Wednesday, June 01, 2016

The Capitulation of the Church Hastened Transgenderism

I still want you to read Monday's post.

Right now, a fashionable position for evangelicals and fundamentalists is to resist, albeit in a benign way, transgenderism. In the so-called culture war, conservatives have chosen a strategic campaign of kooky bathroom laws. They tried to take it into the election, and we heard the representation as predatory older men dressed up like ladies, visiting little, little girls in their bathrooms.  It really was a dishonest position.  If conservatives went honest, they would at least have tried to deal with the biology of it, as if we could determine someone's gender through biology.  Very few tried that tact. Instead, they attempted to put some kind of deniability to their opposition of trangenderism, while at the same time implying their opposition.  You had to read between the lines, maybe the lines at the bathroom stalls, to discover the apparent dislike of something.

Could conservatives oppose transgenderism on theological grounds?  The religious right, among which are the evangelicals and fundamentalists, has capitulated on gender distinction.  They are even surrendering on male and female roles, let alone what the two look like.  Evangelicals and fundamentalists stopped battling conformity in dress long ago.  As a result, they are left with lame suggestions in the nature of mind reading.  Yes, I'm saying, I told you so.  It doesn't make me feel better.

Evangelicals and fundamentals ceased saying there was distinct male and female dress.  It's too late now to pull that one out of the mothballs.  They were the ones arguing against distinction.  They were the ones mocking those who kept arguing for gender designed distinctions.  Evangelicals and fundamentalists are now getting what they bargained for.

The church stopped fighting the world on designed gender distinction in dress because the world didn't like it.  The church embraced conformity.  Their women became more and more like men.  You can't tell me that we are not now seeing the men in our churches becoming more and more like women.  Church men look and act more effeminate than ever.

Churches wanted to keep people.  They wanted to get bigger.  One major factor that really distinguished the church from the world was gender distinctions.  Churches forsook the distinction for church growth.  Mainly women wouldn't be happy if they couldn't wear pants.  Of course, it's not just pants now, but how tight they are.  These are defended by churches.  Churches inform that's all welcome.

Even traditionally gender distinct places like a West Coast Baptist down in Lancaster, California no longer hold to gender distinction.  I haven't read an announcement saying that's over, but you see it in pictures.  It seems to be a mere preference now for that crowd.  They have even bigger problems than that, but these types have given up on that too.

When the churches will not keep these biblical teachings, it's no wonder the world turns into the sewer.  Churches are to provide the example of righteousness.  Churches are to be the salt and the light.  Judgment must begin in the house of God.  A church can hardly declare a religious conviction in North Carolina, because churches haven't shown they even believe what they are against with their nutty bathroom laws.

Churches led the way in changing biblical teaching.  Every single church at one time practiced designer gender distinction.  Every church.  The point of Deuteronomy 22:5 was the difference between the garments.  Churches started taking the inane position, "They both wore robes."  In other words, they made like the passage was talking about conformity, when it was talking about distinction.  They did this so that they wouldn't lose people.  This paralleled with a weak gospel. Likely you had unconverted people they were trying to keep, and they were attempting to hold them with unbiblical teaching -- that's how you keep unbelievers in your church.

Someone isn't in his right mind if he reads Deuteronomy 22:5 and thinks conformity.  The passage says nothing about robes.  It says nothing about people dressing the same.  Women are not to put on the male item.  There was at least a male item.  Women were not to wear it.  Women were not to wear what distinguishes women from men.  In Corinth, a head covering distinguished women from men. Even if women were equal to men spiritually in the church they were to keep the distinction intended to distinguish women from men.  This was an issue of authority, which it is.

Women dress the same as men to usurp the male role.  Now it's just normal.  It doesn't even occur to most women any more, because that ship sailed long ago.  Scripture teaches that women usurp the male role by wearing the male item or garment.  It's easy to see that it matters.  Now that we're to this transgender nonsense, churches don't know what to do.  There isn't anything they can do.  They've already capitulated on this issue.

The only real solution is for churches to admit they were wrong, to revert back to the original biblical and historical position, to teach it to their people.  I'm calling for that.  I don't expect it though.  If churches taught what believers have believed and taught for all of Christian history until just the last several decades, they would hemorrhage their numbers.  They would shrink down to very tiny groups.  This would result in salary cuts and bi-vocational pastors.   The latter is what is most unacceptable.  Instead of attempting to end transgenderism, it's easier to pose with short-lived and laughable transgender bathroom scenarios.

The honest thing for evangelicals and fundamentalists would be to celebrate their transgenderism. They wanted it.  They've got enough people in their churches to meet budget and pay for buildings. They can keep their people because they gave up on this long ago.  If an evangelical church has someone who looks like Ellen come to their service, it won't disrupt anything.  Even if someone doesn't like it, he has to keep that to himself.  It's accepted -- get over it.

Let's just admit it.  Churches love transgenderism.  They lap it up. They adopted it long ago.  Now they will live with it.

15 comments:

James McEntire said...

Yep!!

Kent Brandenburg said...

To the anonymous commenter, supporting this post,

I deleted both comments. I couldn't tell if you were serious. My guess is no, that you were attempting to discredit this post in a subtle way, maybe not so subtle actually.

Kent Brandenburg said...

One more thing,

Joking about it, mocking, is what the other side is left to do, because they are the ones marinating in transgenderism. They joke about it like they are living in a simulation, some alternative reality. No, you live there. You can't make something else up, like you don't. If you don't like it, do something about it. Be courageous. Or, maybe you do like it, which is more likely.

Anonymous said...

Dear Moderator,

You are probably referring to me. I just think you live in too much of a black and white world. Even though you disagree with Jack Hyles on some things, (I don't know how anyone could do that, but I'll take your word for it that you do.) I don't know why you don't laud him for the things you do agree with him on. No pants on women is a major teaching of many in the IFB movement. In fact, for some IFB's this is their major belief and stance. Hyles was a firm defender of no pants on women. I think you should credit him for being 40 years ahead of the curve. Even though he is dead, he was right about this issue. Women wearing pants has led to a decline in the culture to where we now have transgender issues at the forefront. I am amazed over and over again at how much Jack Hyles was ahead of the curve and a legend in his own time - and beyond. I just wish you would not throw out the baby with the bathwater and admit he was correct in issues. Just because you disagree with someone in some things does not make everything they stand for incorrect. There are common issues we can all gather around.

Kent Brandenburg said...

I printed the third comment here. Other readers, what do you think? Real or not? My guess is that this is someone who is smearing the post with an association with Hyles. It's not an argument, but it is what someone might be left with, to justify themselves, while they luxuriate in transgenderism.

Anonymous said...

Kent,

I like you. You are not like some bloggers associated with Sharper Iron who won't let anyone comment ever on anything because they always have their comments closed. Or, if they are ever open, you better never disagree with anyone or they won't publish your comment or engage in conversation. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, either. But I do like and respect you for allowing people to have disagreement on your site.

Tyler Robbins said...

I've pondered what you suggest all day, and I can't buy your slippery slope argument. You wrote:

"When the churches will not keep these biblical teachings, it's no wonder the world turns into the sewer. Churches are to provide the example of righteousness. Churches are to be the salt and the light. Judgment must begin in the house of God. A church can hardly declare a religious conviction in North Carolina, because churches haven't shown they even believe what they are against with their nutty bathroom laws."

I think it's a big stretch to say that abdication of dress distinction has resulted in this poor response to the transgender mafia. I think the real reason is because evangelicals are vainly tryign to make an argument for morality without mentioning God - so they seize on the "little girls in danger" line and grab hold of it with everything they've got. This won't work. This is the approach of secular conservatism. I saw the same thing when I read Chief Justice Robert's dissent from the Supreme Court decision last year. It was bad, because he spoke for secular conservatives who have no real foundation for their own morality.

I think evangelicals (and fundamentalists) are making a terrible mistake to surrender the Bible when they engage in public discourse on moral issues. This is what they've done with the transgender issue. It's not about protecting little girls per se; it's about basic morality. We know morality from the Bible. We're not ashamed to use it as our sole infallible authority for faith and practice to inform our everyday lives.

In a way, it's the same accomodatiion approach that the New Evangelicals began trying out in earnest in the 1950's.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Tyler,

I think my argument is basic, and I can think of two scriptural prongs to it.

One, believers are the salt and light of the world (Matt 5:13-16). Accompanying that is the restraint of the Holy Spirit through believers (2 Thess 2). I haven't seen a stand against transgenderism, except for a few churches. I hear no biblical theology.

Two, if judgment does begin in the house of God, it's because believers are more responsible than unbelievers. Earlier in 1 Peter, so that an unbeliever might glorify God in the day of judgment. If we're not serious about God's design, why should unbelievers. This is not solely slippery slope, which sounds like some kind of logical fallacy. This is just the truth. We're responsible. If we can't get up a defense, it's no wonder we won't defend a biblical position.

I appreciate your agreement with the lame bathroom tack.

James Bronsveld said...

The "Slippery slope" argument assumes that one thing is the result of another without making argument for it. I don't see that here: slippery slope is different from looking back at a path of natural progression that has unfolded before our our eyes in the last 100 years. Evangelicals and fundamentalists who have for so long despised the distinction in roles (rejecting distinction in attire and authority, rejecting distinction in roles inside and outside the home, rejecting distinction in roles in the church, etc.) are now hopping mad over the fact that the last frontier (gender-distinct restrooms) is being crossed. Why are they so angry? They never did like the argument that "even the public bathrooms distinguish between men and women by drawing one stick-person in a skirt." They should be rejoicing that as they learn to share their restrooms, they will never have to hear that argument again.
If churches have given up the Biblical doctrines of dress distinction, role distinction, authority distinction, on what could they Biblically stand to oppose transgender bathrooms?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Anonymous commenter,

I didn't publish your comment, because I would have to deal with your very negative, insulting comment, and almost never allow anonymous people to make those comments. You've got to tell us who you are if you are going to say those types of things.

Kent Brandenburg said...

James,

I agree.

Anonymous said...

Mr. KB,

I think being Amish and having no electricity is quaint and actually sort of cool. They will be more prepared than anyone if or when an EMP strikes and takes out much of the grid. I have nothing against their style of dress or their proscriptions against electricity. Hey, if they want to do that, more power (no pun intended) to them. They are a small sect of the world culture. I have no idea what the figures are, but they have go to be well under 1% of the entire population of the world.

I almost feel sorry for the Amish that they are stuck in those man made rules which really are nothing but cultural preferences. Similarly, I almost feel sorry for you that you see some connection between women wearing pants and the slide to transgenderism. Just like the Amish, people who believe in these obsessive rules of dress are caught up in man-made rules. Granted, you have a much wider slice of the population in that regards than the Amish do. There is you, people who subscribe to Jack Hyles's rules of conduct, and Muslims. This slice of the population is large, because of the Muslims. If a person chooses to follow Jack Hyles, you, or the Muslim or Amish faith, more power to them! I just don't see how your common dress standards have really contributed to anything positive or really makes much difference in anything. I am NOT saying that it's a negative thing either. It's more of a non-factor. What if you, Jack Hyles, Muslims and the Amish all had a further common belief of not wearing white after Labor Day? That certainly would not harm anything, but on the other hand, does it really contribute anything either? I think you are too easily bound by these man-made beliefs about dress standards. Again, we are not making fun of you for having them. If people want to subscribe to this, that's great! I just think that you, Jack Hyles, the Amish and Muslims put perhaps way too much emphasis on dress standards and ascribe too much importance to it. It's not that we think there's anything wrong with these beliefs, it's just that we don't think there's anything right with them either. We are just sad that you ascribe too much importance to these minor issues. That does not mean we are being insulting. I happen to think that your complete, naive trust in the pharmaceutical industry and your distrust of alternative health therapies is insulting, (see other threads on this blog) but that doesn't mean I dislike you as a person or write you off totally. Actually, I think your views are more naive and not even meant to be insulting, as pertains to your trust of the pharmaceutical industry. You have a lot of good things to say on your site. We just wish you would stick to the important issues and not these man-made religious rules.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Everyone,

I had three different anonymous comments since the two I deleted, one of which said that this post seemed like he was reading the Babylon Bee, which is a total satire site. I would admit to him that some might mock a post like this in a satirical way, but it would be a different read if it were satire.

I decided to publish this one, the first one, to give a taste of the type of anonymous comment I'm getting. This one is less mocking than the other one.

This is the kind of argument against though, saying that the argument I'm making, the one that is the argument through all of Christian history, is not biblical. It's not how sola scriptura works, that is, you don't apply scripture to the real world. This is a modern understanding of "not biblical," really a postmodern one.

He really provides nothing except a claim with no proof that this is unbiblical and then associating it with the Amish and with Hyles. Mussolini got the trains to run on time.

SCH said...

Kent, There is something important being demonstrated here very clearly and it baffles me why so many are missing it. That something is how central "clouding the issue" is to the supporters of modern trends.

I'm reminded of the video you posted some months back of the wife of some SBC leader (was it Land?). The same thing is here with these anonymous posts. You established that God did draw a line on "transgenderism". That was Deuteronomy 22:5 - not restrooms. Churches ignored God's line by accepting dumb 2nd grade playground arguments and now there is no line to defend. It's simple. It's not a slippery slope. These people whine that the cultural deck is stacked against them because they aren't allowed to defend THEIR restroom line when they chose years back to ignore God's line. This position MUST go to association-manufacturing and mockery. It's all they have. (Most of value in my comment came from your post. The nonsense is all mine)

Stephen

Jim Camp said...

Very late to the party...

James Bronsveld said... "Why are they so angry? They never did like the argument that "even the public bathrooms distinguish between men and women by drawing one stick-person in a skirt." They should be rejoicing that as they learn to share their restrooms, they will never have to hear that argument again."

I am sure he was not trying to be funny, but this is hilarious to me.
It always grated on me when New Evangelicals mocked those who have dress standards with this argument - "The only reasoning they have for their rules is the Walmart bathroom doors".
This always made me angry. I knew the Bible presented dress standards, both testaments, & gender differing clothing, but the N. E. would hear none of it; presuming upon me that my only argument was a bathroom door.

Rejoice, N. E. of the world. My last (supposed) argument is laid to rest. Let me know how it works out for you.