Saints and Social Justice Warriors

One of the reasons many Christians become defensive in the debate with the LGBT movement is because for too long churches have failed to acknowledge, much less teach and prepare their congregations on how to analyze, understand and challenge the anti-biblical foundations of the movement. When was the last time you heard a preacher addressing LGBT issues over the pulpit? Likewise, many Christians find themselves ill-prepared in confronting the current ideology of social justice that focuses narrowly on an intersectionality of sexual identity(ies) and Critical Race Theory (CRT). /1/ The ideology has become so influential in the USA that it threatens to split apart the Southern Baptist Convention with its 14.5 million members.

The vigorous promotion of this ideology by the Western academia, media and entertainment industry has managed to persuade the younger generation (including younger Christians) to become “Woke,” that is, becoming aware of alleged social discrimination and aligning oneself to social justice warriors. Continue reading “Saints and Social Justice Warriors”

How I Left the Social Justice Cult

Virtue signaling in solidarity with “social justice warriors” is becoming popular among Christian social activists. “Wokeness” is sweeping across mainline denominations and some conservative seminaries. Even the Southern Baptist Convention (historically the bulwark of theological conservatism) is experiencing division as some of its influential leaders eagerly join the bandwagon.

We are puzzled when highly intelligent and idealistic people are caught up in the ideological madness of crowds currently sweeping across the USA. We are troubled by incidents when some social activists who started their mission with righteous ideals end up becoming self-righteous and judgmental towards people who don’t share their avant-garde views. Continue reading “How I Left the Social Justice Cult”

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self and the Sexual Revolution

Carl Trueman, a distinguished Reformed theologian and historian has just published a new book which has been described as “perhaps the most significant analysis and evaluation of Western culture written by a Protestant during the past fifty years,” – The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution. Not surprisingly, the book deals with the Western obsession with sexual identity and sexual freedom, that is, homosexuality and sex outside the bounds of marriage.

The controversy over sexuality in the West may seem far away and one wonders why we should bother with this Western obsession? But the reality is that many of our younger generation (including Christian youths) have bought into the same sexual revolution because of the dominance of the West ideas in the global media.

Trueman’s analysis builds on the writings of Philip Rieff (The Triumph of the Therapeutic), Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue) and Charles Taylor (The Secular Age), but he has the virtue of zeroing onto the roots of the sexual revolution – expressive individualism in an age of authenticity. To this we may add (1) the loss of divine transcendence which grounds objective morality. Morality becomes a matter of personal taste and manipulative power games, (2)  the death of the soul which historically served as the basis for human significance and identity. Human nature becomes devoid of intrinsic essence or meaning. Selfhood is focused on the inner life of emotions of the individual. According to Freud, our sexual desires are ultimately decisive for who we are.

With the triumph of the therapeutic and erotic, personal aesthetics replaces ethics, and the therapeutic ‘self’ becomes a social construct which may be deconstructed and reconstructed at will, especially in the area of sexual identity. Based on Nietzsche’s genealogical approach to morality and Marx’s dialectical materialism, activists for transgenderism and sexual freedom reject Judeo-Christian morality (bourgeois family morality) as the source of sexual oppression and portray themselves as heroic liberators and champions of human rights. Continue reading “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self and the Sexual Revolution”

Amazon Bans Books on Homosexual “Conversion Therapy.”

Any suggestion that homosexuality is a choice (rather than being inborn), or that homosexual desire can be overcome through conversion therapy is increasingly not tolerated by the elite which controls the Western mainstream media and institutions of higher learning. Amazon has joined these guardians of social thought by banning books that support conversion therapy – Amazon Pulls Books By Catholic Writer Who Promoted Conversion Therapy. According to NBC News:

Amazon has removed English-language books by a man largely considered “the father of conversion therapy” from its site following mounting pressure from LGBTQ activists.

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, founder of the now-shuttered Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic, as well as the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), authored several how-to guides directed to parents of LGBTQ youth, including “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality.” His books are some of the most well-known works about conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Christian blogger, Denny Burk rejects the ban by Amazon as “chilling” even though he is personally no fan of Nicolosi. Burk also finds the secular models of Reparative Therapy (RT) inadequate as “they attempt to explain sinful problems without the category of “sin.” Continue reading “Amazon Bans Books on Homosexual “Conversion Therapy.””

The LGBT Movement as a Religious Movement

It is arguable that homosexuals face social and legal discrimination in Muslim-majority countries. As an example, one could point to the Penal Code of Malaysia which prohibits homosexual acts or “carnal intercourse against the order of nature.” In contrast, the public institutions in Western countries not only affirm the rights of homosexuals, but increasingly legislate public policies that promote homosexual practices. The recent court cases brought by homosexual activists against Christians in Western countries suggest the likely possibility that eventually Christians will be compelled to comply with public policies that promote homosexual practices. The conflicting views on homosexual practices between Western and Muslim-majority societies may well be irreconcilable.

Advocates of the homosexual movement justify their cause in terms of human rights. But this justification is rejected by Muslim authorities. One may interpret the conflict between homosexual activists and Muslim (or traditional religious) authorities in terms of “conflicting value systems,” or “culture war.” But, perhaps the conflict reflects something more fundamental as the rhetoric from the LGBT movement increasingly acquires religious overtones. Continue reading “The LGBT Movement as a Religious Movement”

Vatican Issues New Document Criticizing ‘Gender Theory’

“MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM ”- TOWARDS A PATH OF DIALOGUE ON THE QUESTION OF GENDER THEORY IN EDUCATION The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a document on the question of gender theory, which, while containing no new doctrinal elements or developments, seeks to present the Catholic Church’s position on the question … Continue reading “Vatican Issues New Document Criticizing ‘Gender Theory’”

“MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM ”- TOWARDS A PATH OF DIALOGUE ON THE QUESTION OF GENDER THEORY IN EDUCATION

The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has issued a document on the question of gender theory, which, while containing no new doctrinal elements or developments, seeks to present the Catholic Church’s position on the question in a non-polemical manner and expresses the need to dialogue on the subject.

[It notes the new anthropological theories] “were based on a reading of sexual differentiation that was strictly sociological, relying on a strong emphasis on the freedom of the individual,”

The text explains that “gender theory” expresses an ideology that “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the anthropological basis of the family.”

“When such [ideologically based] studies were applied to human sexuality, they often did so with a view to demonstrating that sexuality identity was more a social construct than a given natural or biological fact.” Continue reading “Vatican Issues New Document Criticizing ‘Gender Theory’”

Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability”

In Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation Can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability,” I gave a report on academic studies over the last two decades based on four large data sets drawn from surveys about sexuality. These studies are both “population-based” (representative of the population as a whole) and “longitudinal” (meaning they survey the same individuals … Continue reading “Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability””

In Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation Can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability,” I gave a report on academic studies over the last two decades based on four large data sets drawn from surveys about sexuality. These studies are both “population-based” (representative of the population as a whole) and “longitudinal” (meaning they survey the same individuals at intervals years apart, allowing us to measure change over time).

The truth is, “sexual orientation” is a multi-faceted concept, involving a combination of attractions, behaviors, and personal identity. These four studies all demonstrate that significant change in each of the elements of sexual orientation is possible. The percentage changing from homosexuality to heterosexuality ranged from 13% to 53% (while the percentage changing from heterosexuality to homosexuality ranged only from 1% to 12%). In one survey of “same-sex attracted respondents,” up to 38% of men and 53% of women “changed to heterosexuality” in only a six-year period.

Confirmation of this has come from a surprising source. Scholar Lisa Diamond (who herself identifies as a lesbian) has long studied and written about the “sexual fluidity” of women. In a 2016 article with her colleague Clifford Rosky, she declared, “Given the consistency of these findings, it is not scientifically accurate to describe same-sex sexual orientation as a uniformly immutable trait.”[Source: Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council] Continue reading “Evidence Shows Sexual Orientation can Change: Debunking the Myth of “Immutability””

In Search of the New Man: Not Gillette, but Christ

Society has changed. The public arena is no longer the exclusive male domain it once was. Women are now actively participating in all areas of life. Whether in politics, business or family life, men can no longer insist on perpetuating traditional roles or presume to enjoy the benefits long accorded to the privileged gender. But … Continue reading “In Search of the New Man: Not Gillette, but Christ”

Society has changed. The public arena is no longer the exclusive male domain it once was. Women are now actively participating in all areas of life. Whether in politics, business or family life, men can no longer insist on perpetuating traditional roles or presume to enjoy the benefits long accorded to the privileged gender. But adjusting to new roles in modern society inevitably generates confusion and anxieties amongst men. In this article, I write to challenge my fellow men to address the present confusion and self-doubt confronting us, and to explore the need to define our sexuality, that is, our self-identity and our relationship to the other sex.

What Does it Mean to be a Man?
Just how and when does one become a man? It seemed quite clear-cut especially in traditional societies that practised rites-of-passage that helped boys know for sure that they had made the transition from childhood to manhood. Continue reading “In Search of the New Man: Not Gillette, but Christ”

Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 2/2

Can Practising Homosexuals Experience Change through Counselling? A Report by Stanton Jones & Mark Yarhouse.Publication Sources: Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religious Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation. IVP, 2007 and Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate (IVP, 2009). Summary of research: [Stanton Jones, Same Sex Science, First Things Feb 2012] … Continue reading “Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 2/2”

Can Practising Homosexuals Experience Change through Counselling?
A Report by Stanton Jones & Mark Yarhouse.Publication Sources: Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religious Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation. IVP, 2007 and Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in the Church’s Moral Debate (IVP, 2009).

Summary of research: [Stanton Jones, Same Sex Science, First Things Feb 2012]
We are told that homosexual persons are just as psychologically healthy as heterosexuals, that sexual orientation is biologically determined at birth, that sexual orientation cannot be changed and that the attempt to change it is necessarily harmful, that homosexual relationships are equivalent to heterosexual ones in all important characteristics, and that personal identity is properly and legitimately constituted around sexual orientation. These claims are as misguided as the ridiculed beliefs of some social conservatives, as they spring from distorted or incomplete representations of the best findings from the science of same-sex attraction.

Contrary to the assumptions of many social conservatives, biology does appear to play a modest part in determining sexual orientation. Contrary to the assumptions of many social progressives, psychological and environmental variables also appear to play at least a modest part in determining sexual orientation. In contrast to the hubris of those prone to making emphatic pronouncements, what we do not yet know about the causation of sexual orientation dwarfs the bit that we are beginning to know. And the fact that causation is indubitably a complex and mysterious by-product of the interaction of biological and psychological variables confounds the assertion that sexual orientation is just like skin color, determined at birth or even conception. And contrary to the suggestions of some, the involvement of some biological influence does not prove that change in sexual orientation is impossible. One of our foremost behavior genetics experts, Thomas Bouchard, has argued forcefully that “one of the most unfortunate misinterpretations of the heritability coefficient is that it provides an index of trait malleability (i.e., the higher the heritability the less modifiable the trait is through environmental intervention).” Continue reading “Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 2/2”

Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 1/2

Question posed by “Fractalist” at the previous post – A Scripture-Principled and Pastoral-Sensitive Church Response to Homosexual Activism: What do you think of the position of the American Psychological Association (APA) which states: “Homosexuality is not a mental disorder” and that “therapies that seek to reduce or eliminate same-gender sexual orientation are under extensive debate … Continue reading “Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 1/2”

Question posed by “Fractalist” at the previous postA Scripture-Principled and Pastoral-Sensitive Church Response to Homosexual Activism:
What do you think of the position of the American Psychological Association (APA) which states: “Homosexuality is not a mental disorder” and that “therapies that seek to reduce or eliminate same-gender sexual orientation are under extensive debate in the professional literature and the popular media (Davison, 1991; Haldeman, 1994; Wall Street Journal, 1997)”

Answer
Nowadays, no one would bat an eyelid if a great philosopher like Augustine or Aquinas were to share a gripping account of how the troubled soul can find peace with God. However, people would pay rapt attention to a psychologist who assures them that the self is totally good and is oriented towards growth and creativity, and that the purpose of life is to find one’s deepest self by following one’s “orientation” and forging one’s sexual identity in ways that counter all forms of authority represented by family, traditional social norms and religion. [See Paul Vitz, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship 2e (Eerdsman, 1994)]

Recently, the high priesthood of humanistic psychology, the American Psychological Association (APA), issued a new dogma that proclaims that homosexuality is natural and should be accepted, if not encouraged. This amounts to a reprise of ancient papal encyclicals. One of the sacred cows in the pantheon of social sciences has spoken. Whoever dares to question its sublime wisdom will be anathematized by its priestly order, the academia. Continue reading “Practising Homosexuals Can Change: A Simple Biblical Argument & Social-Scientific Evidence. Part 1/2”