Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Insanity of Gender Madness


By Pastor Mark Christopher

Who knew that Congressman Swalwell was also a great theologian who pontificates about the gender of God, declaring that God is a woman? This would be the same Eric Swalwell who is accused of having an affair with Chinese spy and the same Swalwell who doctored a tweet to help frame Donald Trump in the most recent farce of an impeachment hearing.

So, how do we know that God is not a woman? Here are but a few of the primary reasons God is not a woman:

1. The Bible, our ultimate authority on the matter, consistently and exclusively uses only masculine terminology when describing God. From proper names and titles to the litany of pronouns — “He”, “Him”, “You” — these terms are always in the masculine.

2. The ultimate revelation of God to man was in the incarnation of Jesus Christ who is only and ever portrayed in the masculine. His names, titles—like “Son”— and pronouns are solely in the masculine. Thus, both His earthly and heavenly revelations are exclusively masculine. In His resurrection and ascension at the right of hand of the Father on high, He is eternally masculine.

3. In close connection with number 2, all three members of the triune Godhead are always, only, and ever presented in the masculine gender. And while God in His infinite magnificence and splendor transcends gender altogether, yet He has chosen to reveal Himself exclusively in the masculine to provide an example of the marriage relationship and roles which find their pinnacle between Christ and the Church — the Bridegroom and the Bride. This is why the portrayal of God in The Shack is a complete farce. In fact, the portrayal of God in the The Shack is nothing short of heresy in its fantasy-land portrayal of the trinity.

4. Finally, the biblical revelation of God to man is in complete contrast to the Ancient Near Eastern pagan religions with their feminized gods and goddesses which found expression in the fertility cult madness of the day. God’s revelation to man in the Bible is a stark reminder that the God of the Bible is not anything like the gods and goddesses of the world. Rather, the biblical God is unique and distinct from these fictional portrayals of God by fallen man. And present-day insistence that the God of the Bible is somehow feminine, is nothing more than revival of the old ancient pagan fertility cults with a 21st Century twist.


Monday, August 24, 2020

Biblical Reflections On The Whole Life Ethic


By Pastor Mark Christopher

More and more I am encountering those who are claiming to hold to what is called a “whole life ethic” or a “consistent ethic of life”. Those in the social justice camp are especially predisposed to this argument which seeks to dismiss the horrors of abortion i.e., feticide, by claiming to oppose all intentional taking of human life to include abortion, capital punishment, and war. Thus, they lump all life-and-death related issues together under one banner.

This is not new. Many years ago, liberal theologians and ethicists, like Jim Wallis of Sojourners and David Gushee, were promoting this brand of “pro-life” ethics. The emergent church gravitated towards this ethic. And now those with social justice proclivities have revived this seemingly pro-life response. Again, there is nothing new under the sun.

It may sound good to the uninitiated, so what is wrong with the “whole life ethic” thinking? Here are but a few considerations for those who use the label, but have not thought the matter through biblically and logically:

1. The whole life ethic errantly assumes that all life-related issues are morally equivalent and given the same outcome in Scripture. In so doing, they confuse issues like abortion and capital punishment placing them together as though the Bible treats them both the same.

2. The whole life ethic is vague and uses hasty generalizations to explain life-related issues. This results in confusing categories into the one-size-fits-all approach to being “pro-life”.

3. Rather than adopting the vague notions of the whole life ethic, Christians should adopt what Wayne Grudem calls the “whole Bible ethic” approach. The whole Bible ethic approach seeks the specific biblical position on each topic i.e., abortion, war, and capital punishment. This avoids the one-size-fits-all approach of the whole life ethic and serves as a barrier to confusing issues and categories.

4. Rather than trying to protect human life in every case, the Bible seeks to protect the innocent and then punish the guilty in direct proportion to their crime/sin. Ezekiel 13:19 demonstrates this well: “For handfuls of barley and fragments of bread, you have profaned Me to My people to put to death some who should not die and to keep others alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies.” In like manner, the divinely appointed purpose for government testifies of this same truth: “For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil” (Romans 13:-3-4). In light of the biblical ethic, the emphasis is on protecting innocent life versus punishing those who are evil doers.

5. Finally, the whole life ethic, while sounding good, is simply a sophisticated way to distill and dismiss the implications of the abortion issue. For some it serves as a salve for their consciences so they can vote for merchants of death and the promoters of feticide under the guise of “comprehensive justice” (another vague and obtuse term). With all the pious talk about “justice” at present, the whole life ethic enables one to push an issue like feticide to the periphery and so diminish its importance by lumping it with a host of other life-related categories. All of which Scripture treats differently.

So the next time you hear some professing evangelical caution you against being a “one issue” voter this election season, with reference to abortion, it may be they have been influenced in some measure by the revival of the “whole life ethic”. And while it may sound convincing, it is simply a one-size-fits-all approach that diminishes the importance of the murder of the innocent at the expense of confusing it with other life-related issues. In the end, the Bible does not treat all life issues the same, and neither should we. For God places a premium on the life of the innocent. Perhaps the Christian vote come November 3, 2020 should reflect this same sacredness of innocent life!  


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

An “Evangelical” Promotion of Same-Sex Marriage: A Case Undemonstrated

By Pastor Mark Christopher

A friend of mine recently sent me a blog article biblically endorsing same-sex relationships by Graeme Codrington and asked me to comment on it. The article in question is a summary article of a multipart treatment Codrington did on the topic. Rather than addressing every major assertion made in the article, I will limit my evaluation to one of Codrington’s primary assumptions. Codrington’s towering presuppositions is first stated about halfway through the article after he summarizes key Old Testament passages related to homosexuality. He concludes, “These are the lessons we learn from the Old Testament. They still apply today. But they do not apply to loving, same-sex couples who wish to have sex within the bounds of a lifelong, committed, covenantal relationship.” Then, after commenting on 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:8-10, he reiterates, “Neither of these passages has anything to do with lifelong, monogamous same sex relationships.” 

It is apparent from his statements that Codrington relies on part of the creation ordinance for marriage and sexuality while dispensing with a key element of God’s divine design for the same — namely, gender distinction. This is a common view by those trying to biblically promote same-sex marriage. The question is, how can one so easily accept some aspects of God’s creational blueprint for marriage and sexuality while conveniently eliminating the aspect(s) that contradicts the thesis, without explicit biblical proof? 

Here are a few observations from the creation context of Genesis 1-2 that ultimately undermine the thesis that life-long same-sex unions are biblically acceptable as long as they are monogamous and covenantally committed relationships in keeping with Genesis 1:27-28 and 2:23-24:
  • The creation account offers a precedent setting paradigm for the divine prerequisites of gender distinction, marriage, and human sexuality. And while the creation narrative is descriptive, not prescriptive, it is nevertheless precedent setting with assumed authority throughout the remainder of the Bible to include creation references to gender distinction, monogamy, and lifelong commitment by Jesus and Paul (Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:2-12; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:22-32).
  • From the “is” of creation (Gen. 1-2) come the “oughts” for marriage, gender distinction, and sexuality (Exo. 20:14; Lev. 18:6-23; 20:9-21; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 7:21-22; 10:2-12; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:8-10). A strong case can be made for the creation account serving as the touchstone for the 10 Commandments, which includes the 7th Commandment serving as a category marker for all sexual deviations that depart from the creation ordinance.
  • In Genesis 1:27-28, explicit boundaries are established from the beginning as the creation ordinance clearly differentiates between the “male and female”. This is in keeping with the rest of creation order and design. It is here that sexual boundaries are confirmed and evidenced in the first heterosexual couple who celebrated both their dissimilarity and similarity as “one flesh” by becoming part of each other through the symbolic picture of sexual intercourse (Gen. 2:23-24). This is something the uniformity of same-sex relations, of whatever sort, are never able to duplicate, because they lack the necessary dissimilarity required.  
  • Thus, the fulfillment of Adam required a woman for a compliment. This is by divine design not by individual choice, or evolutionary happenstance. The Bible is unambiguous on this point.
  • Scripture, overall, consistently upholds and reaffirms the creation ordinance of monogamy, gender distinction, and a lifelong covenantal commitment. In stark contrast to this, homosexuality insists that one gender by itself is an accurate representation of God’s divine plan. Yet, there is not one direct or explicit or implicit statement to substantiate the claim. It is an argument predicated on complete silence and advanced by philosophical sleight of hand.  
  • Gender distinction was a unique characteristic of ancient Israel. Whereas gender blurring was a trait of many ancient Near Eastern societies (Cf. Deut. 22:5): a trait which is now enjoying popular resurgence.  
In light of the clear teaching and emphasis throughout Scripture on God’s blueprint for marriage and sexuality, it is interesting that some evangelical promoters of same-sex marriage insist on monogamy and a life-long covenantal commitment, yet, they so easily disregard the clear teaching on the necessity for gender distinction with no biblical warrant. With this as a major assumption, Codrington then seeks to limit all the contexts that reference same-sex distortion by relegating these variously related textual contexts to nothing more than limited prohibitions against same-sex activity in the worship precinct of ancient Israel and the early church. Yet, the unrelenting testimony of Scripture maintains the necessity of gender distinction from creation to consummation regardless of the context. This one truth alone undermines the entirety of his argument. 

In the end, any worldview that falsifies God’s created order, like negating gender distinction, is then prone to falsifying and distorting God’s created order (Rom. 1:18-32) culminating in the normalizing of sexual distortion (Rom. 1:24, 26-27) in every sphere, not just the religious realm. The only way to support such a thesis then requires one ignore the obvious and argue the ridiculous (Rom. 1:28).  

In summary, as Old Testament scholar Sidney Greidanus concludes, there is, “a universal transcendent standard for human sexuality which is an extension of creation itself: There is a norm for sexual morality that finds its origin in creation … it is a norm based on God-given nature of which all people ought to live by gender distinction and monogamy.” It is only by ignoring this truth, or part of this truth, that pro-gay interpreters, like Codrington, can promote what Scripture never condones. If Codrington is right, and gender distinction in marriage is no longer a requirement, then who is to say that marriage must be covenantally committed and or limited to only two people? Such is the terminus his faulty assumption.