The Failure of Bros

Is this due to “homophobia”? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve seen on YouTube today a lot of talk about the failure of a movie called Bros. If you haven’t heard of this movie, it’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the lovers in this are a pair of men. This was the first of its kind and its fail was tremendous.

Billy Eichner, who is behind the movie, has sadly taken the lower path in handling this. Instead of looking at himself and looking at his movie and seeing why it is no one went to see it, he is instead blaming the audience. Why did it fail? It is because YOU must be a homophobe.

However, if that is the case, then even assuming everyone who saw the movie in America is gay, a lot of them even didn’t see it, so does that mean someone in the homosexual community is a homophobe? Eichner has also been on Twitter sending out regular tweets about this. Little tip here. If you want your audience to listen to you, it’s probably not a good idea to call them homophobes and anything else at the same time.

Well here are a lot of reasons most people didn’t go see this movie.

First, romcoms are normally meant for women. For the most part, men do not go to see romcoms unless their girlfriends or wives insist on it. Men would rather see an action flick of some kind. They want to see some fights, car chases, shootings, and something getting blown up. If they do go see a romcom, they want to at least see a beautiful woman in that movie.

A gay romcom has neither. No straight guy I know of wants to see two dudes getting it on together. Add in there are supposedly multiple orgies in this and we’re even less interested.

While men will go see action flicks wanting to be the man in the films, women go see romcoms because for the most part, they want to be romanced. They like the love story and it’s their kind of fairy tale. They are not interested in seeing two dudes either.

If you’re wanting men to go see your film, don’t make it a romcom.

Second, people don’t want to see something if they think they’re being preached to. Most people do not go to church for entertainment value and there’s a reason we’ve called a long message we don’t want to hear a sermon. There’s a reason we refer to a negative onslaught of what we ought to do as preaching. When people see a system they don’t want regularly put in their face, they lose interest. It’s the whole “Go woke, go broke.”

Consider how it is in superhero comics. Most people I know wouldn’t really care too much if someone wanted to make a gay superhero. What they don’t want is to take a traditional superhero who has never shown any inkling of being gay and then turning them gay to appeal to diversity. People go to comics for entertainment. They don’t go for politics.

Third, yes, a lot of people don’t agree with homosexuality, including myself, but it doesn’t do anything to call us all homophobes any more than calling non-Christians Christophobes is going to get them to repent or seriously examine Christianity. Instead of having any debate on the topic, instead, it is easier to just shout an insult at someone. It doesn’t help your side any.

That means when we go see a movie, we don’t want to see an orgy with a bunch of guys in it. That might appeal to the homosexual community, but not to heterosexual community. We also don’t care for a movie that tells us that we had a good run. You don’t tell us our time is done and then respond negatively when we choose to not show interest in you.

Ultimately, if people don’t like your work, no matter how passionate you are about it, you need to look to yourself. You will never have something that pleases everyone, but I have to do the same thing here. If people aren’t interacting with my content or taking it seriously, I have to look at myself mostly. Now there’s no harm in looking at my audience and asking what they want. I wrote about divorce for quite awhile, for instance, because I saw views were up on my blog when I did that. Give the people what they want.

If someone isn’t interested in my content, I can ask what I can do to make it interesting to them. I could look at my writing style or website presentation or anything else. The first place to start if someone doesn’t like my work is always with me. It is not with the audience.

So Billy, take a look at yourself. How passionate you are about the work doesn’t matter a bit. I can be super-passionate about selling overcoats, but it won’t work if I’m talking to people in the Middle East most likely. I can be super passionate about pork products, but it won’t work with Muslims or Orthodox Jews. Passion doesn’t equal success. Having a good product or service and then knowing your audience well and what they want does.

We just don’t want Bros. Time to accept that and move on.

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)

Book Plunge: Irreversible Damage

What do I think of Abigail Shrier’s book published by Regenry? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Abigail Shrier thinks a pandemic of sorts is gripping young girls today. Too many young women are coming out suddenly and saying that they are transgender. While there is such a thing as gender dysphoria, the majority of people it strikes are men and they normally do get past it eventually. Shrier’s concern is that a group, the transgender community, that is supposed to affect a minority of the population, is really hitting in epic numbers that do not make sense.

Not only is it happening, but therapists and doctors are pushing it onward. If a young girl comes to a therapist and is convinced she’s really a boy, the therapist or doctor is not to ask “Why do you feel that way?” Instead, they are to go ahead and write out a prescription for testosterone. It’s gender affirming after all and besides that, if the daughter doesn’t do this, she’ll likely kill herself.

Shrier doesn’t think all such cases are like this and she is open to the idea that sometimes transitioning could be healthy, but is concerned that there is too much and too soon. To give a brief look at the end of the book, she also talks to Buck Angel who used to be a woman and he has the exact same concern. Girls at too young an age are making decisions that will have impacts on them that cannot be changed.

Consider top surgery for instance, which is a double mastectomy. Contrary to what might be believed, a woman can’t just remove her breasts and then get them put right back on. They’re not just mounds of tissue, but have a number of nerves and other functions that help with erotic sensitivity and with breastfeeding. A girl who does this could miss out on that for the rest of her life. She can get something done that could look the same, but they won’t functionally be the same.

That’s only a minor loss, though something any woman wanting to have sex and have a baby someday should think about, but speaking of having a baby, many of these paths to being a man could easily end in infertility. These would be decisions based on a decision a girl makes when she doesn’t have life experience to match. Naturally, many therapists and others encourage her and tell her what to say to especially deal with those bigots in her life who dare question her.

Normally, they’re known as Mom and Dad.

A girl can be in high school or college and go by male names and pronouns without her parents knowing. At college, she can get hormone treatment and her parents again do not have to know. If anything, the system is set up so that they won’t know. (The same applies to abortion. That’s not a coincidence.)

The question to ask is what is causing this. If there is any one culprit, it is the one no one will be surprised at. Social Media. Girls can see videos online from people in the trans community who can not only convince them that they’re really trans, but train them as to what to say to a therapist or to parents or anyone else.

Some people interviewed in the book describe the trans community as a cult, and there’s some odd parallels to that. As a Christian apologist, I found it interesting that it is often said that if someone walks away from the treatment, they were never really trans to begin with. Hormones and top surgery are practically sacraments to get to the path of salvation, coming out completely as someone of the opposite sex.

What about those who dissent? They are shut down immediately. There is not allowed to be any debate whatsoever. A highly acclaimed doctor who has spent several years in the field and is well-established can have his career ripped away from him if he dares to question the narrative.

And some people wonder why some of us are skeptical of science in other controversial areas.

Shrier’s fear is that these girls are going to make mistakes in this period of their lives that will be, well, irreversible. My concern is that this is a delusion and the more we enable a delusion, the more damage we do to those who have that delusion, even if it is ourselves. This has become a condition where the patient goes to see the doctor and the patient tells the doctor what the diagnosis and the treatment is. The doctor becomes a dealer of sorts.

I used to say that our society was in a war on boys. I still think that is the case. Men are vilified through MeToo and ads like that of Gillette and are conditioned to be more like girls. In a twist also, there is a war on girls where girls are told that there is nothing essential to being a girl and all you need to do is have your body mutilated some and you can be a boy and likewise a boy can be a girl.

How are both of these true? How are boys encouraged to be more feminine and girls encouraged to say there is nothing special about being a girl. It comes down to a delusion. It is a war against reality. It is a desire to remove any boundaries or fixed points whatsoever. If we can change who or what we are in our minds, we can allow for any behavior that we want ultimately, be it sex with whoever we want as long as they consent, (And how long will that barrier stay up?), abortion, that marriage can be whatever we want it to be, or this next step, that gender is a social construct. (These are connected. Right after the Supreme Court ruled in favor or redefining marriage, there was a switch immediately to the transgender community as the next step.)

If you are a parent of a young girl, I really urge you to get this book. You need to know what your daughter is coming up against. You also need to tell them that they have something special in being a girl. There is no need to trade that in for being a boy. Of course, boys do have something special, but our girls need to love themselves as they are just as our boys do.

Shrier’s book is thorough, scary, and needed. I want to thank the friend who got it for me for a review. This is a book that needs to be read by every mother and father of a daughter, whether they are a teenager or college student already, or even if this is a daughter still in the womb. Read it and be ready.

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

On Chick-Fil-A’s Donation Stance

What do I think about what has happened with Chick-Fil-A recently? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. I don’t have a real personal interest in this. Contrary to many Christians, I don’t care for chicken. It’s the thing about having Aspergers. My diet is extremely limited. I do like the fries there, but that’s about it.

Like many of you, when I heard about Chick-Fil-A not donating anymore to some causes, I was shocked. There are two sides to every coin and I have heard Christians arguing on both sides, but I think CFA did a great mistake yesterday that will damage not only them, but the people they are not supporting. I want to try to understand as much as I can still and explain the best I can, but that’s where I fall at the end of the day.

Of course, just because someone or something stops supporting someone, it doesn’t mean that they think the cause is not valid anymore. If someone stops being a supporter of Deeper Waters, should I think that they no longer care about Christian apologetics and ministry? It could be that, but it’s not necessarily that.

One reason given for this lack of supporting these organizations is that they are supposedly anti-LGBTQ. It is never explained what this means. Today, we live in a day and age where disagreement with a behavior is seen as hatred towards the person. (Does that mean people who hate how Christians practice their belief hate Christians?) One such organization being dropped from donations is the Salvation Army.

You know those hateful bigots. Right? They’re the ones standing outside of grocery stores on Christmas ringing the bells and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I am not going to claim everyone who works there is a saint, but they care greatly for the homeless and those in need. Are they anti-LGBTQ? Well, let’s see what they have said.

Does The Salvation Army serve the LGBTQ Community?

Yes. Any person who walks through our doors will receive assistance based on their need and our capacity to help. Our mission is to the preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human need in His name without discrimination. 


Does The Salvation Army provide shelter to transgender people?

Yes. When a transgender person seeks help from us, we serve them in the same manner as any other person seeking assistance. Too often, LGBTQ Americans experience unacceptable homophobia or transphobia when seeking shelter. The Salvation Army seeks to be a welcome, safe place for all men, women, and children.


Does The Salvation Army consider the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant in its hiring practices?

No. We embrace talented people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our hiring practices are open to all.


Does The Salvation Army provide benefits to the spouses of employees in same-sex marriages?

Yes. We provide the same benefits to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Some have said CFA is doing this because of contractual agreements to only support for a few years or to get into a UK market. Neither one of these is good reasons. Unfortunately, there are some effects that can follow from CFA’s decision because of this.

Years ago, CFA had the most successful day ever in fast food history with Chick-Fil-A Day. My family and I were ones that stood in line for about half an hour to get something there. It was arranged by Mike Huckabee. CFA never personally endorsed the day, but they reaped the benefits. Why did they get these benefits?

Because many Americans today still believe in traditional marriage and they were proud to see one restaurant standing by their principles and not caving even when the other side was pushing in on them. They have done this consistently. Unless there is some emergency in an area, they are not open on Sundays when they could be making profits on those days.

So CFA has some happy and loyal customers who support them because of their stances. Now I’m not saying CFA should go somewhere just because of the money, but at the same time, if they believe their stance is right, they should stick with it. Yesterday, the conservatives got the message from CFA that appeasement to the left is the proper way to go.

It’s been seen by many as a slap in the face and foolishness. After all, give the left an inch and usually they take a mile. These people will not be satisfied until CFA is donating money to pro-LGBTQ organizations and until they have a requirement that every employee show up to work in drag and refuse to serve to those bigoted Christians and close not on Sundays, but on Muslim holidays.

Not only that, now all these organizations that CFA has refused to donate to have been labeled as anti-LGBTQ, which will make it all the harder for them to get support. The mission that they are seeking to do will be less likely. In essence, they have been thrown under the bus.

Some Christians are wanting to boycott CFA. If you are going that route, I can honestly understand it even if I don’t support it. Buycotts like Chick-Fil-A Day work if there is a concentrated effort. When Duck Dynasty was pulled from the air, a concentrated effort worked to get the station to reverse its decision.

My only concern with this is if Christians go this route and CFA responds positively, just like with Duck Dynasty, please do not stop there. The message I got with the Duck Dynasty event was that Christians will get up in arms when a TV show is removed because of its Christian principles, but once they get what they want, Christians sit back down again. If that is the case, all that matters is the TV show. It is not the greater cause of the Kingdom.

If you do a boycott, do it not because CFA matters so much, but the cause of Christ does. You think CFA has betrayed that cause and you will not support them while they are doing that. Note also this is your personal conscience. Some Christians might still go from time to time because they just see CFA as a chicken sandwich restaurant. As Paul would say, let each be convinced in their own mind.

My own hope is that CFA will reverse this decision. It’s not going to keep me up at night or anything like that, but I think they sent a very bad message yesterday. It’s really just bad business also to do something to anger your largest support group and try to appease your most vocal critics instead that won’t be pleased.

CFA. If you read this, please reconsider.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/21/2019

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

Happy families are all alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Many families will not put their dysfunction out there for the world to see. If you post on Facebook, very rarely will you see something like, “Wife and I got into an awful fight over how to do the laundry and we ended up yelling at each other for an hour.”

The LGBT community might look happy on the outside. We just want to get along. This is a group all about love and tolerance. Right? Maybe not. Maybe there’s a lot of chaos going on in this family as well. What if they can’t all just get along?

My guest this Saturday has done a lot of looking into this community. Things are not as they seem. The feminist movement already doesn’t like what’s happening with transgenderism which puts a lot of tension between the L and the T. The B movement isn’t going so well with that either since that assumes that there are only two genders.

Okay. So the LGBT community isn’t getting along with itself. What does that have to do with us? For one thing, if this is accurate, this can show us the path we could be going on. What if we Christians are right and this is a war against reality? What if the tensions underlie a much deeper issue? What if issues of sexuality have to do with more than just whoever you sleep with?

To discuss this, I’m bringing on someone who has researched this movement and has the knowledge about what’s going on. He came highly recommended by Dr. J of the Ruth Institute. He’s a writer for the Christian Post and his name is Brandon Showalter.

So who is he?

Brandon Showalter is a 2007 graduate of Bridgewater College of Virginia. He earned a BA (cum laude) in International Studies and Spanish and was a fellow the Flory Honors program, studying abroad at the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain in 2005. He is also a fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law.

Since 2016 he has been a journalist with The Christian Post covering a wide range of topics. His reporting has been cited in the US State Department’s 2017 International Religious Freedom report and in the 2018 book “Braving the Future: Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech.” Earlier this year, the Evangelical Press Association awarded him and one of his colleagues first place for best Article series. In late October 2017 he traveled to Germany to report on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Tomorrow then, that’s what we’ll be talking about. We are working on updating the shows and getting them to you. I hope to be fully caught up before too long.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/14/2019

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

It used to be that if you were filling something out and it asked what gender you were, there were two options. You were male or you were female. We all understood that. However, now we live in an age that seems to call everything into question including basic facts of biology.

Now we have boys who claim to be girls and vice-versa. We have an Olympic athlete who has undergone an operation so he can become a woman. Transgenderism is a major new item today and terms like non-binary are showing up more and more.

A great concern is about the possible medical dangers involved with transgenderism. It’s problematic enough to many of us to think that you are a member of the opposite sex. It’s something else quite different when you put hormones in your body to bring about a change. It’s even more concerning when small children who are incredibly impressionable are led down this route and even take puberty blockers and begin a transition. These are kids who have a hard time deciding what to wear to school the next day and yet make major life-altering decisions like this.

But what are the medical side-effects of this? We have drugs that could help people overcome cancer that aren’t released yet, but we seem to want to do something of this extreme level without understanding the circumstances. Are we playing a dangerous game? Could we be damaging children in a way irreversible by scientific means?

To discuss this, I need some help. Obviously, I’m not a scientist or a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. I need someone knowledgeable on this. I need someone like my guest this weekend. Her name is Michelle Cretella.

So who is she?

Dr. Cretella is Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds). She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2005, and served two terms as president prior to being hired as the executive director. Dr. Cretella previously chaired several committees which enabled her to become one of the ACPeds’ chief researchers, editors and spokespersons. Her article Gender Dysphoria in Children and Suppression of Debate was published in the 2016 summer issue of Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Following this, she became one of the world’s most outspoken critics of gender ideology in pediatrics. She is regularly consulted by many media news outlets. 

Dr. Cretella serves on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Therapeutic Choice, and is Chair of the Gender Identity Subcommittee for the Catholic Medical Association. She is a peer reviewer for the journal Issues in Law and Medicine, and also for the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Dr. Cretella received her medical degree in 1994 from the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine. She completed her residency in pediatrics in 1997 at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. She completed a fellowship in College Health through the University of Virginia in 1999. After 15 years of group practice in rural Connecticut and Rhode Island she left clinical practice to devote more time to family and the ACPeds. Dr. Cretella and her husband are the proud parents of four children.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that episodes are now going up. We hope to be caught up soon. Please be watching your feed for this and other upcoming episodes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Critical Conversations

What do I think of Tom Gilson’s book published by Kregel? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Parents have always tended to dread “the talk” and asked one another which one of them will be the ones to tell their children about the birds and the bees. As awkward as it has been in the past, today for Christian parents, it can be even more awkward. What was thought unthinkable in the past is now seen as the new normal. Christians for the most part know what the Bible says about homosexual practice and today, that leads to them being called bigots, haters, intolerant, etc.

What are Christian parents to do? It’s no longer enough in our day and age to just say “Well this is what the Bible says.” Something more is needed. That’s why I’m proud to support Tom Gilson’s book on the topic. Gilson writes a book that is intellectually rich but also with a pastoral heart. As you read it, it’s like Gilson is taking your hand and guiding you through the minefield and helping you see step by step how best to handle these conversations with your children.

Note I said conversations. The birds and the bees talk might be a one-time deal, but this is a prevalent issue that will likely involve more than one talk, especially as your teenager receives more challenges from classmates. Gilson is set to walk you through with a history of how we got here, what marriage means and why it matters, and how to handle challenges everywhere, even from a professor in a college classroom.

All that is well and good and you can find that information in many books, but if all you had was the final section, it would be worth the price of the book. In the final section Gilson takes a lot of the soundbite slogans that your child will encounter and works through how to answer them. He has an idea of a kind of conversation you can have all the while wanting you to make sure that it is not a script.

Most every slogan you can think of is addressed here. It’s as if Gilson sat at his computer writing every sound bite that came along and then decided to respond to all of them. It is a shame that we live in a soundbite culture where these kinds of statements have to be addressed, but unfortunately they do. Gilson does the job though. Your children will encounter taunts. They will be able to reply with substantial arguments.

If there’s something I would like to see in a future edition, I would like to see more of the positives of what we are defending. We as Christians have largely been seen as taking a negative side in the marriage debate. We need to make sure we present equally a very positive case. I would like to see more writing encouraging teenagers on the goodness of the male-female relationship and how it works in marriage, which would certainly include the grandeur and wonder of a sexual relationship, but also the way male and female can build themselves up to holiness in a life of joy. There is some of this when Gilson says every kiss with his wife is something big, but I would like to see more.

Still, this is a book I wish every Christian parent of teenagers would buy. Actually, change that. Every Christian who wants to know how to address homosexuality period whether you have teenagers or not should read this. You are coming across the soundbites just as much as they are. You too need this. Don’t avoid buying this book just because you don’t have teenagers. Buy it because you are a Christian in a world that needs the answers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Deeper Waters Podcast 5/14/2016: Walt Heyer

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

Target. Say the word and immediately the thoughts of boycotts comes into your mind. Why? Because of a bathroom policy. Women who identify as men are allowed to use the men’s room and vice-versa. This has led to many protests by others. There is a fear about predators taking advantage of the law, but something that is not discussed often is the people themselves who are claiming to be transgender.

This is a concept that strikes most of us as something that doesn’t make sense. We are living in an age where you cannot tell a woman that she must be a woman. If she identifies as a man, well that’s okay. Many of us are stunned that this is even being seen as a debate today, but lo and behold it is. What are we to do about this?

Why not have someone on who knows about the transgender viewpoint? In fact, we could say he knows about it so much because he was a transgender and then with  the surgical reassignment became a transsexual. That’s why this Saturday I am going to be interviewing Walt Heyer.

WaltHeyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker with a passion to help others who regret gender change. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about the incidence of regret and the tragic consequences suffered as a result. Heyer’s story can be read in novel form in Kid Dakota and The Secret at Grandma’s House and in his autobiography, A Transgender’s Faith. Heyer’s other books include Paper Genders and Gender, Lies and Suicide.

So we are going to be talking about what so many of us really have a hard time wrapping our heads around. Are we really going against the scientific establishment? What is the cause of suicide in the cases of transgender people? Is the condition really a mental illness or is it something bona fide and the only way to help these people is to have them alter their bodies to become a person of the opposite sex?

What was it about Walt’s experience that brought him to this realization? What was it like to “become a woman” and then go back to being a man? What does he think should be the best approach to helping people who are struggling with thinking that they are the wrong sex. If his case is a negative one, is that just an isolated incident while most cases seem to work out for the good of those involved?

This is a big issue that is going on and I do believe that there is more at stake than just using a bathroom. We are calling the very identity of male and female into question. Perhaps I am mistaken in my approach and Walt can show that or perhaps there is in fact more than just the surface level debate that is going on.

I hope you’ll be listening next Saturday either way as Walt Heyer joins me!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships.

What do I think of Brownson’s book published by Eerdmans? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ll say at the start that of Christians trying to write from a position that is affirming of same-sex relationships, Brownson’s is the best that I have read. I think if you want to tackle a position that is affirming, this is the best one to read. He deals with a lot of the critics of his position and tries to pay attention to relevant scholarship.

And still, it just falls short.

Let’s start at the beginning. On page 9, Brownson tells us that we do not interpret rightly any Scripture until we locate the text within the larger fabric of the Bible. To an extent, I understand, and my disagreement could be what Brownson would agree with as well. I think a text can be understood on its own. If I read a Psalm about David drowning his couch with tears, I think I understand that alone. I think a deeper understanding for a fuller Biblical understanding could be found by comparing that with all of Scripture. I doubt Brownson would disagree with a point like this.

On the next page, he tells us that often, people have had to go back to Scripture when changes take place in society and culture to see if they were wrong. Again, I have no problem with this. It could have been that in the case of the passages seen as espousing the traditional view of homosexuality, that our interpretation was wrong. We should always be willing to go back to the text and examine it.

It’s when we get into the arguments that I start to wonder. For instance, Brownson on pages 29 and 33 wants to say marriage is not trying to get back to the primordial garden. There is some truth to that. Marriage also looks forward to the new creation found in the new Jerusalem. It is used at the end of Revelation and in Ephesians 5 with this in mind.

What I disagree with him on is that marriage is simply a kinship bond. Of course, marriage establishes a a new kinship bond. Brownson says that what is important in Genesis 2:24 is the kinship bond and that does not necessitate male and female. I find this a bit problematic. When Jesus speaks of the passage after all in Matthew 19, he refers to the male and female component which he didn’t need to do at all.

Second, with regard to kinship bonds, if all this is is about forming new relationships, I have to wonder why it is that this is supposed to be an exclusive kinship bond. Why limit it to one person? Why, unless the sexual union does a bit more than that? Of course, some Jews did not do that, but Jesus held to the strict interpretation and said male and female are joined together and what God has joined together let no man separate.

Third, Brownson thinks physical differences cannot be in view since this passage is used to describe Christ and the church and obviously, that church is composed of men partially. I do not think that this is a convincing argument. The same could be said of God and Israel, but the point is that the man is in the giving position and the woman in the receiving in the paradigm. It’s using the patriarchal system of the past to make the point and it does not require a one-to-one correspondence. In relationships with God, we are all on the receiving end and we receive the life of God in us.

Finally, it looks like sometimes the Bible has a problem with kinship bonds becoming too close. That’s why we have prohibitions against incest and lo and behold, when we get to the list of sexual practices that are condemned, we find homosexual practice right there. Of course, Brownson has something to say on that and we will have something to say in response.

Now to be fair on the patriarchy point, Brownson does rightly point out that one sees exceptions to patriarchy. He is indeed correct. You have Deborah in the book of Judges, Huldah at the time of Josiah, and of course women like Ruth, Esther, Rahab, and others being glorified. We also find right in the beginning that male and female are created in the image of God. When we get to Jesus, Jesus regularly associates with women openly. When we get to Paul, Paul has women in the church in positions of authority like Phoebe and Junia. In the house rules in Ephesians 5, it is true women are to submit, but men are given a much longer list of what they are to do.

When it comes to slavery, we find something similar. Slavery is a sort of necessary evil in Bible times, but as we keep going, we find a change going on. Compared to the society of the time, ancient Israel was quite progressive. Philemon can be seen as the Emancipation Proclamation of the New Testament. All of this can be found in William Webb’s excellent, Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals. What do we find with homosexuality?

We find no homosexual couples looked at as examples in the Bible. We find no change moving along those lines. We find the New Testament is even stricter on sexual matters than the Old Testament is, such as polygamy is not really an issue in the New Testament and Jesus ups the ante of adultery to not even looking at another person’s wife with lust. On a traditional interpretation, matters are exactly the same. While there is a line for slavery and women moving towards more freedom and dignity, the line on sexual practice is getting tighter.

In fact, Brownson realizes a danger. On page 83, he tells us that when we get to Romans 1, he realizes that if it refers to lesbian intercourse in the passage, then his interpretation of patriarchy would be ruled out. He will argue he finds this unlikely. I will argue that I find it very likely.

On page 91, Brownson tells us that divorce is essentially the severing of kinship bonds and the obligations that come with them. I find this still odd. Why is it then that we only find divorce going on with marriage? Do we find siblings divorcing one another or parents divorcing children or vice-versa? It looks like divorce refers to one thing specifically. Brownson thinks that this is confirmed in the Jesus tradition, but again, I frankly don’t see it. When Paul talks about one flesh, he talks about sexual union between a man and a woman. When Jesus talks about one flesh, he references Genesis 1:27 with it.

While I am disagreeing for now, I want to say that on page 103 he quotes Rowan Williams before he became the Archbishop of Canterbury. I have to quote the passage in full. It is a passage about the sexual bond and it is simply too beautiful so that paraphrasing would not do it justice.

“Any genuine experience of desire leaves me in this position: I cannot of myself satisfy my wants without distorting or trivializing them. But in this experience we have a particularly intense case of the helplessness of the ego alone. For my body to be the cause of joy , the end of homecoming, for me, it must be there for someone else, must be perceived, accepted, nurtured. And that means being given over to the creation of joy in that other, because only as directed to the enjoyment, the happiness, of the other does it become unreservedly lovable. To desire my joy is to desire the joy of the one I desire: my search for enjoyment through the bodily presence of another is a longing to be enjoyed in my body. As Blake put it, sexual partners “admire” in each other “the lineaments of gratified desire.” We are pleased because we are pleasing.”

I also agree with Brownson’s commentary on this:

“Sexual desire, on the other hand, requires another person, and if sex is to achieve what the body most deeply longs for, one must enter into deep communion with the other — the kind of communion that the Bible speaks of as a one-flesh union. In that union, one relinquishes self-determination , and one’s own happiness is bound up in the happiness of the other.”

I often tell men who are about to get married that they certainly desire sex, but they really don’t have a clue. You don’t know how much this experience will change you until it happens. Once you get caught in the world of another person on this intimate level, life is never the same. Brownson is right on 104 when he says that the language of the body cannot be avoided. Our faithfulness as Christians depends in part on how we use the bodies that God gave us. We will either use them to speak love or use them to speak destruction.

When we get to Romans 1, Brownson’s argument is that the passage condemns excessive lust and this excessive lust leads to homosexual practice. I do not see how this can come from the text. Paul does not really speak about excessive desire anywhere else. Where in a passage like 1 Cor. 7 do we see “Now you married couples, do not be getting it on too much in the bedroom. Your desires don’t need to be excessive!” In fact, he says they should come together and the only reason they should avoid it is by mutual consent and then only for a short time and then only devotion to prayer. If someone in the church is burning with desire, he doesn’t say to shut down the desire. He says to get married. Keep in mind all of this is also without mention of procreation.

If anything, it also looks like Paul is condemning the result of what has happened and if it is excessive lust he’s saying “Do you see where it gets you? It gets you to homosexual practice.” A Jewish audience would look and say “Yep. Sure does. Our Scriptures are crystal clear on that. You tell them Paul!”

Brownson also wants to see this as an indictment of the emperor at the time. Again, I don’t see how this follows. Paul is writing about the whole of the Gentile world and not one small segment, even one as important as the emperor. In fact, as people like Gagnon and Sprinkle have pointed out, the language of Romans 1 several times mirrors Genesis 1. You have terms like creator, creation, male and female, and the idol descriptions match the descriptions of creatures in Genesis 1. Paul is making a contrast with creation. What he is saying is that when we look at the creation, it is apparent that there is a creator, but mankind in wickedness chose to make images of created things rather than honor the creator, which is a disruption of design on the vertical level. They then did the same on the horizontal level and the clearest example of this is homosexual practice.

For the lesbian issue, Brownson points to “their women” and says that the women are being thought of in relationship to men. Unfortunately, there is no interaction with someone like Bernadette Brooten who has shown that yes, female same-sex eroticism was indeed a part of the world of the New Testament and it was known about. I can’t help but think that Brownson approached the text wanting to find what he found and then found it.

When we get to a passage like 1 Cor. 6:9, on page 271, Brownson says that attempts to link the word translated to refer to those who practice homosexuality to Lev. 18 and 20 is speculative. Really? Let’s take a look. Here’s the Greek word.

αρσενοκοιται

Now let’s go to Leviticus 18. When we get to verse 22, what do we see?

και μετα αρσενος ου κοιμηθηση κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα γαρ εστιν

And when we get to 20:13….

και ος αν κοιμηθη μετα αρσενος κοιτην γυναικος βδελυγμα εποιησαν αμφοτεροι θανατουσθωσαν ενοχοι εισιν

Yep. That’s speculative alright. You don’t have to be a Greek scholar to see that relationship. By the way, I also find the idea of Leviticus 18 and 20 not referring to homosexual practice but cult prostitution also highly speculative. Am I to think that the writer of Leviticus would have no problem with bestiality or incest or child sacrifice if they were done at home instead of in a cult? (Sprinkle has also called into question that cult prostitution was around.) I also question that it has anything to do with pederasty since from what I understand, that was a later Greco-Roman practice.

In conclusion, Brownson has made the best case that there is, and yet he has still fallen short. If you want to tackle a case for same-sex relationships, this is the one to tackle. I still walk away convinced that those who affirm same-sex relationships are reading something into the text.

In Christ,
Nick Peters