentless, and as the abortion statistics should reveal to us, it is most definitely a shooting war. This is a very bloody war, and in some respects it has been the bloodiest of wars.
We live in a generation that has declared war on fruitfulness. Not only so, but despite the onslaught, the Christian church has rarely returned fire. This is a deficiency that perhaps we can do something to rectify.
“These are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;” (Jude 12)
Jude 12 (KJV)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
Ephesians 5:11 (KJV)
And Why One?
Why did God make the man and the woman one? What was He after? What was the point? The prophet Malachi tells us.
“And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.”
Mal. 2:15 (KJV)
If this is the point of godly marriage, and it is certainly one of the central reasons for it, then those who have the rule in the church ought to be setting an example of how to bring up godly seed (Heb. 13:7,17). The point is not just to beget warm bodies, but rather to bring up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-4)
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Tim. 3:4–5 (KJV)
Why is it that preachers’ kids and missionaries’ kids (PKs and MKs) have such an enduring reputation for being stinkers?
This also is one of the reasons we have had such an etiolated response to the homo-jihad. It is hard to fight their insertion of disqualified men and women into the pulpit when we have been defending our disqualified men being there for decades. It sort of takes away the prophetic thunder, if you know what I mean.
The same principle applies to the progressive demand that we start ordaining women, placing them in the pulpit. For decades, we have been placing effeminate girly men in the pulpit, and this is one of the things that has given the progressive argument so much force. How can you demand femininity in the pulpit, and then argue with the fact that women would do a better job at that than our evangelical beta males do?
One of the things that the evangelical church must learn is that tolerated disobedience in the pulpit will only get you more tolerated disobedience in the pulpit. We are just now getting a glimpse of just how far the devil might be willing to run this particular reductio. I am beginning to suspect that I might live to see the ordination, somewhere, of a tranny twelve-year-old.
When the church is in free fall, it doesn’t make sense to look wistfully back at the first yard or so when you were still just beneath the plane. Our initial problem began when we first set aside the personal pastoral qualifications set out in Titus 1 and 1 Timothy 3, and replaced them with our own bright ideas. The liberals didn’t do that, friends. The liberals didn’t do that.
In Order to Be Feminine, the Church Must be Masculine
The Church is the bride of Christ, and the bride of Christ is summoned to be submissive to her Lord in all things. If Christian wives are commanded to submit to their husbands as the Church submits to Christ, then this means that the Church must be submissive to Christ, and to His teaching.
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” ().
Eph. 5:24 (KJV)
This means that to be truly feminine, the Church must be obedient. And what is the Church told to do? The church is commanded to have masculine leadership.
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
1 Tim. 2:12 (KJV)
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.”
1 Cor. 14:34 (KJV)
If someone visits your church, and afterwards asks you why the women don’t do anything “up front” in the service. You don’t have any women doing anything, except for playing the piano, and you sometimes feel that’s pushing it.
If a feminist tells you that the image for the Christian church is that of a woman, you may agree with that. In fact, you must agree with that. But then, you should hasten to add, the Church is not an uppity one. The Church is never more feminine that when we are tractable, teachable, dutiful, and submissive. And that means that the Church is never more feminine than when the worship is led by men, the liturgy is conducted by men, and the one who opens the text of the sermon to read it aloud is a man.
And away with all shifts and devices. A saying is current that in the worship service a woman may do everything an unordained man can do, and this is used to crowbar women into absolutely everything except the sermon proper. But enough about Tim Keller. Our reaction to this ought to be something like, “Huh. We had better stop giving unordained men so much of the service.”
We do not defend the Church as an Old Boys’ Network. Rather, we are taking a stand defending the essential femininity of the Church. We want to be an obedient wife. We object, and not mildly, to the Church being made over into a butch lesbian. Not a good look, and not what the apostle John saw descending out of Heaven at the end of Revelation.
Not only do we want the Church to be a fruitful wife, we want the Church to be a fruitful wife as an example to all of the sisters here. One of the glories of femininity is the glory of fruitfulness. Never forget that women are the kind of people that people come out of. Never forget, men, how spooky that is. When a woman walks through a room, the men should draw back to the walls in amazement. It’s one of them.
Three Cheers for HeteroNormativity
We are approaching a catastrophe. I would regard the ground of that catastrophe to be our sexual rebellion against God’s created order. Our sexual rebellion includes the abortion carnage, the successful sodomite press for gay marriage, women in pulpits and in the cockpits of fighter planes, the porn epidemic, the divorce rates, and so on. If it is right for us to question Newt Gingrich’s reliability based on his inability to keep his marriage vows, and it is, by the same token, it should be right for us to question America’s reliability based on our rampant sexual confusions. We break promises, we sleep around, and we dismember the inconvenient by-products of our pursuit of sexual pleasure. The penumbrae of the Constitution are conveniently arranged by us to shelter our dirty deeds. At the same time, we have arranged no shelter of any kind for the young Americans who may be constitutionally sacrificed on the altars of our orgasms.
This is, I believe, the heart of our disease, the heart of our sickness—egalitarianism, hedonism, perversion, and every other form of pomosexuality.
Some Christians have succumbed to the libertarian temptation, saying they are supportive of all voluntary associations, and people can call it whatever they want. This is beyond naive—an orgy is a voluntary association, and sinners want to call it any number of things other than what God calls it—an occasion for some brimstone.
Because marriage involves property, and heirs, and dependent children, the civil magistrate will necessarily be involved. For example, Solomon adjudicated the custody fight between the two harlots over the baby. Marriage in a republic like ours cannot be reduced to something as easy as a boy and girl in second grade deciding to “like” each other. Whatever the definition of marriage will be, because of the ownership/custody issues that are the necessary ramifications of sex, the civil order will have to add its amen (or not) to that definition of marriage. And for those who want the state to add its amen to any voluntary definition of marriage, no limits whatever, then I have to confess that I have never heard anything scarier (or dumber) in my life.
If this view of this were established, then bid farewell to the republic. I will go down to see her, like the fellow did in St. James Infirmary, “so cold, so sweet, so sweet, so fair.”
So what should the response be? The need of the hour is for God to raise up a masculine ministry, remembering everything I said about the femininity of the Church in the previous section. We do not confuse testosterone with the Holy Spirit, but at the same time, we are looking for testosterone. The ministry of the Word should be, as the Puritans most certainly were, highly sexed. If a man feels called to the ministry, one of the first things he should do is find a sweet little thing with a stout heart, marry her, and start having fat evangelical babies. This is something the homo-catechized world will sneer at, but only because they can’t do it. All they have is gay fruitlessness.
In times like ours, it is a standing disgrace that courage is not required to preach sermons. We should be thoroughly embarrassed by the fact that we have thousands of pulpits across the land, and the secularists who are wrecking our nation are not in the slightest bit afraid of what we are saying in them.
And this leads, naturally enough, to the last point.
The Key to Fruitfulness
Why do we shy away from fruitfulness? The answer is that, in the providence of God, fruitfulness is not something we discover on the Big Rock Candy Mountain. Fruitfulness is glorious, but it gloriously hard. Baskets of fruit are heavy.
“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
Hebrews 12:11 (NKJV)
When Christ calls a man, Bonhoeffer said, He bids him come and die. Take up your cross, Jesus said, and come follow me. The old blues song says that everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.
The key to fruitfulness is sacrifice. The key to the great harvest of reformation is a willingness to die.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
John 12:24 (KJV)
Did you hear that? Much fruit.