I have been giving serious thought to the trend in the “free” world1 to promote LGBTQ as a legally recognized community.2 Affirmative action3 acknowledges LGBTQ as a separate and diverse group worthy of equal legal and social recognition.4 Some colleges have a LGBTQ center on campus and, some, gender-neutral housing.5 LGBTQ is expanding to include persons who identify as “gender fluid” and “non-binary” as well as an ongoing interest in “gender reassignment” of children. LGBTQ is not LGBTQ; it is LGBTQAI+. The plus sign is the growing edge of social change which now reaches into the Christian Church. LGBTQ is a movement!
The Church took for granted that the nuclear family, monogamy (one man, one woman), and just 2 genders, were what society was built on. But this simplistic mindset is being debated now even in the courts. We all know persons who are gay or who consider themselves binary. We all know people we love who have transgendered away from their biology. And some seek acceptance within the Christian Community believing that this is only a personal life choice; and, as far as doctrine or worship go, should make no difference.
Many innocent—and beloved—persons find themselves in a whirlpool of controversy because—and here is the rub—the Church can not tamper with the traditional definition of family upon which it has been established or it will no longer be the Church we knew. To argue that Christianity can embrace social evolution without being altered by it is deceiving. Acceptance means change and change means that the Church is no longer the Church as it saw itself reflected in the pages of Holy Writ.
The question to ask: Is the nuclear family and the monogamous relationship of one man and one woman biblical? If not, then, none of this matters. If not, the Church can be part of this social movement and we no longer need to call these once cherished ideals “christian” but only “alternative” life styles.
Are the nuclear family and the monogamous relationship central to the Christian Faith? Like the existence of God (Hebrews 11:6) in Genesis 1:1, they are “givens.” Fathers, for example, were recognized culturally within oriental society as fundamental. Children were orphaned when fatherless (Psalm 10:14, 18; Proverbs 23:10; Lamentations 5:3; Hosea 14:4). The concept of “family” was defined as the father’s house (Numbers 3:20). The “henotic” relationship (the nuclear family) is sacrosanct because it teaches the Church about our relationship with God. “As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Ephesians 5:31-32). A “wife” and a “woman” in New Testament Greek are the same feminine word.6 The words “man” and ‘husband” are the same, also.7
We have, perhaps, attempted to break the Biblical message away from its cultural moorings, suggesting that family and gender were only grammatical or cultural oddities and not essential to the Faith. You decide.
How can we keep the message of Scripture pure in a changing world? How shall we embrace the people we love regardless of their life choices and still promote God’s Word upon which our faith and hope rest? Might Joshua 24:15 become a modern metaphor?
“Would you prefer the gods of the [nation] in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”
2 This is a new definition of “community” based on the existing idea of “sharing common interests and goals.”
3 the practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously
4 Diversity, equity and inclusion as well as ESG practices corporately.
5 Justine Rebecca Okerson. “The William & Mary Educational Review“ LGBTQ in Higher Education. Volume 2 Issue 2 Article 5. 5-1-2014
6 γυνή (feminine)
7 ἀνήρ (masculine)