Friday, April 21, 2017

Simple and Summary Addendum to The Shack, Lies, and the Theological Molestation of Paul Young



In my recent blog post and YouTube, I raised the question of the “theological molestation” of Paul Young – author of The Shack and Lies We Believe About God.

But I left the definition of “theological molestation” too implicit. I have thus edited the blog, and am much more pleased with it.

The theological molestation to which I refer begins in a socio-cultural form of missionary Christianity in which Paul Young was raised.

1. His father, as a missionary, was himself theologically molested by doctrines where he was taught that God, salvation, identity, hell and sin are all arbitrary – apart from any sense of real justice, love and mercy. This molestation was enforced by the prohibition of questions about these doctrines.

2. Young’s father was violent with him as a boy, thus passing along this theological molestation in a visceral capacity.

3. This led Young – in also having to overcome the sexual molestation he suffered at the hands of tribal people in Papua New Guinea, and missionary boarding school (!) – to became fully reactionary while groping to seek the true God.

4. This sexual molestation was made situationally possible – if unknowingly – due to the prior theological molestation.

5. Paul Young’s reactions include, among others: a) a pagan syncretism that vitiates the Golden Rule, b) a pagan feminizing of God the Father, c) a misunderstanding of the difference between God’s government and human sinful government, d) an unbiblical understanding of hell and judgment, e) an unbiblical view of salvation, and f) a de facto dethroning of the incarnation of Jesus.

Thus, in my own pursuit of the biblical beauty of justice, mercy and love, I invite Paul Young to consider my detailed observations in my prior blog post. Is my diagnosis of the prior and deeper theological molestation he suffered accurate, and if so, can the next stage of his journey begin?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Shack, Lies, and the Theological Molestation of Paul Young



Paul Young has sought God and wrestled free from the sexual molestation he suffered as a boy. It took him decades, and it was painful to escape such imposed pain. Part of his self-therapy is found in The Shack. And in his recent book, Lies We Believe About God, Young seeks to give theological explanation.

But his new book only chronicles a series of visceral reactions to the deeper theological molestation of his youth.

Now, can Young also manage to gain freedom from this deeper pit? How long will it take? And too, is a freedom from either molestation sufficient? What about the possibility of a prior and redeemed freedom for that has no need for reaction?

At the outset, Young states: “The world I grew up in did not place a high value on questions. At best, questions were a sign of ignorance and, at the worst, were deemed evidence of rebellion. Anyone who disagreed with our theology, science, or even opinion was an enemy or target. What mattered was certainty” (p.16).

This is indeed a deep theological molestation that spreads widely. For whereas all non-biblical institutions resist being questioned, biblical faith celebrates our given freedom to ask the toughest questions of God, leaders and one another. Questions serve our learning curve as image-bearers of God, opposite the fear of ignorance into which Young was baptized as a child.

So, in Lies, he unloads visceral questions as he seeks freedom from his theological molestation. Here, then, are a few selected questions I pose that lead to the need for good and patient theological conversation.

First, who is the “we” in the book title? It proves to be an autobiographical angst of the “missionary kid” world in which Young grew up. Many of the twenty-eights questions he formally poses are facile, and/or from facile sources, chosen to be needlessly provocative, playing the iconoclast as he tears down the theological idols of his youth.

For example, in various chapter headings he defines some of the “lies” as: “God is in control,” “You need to get saved,” “Not everyone is a child of God,” “Hell is separation from God,” and “Sin separates us from God.” Young frames these issues in deep visceral and honest reaction to the theological molestation in his formative identity, one where he was taught that God, salvation, identity, hell and sin are all arbitrary – apart from any sense of real justice, love and mercy.

This begs a truly patience conversation the church needs to address. Young is thus aiming to place a stake in the heart of socio-cultural reactionary western fundamentalism and evangelicalism in his reactionary pain. But reactions to reactions only deepen the miry pit for all concerned.

Then, in the chapters themselves he qualifies many of these deliberate provocations in what sometimes appears as a “bait and switch” motif. And the answers he gives are also largely facile. There is no biblical exegesis present, only some proof-texting and a few atomistic observations, mixed in with free-standing opinions.

Now, this is a strong critique, but it should also be exactly what Paul Young wants as he moves from the fear of questions to their head-on embrace. For my own life – starting as an agnostic Unitarian – I have pursued the toughest questions that would challenge me head-on. It led me to Jesus, I have followed him relentlessly for the subsequent half-century, and I make myself accountable continually to the toughest questions I can find.

Second, Young says: “There is a common appeal, whether in the New Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects of Confucius, etc., to what many of us would recognize as the Golden Rule” (pp. 46-47). The Golden Rule is the proactive of treating all others as we wish to be treated, loving all our neighbors, and is highlighted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and in summing up the Law of Moses.

However, it cannot be located outside the Bible, where there is only a reactionary “silver rule” of “don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you.” The only proactive in history, in any capacity, is located in the biblical order of creation, and in the order of redemption. To be reactionary thus submits to pagan and secular constructs. To be raised without the Golden Rule is to be theologically molested.

Thus, what are Young’s sources for this facile statement? And for example, does he know how the Sira of Ibn Ishaq interprets the Qur’an, and the only “golden rule” located there is for fellow Muslims, and not for Jews, Christians and pagans, they who are all subject to Islamic domination or death as inferior peoples? Such a statement on Young’s part thus opens the door to bad theology, including the road he paves for himself to “universal salvation.”

Third, Young says: “The image of God in us (imago dei) is not less feminine than masculine. The feminist/masculine nature of God is a circle of relationship, a spectrum, not a polarity” (p. 73). Where does this “spectrum” of sexual theology finds its biblical warrant? This is reactionary language against a violent fatherhood he experienced as a boy -- theological molestation -- and thus a boomerang ensues where Young feminizes God in The Shack and Lies, against those who masculinize God. Neither will do, for in both cases, people are viewing God in the image of their own broken human sexualities, and Young only compounds this error.

The biblical understanding is that man and woman are equals and complements as joint image-bearers of God, where the Fatherhood of God is greater than male and female. Also, technically but importantly, we are made in the image of God (our totality), we do not merely have the image of God “in us” (a portion). This leads to the need for some good theological review, and this impacts Young’s whole use of the feminine for God the Father.

Fourth, Young’s reactionary posture is evident as he says something genuinely silly: “Government is not instituted by or originated by God” (p. 103). His reference is rooted in a reactionary definition of human governments poisoned by sinful nature, reacting to the reactions of the socio-cultural “religious right” (with the “religious left” found at the other end of the reactionary spectrum). So, when he makes a subsequent passing reference to the kingdom of God, does he not know that he has identified the original and enduring government of God?

Now here, we can identify (as we can anywhere in this discussion) the all-defining interpretive assumptions of the biblical text rooted in the storyline of creation, sin and redemption introduced in Genesis 1-3. The good assumptions in the order of creation (Genesis 1-2) interpret the whole Bible, and we must always start here if we are to understand the depths of the subsequent sin nature, and thus, the heights of redemption which restore and fulfill the original trajectory of the order of creation.

Across his whole book, Lies, Young starts with the sin nature and reacts to the sin nature. And crucially in the story in Genesis 3:1ff, the word “sin” is not used, but rather trust is broken vertically (with Yahweh Elohim) and horizontally (between man and woman). And Paul Young’s life began with the imposition of broken trust.

Thus, Lies is rooted in a molested theology that has de facto poisoned most of the church for two millennia. Young yearns for a freedom from such molestation, but to do so, he – and all of us – first need to know the prior and defining freedom for, that to which redemption restores us, even in the face of the sin nature, and fully sealed when Jesus returns.

In fact, every definition of freedom in human history that originates apart from the good order of creation, cannot grasp more than a freedom from violation. Understandable, but too, it is an endless cycle, and especially exacerbated in political theology where we identify Young’s wrong starting point with respect to government.

The freedom for is found in Genesis 2:16. Most translations speak of Adam being free to eat from any tree in the Garden, then in v. 17, apart from one forbidden deathly fruit. The Hebrew text in v. 16 is far more dynamic: “In feasting you shall continually feast from any tree in the garden …” The Hebrew here, akol tokel, is in the infinitive absolute and imperfect tenses of the verb to eat, namely a feast that is intrinsically full in any given moment, and which never ends.

In its metaphorical power, it is the freedom to choose from an unlimited menu of good choices in the creation, the power to do the good, and thus, the freedom for creativity as stewards of the good creation. And the kingdom of God, from Genesis 1:1ff, is rooted in such goodness and freedom, and not in the reactionary pain of a molested theology.

Fifth, Young argues that hell is not separation from God (pp. 131ff), some important questions are raised, but his answers are facile, and he cites no biblical texts that address this matter. For example, he does not even look at the etymology of “hell” in Jeremiah 7 and 19, in the Valley of Ben Hinnom (abbreviated as g’hinnom in the Hebrew) outside Jerusalem. It is the place of the continually burning trash dump where child sacrifice proliferates between 609 and 586 B.C., preceding the judgment upon Judah in the Babylonian exile.

So, as Jesus speaks of “hell” (transliterated into the Greek as gehenna), he uses a metaphor known in painful depth in the Jewish soul as a real separation from Yahweh Elohim whom most of them had then rejected. There are other metaphors for final judgment in Scripture, and hell is the most well-known because of its historical force used by Jesus. But the interpreted reality is located in Genesis 2:17.

Sixth, we now we arrive at the other side of the feast of freedom. The fruit which is then prohibited (which equals the boundary of freedom) comes from “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” This is a grammatical merism that profiles opposite ends of the spectrum. In other words, everything there is to know is between good and evil, only Yahweh Elohim can know evil in its totality and not be polluted by it, and to eat of it is to say Yahweh is a) not good, b) we can redefine reality as we see fit, and in c) seeking to make ourselves equal to him.

Accordingly, in Genesis 2:17, Yahweh says that if Adam eats of the forbidden fruit, moth tamuth, “in dying you shall continually die” (likewise in the infinitive absolute and imperfect tenses). This is a death that is experientially full in the moment as separation from Yahweh is chosen, and it never ends apart from choosing to receive the Messiah.

The grammatical parallel in Genesis 2:16-17 is dramatic, and interprets the whole Bible on matters of freedom for the good life versus the slavery and evil of death. Feast or die. And it interprets the whole biblical witness where in the end we choose light or darkness, what and whom we love, and if we choose an idol, we join the fate of idols which are mere fronts for demons. In the end, we either love mercy or we cling to bitterness, which is the poison of idolatry (as identified in the Law of Moses and the Book of Hebrews). Thus, how does Young exegete and understand the actual language and theology of hell?

No one is eschatologically judged in the whole Bible apart from his or her chosen deeds. C.S. Lewis profiles these ethics in The Great Divorce and The Last Battle which reflect a biblical literacy on the whole subject suitable for further in-depth conversation. I am convinced that hell is a minority and oxymoronic community, and that the abyss (with corresponding “lake of fire”) that is outside creation in Revelation, is the original abyss in Genesis before the creation. It is unsuited for humanity, lacking in foundation, boundaries, identity, relationships, creativity and hope. Yet it is a bitterly chosen false love in an ever-shrinking humanity across eternity – the imperfect tense reality of the Hebrew grammar.

Seventh, Young’s belief in “universal salvation” is the capstone of his reactions to a molested theology. If people are not free to say no to the Gospel, then they are not free to say yes to it. They are not fully loved. This is the radical nature of Genesis 2:15-17, where evil is placed next to the good, and we are empowered to choose between the two. The Good News is that the Messiah comes to die on the cross to slaughter death once and all for all people, but this sacrificial love it is not imposed on anyone.

Is Yahweh Elohim sovereign and free? Yes. Is he free to choose evil? No, this is an oxymoron, for to choose evil is to reject the power to do the good. It would be to choose a slavery to evil, Yahweh is a slave to nothing, and to make him thus, is to make him into a pagan deity, and to regard him thus means he would not be the sovereign Creator, the creation could not exist, and we could not exist.

The pagan gods and goddesses are finite, petty, jealous, ruled over ultimately by chauvinistic male deities, and they enslave men and women to their arbitrary caprice, to the dehumanizing realities of sorcery, sacred prostitution and child sacrifice (as Jeremiah sums up the pagan sins that destroyed Judah in their own chosen hell of g’hinnom).

Thus, a doctrine of universal salvation runs into dangerous shoals that can shipwreck the faith. It is ultimately tethered to a pagan imposition, violates the God-given human will, and de facto defines as evil the work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Goodness imposed is an oxymoron, where the putative good is transmogrified into evil. Do we know people who would rather die in bitterness than to forgive someone who betrayed them? They love the deeds of darkness more than those of the light, as Jesus speaks about with Nicodemus.

If people would rather be crushed by the mountains and rocks than to look at the Lamb of God (Revelation 6), does this means God’s love failed in this life? That he somehow must fine tune it, and change his character accordingly, so that after death a person’s dying love of bitterness is changed? Or rather, is God’s will rooted in a deeper and dynamic grasp of his own eternal freedom to do the good, given to his image-bearers to celebrate in finite but unending capacity? Young opts for the former, I opt for the latter, and I am glad for a conversation about which is biblical.

In the essence of a reactionary and molested theology, we can note the larger milieu in the church. This is where, on the one hand, we note those who believe that God forces people into hell apart from their own will. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who believe God forces people into heaven apart from their own will. Both are ethically pagan.

Thus, in a reaction to the theological molestation of an arbitrary and unjust definition of hell, where justice, mercy and love are forfeit, Young boomerangs to a "universal salvation" where from the other extreme, justice, mercy and love are also forfeit.

And eighth, Young provocatively argues that Jesus made “mistakes” (in minor things) because this is “an essential part of being human” (pp. 225-226). But if in the minor, why not the slippery slope down to the major? What then of his incarnation? And yes, none of us can grasp the power and nature of Yahweh Elohim taking on human form without sin (he comes as the second Adam to complete what the first Adam failed to do), but here we have another reaction on Young’s part that dismantles the Christian faith.

In order for Jesus to die in our stead as the Lamb of God – which Young affirms – only a spotless or sinless Lamb qualifies, and Young has just opened the door to disqualify the Savior he professes. How well is his theology thought out? Or is he a slave to a molested theology he has yet to identity and reckon with? Does he here find need to bring Jesus down a notch in order to raise himself up a notch? Is he is thus his own savior?

I pray he does reckon with it. Paul Young has courageously overcome sexual violence and its assault on his human soul, that which was visited on him as a boy by the tribespeople in Papua New Guinea, and at the boarding school for missionary children. But the deeper molestation is of a prior theological nature whereby a violent human father, in the role of a Christian missionary, unknowingly made his son thus vulnerable. His father came from a theologically molested culture himself, and from this reality Young – and any or all of us who have been likewise poisoned – have need for deliverance.

To address human suffering, and any other reality in a broken world, we need to root ourselves in the self-interpreting biblical reality of creation, sin and redemption. And, therefore, rooted in the original and proactive freedom for in Genesis 2, Jesus the Redeemer sets us free from the reactive freedom from which means restoration to the original freedom for. That is, the freedom for doing the proactive, for choosing the good, for being creative accordingly, and not being bogged down trying to flee from reactionary pain. Reactive and facile theology does not serve the freedom for doing the good.

On the cross, Jesus, willingly gives up the power of deity, and embraces his broken body in our stead while facing the highest pretenses of Satanic military power. This he does, crushing death in his atonement and resurrection through the deeper power of his eternal unbroken trust within the Trinitarian community. Only his power of unbroken trust can heal our broken trusts and molested theologies.

This is but a brief review of the theological implications of The Shack and Lies, and there are many other issues worth addressing. Thus, and as well, I am sure I have raised more questions than I have addressed. I will chalk it up to the nature of learning, and as a predicate for a necessary conversation on all the issues Paul Young raises in The Shack and Lies.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Transgender Pain for Mother and Son

As we read about a mother and son in Detroit seeking to “transition” to a “father” and “daughter” – and apart from politics – what is the human story underneath?

In terms of the “transgender” question, this is just the new word for cross-dressing, an update to the old word, transvestite. But now add to it hormone manipulation ...

In ministry in Boston many years ago, I learned the reality that men (or boys) who dress as women do so in order to become their own “women,” wanting the feminine but not being able – for various reasons – to trust or know how to relate to real women. And this is overwhelmingly in the absence of a loving and present father who knows how to treat the boy’s mother.

Which brings us to the mother in this equation. Three lesbians at Harvard, with whom I was studying in the 1980s, told me that every lesbian they knew had been sexually, physically and/or emotionally abused in their youth by some man, usually a step-father, live-in boyfriend, some other older male in the immediate or extended family, or outside of it, but quite rarely the biological father himself. The same reality is found in the male homosexual world, but with different dynamics at play.

When the biological father chooses to absent himself, this is the prior, and indeed, the deepest trauma and rejection. All the sufferings of those whom he abandons find their source in what precedes and leads to his departure.

The testimony of these Harvard women is anecdotal as it is dynamic, and over the years I have discovered how it is very prevalent. These violated girls and young women cannot later trust men, and in their midst, those who seek to become “trans” are seeking to become their own “men” as a means by to protect themselves from abusive men. This is also true for heterosexual women who identify with the “GLBTQ” world, who for their own and oftentimes similar reasons, seek a sense of safety in becoming their own “men.”

Thus, here, to what extent are the divorced mother and her son complementary sufferers? What might Dad have wrought, he who, in this case, is “okay” with their “transgendering?” The “transgendered” mother now calls herself the “second father” to the “transgendered” boy who calls himself a “girl.” Ontology reversed.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Three Concepts of Deity -- and the Political Consequences


[also posted on YouTube]

In my prior post, I looked at a one-sentence Hebrew answer to Muslim questions about the Trinity. This definition also leads to two other realities worth discussion. I will address the first one here.

Across human history, in reverse chronological order, there are three basic concepts of deity. In Islam, Allah is singular, and proclaimed to be the greatest. In Hinduism, beginning with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and in other polytheisms, there are many finite gods and goddesses. And in the Bible we have Trinitarian monotheism in Yahweh Elohim, and as fulfilled in Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In essence, Allah equals unity without diversity, as he has "no companions," and is thus defined by the human number 1. In political terms, this understanding leads to imposed conformity.

In essence, polytheism equals diversity without unity, and is thus defined by multiples of the human number 1. In political terms, this understanding leads to competing local claims on power, and thus, social chaos.

In essence, in Yahweh Elohim, we have diversity in service to unity, defining the One who is greater than the concept of human number. In political terms, this reality serves checks and balances on power, and thus religious, political and economic liberty for all people equally.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A One-Sentence Hebrew Answer to Muslim Questions About the Trinity


[This post can also be seen on YouTube]

Recently, I visited Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park, London, and happened upon some Muslim Salafists seeking to convert Christians to Islam. One such preacher, Hashem, wanted to disprove the Trinity as a biblical concept. But after a good amount of discussion, he abruptly left at a critical point.

So it seems good to me to issue an invitation to any and all interested Muslims.

It begins with:

A One-Sentence Hebrew Answer to Muslim Questions About the Trinity.

Namely:

The Hebrew name for Yahweh Elohim is the only written concept in history for the One who is greater than space, time and number, and thus, the concept of the Trinity follows.

This one sentence answer proves comprehensive, and invites a thousand questions. Can it be sustained? I invite any and all Muslims to question me.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Muslim Salafist in Hyde Park Chooses Not to Continue the Conversation ...



On Sunday afternoon, 28 August, 2016, I visited Speaker's Corner at the Marble Arch, Hyde Park, London. There were many Muslim Salafists there trying to convert Christians, and a good number of African Christians preaching the Gospel and singing hymns.

I was in a prayerful mind as I wandered through and past the 200-300 onlookers, especially paying attention to the Muslim preachers. I stopped at a place where a Muslim was trying to persuade a Christian man from Northern Europe that the Trinity is not true. The Christian man, knowledgeable in the Bible, was interested in probing some of the depth of what the Bible means by Father, Son and Holy Spirit (with a crowd of some twenty, mostly Muslims, listening in). But the Muslim preacher was only interested in trying to corner the Christian, demanding "yes" or "no" answers to manipulative questions. A mismatch in purpose and nature.

So I interjected, asking the Muslim preacher (whose name turns out to be Hashem) if I could ask two questions. He responded: "Are you a Christian?" I said yes. He then asked if I wanted to debate the Trinity. So I said that we cannot talk about the Trinity, and its biblical underpinnings, without probing far deeper. Could I thus ask a question in that regard?

So he assented, and I asked him what he knew about the Hebrew nature of the name Yahweh Elohim. He said Elohim was "a" name for God, and that Jesus did not call himself Yahweh (showing where he wanted to take the conversation, and assuming I was aiming for the same). Now of course, Genesis 1:1 says in the Hebrew: bereshith bara elohim eth ha’shamayim w’eth ha’eretz (“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”). In other words, Elohim is the first name used of God in the Bible, the One who is greater than the human concept of number.

As the discussion continued for quite some time, he interjected often, trying to take it into his line of reasoning. I would always return it to my question in seeking his understanding of Yahweh Elohim. I said several times that my interest was in first arriving at an honest definition of terms between us, so that an actual debate could then happen. And so we had a pleasant give and take, even when, as I said he was my equal in the sight of the one true Creator, he instead said we were not equals (referring to a definition of Muslim superiority to all others). I smiled and moved on.

At one juncture he was trying to talk about Yahweh in Exodus 3 not being whom Jesus claimed to be. I said I wished I had my Bible with me so we could look at the text. So he took out his cell phone, and scrolled to the text in question, so I peered over his shoulder and we read vv. 14-15 together.

What fun. It was an app designed by Muslims to win debates with Christians. So the actual Hebrew is not there, but only an English transliteration, and the transliteration makes a classic error. In v. 14, when Elohim says to Moses that his name is Ehyeh, I AM, this Hebrew word is the first person masculine singular imperfect term of the verb "to be." Literally: I AM (who was and who is and who is to be), the Divine Presence, the Ontology of the one true Creator who is greater than the concept of space and time. Then in v. 15, the text speaks of the full divine name, Yahweh Elohim. Here, Yahweh in the Hebrew is the third person masculine singular imperfect of the verb "to be," HE IS.

But the English transliteration renders Yahweh as LORD, not as HE IS. "Lord" in Hebrew is adonai, and some years after the Babylonian Exile in 586 B.C., the Jews stopped pronouncing the name of Yahweh and replaced it by saying adonai whenever the text says Yahweh.

Now this involves a detailed history. But Hashem suddenly got scared, for his argument that Jesus does not call himself Yahweh (e,g, I AM in John 8:58, ego eimi in the Greek) falls apart. Jesus did not call himself by a third person reference, Yahweh, HE IS, designed for Moses and all others to use, but he called himself by the first person Ehyeh in calling himself the I AM, the ego eimi.

In other words, he confused Yahweh with Ehyeh, thinking that Yahweh means I AM, when it means HE IS in referring to the I AM; which is to say Jesus calls himself the God of creation incarnate in the flesh – in the first person, not the third person. Hence the language of the Trinity comes into view. Yahweh Elohim is the only One or written idea in history who is greater than space, time and number.

As I tried several times to explain this, he kept saying I was wrong, calling me a liar, then all of sudden he grasped what I was saying. He looked at me and said, "I thought you were sincere, but you are insincere. I have to go." And he left quickly through the crowd. I then talked with his friend, a physician from Dubai named Ahmed, and we had a very pleasant conversation for some 45 minutes. He told me that Hashem was a professional Muslim preacher, and had done some 100 such debates at Speaker's Corner. And later I saw him in many YouTube postings at Hyde Park.

I enjoyed Hashem's humanity, and I was interested in real communication. So when he departed so quickly, I was immediately disappointed in that I wanted to converse more. Only later did it sink in to me that he had forfeited the debated he wanted, indeed, he had chosen to silence his opposition to the Gospel.

###

Monday, April 4, 2016

Transgender Pain and Lawlessness


Those who claim to be "transgender" (the new language for transvestites and cross-dressers) have tremendous soul pain -- a separate discussion. But when does pain translate into lawlessness, and thus harm the whole social order?

One central biblical ethic is the power of informed choice, rooted in Genesis 2. Here, informed choice is only possible as rooted in a true definition of terms -- good versus evil, freedom versus slavery, life versus death.

In 1973, Roe v. Wade, which "legalized" human abortion, refused to consider the definition of biological human life.

From 2004 to 2015, Goodridge, Kerrigan and Obergefell, in "legalizing" same-sex marriage, refused to define any biological or fixed identity for homosexuality.

And now, new "transgender" laws refuse to define male and female, making such definitions momentarily subjective, thus endangering women and girls as cross-dressing males use women's public restrooms.

False definitions of terms now govern.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, the antichrist is defined as "the lawless one." When lawlessness assaults the nature of male and female, and the covenant of marriage, social collapse beckons. How close are we?

The church first needs to repent for her own sins before we can grasp a redemptive vision.