www.thegospelcoalition.org

Joe Carter #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

The Incel Movement and the Repugnant Logic of the Sexual Revolution

The Story: A terrorist attack in Canada has exposed the violent misogyny of the incel movement—and the repugnant logic of the sexual revolution.

The Background: Last month, a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian was charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder for intentionally driving a rental van into pedestrians in Toronto, Canada. Most of the victims were women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s.

[…]

The [incel] movement has few mainstream defenders. But in response to news of the attack, economist Robin Hanson wondered why society is concerned about those who lack access to money but not about those who lack access to sex:

[…]

What It Means: Do men and women have a “right” to sexual activity? Many people claim we do—and that the right is fundamental.

Over the past decade, sexual-rights advocates have advanced the claim that, as the International Women’s Health Coalition says, “sexual rights are human rights.” They argue, “Without sexual rights, [women and girls] cannot realize their rights to self-determination and autonomy, nor can they control other aspects of their lives” and that “sexual rights underpin the enjoyment of all other human rights and are a prerequisite for equality and justice.”

[…]

The logic of sexual rights will compel, as Hanson noted, that sex may need to be redistributed using the power of the state. Hanson may be the “creepiest economist in America,” but he’s also able to follow the presuppositions of the sexual-rights advocates to their logical conclusion.

Brett McCracken #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

We didn’t have a #genderreveal moment on social media.

But my wife and I did plan a private celebration to mark the day we found out our baby’s gender.

We had picked two restaurant options where we would have dinner, depending on what the ultrasound revealed. If our baby was a boy, we would celebrate at the local artisan sausage and beer hall. If a girl, we planned to dine at our favorite all-vegetable restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.

We did not have vegetables that night.

A few months earlier, we were in a Vancouver restaurant enjoying an amazing porchetta sandwich. The doors on this restaurant’s restrooms struck me as subversively old fashioned. Instead of plain white triangles or “all gender” notations, these two washrooms had two different labels. One said “meat” and the other said “bread.”

Is food gendered? It sounds ridiculous. But what does it mean that my wife and I immediately knew that brats and fries for dinner were more appropriate to celebrate our baby boy than kale and candied beets? What does it mean that everyone in that Vancouver restaurant knew which bathroom to use, simply by the “meat” or “bread” signs on the door? Why is it that meat and bread—or meat and vegetables—pair so well together?

It’s because they are not the same. They are different—beautifully different—in ways that enhance and bring the best out of the other. They are dignified, not diminished, by their complementary differences. They are part of a ordered cosmos of binaries—man and woman, light and dark, land and sea, salty and sweet—that bring structure, coherence, and irresistible beauty to life.

Peter Bailey #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

The Bible does not support polygamy. The most one can say is that the Old Testament describes polygamy. And when it does, it doesn't cast polygamy in a good light. While it may have been a culturally accepted practice perhaps picked up by the neighboring nations, nowhere does God condone it. Most instances of the patriarch's polygamy resulted in problems (see Abraham, Jacob, David). In 1 Kings 11, Solomon's polyamory (many loves) and polygamy (many wives) turned his heart after other gods and was in direct disobedience to God. Verse 6 says it was "evil in the eyes of the Lord." I assume the Romans 7 passage you mentioned is Romans 7:1-6. In that section, Paul is explaining how we are freed from being bound to the law (to now serve Christ through the power of Spirit) using marriage as an illustration. Since we are united with Christ and Christ has died to the law, so now we are free from the rules of that relationship. Just like when someone’s husband dies, then and then only is the wife is free to marry another. If she has sex with someone who isn’t her husband while still being married, it’s adultery. Again, Paul’s use of marriage is illustrative for the purpose of talking about the law. It is not in any way condoning polygamy. In Matthew 19 what is in view here is Jesus being pitted between two popular Rabbinical ideas on divorce. The House of Hillel taught that a man could legally divorce his wife for “a thing of immorality,” which was their own interpretation of the Mosaic Law on divorce. This quickly led to an “any cause” divorce being permissible. The House of Shammai taught that a husband could divorce his wife on the grounds of sexual immorality. Jesus doesn’t take the bait. Instead he reminds them of God’s original design: two becoming one flesh. While you may be right in suggesting that only men are in view in Matthew 19 with regards to initiating the divorce, it's important to note that Mark’s gospel records Jesus as including women in the prohibition on divorce. In either case, polygamy is not in view and is in no way supported by the texts.

C. Daniel Motley #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

Chuck and his wife made their announcement on Facebook. They were opening up their marriage to other relationships.

I had only known Chuck through a few mutual acquaintances, but he and his wife seemed like a normal, monogamous couple. The comments section erupted in praise and cheers for their “courage and bravery” to commit to others outside the marriage covenant. While a few people attempted to question the wisdom of pursuing additional partners, they were drowned out by a chorus of defenders quick to shut down such “bigoted” and “judgmental” concerns.

What made the announcement so shocking wasn’t the decision to embrace polyamory. Like many others, I’ve been expecting that ever since the Supreme Court paved the way for polygamy in the Obergefell ruling on same-sex marriage. What did surprise me were Chuck’s arguments for polyamory from Scripture and Christian theology. Apologies for sexual relations outside of marriage based on consent have been around for decades. But justifications of polyamorous relationships based on Trinitarian language and Jesus’s charity ethic are a recent and dangerous development—a threat to a proper understanding of Christian sexual ethics.

From Consent to ‘Christian’ Polyamory

Franklin Veaux, creator of the popular polyamory lifestyle site More Than Two, defines a polyamorous relationship as “a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners.” Psychologists and social scientists differentiate between types of polyamorous relationships, including swinging (spouses who seek other partners for casual sex), polygamy (the marriage of multiple spouses), and polyfidelity (the commitment between partners to not form relationships with those outside the group), among other poly-type practices. Ultimately, non-Christian polyamorous individuals believe consent alone is the centerpiece holding the relationship(s) together—anything beyond this is up to the individuals involved.

“Christian” polyamory builds on this foundation of consent, but seeks to normalize the relationship by appealing to misreadings of the scriptural witness and creative interpretations of Christian theology. Jennifer Martin, describing her own journey to discovering Christian polyamory, says that as a young, traditional Christian she “[got] married young, felt trapped by the conservative bounds of purity culture, and wanted to explore the sexuality that we never really got a chance to have.” For her, this meant taking a boyfriend alongside her husband of nine years, a man with whom she shares two children.

Chuck’s Facebook post was shocking, but it serves as a warning to Christians living in the wake of the sexual revolution: almost nothing is out-of-bounds.

Although Martin uses the language of consent to justify polyamorous relationships, she hesitates to stop there. She wants to ground her polyamory in a revised vision of the Christian life: “Even though I subscribe to a postmodernist view of Scripture,” she says, “I still found it hard to believe I wasn’t ‘dirty.’ And it’s been difficult to find spiritual leaders who both accept my feelings as natural and respect my deep faith.”

Twisting Scripture

Writers and teachers such as Jeff Hood are all too willing to provide just such justification for Christians wishing to pursue these types of relationships. Hood, a progressive pastor in Dallas and former SBC minister, claims that “love is the thrust of Scripture.” He sees the polygamist relationships pursued by the biblical patriarchs (e.g., Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) as problematic, but the arrival of Jesus signals an era of love and tolerance that supersedes the Old Testament. When confronted with Paul’s teaching on marriage, Hood dismisses him entirely: “I find Paul’s patriarchal words to be derogatory, demeaning, and dismissive.”

Martin and Hood make similar appeals in their attempt to justify polyamory as a valid form of romantic love for Christians: (1) Both mention the Old Testament’s portrayal of polygamist relationships to signal God’s openness to other options besides monogamy, while critiquing the Old Testament's patriarchal bent; (2) both use Jesus’s perceived silence as proof of his approval of non-monogamous, non-heterosexual romantic relationships; and (3) both critique Paul’s views on sexuality, dismissing him as a illegitimate representative of the views of Jesus.

On Chuck’s widely shared post unveiling he and his wife’s adoption of polyamory, he takes secular progressives to task for their slow acceptance of Christian polyamorous couples: “The Christian church has come a long way on matters related to human sexuality. . . . However, the same can’t yet be said for another relational orientation: polyamory.” Chuck claims “thousands of faithful Christians” practice polyamory. While he doesn’t offer statistics to support this claim, he’s right to note that even progressives are slow to accept polyamory as a valid sexual framework for marriages.

Erin Wathen, a pastor in the progressive United Church of Christ, is one of those unconvinced that polyamory is a constructive path forward for Christians. Although she affirms her belief in the goodness of same-sex marriage, she nevertheless says: “I am convinced that there’s something to the one and one, that marriage is best kept as a covenant of two. I am still convinced that fidelity means loving the one you’re with—body, mind, and spirit.” Ironically, she laments that she sounds like one of those “old-fashioned traditionalists.”

Next Era of the Sexual Revolution

The increasing acceptance of polyamory by progressives and (soon-to-be former) evangelicals is symptomatic of the church’s witness to God’s normative pattern for sexuality after Obergefell. Pressured (or freed) to come to terms quickly with their accusers in the wider culture, these teachers have taken license with the biblical text to open a path for LGBTQ and polyamorous persons into the church without the confession and repentance of sin required by Scripture. Moreover, there is a noticeable lack of reference to the uniform witness of Christians throughout history that—until a few years ago—denied any sexual relationship outside heterosexual marriage has God’s blessing, on the grounds that such relationships are counter to his revealed pattern for marriage.

Chuck’s Facebook post was shocking, but it serves as a warning to Christians living in the wake of the sexual revolution: almost nothing is out-of-bounds. Polyamory is but the next movement to find an accepting audience among professing Christians already willing to justify any consensual sexual relationship with revisionist readings of Christian history and theology. Many Christians have been warning those of us who hold to monogamous heterosexual marriage as sexuality’s only valid expression that this day was coming.

Are you prepared to answer “Christian” polyamorists’ claims?

Rosaria Butterfield and Russel Moore #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

Introduction by Rosaria Butterfield:

[...]

Liberals think I’m just another social justice advocate, adopting children to show my support of the welfare state. Quiver-fulls sometimes pity me because I couldn’t be a “real” mother to a child I carried in my womb. Darwinian evolutionists think working with all the bureaucracies to adopt children renders me nothing more than a glorified nanny to a group of kids doomed by biology and uncorrectable by environment. And at least one advocate of the Christian homeschool movement cautioned us against adopting older teens by declaring: “If you can’t spank them and can’t homeschool them, you can’t lead them to Jesus!”

[...]

It is a pastoral clarion call for what every fiber in my soul knows: adoption is neither social justice nor Christian charity. Adoption is Christian calling that puts spiritual warfare in full throttle.

Theologically, adoption is a non-negotiable gospel principle, for no one comes to the Father as a natural-born child. Practically, adoption is the most despised gospel principle, because in our prideful self-agggrandizement we feel entitled to gospel grace. Somewhere in the crossfire of this are orphans, image bearers of a holy God, waiting for the people of God to show up.

Summary of Russel Moore's book:
In the “Adoption and Spiritual Warfare” section, Moore makes clear there is—and has always been—a war against children, and Satan is leading the brigade and enlisting unwitting Christians to do his bidding. He writes, “There seems to be an orphan-making urge among us, whether we see it in the slave culture of centuries past or the divorce culture of today” (15). Moore goes on to demonstrate that Satan’s war against babies and children is consistent throughout biblical and world history. Citing both Herod’s and Pharaoh’s calls for genocide to protect their respective empires, Moore shows the ominous roots of Planned Parenthood and other leaders of the contemporary pragmatic movement who render children as mere inconveniences.

James H #fundie thegospelcoalition.org

My 16 y/o just started working at a pumpkin patch…my first question was, “Do boys work there? Are they all Monks?”

Unfortunately, they are not all monks…Sadly, we cannot sanction Muslim garb (my wife forbids it for some reason). I only wish that the Spirit would make those boys blind for the next few months, that’s all I ask.