Allow me to start with my conclusion so that when I wind up there at the end, there will be no surprises. The same sex marriage crusade has nothing whatever to do with what people can do sexually in private, and it has everything to do with what you will be allowed to say about it in public. We are not talking about whether private homosexual behavior will be penalized, but whether public opposition to homosexual behavior will be penalized. Further, there is only one effective response to this, which is the cross of Jesus Christ.
When I have made this point before, the comeback is always something like, “No, no, you Christians will still have the guaranteed right of free speech . . . honest.” And if you believe that, I have this Cypriot bank account I would like to open up for you . . . it’s insured.
The words may sound reassuring but they have the significant disadvantage of being false. Bunyan’s Faithful had a good hunch.
“Then it came burning hot in my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his house, he would sell me for a slave.”
Some of the things that IQ tests throw at you are questions that mark your ability in pattern recognition. One of the reasons that evangelical Christians fail so miserably in these cultural IQ tests we keep taking is because of precisely that failing — we don’t do pattern recognition well at all. Patterns remind us of that legalistic church we grew up in. Not only can we not see the pattern, we think it might be a sin to think that there could be a pattern. In fact, we are so bad at it that Lucy has pulled away our football a hundred times, and we don’t even know that she is doing that. At least Charlie Brown knew the potential problem coming up.
In this relativistic age, we are solemnly assured that there are certain things off the table. No, we would never go for that. Do you remember what they were telling you ten years ago? What would we never go for then? Twenty years? No, no, they say, patting our hands reassuringly. Polygamy? Out of the question. Incest? No way! Pedophilia? Beyond the pale. Bestiality? Don’t be a sicko.
But then, while the battle over “consenting adults with same-sex marriages, adorned with lasting and mature life-long commitments” is still onging, comes now Victoria’s Secret with a new line for teen-agers — “Bright Young Things.” These jailbait undies had messages on them like “Feeling Lucky?” and “Call Me.” Our family was talking about this last night and Nate said they should actually have messages like “Don’t touch this, Uncle Earl.”
So we really need to work on pattern recognition. We would see it if we thought about it, but we don’t want to think about it because that makes us realize that we might have to demonstrate courage some time soon in our lives. But think about it. What will you be ridiculed for opposing ten years from now? What will you be a “hater” for in 2023? Anybody who thinks that the sexual revolution is about to realize all its goals within the next year or two, and then we will all settle down in peaceful democratic harmony, is someone who probably ought to have their car keys taken away.
This is Good Friday. This the day that we mark the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus. This day was the day He spread His arms out wide to gather up the sin of the world. And at the festering center of that great mass of sin, we find putrid sin of envy. Envy bites and spits, and wants nothing to do with the way of holiness. But Jesus still died, and with Him we see the conquest of envy. Jesus died so that envy might die. Jesus died so that envy will die.
Because we in the Church have faltered in preaching, really preaching, the substitutionary, vicarious death of Christ on the cross, we have seen a great resurgence of envy in our day. It is the sin that is driving all these overwhelming cultural challenges that face us. This sin is at the heart of all of it. We are bad at federal math because we want somebody else to pay their “fair share.” We want homos to be able to marry because of a thirsting envy that thinks it can be slaked with something as absurd as the label “marriage.” We butcher children because we envy the lifestyles of those who are unemcumbered with having to care for little ones.
Envy is not the entire old man, but it is an essential organ of his. Take away a man’s liver and the man dies. Take away the old man’s envy, and he will die too — and will rise a new man in Christ.
Protective legislation is something that envy will always demand, but when the legislation is passed and signed, the unhappy ache is still there. So then there will be legislation against anyone who dares point out that the ache is still there. He must be shut up, for how can we have a true democracy with all these haters running around loose? So we can call two men in the sack together “married,” and we can police any hate speech that might hint otherwise. But there is one thing we cannot do. We cannot take those two men and turn one of them into a woman, and make the other one a man who wants to be with a woman. And so the ache and self-loathing will only ramp up further.
Yes, yes, I know . . . there are surgeons who claim to be able to make one of them a woman, and this is yet another testimony to how far envy will go. Just as the priests of Baal cut themselves with knives, so the acolytes of Envy hire the surgical knives. But all they can do is mutilate a man and call it woman. Yes, and some of these men even arrive at this state of mutilated masculinity, call themselves women, and then promptly become lesbians. Envy likes to toy with its prey before the final devouring.
This is why there is no simple political solution for the peculiar kind of frenzy that has got us all by the throat. America needs to come to Jesus. By this I mean that America needs to come to the divine Son of God who became a man for us, and who lived a perfect, sinless life on our behalf, who went to the cross — as we mark on this day — was buried in a cold sepulchre, and who rose again from the dead, and all in accordance with the Scriptures, which cannot be broken.
Unless and until we do that, we will continue to be confounded by the differences between red ink and black ink, men and women, children and lumps of tissue. We have been struck with a judicial blindness, and the only one who can heal our sight is the Lord Jesus. Pray that He walks to the very center of our country, Nebraska say, pray that He spits on the ground there, and applies the mud to our eyes. Far better that than the mud we have been applying to everything else.
But change the metaphor. America needs to know that when Jesus comes to our house, He will go through all of the rooms and throw many of our most precious things out. But the first place He will go is down into the basement to find that ramshackle cardboard kennel where we keep that semi-domesticated sewer rat Envy. We always used to go down there in the evening and feed it the delicacies of spite we gathered during the course of the day. But when Jesus goes down there, knife in hand, it will not be to feed it anything. We should really get accustomed to the sound of that squealing we hear, because when the reformation comes, there will be a lot of it.