In this series I am taking a firm stance on four moral battles of our times. These are philosophical and spiritual battles that any authentically apostolic church must engage in. Churches that ignore these issues, or that affirm the preferred position of the majority culture, are hardly worthy of one’s membership or commitment (in my opinion). That is how freighted these issues are with ethical and spiritual significance. They are moral issues that pertain to deep existential realities relating directly to human freedom, love, sanctity and identity.
The issues I am addressing are: COVID Totalitarianism, LGBTQ+ Ideology, Abortion and Critical Social Justice. In the previous entry I spoke about how churches must speak prophetically against the encroaching totalitarianism that surrounds COVID “science.” COVID-19 is being used by a corrupted “scientific” institution to enslave human beings, both in mind and body. COVID totalitarians play off the natural fear of death and dying to accentuate the false doctrine that we are only physical bodies, that health is an ultimate, not an instrumental, good and that the duration of physical existence is the main goal of life.
The Role of the Church in Moral Debate
In this essay I will argue that the Church must also take a stand against the global LGBTQ+ ideology. If COVID-Totalitarianism seeks to indoctrinate us with the idea that we are only our bodies, then LGBTQ+ ideology seeks to indoctrinate us with the idea that we should hate them. And, if we really are just our bodies, then hate ourselves. This will, of course, require some unpacking. However, it is at the spiritual heart of this ideology and its worldwide agenda.
To take this position, however, will only exacerbate the church’s already unpopular standing in western culture. But so be it. After all, what good is a popular Christianity? What good is a Christianity that has lost its subversiveness, like the Christendom of Kierkegaard’s Denmark? What good is a Church that goes along to get along? I would answer: “no good.”
Very few people today are going to scorn Christians because they affirm the triunity of God. No one is going to call a Christian a “white supremacist” or “Nazi” because they affirm the existence of angels or the eternal begetting of the Son. To be culturally subversive today, Christians will have to speak to moral issues and not just the metaphysically transcendent realities that underlie them. Of course the two are not mutually exclusive since to speak to moral issues as a Christian is to speak about the ontological truths that ground them.
To be a cultural dissident, therefore, will demands courage. Intellect in insolation from the will to act does little to affect change. Local pastors and church leaders will have to fulfill this role and take the lead on moral issues. The Church cannot continue to outsource courage to comedians, martial arts commentators and Jordan Peterson. Moreover, the dissident’s role is the only role the Church can take given the infallibility of the Word of God. This infallibility is a feature of the propositions of Scripture, propositions that have been reaffirmed through the 1,900 year teaching history of the ecumenical Church (Roman Catholic, Protestant and Easter Orthodox). In 2022, however, one is tempted to ask: “where have all the pastor theologians gone?” (to spin off a 1996 pop hit).
To not preach and teach publicly about God’s design plan for marriage and sexual identity would be to tacitly affirm human fantasy, denying God’s reality. It would also act as a means to enable people to further enslave themselves to sin and, ultimately, condemn themselves to their own misery. I will try to show that to not preach the truth about marriage and sex is the most unloving thing one could do to those in need. In the end, the Church is supposed to be the ambassador of God’s love to the world. But God’s love is not identical to the culture’s definition of love, whatever that might be today.
On God’s Love
As C.S. Lewis pointed out in The Problem of Pain (Chapter 3), God’s love cannot be “mere kindness,” for mere kindness does not care whether its object is good or bad. Mere kindness only cares whether its object avoids suffering. Love as mere kindness is like the father who says “I love my son but care not whether if he is, at bottom, a dishonorable fiend, provided he is having a good time doing so” (Problem of Pain, 1973, 45; my paraphrase). A Church that does not preach a message of whole-person transformation has nothing to preach. It does not matter how a church might otherwise supplement culture as an additional social service or psychological safety net.
The central difficulty, however, with preaching the Gospel in our culture today is that we have been socialized to think that the end goal of all human endeavor is to avoid suffering and eliminate pain. The idea that moral goodness might come through pain is abhorrent to post-modern culture. This makes the task of preaching a Gospel that has the cross at its center completely counter-intuitive to society at large. Moreover, it makes St. Paul’s aspiration to complete Christ’s suffering through his own participation in it sound masochistic to most of us (Phil 1:27-30, 3:10-21).
As a transformed person myself I speak, in part, from personal experience and not just rational argumentation. The message of transformation and sanctification may be unpopular, but its unpopularity is itself evidence of its truth. Either way, Christians should know in advance we already stand condemned by our cultured despisers. But I am no Schleiermacher nor do I desire to be.
The Schleiermachian capitulation to culture has cast the mold for all forms of theological falsehood and empty Christian practice over the last 200 years. Perhaps today cultural Christianity capitulates to an iconoclastic, leftist philosophy of man. However, who is to say that tomorrow it won’t capitulate to the right, as it clearly has in the past? Cultural accommodation can never be the full answer if the propositions of the Bible are true–which they are.
Finally, as to what the Church can do, this is basically it. We have no other means to change the world than to preach the Gospel and teach its truths. Political machinations beyond the exercising of basic rights are not in our arsenal. Violent action is never an option for those who follow the Prince of Peace. Our faith is not in horses or chariots, but always in the name of the Lord our God.
As such, any cries from our audience that the Church is trying to wrest power or sustain privilege (or control) are themselves rhetorical devices–they are themselves the attempts to control and have power. They are attempts to eliminate the prophetic voice of revealed truth. But we do not fear death, either physical or of reputation, we endure it when it comes. Ours is to preach God’s love, not man’s, and to preach it at all costs.
The Most Important Caveat to Any Discussion on LGBTQ+
As ambassadors of divine love there is, therefore, a fundamental caveat to any discussion on the issue of human sexuality and sexual identity. It is a caveat that must be made and made with absolute clarity. It is a caveat that the far Left not only fails to make, but refuses to make in its ideological dogmatism. That caveat is this: no truly Christian resistance to an ideology can ever become so programmatic that it overshadows the intrinsic value and sanctity of the individuals who hold to or participate in that ideology.
In other words, the target of the Church’s active resistance is an ideology, a view about human sexuality. It is not the individual homosexual, lesbian, bi-sexual or transperson. Individuals are not ideas, even if they are the vehicles through which ideas are carried and believers in them. The concrete person that stands before me is always an object of my sacrificial love. The idea or belief they espouse, or actions they perform, however, are not. Just as anyone who would stand across from me, look at me and deign to love me sacrificially would also not love all my behaviors or ideas. They would show mercy upon my moral failures and seek to correct my false beliefs.
There are two basic flaws that make it very difficult to carry out the task of speaking truth in love like this. The first difficulty is on the part of those who are regenerate Christians, i.e., authentic members of the universal Body of Christ. That difficulty is losing sight of the individual based on the lawlessness we see in the culture. Jesus warned about the love of many growing cold in a culture where sin and unrighteousness is celebrated (Matt 24:12). And that sin is being celebrated, of this there is no doubt.
Given that the LGBTQ+ community has achieved so much cultural power and is celebrated internationally with festivals, holidays and “pride months,” it can be hard for Christians who have come to know the truth about sexual morality to transcend the cultural celebration of sexual immorality. It hinders us from moving toward the individual LGBTQ person in love. Yet, that is exactly what we are called to do (Luke 10:25-37), and so we must move toward the individual while at the same time resisting the ideology. This is no simple task and it requires wisdom and maturity.
Another reason why the task of moving in love toward the individual is so difficult, is exacerbated in that for the unconverted soul there is often no separation between one’s identity and one’s activity. What one does in unrepentance is often determinative of what one is, as we often perceive our”self” as identical to what we have done and are doing with our body and our mind. While every Christian is right to avow the basic moral principle of “love the sinner, hate the sin,” most sinners (my former self included) cannot see any distinction between sin and sin-ner. Prior to my own conversion as an adult, I was fond of saying as my personal motto: “I am what I do.” And boy, did I do a lot of things! The activity becomes the identity and our tendency will usually be to see our actives as good.
Of course there is one more gravely serious problem with preaching the truth in love, but I will deal with it at the end of this essay. For now, it is enough to say that the task of preaching truth in love must a) always keep the concrete individual foremost in mind, even while battling the ideology and b) consistently reaffirm the distinction between sin and sinner, between that which is worthy of love (the sinner) and that which makes the lovable unlovable (the sin). God sent Christ to reconcile sinners to God, not to reconcile sin to God. As the Body of Christ we now extend that mission.
But Isn’t It Just More Alarmism?
One objection that might be raise is that this is just more alarmism– that, in fact, the LGBTQ+ movement is of no serious threat or consequence. To those making this objection, I would strongly recommend the last two chapters of Carl Trueman’s excellent study in modern culture: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. The LGBTQ+ movement is not some innocent, unpracticed, organic development. It has been carefully cultivated over many decades. It is intentional and explicit in its project to subvert sexual ethics around the world.
Trueman references The Yogyakarta Principles in the penultimate chapter of his book:
The Yogyakarta Principles, named after the Indonesian city where they were formulated in 2006, is a foundational text in connecting LGBTQ+ rights to the concept of human rights in general. The principles are presented as setting forth the base for framing SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) laws around the world. The groups that formulated the original principles were the International Commission of Jurists and the International Service for Human Rights. Neither has any official government status. They are in essence independent bodies of self-appointed experts. But numerous countries around the world have adopted the principles of Yogakarta, and it is fair to say that wherever sexual orientation or gender identity enjoys legal protections, there one can discern their underlying influence.
Of course this says nothing about the rightness or wrongness of the Yogyakarta Principles. My only point being, as I pointed out with COVID-Totalitarianism, that this is a global movement. It is a movement with a lot of philosophical, rhetorical and legal power behind it. To fight against LGBTQ+ ideology is not to fight against the proverbial “wimpy kid.” To fight this ideology is to battle a social principality of Goliath-like proportions. Most of what Ross Douthat has called “woke capitalism,” for example, can be traced back to the the intentions and activism of LGBTQ+ ideologues. You see this when you walk into your bank during Pride Month or see candy commercials that suggest it is okay to eliminate children who question gender queerness. Everything has to be on board with the ideology and no societal entity is allowed to stand on neutral ground.
Finally, the philosophical framework that underlies LGBTQ+ is robust, even if the candy commercials are dumb. Again, Trueman articulates this framework as he traces the historical plumb line from Rousseau through Freud down to 20th century sexual theorists like Simon de Beauvoir, Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse (the “father of The Sexual Revolution” as he was known in his time). These thinkers, mostly white, heterosexual and, usually, German or French, formed the intellectual basis for the LGBTQ+ platform:
The Yogyakarta Principles makes it clear that it is state imposition of sexual norms and the ‘policing of sexuality’ by the state that is the source of ‘gender-based violence and gender inequality.’ This is most definitely the view of the world formed by the likes of Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, and their intellectual descendants, whereby sexual repression by the state is a primary means of political oppression.
LGBTQ+ is a real and present danger. It is not a phantom of an overactive conservative or Christian imagination, as its defenders would have us believe. It is a focused, intentional, richly researched program with a long history. Moreover, all our present controversies in American and beyond, like that of trans-athletes, are grounded in an ideology that goes back several decades and has been carefully developed in its theoretical form.
It is ultimately irrelevant if today’s trans-athletes and trans-kids have never heard of social theorists like Herbert Marcuse or Jean Genet who paved the way for the celebration of their current actions. The agitation phase of LGBTQ+ propaganda is almost over as the integration phase of the earlier propaganda becomes more and more pervasive.
Soon the trans-issue itself will be fully integrated into western systems just as many think same-sex marriage is today. It is only in those few countries, like Hungary, that straddle East and West and understand how social propaganda works, where we see actual resistance to LGBTQ+ ideology. Much of this social integration will occur not through rational argumentation but through emotional and aesthetic appeals. Hollywood will determine what the science of human sexuality says, not the data of science.
If the challenge to Judeo-Christian sexual morality is not a boogeyman (which it obviously is not), then how must the Church respond to this global challenge?
The Perennial Problem with Christian Liberalism
Liberal theologian Margaret Farley writes in her seminal work on modern sexual ethics:
New philosophical links between sex and freedom, sex and power, sex and history, gender and just about everything else, are in some respects so important that there can be no turning back to simpler ways of interpreting human experience.
Margaret Farley, Just Love
For thinkers like Farley, the propositional content, or in the words of Roman Catholic Catechism, the “revealed moral” content, of the Bible is supersedable. “New philosophical links” can and, according to progressive theologians, have supplanted revealed biblical propositions. According to Farley, this is not just in the realm of sexual ethics, but in “just about everything else.” One response by “the church,” therefore, is to simply change its teachings to accord with modern science, be that natural science or even social science. There is “no turning back” to so-called “simpler ways” of interpreting our experiences. That would include the biblical ways of interpreting them.
There are two central problems, however, as it applies to the very notion of a Progressive or Liberal Christianity. The first is whether or not God has indeed spoken directly to the issue of human morality at all. There are both ontological and epistemic issues here. The ontological issue concerns whether or not morality is itself related to the metaphysical nature of God. Or, are moral values and duties merely social constructs aimed at optimizing something like human happiness? This of course assumes that we know what it means to be happy, which is itself a very problematic notion.
The epistemic issue relates to whether we can know the contents of that morality, even if objective morality does exist and relates to God’s nature. For the progressive or liberal theologian the answer is usually “no” to both the ontological and the epistemic question. Either there is not a fixed and universal moral content found in the Bible, or, if there is such a revealed morality, we cannot know it. Our cultural lenses are simply too thick to retrieve the moral values and duties related to us in the Scriptures. Authorial intent is either lost to us or authorial intent (with regard to any text) is, in principle, not accessible.
The second problem for progressive Christianity, which follows from the first, is whether anything at all has been specially revealed in the Bible. At the extreme end of this spectrum are “Christians” like the late John Shelby Spong, whose legacy as a “bishop” of the Episcopal church can only be described as scandalous. For Spong the Bible revealed nothing of an eternal or fixed nature. Moreover, what is contained in the Bible is explicitly bad for us. Even Jesus’ incarnation and atoning death (not that he believed it to be historically true) is bad news and not good news for man:
We don’t need a savior. If Jesus died for your sins, you are one wretched human being. I don’t think that’s good news.
John S. Spong
Progressive Christians not quite as radical as Spong try to walk a fine line of maintaining the value of broad themes of Scripture, like love or sacrifice or justice. However, they do so without affirming the moral content and judgments the Bible actually makes regarding those themes. For many progressives, the Bible gets human “themes” right by addressing the right moral issues. Unfortunately, all, or at least many, of the biblical judgements on those moral issues are just flat-out wrong. Or, put in a historicist framework, the biblical authors’ judgements were right for their times but not for ours.
Progressives Christians advance what Paul Tillich labeled the “correlation method” of theology. Instead of applying revealed moral truths to contemporary culture, the correlation theologian adapts Christian symbols and concepts to fit what the culture wants (or existentially needs to survive). The rainbow, for example, no longer symbolizes God’s renewed covenant with mankind after a wrathful cleansing of the earth. Instead it now proudly hangs from church edifices as a sign of God’s non-judgmental love for the diversity of his creation. As the culture shifts, so do theological symbols. It’s actually quite simple.
Farley asks questions about morality itself without reference to the biblical content:
In other words, can enough be said about the human experience of sex to generate universal, or even local, guidelines for its practice? What can the experience of moral obligation do for sexual experience that will be protective or liberating? When sex fits peacefully into the order of life, does it need ethical norms? When sex is disruptive, contradicting the order of our life, will ethical norms help? Is the problem with sexual ethical norms merely the problem of abiding by them, or does it include a prior problem of discerning them at all?
Farley, Just Love
Farley’s questions sum up the perennial problem with the liberal approach: we human beings must “generate” a universal ethic ourselves. What determines what we will generate is no more than “human experience.” However, Farley uses terms like “protective,” “liberating” and “peaceful” that, according to her own philosophical presuppositions, also have content only with regard to the current culture and its historically relative experiences. These concepts are also malleable in the hands of men and their experiences, so who is to say what is “protective, liberating and peaceful” as opposed to “disruptive” and contradictory to ordered life?
But we already know that man cannot “generate” the universal, just as man can generate an electron from nothing. Plato, countering the Sophists of his day, reasoned his way through to this true principle. To Moses the universal was revealed in the Law and in Jesus the Law was embodied. The universal is not an invention of man, it is a discovery by men– first through the natural light of reason, then through propositional and personal revelation and finally in its incarnate state in Jesus of Nazareth.
Finally, progressive Christians are simply wrong in their view of history. One of the four fundamental, and fundamentally false, presuppositions of modern sociology is that history “develops in endless progress” (see Jacques Ellul, Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, 39). This progressive presupposition is that history is progressing morally as well as technologically. But, how can this even be known? The central principle of progressive Christianity is self-defeating in that it claims out of one side of its theologically confused mouth: we are “progressing,” while claiming out of the other side: “we create our own moral standards.”
But this is not progression, this is just difference.
The Real Problem of LGBTQ+: Hating Ourselves
The heart of Satan’s rebellion, and all rebellion, is hating what we are. More specifically, it is resenting what God has made us to be. This is not to be confused with another type of self-hatred, the kind of self hate that emerges when horrible things have been done to us at the hands of cruel people. However, this latter type of self-hatred, the hatred of self that comes through abuse, and almost always through sexual abuse, is itself part of the problem with LGBTQ+ ideology.
Any ideology that suggests a person broken through sexual abuse should further manipulate their bodies so as to adapt to the psychological carnage left behind is as evil as the original abuse incurred. It is analogous to providing the heroine addict with free opioid hits. It is the deficient form of kindness that doesn’t love its object enough, but only wants to see it free of its immediate suffering. It is a shallow and superficial virtue that would allow children to chop themselves up “so long as they are happy.” It is not much different than allowing a child to torment a puppy, so long as the child enjoys it.
So there are two types of self-hatred that relate to sexual identity. The first is our hatred in being created at all. This is purely theological. It is the hatred that hates the fact that we are contingent beings and not God ourselves. It is the recapitulation of the originating original sin of pride that occurs in every generation. It is the attitude that says: “I should be allowed to created myself, to define what I am, to self-actualize.” The second type, less prideful but nonetheless destructive, is the hatred of self that comes through confusion due to damage incurred. So a man can look in the mirror and say “I hate being a man” out of a spirit of rebellion. But that spirit can be motivated either by spiritual pride or emotional trauma.
In both cases of pride and confusion, the devil is more than happy to whisper in our ears that we should not accept what we are. That we should in fact alter ourselves to fit our inner feelings, moods and inclinations. That we should play God to ourselves. To any church that compromises to this spirit of self-creation, we must say “shame on you,” because you do not love and you will enable only destruction.
And Then There is Simple Hedonism
So far I have been primarily speaking to the “T” identity in LGBTQ+ as a form of self-hatred. However, there are various other expressions of human sexuality. There is bi-sexuality and “pan-sexuality.” We should not be fooled into failing to recognize that much of the LGBTQ+ movement is simply the fulfillment of classical hedonism. Life is short, there is no God or moral law, let’s get it on while we can. This philosophy is not new nor is it irrational (in a sense). What is new, however, is enshrining hedonism into law and public policy, something even the arch-hedonists of ancient Greece and Rome refused to do.
Graham Ward points out one possible reason why we have opened ourselves up to the normalization of hedonism in the West. In an incredibly incisive analysis, Ward talks about our obsession with the body, especially in WEIRD cultures:
I would suggest the attention to the nature of Jesus Christ’s embodiment is part of a wider cultural obsession with the body in affluent locations around the world. This wider obsession that desires to turn the body into the most finely balanced sensorium so that it might experience its own joys and pains to the full is, I suggest, both a response to the fear of the body’s disappearance and also a response to the new working conditions created by globalism that demands a machine’s optimum efficiency.
Graham Ward, Christ and Culture, 179
As our embodied lives become more and more disembodied through the use of technology, we look to optimize our sensate experiences, turning the body into a “finely balanced sensorium.” But again this is nothing new. It is the basic Epicurean doctrine but now on steroids (and subsisting in a consumer culture). It is given new life due to the synthesis of man with his technology. Ward goes on to give examples of the new hedonism:
The call goes out for new incarnationalisms, while new health and sports clubs open every week…, while cooking and the celebrity of chefs are daily taking up more media time, while high street fashions populate the pages of every glossy magazine and film stars parade their designer labels, while films like Hannibal are produced reflecting the fears for and fascinations with the consumer body and while the Human Genome Project publishes its regular breakthroughs– the deepening of cyberspace, the multiplication of mobile phones and the endless mobility of peoples make gnostics of us all.
This is nothing more than what the St. John calls “the lust of the flesh” (1 John 2:16) as we seek to maximize experiences of the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and, of course, the sexual organs. It does not matter that our new technology is further driving us to act out sensually. Just because we no longer live in a world that demands we work 14 hour days under the open sky, does not mean we get to indulge in the appetites of the body.
Let us therefore not be stupid or naive as Christians in this world. Sexual experimentation contains within it an abundance of pleasure. With advances in technology the deleterious effects of pleasure that plagued emperors like Tiberius or Caligula can now be easily countered by modern medicine. Of course what pleasure seeking does to the soul cannot be measured by any tool of science or fixed with any vaccine.
But again, where is the pastor or theologian who will cry out in love to those seeking fulfillment in the pursuit of pleasure? Has the power of popular opinion truly exceeded our advocacy for truth, as de Tocqueville warned? Or will churches dare to show some strength in the face of fashion? It is yet to be seen.
A Possible Social Compromise: What To Do About Same-Sex Marriage?
I would be remiss to not mention something about the role of same-sex marriage in the culture. After all, it is law and it has gained widespread societal approval. While I still believe that the problem of what a person is applies to the morality of how one should behave sexually, there are voices of reason in the gay community that have made strong arguments in favor of same-sex marriage in the secular state.
One of the best counterarguments to these is Robert P. George, Ryan Anderson and Sherif Girgis’ book, which argues for the capacity/intent for procreation as the objective criteria by which to deem a relationship a marital one. Although all Catholics, their book does not use any religious arguments or claims based on religious texts or traditions to make the case for marriage as exclusively between a biological male and female.
With regard to state-sanctioned marriage then, the question of same-sex marriage is a hard one. Within the Church it is not difficult at all, in spite of the many affirming churches that now exist in the Protestant tradition. Any apostolic church, to include the Roman Catholic church under Francis, will retain the natural structure of marriage as ordained by God and revealed both in His creation and His Word (Gen 1:27, 2:15-25, Matt 19:1-6). But the question of secular marriage is more subtle.
In a recent panel discussion worth watching, four conservative/classical liberals: Yoram Hozony, Sorab Ahmari, Douglas Murray and David Rubin touch on the issue of what should be the recognized structure of the family in public society. Ahmari and Hozony are both religious theists (orthodox Jewish and Roman Catholic), while Murray and Rubin are both agnostics who are also gay men, and Rubin, as far as I know, a married gay man. Yet all have been staunch defenders of valuable human freedoms, as well as religious freedom, in the public square. The discussion specifically on the issue of public norms and civil rights with regard to alternative structures of marriage and family begins around the 34-minute mark. It is beyond my ability or capacity in this article to go into greater depth on how a post-Obergefell-Hodge culture might reform itself in the future, finding the right balance between the nature of the family and public life and education.
A Final Exhortation To Homosexual Men (Who Follow Christ)
If there is one thing that burdens me greatly writing this essay, it is the profound struggle that I know men who live with same-sex attraction will have when they choose to follow Christ in faith. I have known too many friends in this very position and, being a man myself, can easily relate to the incessant force of the male sex drive and its continuous war against the meager powers of the will. The experience of sexual pleasure and intimacy is perhaps, apart from an actual religious experience of God (and possibly the experience of war), the most profound kind of experience the human person can have. To forego this is no small task, at least not for the average person.
For this reason, every heterosexual man who seeks to follow Christ should consider reading Justin Lee’s book Torn as well as Robert Song’s Covenant and Calling. Although I disagree with both authors’ conclusions (both affirm same-sex marriage), Lee’s book is invaluable in helping heterosexual Christians understand the incredible burden that same-sex attracted men have to carry if they choose to pursue celibacy. Robert Song’s book, in my opinion, provides the best rational arguments for same-sex marriage within a Christian context. While I believe (and have argued elsewhere) that Song’s arguments fail, defenders of traditional marriage should always engage with the best arguments available for a position contrary to their own. Song’s book is, so far as I know, the best with regard to same-sex affirmation. In response to the same-sex affirming side, one should see the work of Robert Gagnon, Kevin DeYoung and Michael L. Brown.
It is important for us to see that same-sex attracted men who choose to sacrifice what are, at bottom, deeply seated physical and psychological desires are not just sacrificing physical pleasure but are taking on the incredible task of battling emotional loneliness for potentially a lifetime. This is truly a cross to bear and we should, as we can, find ways to support them in that Christ-like undertaking. It is truly a heavy beam to shoulder.
Nevertheless, in sum, the church cannot be silent on the issue of LGBTQ+ ideology. Nor can we affirm same-sex marriage in the church, even if the debate outside the church is more nuanced. To fail to preach the moral truths of the Bible is to compromise our witness to Christ Himself. Ultimately, it is a failure in love.