Monday, March 03, 2014

Avalanche toward Gomorrah

You remember the late Robert Bork's book, Slouching toward Gomorrah.  I'm thinking now he was a tad optimistic.  It seems he wanted to say, sliding, but he wrote, slouching, perhaps to offer hope, but I think we can say now that it was an avalanche.  We're not stopping anything.  We're not getting away from anything.  Now we're digging ourselves out.

Do you hear anyone asking, "How did we get here so fast?"  Even the liberals can't believe it.

Very often on Sunday afternoon I watch the panel discussions from the Sunday talk shows at RCP.  On Meet the Press, there was this brief exchange between Tina Brown and David Gregory:

TINA BROWN:  It's almost as if Putin is brilliant, really. I mean, he's sort of outfoxing Obama all the time. He's very clear. And the reason that he wins in a way is that he's the only one who knows what he thinks. He's utterly clear. He's clear, he wants to increase Russian power.
DAVID GREGORY:  He doesn't care what other people think.
TINA BROWN:  He doesn't care.
DAVID GREGORY:  That's the--
TINA BROWN:  (over talk) And he doesn't care what other people think. I mean, we say, "Well, we can't do that. I mean, that's not the way people in the real, sophisticated, foreign-policy world behave." Well guess what, he's not that guy.
DAVID GREGORY:  Unfortunately, it's not

What does this have anything to do with an avalanche toward Gomorrah?  I sense a groundswell popularity of Putin in the United States that is anti-Obama.  I know there are a lot of men, who are more impressed with Vladimir Putin than Barack Obama.  Because Putin is white, liberals would pejoratively marginalize it as a racial component.  No.  It is a recognition of manhood, of traits of manhood.  Some would say the propaganda of Putin is working.

No.  The comment of Brown.  Putin knows what he thinks.  He's clear.  Putin, I believe, knows something Obama doesn't (read this article).  The weaknesses of the Soviet Union and now of Russia are unrelated to the form of government, but due to the absence of self-government arising from a formerly godless world view.  You can't slap on a republic or a democracy and expect an improved culture and society.  I think that's dawned on Putin.  Putin is a man of absolutes.  Obama is not.  Obama is a selective relativist, who chooses his absolutes based upon his own discrimination.

Some might contend:  "But you don't know Putin." He's ruthless.  He's corrupt.  Uh-huh.  But I do know better our leaders, and then there's also a lot I don't know that's even worse.  My point, however, is that Putin is winning his conflicts with Obama because he sees a world of absolutes and Obama of nuance.  A world of absolutes is the only Christian world view, one totally eschewed by President Obama.

The United States went to the Winter Olympics and flaunted what?  It's queer, Johnny Weir.  In the face of Russian rejection and imprisonment of P***y Riot, a Russian feminist rock group, we flew our rainbow flag high.  In Russia, you could go to jail for "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred," but in the U. S., you go to jail or at least the poorhouse for refusing to arrange flowers for a same-sex wedding.  Anyone who wouldn't do the latter is "ignorant."  Have you read that?  "Ignorant" is the usual description of someone who rejects same-sex marriage.  The label for the one who applauds it is "courageous."

Could Johnny Weir really help NBC's Olympic ratings?  Management thought this a helpful move.  How many of the viewers could have been comfortable with his antics?  I didn't see the Olympics, except for a few replays online here and there, but I saw the pictures of his outfits.  I'd guess that far more than 50% hated seeing him, and 30% were totally repulsed.  People might say so in their homes, but they are not free outside of there.

A man in our church works in computer security with about 40 others in his building in Berkeley.  His boss got all the workers together last week on work time to announce that one of the employees was coming out as a transvestite.  Yes, I got it right.  Not LGBT.  A transvestite.  She exalted the transvestite's "courage."  Everyone in the room applauded, except for the man in our church.  But there was great pressure to do so.  Great pressure.  Employers can find reasons to fire other than not applauding.  Not applauding is only the real reason.
Studies show that only 5% of the population claims LGBT.  So how can they wield so much power?   There is not enough political will to stop the government from prosecuting private business owners who refuse to participate or associate with a same-sex wedding.  You hear the same reason again and again.  Young people.  Young people will punish politicians at the voting booth who are intolerant of homosexuality.  Most of the evangelical hipsters of the church growth movement deal with this subject in different terms.  They speak a moral ambivalence to expand their tent.

I'm not going to offer every explanation, just this one.  Toleration of homosexuality has been accepted as a superior virtue for young people.  They're proud of their toleration.  It's a kind of righteousness to them even like abolition of slavery and the elimination of racial discrimination.  It's an easy replacement for true righteousness and there is applause that comes with it.

For good measure, you're not ignorant anymore.  You don't accept same-sex marriage; you're ignorant.  What are you ignorant of?   Human evolution produces variations.  People are born that way.  This is enlightened thinking approved by a societal norm.  Most people who reject this are older than 50.  They haven't been educated in the correct way.  They don't know it, because they haven't learned.

The fundamental view that leads to acceptance of homosexuality has already been welcomed by young people in the new therapy of redemption.  Toleration is a cause bigger than themselves, that they can live for.  And it's a virtue to be paid forward.  If you want toleration, you've got to give some.  While you're at it, just call it love.  You love your neighbor.  You're not high and mighty and judgmental.  You're humble.  You're now humble and loving and righteous.  Anyone, who won't tolerate, isn't those three.

But you're not.  You're proud.  And your toleration is self-centered.  It's about fitting in and being accepted by people.  You're defying God.  Many root explanations exist for the bases of this toleration.  All of them are theological and can be blamed on churches and their leadership, not our government.  We've not been vigilant in teaching and executing the truth in our churches.  Numerical growth became more important than true conversion.  Professing Christians no longer know God.  They don't believe or defend a consistent view of the world, fitting of God's nature.

We should start by getting our own thinking straight, then our family, then our church.  Once we've got that done, then maybe something could be done about the country.


d4v34x said...

Bork chose "slouching" as a play on the last lines of Yeats' "The Second Coming":

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last/Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Good knowledge. I saw it in the first paragraph of the Wiki article, but I still thought "slouching" to be more optimistic, unless slouching wasn't what I thought it was.

Slouching: "To sit, stand, or walk with an awkward, drooping, excessively relaxed posture."


Bill Hardecker said...

Tolerance is an implicit admission of evil. Who ever tolerated good or right, no one. We always tolerate something inherently bad. The thing about tolerance is that the bus doesn't stop there, now we are being pushed into the endorsement bus. I am not in for the ride, though. I refuse to get in.

Doulos said...

So, what does anyone think about using the term "gay Christian"? Is this tolerance, endorsement, or a theologically appropriate label?
It's being used more and more in Christianity (just one of many links I could provide:
I'm trying to withhold final judgment until getting input.

If we go with it, I guess we should choose our flaws and label ourselves accordingly..."Greetings from gluttonous Christian"..."Hi, I'm lusting Christian."..."Hello, I'm worldly Christian"..."Pleased to meet you, I'm pugnacious Christian."

Something doesn't seem right about it...but I'll leave it up to any theologians to help me out as to why or why not.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Thanks; I agree.


There's no gay Christianity, of course.

Doulos said...

My above question wasn't completely in I am seeking more than a "fundamentalist" type pat answer :)
Yes, most reading here would agree that there is no "gay Christianitiy." But what beyond that?

My own initial gut argument against using the term is that "gay Christian" is an oxymoron. (As in, if the Bible teaches that one persistent in that lifestyle/sin is not saved, then they are not a Christian.) Some say it makes our "struggle" more important than our identity in Christ--hence, why I shouldn't want to wear my besetting sins on my sleeve whatever the sin is.

Then there are others who say that those who struggle with SSA shouldn't feel ashamed and by saying "gay Christian" we give them freedom to fight openly with their struggles without judgment. Again, though, I might struggle with whatever, and might ask a few pertinent someones to help me pray over it, but to be known by it?
I also find that to be label someone who is "struggling with SSA" with automatic label of "gay" Christian doesn't seem to be helping him fight the battle--more like admitting defeat.

Doulos said...

Two varying opinions per my comments/questions.

Bobby Mitchell said...

I have noticed that it is getting more and more common to see effeminate dress and behavior among young men in Baptist churches. I'm not thinking of a majority of young men, but it has not been uncommon, in my experience, to see at least one or two in each of several churches that I've been familiar with over the last several years. It is astounding to me that parents and pastors seem to be ignoring this.

I read Bork's book when it first came out. He was not anywhere close to being a Christian, but he certainly understood a lot of truth and dished it up in that book.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Thanks for the clarification on "gay Christian." I'll get back to you later.

horace said...

Mr. Mitchell,

What sort of clothing and behaviour do you refer to?

Sincerely Yours,
Casey Cho

horace said...

Dear Mr. Mitchell,

What sort of "effeminate" behaviour and clothing do you refer to in particular?

Casey Cho

Joshua said...

I don't know what Pastor Mitchell has seen, but the following examples I have seen:

1. Tight, skinny legged jeans
2. Skin-tight little pants that go only half to three quarters down the calf
3. Tight, flamboyant shirts usually of the pinkish hues or a blend of bright colours. Usually a few of the top buttons are open to display the upper chest.
4. Ostentatious hairstyles that can only be achieved through extensive use of hair straighteners and gel
5. Jewellery, including ear piercings or ear lobe spreaders

Behaviour wise, the mincing gait, predominately female friends, exaggerated emotions and a sarcastic, Pajama-boy type attitude of amused superiority are not unknown.

Have you seen stuff like this Casey? I wouldn't say it's rampant in IB churches down here, but it certainly grabs your attention when it shows up from time to time.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Thanks for info. It really shouldn't have been funny, but I would have spewed on the keyboard if I had beverage at the time. My daughters came in to see what the big laugh.


I agree that "gay" and "Christian" are mutually exclusive. In God's universe, which is mine, that is the case. I understand that people say they are, but "gay Christian" is easily rejected in our church and churches like ours. It's foreign to our church and I think this relates to the leadership of churches.

I understand that there is a discussion about homosexual temptation and whether that is sin. No. It's not. Since it is a since, I also think it can be a temptation. And then, are homosexual desires a sin. Again, no, because desires are part of the temptation process -- we are drawn away of our own lusts and enticed. That's the temptation. However, all uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and lasciviousness are sin. Those would be when the desires are harbored and kindled in some way. That is sinning in the mind. That doesn't make someone a "gay Christian."

This does relate to the "spiritual Christian" versus "carnal Christian" categories, where usually the revivalist branch of fundamentalism and evangelicalism has divided some Christians into states of perpetual carnality. That is convenient for a "gay Christian" if someone can be a Christian and perpetually carnal. I don't believe the Bible teaches it though.


Doulos said...

Same here, Joshua. If I had coffee in my hand this morning, I could have been hurt. Such a vivid description. You've awoken the household here. Hopefully that fashion style (or lack thereof) is slouching rather than avalanching itself in our direction.

Pastor B, thanks for the development of the thought. I'm glad to have those reasonable, concise thoughts in my back pocket.

In order to be gracious or something, it seems people have inadvertently and unnecessarily muddied the theological waters. There are some points (both theologically and scientifically) that we don't fully understand or have all the answers to. We try to pretend or assume we know all there is to know about SSA and/or temptation...when much of it only the Lord well as His fully knowing our own hearts/motives. It's another area where we've tried to look less legalistic or dogmatic to the extreme. Where we should be saying "flee" and "resist" we're doing more damage by making it not look "not so bad".

I keep wondering how/why do we have as much SSA issues needing to be discussed in our churches/institutions. In light of my own warning, I know I can't know all of the answers. And I know this may sound extreme...I think we haven't rejected enough of pop culture. Instead of being sufficiently outraged, pop culture, via TV mostly, there has been some inoculation going on...perversion or inaccurate representation of sin/ramifications of sin have become something to laugh at...have become something to be tolerant of...have become something to be excused...have become something to be accepted. I don't have time to develop that theory, but for what it's worth...

Bobby said...

Joshua pretty much wrote what I would state about it. Not exactly, but close enough that I don't need to develop it.

Joshua said...

It's definitely ridiculous enough to make you laugh when you see it, but also a pretty tragic canary in the gold mine.

My work has put me in contact with many conservative Christians in the home schooling movement here. All too often I have sat listening to a well dressed man and a modestly dressed woman discourse on the corrupting influence of state education that they have spared their children from - while in the background their son is lounging with his headphones in, attired as I described, and his sister is in a miniskirt and a halter top chatting on the phone to a friend about which actor is "hotter".

The horse has bolted. That generation is lost, and they're not going to stand up to the homosexual lobby. They're going to be vociferous advocates of it, because their culture is, and their culture has raised them from birth.

Pastor, you were dead right about promotion of homosexuality being a superior virtue among young people. Tonight our church did a public Q&A about the Bible, and a young unsaved man asked me about homosexuality. I answered his question directly, but afterwards approached him in private to ask him why he wanted to know. He said it's because he was making up his mind on the Bible, but recognised that if he went along with the Scriptures on homosexuality - he'd lose most of his friends and they would think him an evil person.

Even the unsaved can see it.

Don Johnson said...

Interesting discussion, but I want to address the question of desire vs. sin. Kent, you quote James about lust when it has conceived bringing forth sin. So in that sense the desire might be considered "not sin". But remember the sermon on the mount and "he that looketh on a woman with lust". This is definitely internal and is not overt action. I think we have to be careful with this discussion of so-called "attraction". We used to talk about the first look not being sin, just the second look. I guess... It's sort of a short-hand to understand the concept, but there is such thing as desire that is sinful desire. Perhaps it is when an initial thought is dwelt on, cultivated, harbored, babied, cherished ... even if secret. That's probably not close enough. We need to put to death the thought as soon as it arise, whether it is a desire for the same sex or the opposite (unless one's spouse).

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Kent Brandenburg said...


I agree with you. I quoted some of the language of Col 3:5, because something short of the physical act is sinful, and actually several steps short of it. So there is a point where with that particular sin that the lust turns into sinful desire and I think you stated it well. Thank you.

horace said...

Dear Joshua,

Thank you for responding, and I apologize for doing so at such a late date. Some of the behaviour and ostentatiousness you mentioned are certainly concerning and something I've seen both at my church and school. However I'd offer up the following reservations: 1) just because certain colours have been arbitrarily deemed to be "girlish" such as pink does not mean a male who favours the colour is behaving inappopriately,2) certain element of effeminate behaviour such as one's voice or one's way of walking or having a lisp (which I have) are behaviourally determined not physically, and 3) some people may just end up finding that the girls they know around them are more likely to share their interests or be more compatible personally (for example certain boys may find the fellows of their age too aggressive in play for example) .

Sincerely Yours,
Casey Cho