By Elizabeth Prata*
Please excuse that this is a bit long. It’s important. So, please prepare to read. I broke it up into sections.
It was a 23,000 pound sailboat. You practically had to take a reservation to come about. When you steered it, the rudder attached to the 7,300 pound iron keel moved the boat in the direction you wanted it to go, but sloooowly. The bigger the boat, the longer it takes to change a course. You can imagine how long it takes a Destroyer to change course.
Think of America as a boat. Changing the course of a nation is hard work. The nation lumbers along as a ship of state over the societal waters. It takes a long time for a new president’s policies to cause the effect he had wanted. It takes a long time for mass attitudes to change. It takes a long time to change course of a nation.
Unless it’s sin. Then the lumbering ship that is America becomes a fleet sailfish, darting over the water as a dragonfly, skipping along instantly toward whatever course sin had wanted. I’ll give three examples of how quickly sin grips a nation (or a denomination) and changes its course, then focus on the third.
Sin embeds fast and changes the course of a nation quickly
Exhibit A: Divorce
It didn’t take long for divorces to take over once no-fault divorce became legal nation wide.
No-fault divorce came about in the 1970s and afterward, divorce rapidly began losing its stigma. Divorce as a “completely off the table” concept to “divorce is everywhere” occurred at a bewildering rate.
In this article by Meghan Kruger from the Roger Williams Law Review, we learn just how fast,
Between 1970 and 1985, the United States experienced an overhaul in divorce legislation. During that time, nearly every state either replaced or supplemented its fault-based system with some form of no-fault divorce
Divorce laws that had been instituted in the US for hundreds of years were were overhauled from coast to coast within just 15. That’s whiplash speed.
Exhibit B: Abortion.
Criminalization of abortion accelerated as a push-back from the late 1860’s when first wave feminism rose up. It was mainly doctors opposing the barbaric practice of tearing apart a baby in the womb for the convenience of the mother. By 1900 most states had criminalized it.
Only a few years later the groundswell of pushback against the no abortion pushback accelerated to Roe v. Wade. The year after abortion was de-criminalized, 1973, over 744,000 abortions were performed in the US. At its peak, 1990, 1.6 million abortions were performed. Within 20 years, an entire nation’s change of mind allowed not only so many sinful abortions, but also that doctors, once the biggest opposers of the practice, were now some of the biggest supporters.
Exhibit C: Homosexuality.
The number of men who identify as homosexual in the US is 2.2%. That’s it. Yet when the homosexual revolution that came after the 1969 Stonewall riots, a significant moment in the gay agenda in which homosexual people of all stripes demanded acceptance, today the homosexual lobby makes it seem as if every other man is gay. FYI the first “pride parade” was held one year after Stonewall. That same year, 1970, the first application for a marriage license between two men was applied for (and denied). The lobby went from skulking in seedy bars out of the public eye to parading down the street in one year. Within 14 years US cities would begin passing or allowing “domestic partnership” policies opening the door to homosexual marriage.
A revolution with widespread consequences and import
What was the worst revolution in America?
What’s the most significant revolution we’ve ever experienced in the United States? I imagine most Americans would say it was the American Revolution, which marked the beginning of our existence as a country. Some might make the case that it was the Industrial Revolution, which transformed our nation into a world power. Yet both answers, I think, are wrong.
The most far-reaching, epochal revolution in American history began about fifty years ago and is now reaching its zenith. … I’m talking about the sexual revolution, which has wrought far more changes to the cultural behavior of America than the War of Independence fought against England in the eighteenth century. RC Sproul
The church is in the world. Some churches and even denominations who do not vigorously resist the homosexual influence become the world.
Those inroads of homosexual acceptance (and all that comes with it; drag queens, trans-gender, bi-sexual, etc.) is widespread in secular America, but it’s seeping into even the most conservative quarters of the formerly most conservative denomination. The Southern Baptist Convention is tolerating this sin. Though homosexuality is a litmus test for determining which churches or pastors can participate in the denomination, it is creeping into the acceptance side of the equation. As of now in 2019, that litmus test means nothing. The scales are about to get tipped.
[T]he Southern Baptist Convention has, not unwisely, also made it a litmus test for whether or not churches can be in cooperation with the SBC and whether or not LifeWay will carry an author’s materials (we’ve seen this with Jen Hatmaker, Eugene Peterson, etc.). (Source)
How does this happen?
Satan uses a person or organization to push his agenda, which is sin. It’s exactly the same but opposite of Jesus using godly people to push forward His agenda, the gospel.
In each case of the change in America to accept a particular sin, it seems that there has always been a front person or a front organization. In the case of divorce, it was the National Association of Women Lawyers that paved the way. In the case of abortion, of course it was Jane Roe and the US Supreme court, 10 individuals. In the case of homosexuality making its way into the conservative realms of the SBC, what many consider the last bastion of denominational adherence to strong biblical precepts, it’s Beth Moore.
Beth Moore’s part in this
Moore is arguably the biggest influence for the SBC and we know she is their biggest moneymaker. Yet she is obviously softening toward the stance that homosexuality is a sin. With her platforms, associations, and behavior of late, her influence is massively tipping the scales- to the detriment of souls and minds.
Here’s the evidence:
- Public associations in person, at conferences, and on social media lauding people in the SSA and gay arenas, without accompanying warnings about the sin itself. This was discussed more explicitly in the Open Letter to Beth Moore that I and 5 other ladies signed and published, and was actually one of the reasons the question was originally put to Moore;
- Her refusal to answer a direct question as to whether homosexuality is a sin;
- Her writhing under the microscope, exhibiting behavior that slandered, taunted, and deflected while still not answering the simple question;
- The discovery that Moore had secretly deleted the entire discussion about overcoming homosexuality as a sin from her Kindle version of the book Praying God’s Word, re-published in 2009, and not explaining that deletion to her readers;
- Moore’s weak and emotional answer as to why she omitted the biblical discussion on how to overcome homosexuality;
- Moore’s video.
The Video: listen carefully to what Beth Moore is saying
In addition to the above, which definitely demonstrates a change of stance about homosexuality, consider these next items. In her latest lesson video on unity and fellowship, Moore used many phrases and code words that indicate her stance toward same sex attraction, homosexuality, and their attendant issues, is aligned with the aforementioned folks she was supposed to be ministering to in love by warning against these very things. Here is a transcript of the pertinent part from her video for evidence.
I’ve deliberately started following and reading works of far more Christians of color. And my world and my heart has just exploded. I’m so thankful.
This is the world we live in. Let’s not be scandalized by what I’m about to say. I’ve also started following and reading articles and books by our fellow believers who are singles that have much dignity and humility testified to having lifelong same sex attraction, but they have chosen in their fellowship with Christ to fellowship with Him in the tremendous sacrifice of celibacy. This how they believe [?] want to follow Him and this is what I believe the scriptures say how I want to follow Him. [I know it doesn’t make sense…it’s transcribed exactly].
I’ve been so blessed by reading, getting to know my culture. Getting to understand it through the lens of the Gospel. We were entrusted to this world, not our parents’ world. This world. Are we going to act like we don’t know what’s happening? Or are we going to deal? Are we going to try and find good conversation to have? Good dialogue that has some salt on it? If we don’t, what in the world are we in this world for? [Then turns to Philippians 1:27].
1. Choosing to read books on the criteria of the color of the author is a Critical Race Theory act, not a theological act.
2. Reading books and articles about SSA people … perhaps Moore is attempting to learn more about the homosexual folks that have overcome their sinful thoughts and intents so she can rejoice in Jesus with them. Oops, nope. Moore wrote all about that in her 2001 book Praying God’s Word, which was re-released in 2009. It was in that re-publication she deleted the information about homosexuals overcoming their sin. Given that Moore is a trend follower, she is more likely mentioning this newly discovered interest in the “tremendous sacrifice” of the homosexually inclined, because it is a popular trend in evangelicalism.
3. Moore makes it sound as if homosexuals are doing Jesus a favor by choosing celibacy. Homosexually attracted people are no different in their sin than adulterers who lust after opposite sex people, singles who look at pornography, or any other flavor of sexual sin. If you’re not married to an opposite sex person, you’re not to have sex or think about having sex (lustful thoughts of the heart). Period. SSA folks aren’t any different, but Moore’s as-usual overblown emotional speech touting their “tremendous sacrifice” makes it seem as if they are.
Up top I’d noted the statistic for how many men in the US identify as homosexual- 2.2%. How many of those, do you think would identify as Christian homosexual? We’re talking a negligible number.
Obeying Jesus in celibacy is extraordinary in that the Spirit enables it, but mundane in that it’s expected of everybody.
I believe this video and Moore’s recent handling of the homosexuality issue means Moore seems to be readying herself to ‘come out’ as it were, of affiriming homosexuals in some way as believers.
Rosaria Butterfield gives a good definition of the two sides of the issue.
Side B believes that homosexuality is not a morally culpable issue, although it is a consequence of the brokenness from the Fall; Side B teaches against homosexual sexual practice, but only for the sake of Christian tradition.
That seems to be where Beth Moore is now, against it, weakly, and only for the sake of tradition, not for the sake of obedience.
Traditional Christian perspectives of course, decry all sexual sin, and oppose it. Traditional practice urges slaying that sin in us with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Traditional Christian belief says homosexuality in any and all form (thought, deed, etc) is a sin. Butterfield continues,
While Side B seeks to uphold biblical sexual standards, because it sees sexual orientation as an accurate category of personhood (i.e., there is such a thing as a gay person—that gayness describes who someone essentially is), their theology in no way allows for an understanding of why homosexuality, even at the level of desire, is sinful and needing the grace of repentance. To the Side B Christian, homosexuality is a sexuality—one of many.
So you see the trend Moore is on. She is paving the way for conservative acceptance of homosexuality as an integral and distinct part of the faith. She is being used of satan as one of the fronts-persons to promote his agenda. If you doubt me, listen to that part of the video again.
Moore is arguably THE most influential Southen Baptist. Look what happened when she wrote her Open Letter to My Brothers calling out some unnamed men for sexual harassment and misogyny. The SBC had a convulsion. Look what happened when she put her toe into politics. The Atlantic came calling.
Since her church, nor Lifeway, nor any SBC colleagues that we know of have rebuked her for any of her other errant stances, it is likely that she will be projecting this errant theology into the faith, too. Remember at the beginning I’d shown you how fast sin travels? Fast.
Adjectives in terms of grammar are modifiers, their job is to tell me what kind of Christian you are. The problem with a term like ‘gay Christian’ is that it modifies Christian according to a category of the flesh.
The scales are about to get tipped on the homosexuality issue for this denomination, and Beth Moore has her hand on the balance.
*I know I’ve written about Beth Moore a lot lately. This summer has been extraordinary in the conservative realms, and Moore has been a crucial part of the observable decline. I have other, encouraging and theological topics I plan to write about, but I do feel a duty to chronicle, warn, and provide food for thought on these sad circumstances. Please bear with me. 🙂
Living Out part 1: The Shift by Tom Buck
The Deafening Silence of the Church on Homosexual Marriage, by DB Harrison
We Will Not Bow by John MacArthur