Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The power of the phobes. . .

The media is awash with stories of the bravery of those who come out to family and friends, risking all for the sake of being true to who they are.  On the other hand, the cruel oppressors (namely conservative Christians) are the brutes who want them kept in the closet and banished from the public square.  Everyone who even raises a question about anything LGBTQ+ is immediately branded a phobe -- homophobe, transphobe, whatever.  Not long ago there were whispers of an uprising against the phobes -- even perhaps a violent one that would use the presumed methods of the phobes against them.

The truth is that this is not an accurate portrayal of the world today.  There is not much power left in the phobes.  The phobes do not control the media -- any of the media -- nor do they have political support.  The phobes do not control the marketplace or hiring or anything of the like.  The stark truth is that the power clearly lies with the LGBTQ+ crowd and they pay little price for coming out.  Coming out may actually improve your chances of getting into an exclusive college, getting the job of your dreams, working in government, getting a following on social media, and finding your fifteen minutes of fame.  No one can deny that there might be family members who have a problem with your coming out but the chances of being disowned or turned out of the house or excluded from anything in your family or circle of friends is slight.  In short, there is not much bravery required to come out.

There is, however, a great deal of courage needed to oppose the LGBTQ+ movement or to raise any questions about it.  Politicians have had their careers cut short, educators have been dismissed, churches have been burned, pastors roasted, and the economic futures of people made uncertain for merely refusing to support the LGBTQ+ cause.  It is true in nearly every Western country.  Who can forget the trial in Finland for simply publishing what the Scriptures say on such matters.  In the terrible shooting in Nashville, the fact that the shooter was trans was so delicately treated in the media that it was as if this had no bearing on the violent act at all.  Maybe it didn't.  But the media was certainly not going to raise the specter of a shooter who was anti-Christian or who was reacting against the phobes.  If it had been the other way around, such angles on the motivation of the violence would have and, in the past were, sensationalized.

Let me state for the record I do not believe in violence against anyone for their political, social, economic, sexual, or any other views.  Even though I am a pastor in a denomination that might be accused of having such a phobia, I know of no one in my church who advocates anything of the kind.  My point here is not to say that violence is ever acceptable and to affirm that those who perpetrate such violence should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  But my point remains.  The society in which we live is thoroughly on board with nearly ever expression of the LGBTQ+ movement but has deep reservations and problems with those who are not onboard.  To be pro-LGBTQ+ and to be a pro-LGBTQ+ Christian today is to be right in line with the politics, the culture, the society, the law, the media, and the government.  If there are folks who need a dose of courage, it would those who hear and heed the clear words of Scripture and who would dare to speak out against what those Scriptures condemn.  This is not something new and has been this way for much of history.  Take a look at what happens when you dare to say something against the government or popular opinion; read in First Kings.


Mabel said...

When you write about the "LBGTQ Movement", it sounds like a scary group of people, lurking in doorways, ready to grab children. When in reality, these are our family members, friends, neighbors and co workers. Are we supposed to stop loving these people? What if the gay person is a man who is the only one of his siblings who is taking care of their elderly mother? The Gen Z folks are getting it right. They are ignoring the hand wringing of conservative baby boomers and are much more accepting of people. My 20 year old niece has a friend who is nonbinary, is defined by neither gender. The young folks don't care, they'll meet at the coffee shop and then go to the flea market or to someones' house to watch movies. Another one of my niece's friends is biracial. 60 years ago, older folks would have been horrified for people of different races to socialize together, No big deal now, pass the popcorn. However, you will not see these young folks in a LCMS service and in my own observations, their family members will stay away as well.

Pastor Peters said...

Nobody said to stop loving anyone. But love also means telling someone for whom you care deeply when they are doing things that are not right according to God's Word. It really does not matter if we accept people if God does not accept what they do. I have gay friends. I know transgendered people. I am not rude to them nor do I try to offend them. But they know where I stand and what God's Word says. No one should use the LGBTQ+ movement as justification for hating these individuals and neither should the LGBTQ+ movement use my refusal to support their lifestyles as a justification for hate. Nobody is saying that. But it does not help anyone to simply shrug your shoulders and "not care" when these things are contrary to God's Word. It does not matter if older folks were horrified by different races socializing or intermarrying. That is not contrary to God's Word and has never been contrary to His Word no matter who says so. No, I do not expect to find people who are looking for a church to approve of their LGBTQ+ lifestyle in an LCMS congregation -- anymore than I would expect to find someone who rejects what God's Word says about baptism, Holy Communion, the infallibility of God's Word, etc... to be in an LCMS congregation. It is the truth that saves and sets free (John 8) and not our welcome or willingness to turn our backs on the things God has clearly said are wrong.