But They’re So Nice

Should you change your mind because your neighbor is nice? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My parents are part of the Methodist Church which just underwent a huge split over the issue of the definition of marriage. Naturally, my folks want to talk to me about what’s going on and my thoughts on the matter. One comment I have heard from them is that they have friends who know someone who’s same-sex attracted and they’ll say “But they’re so nice….”

I don’t have any reason to question that. There are several who are nice people. However, how does that become an argument to say “Therefore, I should vote to redefine marriage.”?

The issue when it comes to what the Methodist Church wants to do is “What is the nature of marriage?” Now if you think nature is fluid, meaning that a man and a woman is not the essence of marriage, meaning something essential to marriage, it’s up to you to define what is.  You can say marriage is fluid, but if there is nothing essential to marriage, as in marriage has no real characteristic of it, then marriage is essentially nothing.

I have written about this in several other places, so I don’t want to make this blog on the nature of marriage. I do want to discuss the question about people being nice. I really don’t understand why this is so persuasive, aside from the fact that people think with their emotions more than they do with their heads.

For one thing, if every same-sex attracted person was among the nicest people on the planet, that would say nothing about the nature of marriage itself. I regularly hear, and have experienced, that Mormons are usually incredibly kind people. If someone is willing to grant that, does that mean that they should rush down to the Mormon Church to convert?

Of course not, and even if they did, how many contradictions would you have in your mindset on the same issue? If you met a really nice Muslim after that, would you determine that Mormonism is false and Islam is true? If you encountered a nice atheist then, would you conclude that God doesn’t exist? If every atheist was practically a saint, that would say nothing about the arguments for or against theism.

Contrary, suppose Christians you met were jerks, and sadly, this could be true. Christians shouldn’t be, but if one encounters a Christian who is a jerk, that doesn’t say anything about whether Christianity is true or false. Christianity could have the best ethical system in the world and yet if people fail to live up to it, that says nothing about the system of ethics. It just says a lot about the followers.

We could say that people who vote to redefine marriage are implicitly saying then that everyone who holds to marriage as has always been understood is a jerk. Do they really want to say that? If you vote because person A of this persuasion is nice, does that mean the person opposed is mean?

When you look at the nature of marriage in the church situation, only one question needs to be asked. What is marriage? If you see it as fluid and changeable, then act accordingly. If you hold to a reality that says the man-woman unit is essential to marriage, then do the same.

Give a real reason. Even if you support the redefining of marriage, I hope this is something that can be agreed to. People should strive to be moral, but that doesn’t mean their position is true.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

I Was Not Assigned

What is at stake with our words? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week, there was an announcement made at the chapel service here at NOBTS about free flu shots being given out for students. All we had to do was go to the student center and there would be some nurses there ready to give us our shots. Being one without health insurance now (Financial realities of being a seminary student), I decided to go and get one.

Now this was a Christian hospital organization that was giving out the shots and so they had to ask me several questions, which I understand. I get the legal requirements. I don’t blame them and I realize the sad reality of what many businesses are going through, but as an individual, I did take a firm stand.

So in the middle of the usual questions that I expect, I get the one of “What is your gender identity?” I consider this to really be a nonsense question. Identity has no purpose here. How I feel about myself does not affect what I am at all. I can feel like I’m a cat and it’s not going to change I’m a human. For a more realistic example, as one going through a divorce, I can feel numerous negative things many times. Those things are not true. Many Christians can struggle with feeling God doesn’t love them. Doesn’t make it true. The reason many people commit suicide is often connected with a negative feeling about them or their future that just isn’t true.

I am a man. That is it. I can take a look at my body and the way that I came out and realize that yes, I am a man.

My next question I was asked was “Were you assigned that at birth?”

At this I think my eyes glare, not in anger at the nurses. They have to do their job. It’s in anger that this question is on here. I gave a direct answer. “No. I was born a man.” I realize we could say I was born a boy who grew into a man, but the sex that I was born as was not something that was just decided. It was known when I was born.

I also realize some people can bring up people who are intersex, but intersex and transgender are two very different things. One is a very physical condition and we have never sought to change our laws and society based on this condition. The other, transgenderism, is a psychological delusion and we are changing our society and laws to play along and real people are being the victims.

Friends. This is a hill we cannot budge any on. This is about a battle for reality itself. I consider the far-left movement in our society to be in a war against reality and trying to eliminate any idea of male and female. It’s as if we are being pushed into a political monism.

The biggest aspect of this battle to watch is our words. I will use longer and clunkier terminology to avoid granting any grounds to the other side. I will not speak of a “same-sex marriage.” A marriage by definition is the unity of a man and a woman. No. Something like polygamy doesn’t change this, though it is wrong, as it is just one man with several women, but the man-woman aspect is there. The same would be for one woman with many men.

When you say “same-sex marriage” you are speaking of a contradiction. You are speaking of a man-woman unit that is not man-woman. If we also make the definition of marriage fluid, we can make it to mean anything and then it means nothing. Why limit it to two people? Why make it consensual? Why make it lifelong? The word marriage has to mean something specific.

I prefer to not even speak of a homosexual anymore. It makes homosexual more often an aspect of the person’s identity and surely that won’t change. It becomes something innate. I will easily instead speak of a person with same-sex attraction. What is central here is that this is a person.

We must absolutely watch people who want to control our words and tell us there are things we cannot say. We have seen part of this when any monitoring is done of questions about vaccines or the 2020 election. Even if you think both of those are crazy conspiracy theories, it would be better to have them talked about and the ideas discussed. Shutting down discussion on any topic convinces more often people who think there is a cover-up.

Keep in mind that in 1984, the goal of the editing of the language was not to come up with new words. It was to eliminate as many words as possible. Control the words people say and you can control the ideas that they are allowed to think about.

The language war is essential.

No. I was not assigned male at birth. I was born that way. I could jack up my body with as many hormones as doctors say and mutilate it with surgical procedures, and I will look like I am playing a part, but it won’t change reality. Barring the return of Jesus Christ, I will die a male. Nothing will change that.

There is too much at stake. Whenever you encounter language that is meant to shape what you think, do not give an inch to it. If you have to use long and clunkier phrases, that’s fine. I would rather do that and be minorly inconvenienced than give in to fake reality and be majorly inconvenienced.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

On The Military on Pride Month

What is the purpose of a military? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

“And when the SJW mob passes through your area, when they see the rainbow flag on your house or business, they will pass over, but if they do not see the rainbow flag on your house and business, they will unleash their fury to get you cancelled and they will show no mercy.”

Such is what I have on my wall for what a friend of mine calls “Liberal Passover.” I get up and pretty much everywhere I go I see Pride flags. I didn’t even see this much for Black History Month or for Women’s History or Asian History or even for my own Autism Awareness Month. Mine is the one I least expect to see it for. After all, we don’t go and form mobs and shut down people that refuse to endorse us.

However, this is the first year I have seen the U.S. Military take this route and put up a statement for Pride Month on the first of the month.

So I did a search. Maybe I just missed something. I looked for Autism Awareness Month and the U.S. military. Nothing was coming up showing they celebrated it. I then replaced Autism Awareness with Pride Month and boom, it was right there immediately. Well, maybe people on the spectrum can’t serve. That was false also. There have been and are people on the spectrum in the military.

Now in a sense, I don’t really want the military to get involved. The military is not about raising awareness for causes necessarily. The military just needs to purely be America first. That is no longer happening.

My great concern with this? If the military can’t stand up to the SJW front, how on Earth can I expect them to stand up to our enemies? I can definitely assure you that the Russian and Chinese militaries are not spending their time making sure they’re supporting Pride Month or using proper pronouns or anything like that.

It’s also disappointing to see that if this is the case with Pride, then apparently the military is saying that the cause of Pride matters more than all those other causes, and this is part of the danger when it becomes political. Many of us on the right are very concerned that our military is becoming weaker because SJW causes are more important than the real point of the military, that of winning wars.

Do I still support the military? At the time, yes, but I am concerned about our future with this. I am more and more concerned that we are becoming a nation that is focusing on feelings instead of focusing on reality. I’m especially thinking about this after a great recommendation from someone that I read the book Strange New World. I have just recently started it and I am reading it on Audible and I definitely plan to review it as I am concerned about the Strange New World we find ourselves in.

I really hope the military returns to winning wars instead of political acceptance.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Homosexuality in Leviticus

What does the Bible say about this topic? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Now we get to this verse:

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”

For some reason in our culture, this is always a hard topic. My personal suspicion on this is that we live in a culture that wants to move away as far as possible from the Christian understanding of sex and in actuality, just make sex more meaningless and more of a hobby that people do together. If we give any essential qualities to sex, then we also have to have proper rules and morality for sex. It’s why I am sure bestiality and pedophilia is just around the corner. Time will tell if I am right.

Let’s state something upright. There are several works out there that are tempting to make the Bible not condemn homosexual behavior. They really don’t work well at all. This has been the standard interpretation for thousands of years and there is no new data around the text to have it say something different.

Now we could debate if some people are born with homosexual tendencies or not, but that’s not my purpose here. Even if we did grant that, many of us men are born with the tendency to pursue women and we have to control that impulse just as much. If any desire we have is condemned by Scripture, no matter how much it seems innate to us, we have to curtail it.

Also, contrary to what some people think, there are a number of people who struggle with same-sex attraction and yet marry someone of the opposite sex and it still works. Does it require a lot of work to make a marriage like that succeed? I am sure, but at the same time, that is the case with every marriage. All of them take work and that includes in sexual practice even with two people who are heterosexual.

One of the reasons is that gender really matters in the Bible. It’s not a social construct. At the same time, the Bible never says what makes a man a man or a woman a woman. Going back to Sam Andreades who I referred to yesterday, he does state that gender is best found in relationship. Women are the best at bringing out masculinity in a man and vice-versa.

Our bodies are different for a reason and come together the way that they do for a reason. Who we are is not an accident. The way we come together and reproduce is not an accident either. If anyone should have a thorough understanding of sexuality, it should be a Christian. Sex is not something that is outside of a Christian worldview and must be somehow grafted in. It is the idea of our creator and His invention. We have the Song of Songs in our book after all.

FInally, none of this is hatred of people who have homosexual tendencies anymore than speaking against adultery is hatred of people with heterosexual tendencies. On this end, I recommend Preston Sprinkle’s People To Be Loved.

And yes, we definitely need to show love to the homosexual community. We don’t approve of all they do, but we should celebrate their personhood. They too bear the image of God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Is Religion Natural?

What belongs to the order of nature? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

While browsing Facebook on Sunday, I saw a meme shared in an apologetics group saying homosexuality is natural because animals perform homosexual acts. Religion is not because animals do not do that. Therefore, it’s not homosexuality that isn’t natural, but religion that is unnatural.

Memes are to some people meant to get you thinking. This one did get me thinking.

“Why do people think arguments so dumb are so powerful?”

To begin with, as in memes, there is never any defining of terms. What is religion? What does it mean to be natural?

I could also question that animals don’t do religion. Some animals are said to have strong burial rites that they follow. Who is to say that a lion roaring over his prey is not designed to praise his creator that way?

There’s also the problem that there are many behaviors that animals do that we would not consider to do. Animals freely poop in public and unless you live in San Francisco, this is normally frowned upon. Animals also eat their own young and again, most of us don’t have a drive to legalize cannibalism because it’s natural.

But if the person wants to play this game, we’ll play this game.

I do not know of any animals who are writing rational discourses or presenting rational arguments. By this standard then, to make a rational argument is unnatural. Therefore, we should not make rational arguments.

I also do not know of animals doing science. Now I know that so many of our atheist friends love science, but if we’re going this route, then science has to be deemed as unnatural. Therefore, if we want to do what is natural, we cannot do science.

Now if you’re an atheist reading this argument, do notice something.

Nowhere in here did I say homosexual acts are sinful. While I do think that, you do not have to agree with me on this point. I just said that this is a bad argument for a position. It is possible to affirm that you think my view is false and yet that an argument against it is bad. I think there are bad arguments against atheism and bad arguments for Christianity.

If someone wanted to refine this, they would need to define their terms. I never did in this piece because I wasn’t the one making the argument and I was trying to go by the understanding I figured the meme maker had. I could be wrong, but that’s part of the problem of the poster not defining his terms. I can’t read his mind.

And for Christians, keep in mind this doesn’t make the argument either. This argument I have presented cannot establish homosexual practice is wrong. We must make our own arguments that way.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Jimmy Carter on Homosexuality

Should we take what Jimmy Carter said seriously? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have seen this meme going around the past few months or so and saw it again yesterday on Facebook. Chances are, you have as well. I always give the same reply. As far as I know, the quote is authentically from Jimmy Carter, but even if it isn’t, the message is still one that many Christians will find difficult to respond to and many others will treat as an unassailable argument.

Maybe you’re a Christian wondering how you should respond to that. After all, Jesus never said anything explicitly about homosexuality in the Bible. Also, it was very well known in the ancient world and this long before Jesus was born. Is it time to surrender this point? No.

Here’s what I initially post every time I see this.

Pederasty was well-known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born, and Jesus never said a word about pederasty. In all of his teachings about multiple things, he never said that pederasts should be condemned.

For those who don’t know, this was a practice where an older man would take a younger boy in and mentor him. That mentoring would often involve making the younger boy a lover. The boy would traditionally play the female role. This was a common practice in the ancient world at the time of Jesus and Jesus never said a word about it.

Now if the person posting this meme is going to be consistent, then they will need to approve of a practice that most of us would call child abuse or sexual abuse today. If they don’t, then they are just cherry picking. This shows the problem with the argument because if you just submit another term in that can apply equally, the argument doesn’t work.

If anything, Jesus’s silence should be seen as tacit approval of what the Torah said about homosexual practice. Jesus had no problem dealing with interpretations of the Law that He found to be problematic. On this one, He is incredibly silent on the matter. Could it because like pederasty, this wasn’t an issue in ancient Israel?

As for Jesus’s stance on sex and marriage, it was much harder than those around Him. Jesus looked at both of the schools of His day on divorce and at the Essenes in Matthew 19 and went beyond both of them. His response many Christians today might think perfectly natural, but His own disciples were shocked by it.

Jesus also spoke hard on lust, something that many of us guys would probably love to have taken out of the Bible. Committing adultery was wrong, but it is definitely just as bad to even look at a woman with the desire to fornicate with her. Why? Because on a cost-benefit analysis, if you can get away with doing it, you will do it.

Don’t let someone fool you with this kind of argumentation from Carter. Regardless of what I think of his politics, I can say he does not know what he’s talking about with the Bible. Contrary to what the meme says, the Bible is something I think real Christians should stand up for.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 6/3/2017: Alan Branch

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Our culture is undergoing changes we never would have thought possible growing up and Christians face challenges that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. The homosexual movement especially has risen up and demanded what is called “equality.” Why should this be given? Don’t you know? It’s not a choice. You’re born this way!

Well, are you?

My guest on the show this Saturday says “No. You are not born this way.” He is the author of the book Born This Way? and has looked deeply at the subject of if homosexuality has some sort of genetic origin. We’ll be talking about that this Saturday. His name is J. Alan Branch. So who is he?

Alan Branch got his B.B.A. at Kennesaw State College in 1991. He went on to get a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in December of 1993. He went on to get a Ph.D. from there in 2000 in theology with a focus on ethics. As of now, he is the Professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What is the origin of homosexual attraction? Is it a choice? Are people born this way? If they are not, does that mean that they chose it? Branch’s book is a look at all the theories raised thus far to explain homosexuality and how it comes about. He looks at psychologists of the past as well as medical research done today to see if there is a genetic link of some kind to homosexual attraction.

So we’ll be having a brief history of this kind of study. We’ll be looking at Freud to see what he thought about homosexuality and then, we’ll move on to talk about Kinsey. Kinsey is a figure that needs to be talked about because he’s still highly influential in our culture today, yet not many people really know about all that was done by Kinsey and the kind of person he was.

What about objections raised today? Don’t we see this in the animal kingdom? Isn’t it thought that homosexuality is thus natural in so many animals? If it’s something natural, shouldn’t we have no problems with it today? What are we to say to this?

And of course, there’s the question about reparative therapy. If this is not something that is genetic, does that mean that it can be changed? If it can be changed, it is something that will even work? Many of us have heard the horror stories about what has gone wrong with this therapy and about people who claimed to be cured and yet fell back into the homosexual lifestyle. What are we to do then?

I hope you’ll be listening to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. We’ll be working on getting it up for you as soon as we can. Please also consider going to ITunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It’s always good to hear what you like about the show so I can know what you want to hear.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Why Christians Should Care About A Snowflake Culture

Do snowflakes indicate that Christians in the West have some concerns? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Much of the news today concerns snowflakes. No. I don’t mean a story about global warming. I mean a story about especially people in high school who can’t seem to stand the thought of anything contrary to their opinion and have to have safe places where they will not be challenged in anything.

I don’t know what to call these people besides snowflakes. I know that chronologically, kids doesn’t fit, but what do you call people who for all intents and purposes are adults and yet need to be in a place where their opinions aren’t challenged and this in college where you SHOULD be having your opinions challenged? What do you say about children who need therapy dogs and coloring books not because of some serious major hardship, but because their candidate lost an election?

Unfortunately, the snowflakes didn’t just come out of nowhere. There came a time in our history when arguments mattered less and less and how one felt about the arguments mattered the most. In this day and age, someone can think they can refute the Old Testament by pointing to a commandment, saying “I don’t like it” and moving on from there. Never mind that you might actually want to attempt to understand the culture and see what was going on, but for many people, that’s not necessary. Being offended is enough to show that it’s wrong.

I have been engaging on Brent Landau’s post that I wrote about last week. It has been amusing to be accused of abuse when as far as I know, the worst crime I have done is telling people they’re spreading nonsense and don’t know what they’re talking about. What kind of nonsense? Oh, Raphael Lataster, David Fitzgerald, and Richard Carrier. Jesus mythicism is alive and well for internet atheists. What it tells me is these are people who care so little about the truth of historical Jesus scholarship, but when they’re called out on it, rather than defend the arguments, they try to take the moral high ground and play the victim. It’s a way to avoid “Okay. I don’t know how to answer this point,” and turn it into “You’re a mean person for arguing with me!” The subject becomes the objector then instead of the data itself.

Sadly, we Christians aren’t innocent in this. Why? Because we have bought into gentle Jesus meek and mild. Make no mistake about it that when it came to sinners seeking forgiveness and coming to Jesus in hope, he was meek and mild. Look at the Pharisees by contrast. Jesus was not meek and mild towards them. A meek and mild Jesus does not make a whip in the temple and clean it up. Jesus had a problem with these people and took them to task because their behavior and the claims they were making were hurting the people who were wanting to enter the Kingdom. Jesus was also sarcastic with them believe it or not. Consider when His disciples were picking grain on the sabbath. When confronted, Jesus said, “Have you not read about…..” We could get into the whole discussion of if Abiathar was the high priest at the time, but notice that Jesus went to the scholars of the Old Testament in His day and said, “Have you not read this?” It was a great insult. “Hey, guys. You’re supposed to know this stuff. Have you ever even read this passage?”

It’s been in more recent times that we’ve started to think contrarily. Now don’t get me wrong on this. There’s no need to unnecessarily offend someone. There are times where it will be necessary. In fact, if you give the Gospel, you will have to offend people. Seriously. You think people like being told they’re sinners living in rebellion against the King and that they will be judged if they don’t change? That’s a great insult to them, but it’s also true. My policy is if stepping on someone’s toes is the only way to get someone to move towards Christ, then watch out because I plan to stomp hard!

If people say they want to go the more peaceful route, I just like to ask them how that has worked for the homosexual crowd. We thought we could just have peace and give an inch. Now what has happened? The shoe is on the other foot and tolerance is no longer the big deal it was. When the homosexuals did not have the majority opinion behind them, they shouted out for tolerance. When they did have it, Memories Pizzeria was targeted and received death threats and had to have a GoFundMe in order to survive. Florists now lose their livelihood just because they’re trying to live by their Christian principles. How did that work out?

Now does that mean we should have been absolute jerks to the homosexual community? No. It does mean that sentiment is not always the best way. Love is sometimes tough and it is tough because it seeks the best for the other person. Love is not giving that alcoholic an extra drink even though he’s crying on the couch begging for one to end the pain. If you love someone, you will often see them go through hardships and hold back on giving them what they want.

With the snowflake culture now, it is harder and harder to get contrary thought into the minds of others. After all, who are you to dare to suggest that someone is wrong? If politically we can’t even get a conservative speaker to show up on campuses, how much harder will it be to get a minister of the Gospel to show up on these campuses?

I wish I knew a good solution to this, but many might be too far into it. The best I can think of is to teach our own children now not to be snowed by these arguments. Remember that the data is primary. Look at an argument. Ask what the claims are. What are the reasons for believing those claims? How good is the data for them? Does the conclusion follow? Teach them how to do good research.

Remember, walking like Jesus does mean being delicate to those who are sinners and are seeking a place of forgiveness and grace. It also means guarding them with a rod and protecting them from those who wish them harm. If you have only a hammer, everything does look like a nail, but if you have only a hug, everything looks like a kitten, even if it’s really a destructive tiger. A good shepherd knows how to use a rod to deal with wolves and a staff to lead the sheep both.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Book Plunge: Openness Unhindered. Further Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert On Sexual Identity And Union With Christ

What do I think of Rosaria Butterfield’s book published by Crown & Covenant Publications? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all know the story. A person lives their life struggling with sin and then, they come to Christ. They pour out their heart in repentance to Him and God forgives them and frees them from the shame of the past. No more are they hindered by the chains that kept them bound. They walk in newness of life free from the past temptations entirely.

Or…..maybe not.

In fact, a lot of people would wish that was the case. Sometimes some will be thinking that God betrayed them or lied to them. If we have become new creatures in Christ, why is it that the past is still an issue? Why do we not experience deliverance from all the struggles of the past? How can I be a new creature in Christ and still struggle mightily with a sin?

Rosaria Butterfield knows about this quite well. She had been a professor living in a lesbian relationship when a pastor gently responded to an article she wrote about the Promise Keepers. This pastor was a pushback to her, but also was not in her face. She, in fact, notes that the first time she visited him and his wife, they did not give her the Gospel or invite her to church. In fact, she appreciated that greatly.

She began studying the Bible on her own and in fact studying it as a postmodern. Romans 1 was quite a difficult passage for her, but one she could not escape. What if instead of gay pride, she was just really having pride? What if what she took pride in was in fact really a form of rebellion? The questions came at her fast and furious.

One day, she just reached her breaking point. She wound up admitting that God was God and becoming a Christian. From then on, she knew things had to change. Much of her book is about dealing with this. Indeed she did change. She is now the wife of a reformed pastor in North Carolina, but she has a heart for those who are struggling with many issues.

One of Butterfield’s key themes is identity. Our identity when we come to Christ and even before is not to be based on our sexual orientation, as the term is used. Our identity is greater than the people we are attracted to or share a bed with. One of her main points she wants to have raised is we should not use terms like “gay Christian” even when we speak of Christians who agree that homosexual activity is wrong and want to live a celibate life. Why take an adjective that describes a condition that the Bible refers to as sin and making it part of your identity just like Christian is in your identity? Taking it as an identity is in some way clinging to it and holding on to it, as if it’s something central to who you are.

She does realize that some Christians disagree with this and in fact, she has an example of that in the book. She talks about her friend Rebecca who still struggles with same-sex attraction. Butterfield makes an important point that for some people, sanctification does not necessarily mean being delivered from the sinful temptations. Heterosexuality is not the goal of sanctification, but holiness is and you can just as much be a sinner as a heterosexual as you can a homosexual. For some people, the sign of their sanctification could be living with these sinful desires and NOT giving in.

To the rest of us, she says part of the danger we have could be what she calls the gag reflex to homosexuality. We can describe homosexual acts as if to get the response of “ewww. Yucky.” What we end up doing can be saying “I’m so thankful I don’t do that!” or for those Christians who are struggling with same-sex attraction, putting thoughts in their heads. We can end up having a sort of superiority complex to the homosexuals who do this “shameful behavior.” Now I do believe the Bible describes it as shameful, but that is not because of something being gross. Our problems with a behavior should be with the moral status of the behavior and not the personal taste status of the behavior.

For an analogy, imagine a pastor at a church describing the evil of an affair. Rather than state that a sexual affair is an evil thing, he goes into great detail of a man meeting a woman at a hotel room and describing what goes on behind closed doors. Is he really helping anyone? No. We all know what goes on behind closed doors. If anything, most men in the audience are now suddenly having to deal with a temptation as they are having a fantasy play out in their minds.

Butterfield also stresses that for a Christian, life should be a life of repentance. We should be watching ourselves to see where we are falling short. Butterfield does write with the heart of a counselor. At times, sometimes the reformed aspect can shine through a bit brighter so if, like me, you don’t hold to a Calvinistic position, that can be difficult, but either way, those of us who don’t still do agree with repentance and we do still see God as sovereign even if we don’t understand how that works out.

She also stresses the importance of community. Community should be a way we come together and pray for one another and if anyone does struggle with unwanted attractions, they can find comfort in having people who will hear them. They might not be able to do anything beyond that, besides pray of course, but they can be listeners.

Butterfield’s book is a good one. If there was one area I would change, it’s that there is talk about dealing with unwanted sexual attractions and such, but at the same time, I always want to see that there is a positive message about sexuality. A true sexuality is something God gives us to enjoy and celebrate. It would have been good to have heard Butterfield’s thoughts on that.

Still, this is a book that will leave you thinking and hopefully get you more in tune with thinking about holiness. Repentance is a word much more on my mind since reading this. I also wouldn’t mind seeing more community as described by Butterfield and will definitely be watching to check for the gag reflex approach to homosexuality.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Making Gay Okay

What do I think of Robert Reilly’s book published by Ignatius Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Reilly has written a book on how America is taking part in rationalizing on homosexual behavior and the affect it’s having on our society. He takes a unique approach as he is not arguing from Scripture but more from just the natural law tradition, despite his having a deep Catholic faith of his own. The book is very well-researched and goes into the history of what happened and what is going on in the world today as a result.

For Reilly, the problem started with the contraception movement. I can’t say I agree for sure because there had to be something else in the background. People can still use birth control and think that sex has an end and just know that it would not be good to have children at the time or perhaps in some cases, physically harmful to a mother. Do some people wrongly use this in order to justify whatever it is that they want to do sexually? Yes. They do. That is not the fault of the tool but of the people so we have to ask “What changed in the people?” I wish I had a clear answer to that, but I don’t.

Reilly’s book is certainly hard hitting as he goes through homosexual behavior and the affects it has on people and why arguments for it and for redefining marriage fail. If there is a common argument you hear in favor, you will likely see it responded to in this book. Those interested in a history of how we got to where we got will also be pleased to see it.

The version I read did include a statement about the 2015 Supreme Court decision. If that is rationalizing, one wonders what he would say about the transgender movement today. Reilly does say the viewpoint cannot really last and I agree, but what will be the cost of it for going against reality?

Reilly gives a history of what happened in the world of psychology as well that led to homosexuality not being included as a mental disorder. He then shows the effect this is having elsewhere such as what has happened with the Boy Scouts and what has happened with the military as people seek to remove all barriers whatsoever and treat male-male and female-female relationships as equal in every way to male-female relationships. We have now reached the point where homosexual applause is something that we are exporting to the rest of the world.

Reilly’s book is hard hitting. I do wish he had said more about no-fault divorce as I think that was the largest hit to the nature of marriage and sadly, it was one Christians allowed to happen easily enough. There are times I do realize divorce could be a necessity, but it should always be seen as a sad one. If you want an argument besides “The Bible says” this book is right up your alley and worth reading.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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