Do you want to know what is wrong with Christian cultural engagement? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it. Are you sure you want to know? I do have a view on this. The problem with Christian cultural engagement is that it is gayer than the organists’ slippers down at Barry Manilow Presbyterian. That’s what’s wrong with it.
And by gay I do not mean homosexual. The worst kind of gay is that which is technically heterosexual. By gay I mean that peculiar kind of relativism that refuses to make crucial distinctions, that kicks against acknowledging bedrock differences, that smudges every thick black line it encounters, and that in fits of decadent pique makes any given triviality the hinge upon which everything else must turn. By gay I mean the effeminate softness of the contemporary church. This malady is not something we are fighting to keep out of the church. This was something we developed, and it is something we actually export. We beta-tested it in the church, and then we shipped it.
“But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: Thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; Then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (Deut. 32:15).
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15; Acts 28:27).
Waxen fat. Grown thick. Covered with fat. Waxed gross. Dull of hearing. Eyes closed up. Countless preachers ascend to their places to preach to the saints of God every week, and when they commence all we can hear are vague muffled noises because they are preaching with a paper bag over their heads.
We emphasize liturgy so that we can learn that symbols matter, and we emphasize it so that we will come to think that the symbolism of tattoos and nose rings doesn’t matter.
We talk about how bodies are so incarnational and that bodies matter. Doctrine should involve much more than “head knowledge,” and therefore we want to maintain that women should be preachers because bodies don’t matter.
We are the enlightened ones, and think we have figured out how to suck and blow at the same time. Over the last couple of centuries, so many institutions, churches, seminaries, publishing houses, grad schools, colleges, magazines, and so on have gone liberal that you would think that we would know what it looks like by now.