New Calvinists Recent Embrace of the ‘Same-Sex Attracted Christian’
An article by Enoch Burke
Following Solomon’s reign over Israel came the reign of his son, Rehoboam, over Judah. It was a time of rank apostasy, as Judah ‘did evil in the sight of the LORD…above all that their fathers had done’ (1 Kings 14:22). The inspired writer records two sins of particular note, before judgment came with Shishak king of Egypt—the two sins were idolatry (14.23) and sodomy (14.24). Of the latter, the word of God could not be clearer: ‘and there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel’ (1 Kings 14.24).
We live in a day when apostasy is rife in the professing church. As in the days of Judah, mere Christian heritage does not mean a healthy spiritual condition. Although only a generation from those who had extended Israel’s borders and rebuilt the glorious temple in Jerusalem, the men of Judah were utterly pagan in their everyday lives. So today, those whose forefathers championed holiness of life and godly living are now daily entertained by a degenerate society which champions abomination as normality.
John Piper, the most easily recognisable face of the New Calvinism movement, stated in March 2014 that his movement ‘leans toward being culture-affirming rather than culture-denying.’ This is clearly demonstrated in the recent embrace by New Calvinists of the term ‘gay Christian’ in their latest repudiation of biblical morality. John Piper, Tim Keller and others in The Gospel Coalition (TGC) have now elevated openly ‘gay’ individuals to positions of leadership in their various organisations and platforms. The godly kings Asa and Jehoshaphat restored honour and purity to Israel by ‘taking away the sodomites out of the land’ (1 Kings 15.12; 22.46)—but Piper and Keller believe that we should make them pastors and teachers.
New Calvinists themselves do not deny that they are changing what they once held to on the issue of homosexuality. Albert Mohler, for example, head of the Southern Baptist Convention, stated in 2014 at Russell Moore’s ERLC Conference: ‘One of the things that we should not be embarrassed to say is that we are learning. One of the embarrassments that I have to bear is that I have written on some of these issues now for 30 years and at a couple of points I have to say I got that wrong and we got to go back and correct it… early in this controversy I felt it quite necessary in order to make clear the gospel to deny anything like a sexual orientation… I repent of that.’
Mohler, Piper, Keller and other New Calvinists still profess lip service to historic doctrines but are meanwhile training activists seeking to reshape the Christian teaching on homosexuality. Mohler, who in 2005 stated that the ‘modern “discovery” of sexual orientation is used to deny the truth claim clearly and inescapably made within the biblical text’, has since stated in 2014 that ‘the concept of sexual orientation is not only helpful, it is in some sense essential.’ Mohler’s disciple, Nate Collins, an instructor of New Testament Interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, recently advocated that Christians attend gay pride events to educate themselves on the commemoration of the Stonewall riots that such events represent. Such an exhortation is a devious attempt to involve souls in a festival of anti-God perversion and immorality.
Meanwhile, New Calvinists have coined a whole language to infiltrate the church and weakened the already dying edifice. The Living Out Conference of June 2018 for ‘LGBT Christians’ included the keynote speakers Tim Keller and his wife Kathy, with the aim of ‘supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish.’ Take out the word ‘Christian’ and it could read as if it were the manual of the Gay Liberation Movement. In the UK, Sam Alberry, an Anglican rector and speaker from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, has co-founded a ministry called ‘Living Out’ for ‘Gay Christians’ and states in his promotional video: ‘The Christian life is all about Jesus. And for as long as God is offering a relationship with Christ to anyone, He is not anti them… as long as that gift is being offered, and it is; God cannot truly be said to be anti- anyone.’ His co-founder, Ed Shaw, another ‘pastor’ who describes himself as a ‘Same-Sex Attracted’ has compiled a 10-step audit which he believes all churches should take to assess their inclusivity towards same-sex attracted Christians. He likewise declares that ‘to promise people that if we do this bit of counselling, if we do this course, we will be all made perfect like Jesus in the here and now and that is a sign of Christian maturity, to insist on that is deeply damaging to people.’ Here Shaw goes on to say that espousing the spirit of 1 Corinthians. 6:11, ‘such were some of you: but ye are washed…’ is a ‘deeply damaging’ approach to be condemned.
John Piper’s organisation Desiring God has not hesitated to take up the cudgel against those who would stand for God’s truth in a day of darkness and compromise. Piper’s website now features regular articles from Nick Roen (a same sex attracted pastor), one of the latest of which is titled, ‘Homophobia has no place in the church.’ In it, the author alleges that ‘homophobia is all too common, not just in society, but even within the church’ and that it ‘can often take subtler, equally sinister forms.’ In Piper’s typical pseudo-psychological style, Roen attempts to make prisoners of Christians by stipulating that they examine whether their beliefs on homosexuality are ‘for all the wrong reasons’ and mockingly references a ‘fear that same-sex couples might signal the unravelling of comfortable cultural norms and usher in the end of a once-pristine “Judeo-Christian society”.’
On the same issue, Piper’s friend Mohler has recently been quoted as stating that Southern Baptists need to repent of a homophobia that keeps gays and lesbians out of their churches. Baptist minister Jonathan Meritt quoted Mohler as saying ‘we’ve lied about the nature of homosexuality and have practised what can only be described as a form of homophobia…we as evangelicals have a very sad history in dealing with this issue… we have told not the truth, but we have told about half the truth. We’ve told the biblical truth,… but we haven’t applied it in the biblical way.’
How good it is to have the unchanging word of God as the guide of the true Christian. Theologians and false professors lead many astray, but the ‘word of the Lord endureth for ever’ (1 Peter 1.25). Professors, such as New Calvinists, who claim to speak God’s Word but instead rehabilitate the philosophies and arguments of a fallen world are nothing new. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah had also to refute them, and his formula was simple: ‘To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Isaiah 8:20). With New Calvinists, there is no light. In such circumstances, we are well-advised to forsake every false way and seek ever more surely the steadfast light of the unchanging word of God.