Wednesday, March 08, 2017

A Similarity Between Sexuality and Language

There are those who believe that traditional cultural expressions of sexuality are mere “social conventions”, as if these social conventions should be sloughed off by enlightened people.
Sexuality and traditional sexual social conventions have a similarity to language. Language begins in pure physiology with vocal chords, tongue, etc…, and ends in pure convention, with accents, slang, etc… Spanning the first part of the gap between physiology and culture is the basic human need to communicate with language, and the basic logic of language (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc...), and the human brain that is designed to link biology, logic, emotion and expression.
Spanning the second part of the gap, various languages and cultures organize the basic logic of language into different conventions of grammar, sounds and words. While languages are conventions in the way they organize the basic logic of language, they are not fungible any more than a motorist in the U.S can decide to drive on the left side of the road. Having all of these non-fungible things supporting it, language then has its more fungible social conventions of slang, accents, colloquialisms, evolving words, etc...
Sexuality also spans a bridge from pure biology to pure social convention, with a host of non-fungible aspects in between. Those who believe they are promoting “freedom” by removing sexual social conventions, do not respect this, which leads to the emotional and social equivalents of car crashes and train wrecks.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

What's in a Word? The Long-Game Of the Sexual Left

Much of the Church has yet to fully comprehend Leftism as movement that is equal parts political, social, ideological, and spiritual. Each one of these four facets of Leftism compliments and reinforces the other three facets of Leftism.

Generally speaking, the Church is either under the influence of Leftist thinking, OR it understands the social and political symptoms of Leftism: sexual immorality, porn, divorce, abortion, the erosion of freedom to live openly as a Christian, etc... but not Leftism itself, as the unique evil in our age that is driving and encouraging those sins.

The Church understands the Biblical language of spiritual battle, but does not fully understand how Leftism has taken people's minds captive, as the spiritual battle of our time on the macro level, as the ideology that lies at the root of the existential crisis driving people into sexual immorality, as the defective moral compass directing people into spiritual death in the name of being politically correct.

The Church understands traditional Christian doctrine, which was provided to us by those who clarified it against the heresies of the past, but the church does not understand how to clarify the Gospel against the modern rival to the truth of Scripture that is Leftism, and the worship of Nature that is behind Leftism.

The Church has a lot to learn from those like Dennis Prager and other secular thinkers who have stared hard into the Left to understand, classify and categorize its dangers, particularly in the realm of the social, political and ideological. The Church also has a lot to offer those in the world who take Leftism seriously, by explaining how the Kingdom of God offers the only real, durable answer to Leftism, as the only thing that addresses every facet of Leftism including the spiritual facet. The Church will only be effective in ministering to people out of their Leftism when it first identifies Leftism as the reigning counterfeit idea of the age, and carefully clarifies the Kingdom of God against Leftism.

The essential fallacy of Leftist Christianity is this: because Jesus cared for the poor and was mindful of the outcast and downtrodden, any idea that is promoted in the name of helping the poor, downtrodden and outcast is what it means to be like Jesus, and to be Christian.
Jesus mission was to reconcile each individual with the Father, to call the individual to repent of sin and to enable his/her regeneration and sanctification. It was the context of personal repentance and reconciliation with the Father, and in the context of having utmost respect of the Law and the whole of Scriptures teaching, that Jesus modeled how we are to care to for the poor, in all of the ways that people can be poor, economically, spiritually, socially, etc...

By stripping away the repentance out of sin into reconciliation with the Father, and by extension, the whole counsel of Scripture, the Leftist prescription for one to be "Christ-Like" is to affirm someone in a state of gender unholiness, never calling them into repentance, since to promote the the Biblical idea of gender holiness with the intent of calling people to repentance is merely to promote stigma towards those on the margins, keeping them marginalized.

Words are such that they have whole ideas, philosophies and worldviews baked into them. A word itself is like a thesis encoded into letters, such that you must understand the idea to fully understand the meaning of the word, and uttering the word reinforces the idea that word exists to express.

The thesis that is "baked" into the terms "man" and "woman"/"men" and "women” is the Biblical binary of the God-created sexes of human male/female operating in the God-ordained genders of man/woman.  The idea encoded into the terms "man" and "woman" is that there is a universality to human sexuality: that men and women express a whole greater than the sum of their parts and that the differences between men and woman are durable and predictable across time, space and culture.  

The substance of the uniqueness expressed by the terms “man” and “woman” to convey the uniqueness that one has vis a vis the other is a trifecta, a "three legged table" of purpose, design and role: men and women have, respectively, a unique purpose, and from there a unique design to express that purpose, and from there a perogative for unique space in the culture to express that purpose according to their design.  Remove any part of that trifecta and there is no reason for the other two aspects of the trifecta of purpose, design and role to have meaning.

While a Leftist may allow the terms men and women for the sake of convenience, from an ontological standpoint, the Left does not believe that men and women actually exist in the full meaning of these terms, rather only biological human males, females, and hermaphrodites having different bodies, chromosomes and genitalia. Any favored expression of sexual differences above biology is merely the imposition of a cultural artifice that gives one form of sexual expression the false dominance of normalcy over other forms of sexual expression, giving one set of biologically different human creatures the power to oppress another set of biologically different human creatures.  

So that is why the Left is not simply interested adding "lesbian", "gay", "bi-sexual", "trans-gendered" ... to the already existing terms “men” and “women”, but in coming with their own alternative terms to codify their diametrically opposed view of the world in regard to gender and sexuality, a worldview that rejects the binary of sexuality into man and woman. 

One of their terms, “hetero-normal” is intended to convey the idea that being a “man” is merely a normative lifestyle choice for the biological human male to conform to among other lifestyles. Complimenting “hetero-normal” is “cis” as the term to describe someone who identifies the sex they were born with.  So a man is no longer merely a “man” but a “male cis hetero-normal”.   And then you have the movement to promote "ze" instead of "he" and "she". 

The long-game of this Leftist word play is to enable the sexual "individualist" to come out from under sexual "conformity" imposed by the terms "man" and "woman", and to remove the stigma for those who do not feel/believe that they are either a man or a woman.  In reality, these "alternative" terms are not so much in the business of removing stigma, but re-distributing it in favor of Leftism.  These terms serve a social engineering effort to remove social stigma from those who do not feel that they are either fully man or woman and place stigma on those who value the terms man or woman enough to require the cultural space needed for these terms to have meaning.

There is no room in the long run for both a Leftist concept and a Biblical concept of sexuality and gender to co-exist and co-habitate.  We will either operate under the conformity to the ideas of "man" and "woman" or the alternative conformity of sexuality and gender splintered to a host of non-binary terms. 

Either the Left is promoting freedom and justice, liberating people into what is truly natural, or it is keeping people from being redeemed into what C.S. Lewis would describe as the "arch-natural", what is truly natural as God designed us to be. 

People do not set out to be evil, but rather walk backwards into being evil, often because they believe that they are doing the right thing, passionately.  As one who affirms Scripture, I assert that the Left is engaged in evil, promoting sexual confusion by believing that it is promoting justice.  

Monday, January 02, 2017

Confronting the Feminizers

It is said that Thomas Jefferson had a Bible where he simply blotted out the passages that he didn’t believe. In his case, being a Deist of the Enlightenment, he had a problem with the miracles of Jesus but otherwise believed that he agreed with Jesus’ teachings. If you have a Bible where you have blotted out passages that you don’t believe, and make no bones of having done so, you are an honest doubter of those passages you don’t believe.

The Bible makes claims on our sexual behavior, on our physical behavior and heart behavior in regard to sexual interaction. Connected to that, the Bible makes claims on our gender, what it means to be a husband and wife, what a man represents vs what a woman represents in relation to God, and authority within the Church.

The Feminizers reject those gender passages and thus operate with a partially blotted out Bible. The problem is that they don’t admit it, and so their doubt in those passages is dishonest, cloaked in pseudo-Scripture and context abuse to make it superficially seem like they care about the whole of Scripture when they actually believe in it selectively.

Either there is wisdom in the Scriptures that clarify gender and gender role behavior or there is not. Through God’s guidance, the Church needs to clarify the wisdom of the passages against the challenge of the Feminizers.  

The issue of gender is the gateway to the rest of leftism entering the church. The church either confronts gender correctly or it caves on gender, and then later caves to the rest of sexual leftism.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Why behind the What: Sexuality and the Revelation of Creation

Every generation presents rival ideas to the truths of Scripture, and the truth of Scripture must be clarified and re-clarified against the rival ideas in each age. The superficial understanding that was sufficient in a prior age will no longer do. Preaching needs to speak to the rival ideas of the present age, informed by a deeper understanding of things that were always revealed in Scripture but not always stated in Scriptural bold print.
We live in an age where the church is beset from both outside and from inside, with powerful, rival ideas about gender and sexuality. These rival ideas of gender and sexuality are part of an even broader set of beliefs. As these ideas enter the church, they are challenging our ability to trust the What that is written in Scripture by sowing doubt into the Why. I believe the Why of sex and gender boundaries is revealed in Scripture, even if it is not always stated in the same bold print as the What.
Laying the foundation for the Why requires taking a closer, deeper look at the revelation of Creation. The revelation of creation as articulated in Romans 1 is based on this premise: everything that God has made was designed to impress his character upon us, and we were designed to be impressed upon by what has made to comprehend the qualities of the invisible God. When the Psalms 19 talks of the heavens declaring the glory of God, this is only to highlight one aspect of creation fulfilling this role in our lives, not by any means to exclude all the rest of Creation from doing so.
Our own making as part of the Revelation of Creation is special in two keys ways: 1) our making was specifically made in God’s Image unlike any other thing that was made, and 2) we experience our making from the inside-out, whereas we experience everything else in creation from the outside-in. If the heavens, being far away and not specifically made in God's image, have things to teach us about God, how more so does our own making, which was specifically made in God's image and that we experience from the inside out?
Sexuality is the domain where we experience our making in a uniquely powerful way, where our differences between male and female and are intended to impress upon us special aspects of the character of God. Sexuality is where we experience those aspects of God's character which are more uniquely and completely represent in women compared to men, and in men compared to women. Though the act of sex is part of sexuality, it is not necessary to be in a sexual relationship for us to experience the instructive power our sexuality to reflect God's image and impress upon us aspects of God's character.
God, being above sexuality, is not made in sexuality’s image, though human sexuality is made to reflect certain aspects of God’s image. Pagan religions, like the ancient Egyptians, saw sexuality as a fundamental aspect of reality, of fertility, death and rebirth that was represented in both the gods and in human flesh, and so they conceived of their god’s as being made in the image of sexuality.
Sexuality is a quality of human creation that functions to reflect God’s image, though God himself, being divine, is above sexuality. In the similar manner, if I were to make a clay statue in the image of the person, I would need to do certain things to the clay (like sculpting it and baking it) that are not appropriate for the person. The clay would then have a limited, specific way that it would convey information about the person it was representing. So it is, in a roughly similar fashion, that sexuality is a quality of human existence that God has created for a special purpose to reflect certain aspects of God’s character, but it is not something that directly correlates to a quality of God.
The boundaries on sexuality, encompassing sexual and gender behavior in Scripture are put there so that the revelation of Creation expressed through the sexual aspect of our making functions as it was intended to properly reflect and illumine the nature of God and how we relate to him as his children. The power of sexuality is such that it is either powerfully involved in reflecting God's image for our benefit or it is powerfully diverting us into sexual idolatry.
Sexual immorality is the result of sexual idolatry caused by sexual confusion, where sexual energy is not operating in it's God-ordained way.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

An Open Letter To Lauren Jauregui

This is an open letter to Lauren Jauregui in response to her recent open letter:

This is an open letter written back to you, Lauren Jauregui, as an American and as a Christian who voted for Trump.  

It’s true that Trump is not qualified to give a sermon in church.  There are many unfortunate things he has said, and alarming character traits, and he was not the first choice of many who were going to vote for a conservative candidate for president.  But it’s not true that voting for Trump means that those who voted for him approve everything he stands for, and everything he has said and done and allegedly done.  As many have said, it was a choice for many between the lesser of two evils and the greater among competing goods.  

Your letter demonstrates no respect for those nuances in differing opinions, between those who reluctantly voted for Trump and those who think he is an American savior.  By doing so, you have left no room for dialogue of any kind or consideration of those nuances.

Those who think like you have already taken over many of our universities and created an environment where dissent is suppressed, and where there is no true exchange of ideas. The more those who think like you are allowed into power the more they will continue to impose a leftist caliphate and silence dissent and criminalize thought. 

Hillary was poor candidate who was propped up by the power of political-correctness, and so the power of political-correctness took a dent when Hillary was voted down.  As an American, I’m glad this election has put a speed bump in the way of the march forward of an increasingly weaponized political-correctness that attempts to squash any dissent.

Now let me deal with your letter as a Christian.  You believe that since Trump does not respect political-correctness, a Christian who voted for Trump is a hypocrite because they are taking a stand against what it means to be “Christ-like”, since to be politically correct is to be Christ-like. 

Even as I think that political-correctness is abhorrent, I recognize that political correctness can challenge the church to acknowledge those on the margins, and challenge the church to be mindful of the tone and manner that it is communicating to them.  But in no way does political correctness have anything to do with the Gospel or the teachings of Jesus Christ. Political correctness uses the force of social taboos to convert behaviors into being socially and morally acceptable that were heretofore considered to be morally deviant.  

Christ’s views on sexuality are clear, as are those in the Old Testament Scriptures, which Jesus Christ affirmed, and those written down by the men he chose as his Apostles who wrote the New Testament Scripture.  Scripture as a whole is unambiguous in its condemnation of sexual desire and sexual interaction among people of the same sex. It is also unambiguous in its condemnation of human jealousy and a host of other things.   The Gospel must be bad news before it is good news, and until anyone recognizes the wretchedness of their current condition and the power of Christ to enter it, they will never comprehend the Gospel. 

In regard to the challenge that political correctness presents to the church, Jesus teaches us to worship in Spirit and Truth.  We are to speak in Truth, as clarified in Scripture, without compromise, and we are to speak in Spirit, guided by the Spirit as to the timing, the words and the manner of our speaking.  That is what it means to be Christ-like, as reflected in Christ’ words and actions.

Friday, November 18, 2016

An Analysis of Gender, Sex and Deuteronomy 22:5 Part 2

I want to add a thought to the prior post, based on a question I was challenging myself with: Does a man does cease to be a man just because he is effeminate and/or because he is operating with the persona of a woman? 

To explore this we must define the difference between a person’s being and their persona.  A person’s being does not change despite whether their persona changes.  Persona, on the other hand, is that aspect of personhood that finds its expression in the exercise of dominion, and within the context of a particular type of dominion.  A person’s persona changes if they change the nature of their dominion, even if their being remains the same. A person’s personality is the product of both their being and their persona.

If one were to ask whether the man known as Saul was also Paul, the answer would be yes and no. Saul and Paul were indeed the same person, but different personas. Saul was only Paul in the sense that Saul had the potential to become Paul, with the persona of Paul being buried in person of Saul as a seed that had not yet germinated, while Saul was still a Christian-condemning Sadducee.  “Paul” is the person that operated with the persona of Paul in the dominion of being Apostle, in contra to the persona of Saul.

Gender is the basic God-ordained male persona as man, and the basic God-ordained female persona as woman, that was intended to be expressed in the context of different but over-lapping spheres of dominion to properly reflect God’s image.  From this there are infinite specific minor God-ordained variations among each individual man's and woman’s personality, being the product of both their person and their persona.

As a man, you are less of a man when you don’t operate in the God-ordained dominion designed for men, because by failing to do so, you cannot fully realize your God-ordained man persona, even if your being remains that of a man. The same goes for women. 

Wearing gender specific clothing is one part of assuming the persona of your gender and affirming the sphere of dominion appropriate for your gender.  Deuteronomy 22:5 teaches that you are accountable to operate in the gender persona that is suitable for your sex, whether male or female.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

An Analysis of Gender, Sex and Deuteronomy 22:5

The “what” in terms of what Scripture says about sex and gender boundaries between men and women are clear. Egalitarianism, aka Christian Feminism, is fundamentally an attack on the “why”. It is by introducing doubt into the church over the “why” that Egalitarians try to advance doubt over the “what”. As a friend of mine stated it well to me recently, Complimentarianism is the Gospel clarified against Egalitarianism/Feminism. While it is important to clarify the “what” of Scripture in regard to sex and gender boundaries, it is also important to clarify the “why” by clarifying how they are both something that is of part the Gospel and something that uniquely expresses the Gospel.
To begin to do this, it is important to understand the relationship between God's Image, the dominion of Man on the earth, God-created sexes of male and female, and the God-ordained genders of man and woman, and human culture. We know from Romans 1:20 that Creation has the purpose of showing the Maker through what was made. The creation of Man as male and female, having been specifically made in God’s Image, unlike any other thing that was made, has a special purpose to instruct us about the Maker. It is not God who is the direct beneficiary of having his Image revealed in Man, but us who are the bearers of God’s Image to better understand God through perceiving the spiritual significance of what God that has built into our making, so that we may relate to God as his children. The spiritual significance of our making as image bearers of God is intended to be illumined for us as we operate within Creation and in relationship to each other and to God.
In Genesis 1, God created man in His image male and female he created them to take dominion over the earth. So there is an aspect of having God’s Image that comes by virtue of being human, whether male or female, and there is an aspect of bearing God’s image that is specifically male and not female, and that is female and not male. As taking dominion flows from bearing God’s Image, so too is there an aspect of taking dominion that is human—whether male or female-- and an aspect of taking dominion that is male and not female, and an aspect of taking dominion that is female and not male.
In Genesis 2, the relationship between what God directly creates, and what God ordains as an out flow of the design from what is created can be seen as Adam names the animals. God did not specifically create the names of the animals nor did he force Adam to do so, but he created Adam to be able to produce language and to use words to relate to Creation. As God spoke Creation into existence, Adam spoke the animals into their names. So in Adam naming the animals, there is first expression of human dominion over the earth in the form of man-created language and culture, which expresses God’s image.
The relationship between what God has created and what God has ordained in the realm of sexuality is this: the male and female sexes are God-created as the basic imprint of human male and female physical and emotional wiring. Meanwhile, the genders of man and woman are God-ordained sexual identities that are designed as an out flow from the God-created sexes to be expressed in distinct yet overlapping spheres of dominion. The genders of man and woman are somewhat subject to human will, unlike the sexes of male and female which are not.
Adam naming the animals prior to Eve arriving on the scene is the beginning of a God-ordained norm of men having a unique form exercise of dominion vis a vis women. So the naming of the animals was not only the first expression of human language and culture, but also the first expression of gender, of man-ness as unique from woman-ness.
Both the God-created sexes of male and female and the God-ordained genders of man and woman are integral in expressing God’s Image. It is in operating in distinct but over-lapping spheres of dominion that men and women express the Image of God for the benefit of each other’s understanding of God and what it means to be a child of God made in His Image.
You cannot choose your God-created sex, but you can choose not to operate in your God-ordained gender, though by doing so you would be violating your design, and the exercise of your dominion would fail to reflect God’s Image. As we are corrupted by sin, our dominion is corrupted and not fully able to achieve the purpose of reflecting God’s Image. To correct this, Scripture contains rules and guidelines to guide our will away from sin into following the God-ordained genders of man and woman as they were intended to work with the God-created sexes, male and female.
Even to the extent that certain aspects of gender are expressed with some cultural variations, they are nonetheless God-ordained. This is why Deuteronomy 22:5 says "A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this." It did not stop being detestable in the New Covenant any more than any other explicitly sexually prohibited behavior, nor was it only detestable for men and women to cross dress according to the dress that distinguished gender in ancient Israel.
Cross-dressing, for any purpose other than to be comedic and ridiculous, is detestable because superimposes the gender of man over the sex of being female and the gender of woman over the sex of being male. Because it puts what is God-ordained into dissonance with what is God-created, cross-dressing, as with other sexual behaviors prohibited in Scripture, diverts sexual energy away from reflecting God’s image and toward idolatry.