Anti-Culture Rhetoric is the Authority of the Liberal Church

Anti-Culture Rhetoric is the Authority of the Liberal Church May 11, 2016

Carl Trueman has posted a couple of articles over at First Things (here & here) which aptly demonstrate the rise of the anti-culture. Essentially, his argument is that we are witnessing the collapse of American culture, being that the dictated norms of society are governed by what he has coined as the “Unholy Trinity” (the entertainment industry, big business, and legal institutions), which are intentionally disconnecting the culture from any accountability of the past and future.

…for those saps who use the word “culture” but really mean “pop culture” and therefore assume that a posturing Lady Gaga or the “artistic contributions” of some slack-jawed twenty-something with ill-fitting trousers, a pair of over-priced sneakers, and a recording contract qualify as examples of such, then yes, we do still have culture of a sort. But if we define it as the elaborate structures and materials built in to the very fabric of society for the refinement and transmission of its beliefs and its forms of life from generation to generation, connecting past, present, and future, then we really have none. None at all. – Carl Trueman

When infractions are met against this alliance, their lackeys rise to drown out the cries of opposition, withhold their businesses, institute law against those upholding religious conviction, or surreptitiously curate the trends and remove potentially “offensive” content. The simple issue being: if the anti-culture, dictated by the Unholy Trinity, guides the moral compass, what one finds offensive is only that which runs contrary to the sanctioned mores.

In some respects this is a good thing; no one in their right mind believes all offensive material ought to receive express right for legal permission, societal sanction, or supported by big business. For example, many would rightly call out against the promulgation of sexual abuse against children, but what about a general attraction toward them? All one must do is a quick, carefully-worded google search, to see articles by mainstream news-media outlets speaking about the normalcy of attraction toward pre-pubescent children – so long as no harm falls upon a child. While this is conventional “altruistic” therapy suggests cartoon or illustrated CP as a potential healthy alternative, the normalization of such attraction is simply demonic and disconnects moral culpability from the simple act of lust.

However, this substitutionary CP suggestion received no large public outcry or pushback from other liberal media sites that have shown the results of “normal” pornography in the neural synapses. These same which decry against the mistreatment of women support unbridled sexual deviance, echoing of another Trueman article demonstrating the herald of “the sempiternal orgiast, the true hero of our time.”

As with all things – the church is no exception to the anti-culture rhetoric. As the functional entity representing Christ and His gospel, one might think the church to represent a culture all of its own, the substance of which being derived from the scriptures. Yet with many claiming to be the unspotted bride of Christ, the substance of their structural polity and practice is derived from the anti-culture rather than much related to the text. The natural progression to the anti-culture, of course, stemmed from the cues given by the previously existing general culture and elevated them above the primary witness of the scriptures. Naturally, the church is not an entirely static entity – yet its core identity and teaching is.

Yet not so with the 111 Methodist ministers who feel unable to serve at their full capacity because they’ve had to hide their true sexual identity. Never mind that this only serves to illustrate the example above so well wherein one’s sexual identity defines one’s giftedness and qualifications for pastoral ministry (Paul forgot to mention that to young Timothy and Titus). Never mind the Anglican Church, who is drumming through the last bit of moxie they have left to try and seek unity over the sexual ethic. When the anti-culture defines the morality of many in the church and subsequently dictates their interpretation of the scriptures – there is little fight left to prevent a schism.

Ample evidence has been given to demonstrate the illegitimacy of homosexual practice and sanction in the church – but the key to understanding why none of it has stuck, I believe, is due to the fluidity with which they approach biblical ethics and biblical interpretation. It has the inherently modern flavor of the anti-culture as proposed by the Unholy Trinity, ultimately showing the connection to one’s predisposition to the scriptures. More clearly, it evades any and all accountability from the past, present, and future. They deny historical accountability by rejecting the overwhelming historical consensus in the church, present accountability from global Christians who are predominately not of European descent, and evade future accountability from the God who will judge men for every idle word.

Instead, the Big Three continues to feed those being led to the slaughter in order to produce enough milk for their progeny who grow, fatted and knowing only the anti-culture which has raised them. Yet it is not enough to raise those intolerant of the truth; one must raise those who rabidly defend the anti-culture as the new culture, the more sophisticated culture, wherein the ideals of the past have no status and the ideals of the future are brought under submission to the sexually-charged rhetoric of the Unholy Trinity.



Image Credit: Lutheran Church Pastor – DC Capital Pride – 2014-06-07 by Tim Evanson

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  • Doug Johnson

    I’m intrigued by the idea of “schism”. Our denomination is this summer deciding how to come to some kind of mutually acceptable theology but I’m coming to the conclusion that there cannot be. Both sides demand unwavering allegiance and the side that at one time demanded tolerance is frighteningly intolerant. I’m weary of seeking some kind of unachievable peace. Let’s split and be done with it.

    • I can share my experience in the PCUSA resolution. Ultimately, we took a legitimization approach (aka, the disputable-matters approach or the so-called third way). We have said that faithful Christians can disagree about the sanctity of gay covenantal partnership and defer to the consciences of the individual congregations on decisions to perform the marriages of gay couples or to call gay pastors.

      In our case, the legitimization view was sufficient for those congregations who fully affirm gay people; there is, in fact, tolerance for our non-affirming siblings (e.g., Robert Gagnon is an elder in the PCUSA).

      Peace is achievable if we are committed to keeping communion (which I believe we are called to do – see Romans 14) and honoring the faithfulness of those brothers and sisters with whom we have serious disagreement.

      The intolerance seems to be coming from those who have promoted sexual ethics to primary-doctrine status and feel compelled to break communion with those who condone what they see as sexual sin. Hence the congregations who have left the denomination when the ordination of gay clergy was permitted or the barriers to solemnizing gay marriages were removed.

      • Doug Johnson

        I would not submit to that authority. I could worship with those individuals, however. I think I’m convinced to split.

        • Gilsongraybert

          The question we must ask is if it is a matter of primary or secondary significance. If primary – I don’t believe we could even worship together.

          • What do you make of Romans 13 and 14? Are we not called to keep communion with one another? How is your comment different than the perspective of Westboro Baptist Church?

          • Gilsongraybert

            You seem to be having a hard time avoiding red herrings. A simple answer: it isn’t fellowship where division is present – and there are plenty of things worth dividing over. Generally, one who suggests that isn’t the case, from previous interactions, has a drastically low opinion of the scriptures and even less interaction with them.

        • So, just a little confused…why are you discouraged about perceived intolerance when you’re unwilling to tolerate those who affirm gay people?

  • Here’s what I don’t get in the whole debate about sexual ethics. Marriage is inherently conservative. Marriage is cruciform. Marriage is a vow of lifelong mutual self-sacrifice, caretaking and fidelity in the service of community. It is objectively virtuous.

    With the increasing numbers of gay couples who are entering into that solemn vow, it’s clear that the LGBT culture is becoming more conservative rather than less. These couples are creating social structure, serving their communities through relationship, and de-ghettoizing. There is objective virtue in the marriages of gay couples just as there is in straight marriages.

    Yet you point to this conservative trend explicitly as a sign of cultural moral decline – something to be discouraged and stigmatized. That makes no sense to me.

    • Gilsongraybert

      It is decidedly against the sanction of scripture – that is the crux of the issue. One has to perform all sorts of hermeneutical gymnastics to take a middle ground or condoning response to homosexuality. The entire witness of church history stands against the idealism represented in taking traditional marriage and flipping it upon its head. I think everyone in this conversation knows that it is supremely anti-conservative on that basis alone. Secondly, success or perceived benefits of it matters little when God is opposed to it.

      • That’s simply your opinion. One could also say that it takes hermeneutical gymnastics to justify the stigmatizing and marginalizing an entire category of human being.

        • Gilsongraybert

          Sure, sure. The historic church, exegetical arguments, and a clear text are totally subjective tools to reason from.

          • Yes. Just as polygamy, slavery and patriarchy were supported by clear text, historic church, and exegetical arguments.

          • Gilsongraybert

            aaaaaand here we go. Let’s just keep skirting around the text in order to justify the means of diobedience to it.

  • marik

    These faux clergypagans never miss a chance to dress up in their collars and their rainbow stoles.

    The Last Judgment should let them know God’s opinion of apostates.