The Washington National Cathedral recently came under fire for inviting evangelical pastor and author Max Lucado to speak. The reason: his biblical views on marriage.
A petition that amassed more than sixteen hundred signatures claimed, “Lucado’s teachings and preaching inflicts active harm on LGBTQ people.” While the cathedral’s dean allowed Lucado to speak, he assured critics that the church’s commitment to the LGBTQ community is “unshakable and unchanged.”
Yesterday I noted that one evangelical response to cultural opposition is to defend our religious liberty, a valuable and urgent task being performed by some of the finest Christian legal organizations in America. However, to our critics, we are merely seeking the “right to be wrong.” As a result, we must also persuade our skeptical culture that we seek the “right to be right.”
This battle begins at home.
A radical cultural reversal
A few decades ago, it was conventional wisdom that sex was reserved for monogamous marriage between a man and a woman. Few were familiar with bisexual, transgender, or “queer” issues.
However, no movement in my lifetime has achieved such a radical cultural reversal as the LGBTQ revolution.
In 1999, 35 percent of Americans approved of same-sex marriage, while 62 percent disapproved. By 2020, the numbers had more than flipped: 67 percent approved, while 31 percent disapproved. Millennials are more than twice as likely to favor same-sex marriage as their grandparents.
It is conventional wisdom today that LGBTQ rights are human rights. Love is love. Your sexual orientation and/or gender identity is your business, not mine. No one, including evangelical Christians, has the right to impose their beliefs on you.
At most, evangelicals can claim the First Amendment protection of religious freedom and free speech, but many in our culture view this as merely the right to be wrong.
Is this “science against superstition”?
Before we can convince our secularized culture that we are right on sexual morality, we must first be convinced ourselves.
It is difficult to be countercultural. The louder the cry for so-called “equality,” the harder it is to stand for so-called “inequality.” As a result, it is vital that Christians never concede the high ground of truth and science in this cultural contest.
Ryan T. Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is right: “The left would love to frame these issues as if they pitted reason and science against superstition. But on all of these issues social conservatives are on the side of the biological facts.”
He adds: “The scientific point of view confirms the biblical teaching that humans are created male and female. It requires no faith to know that a boy who ‘identifies’ as a girl isn’t one and shouldn’t be allowed into private female spaces.”
As a result, he states, “We’ll have the best shot at winning fights over abortion restrictions or child sex-change procedures when conservatives are willing to assert that their beliefs are true, not merely protected in law.”
Female athlete calls transgender policy “heartbreaking”
In support of biblical morality, I can cite far more factual, nonreligious illustrations than space permits today. Just a few recent examples:
The ACLU recently claimed that “trans athletes do not have an unfair advantage in sports.” However, a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine reported that transgender men have an athletic advantage over biological females even after a year on hormone therapy.
One female athlete called the Biden administration’s insistence on transgender athletes’ participation in female sports “heartbreaking.” She explained: “Girls like me lose championships, podium spots, advancement opportunities, and the recognition we deserve because we’re forced to compete against biological males in our races. Women fought long and hard for athletic opportunities, and I want to preserve those opportunities for the next generation of female athletes.”
New research shows that puberty-suppressing drugs given to children considering a gender transition weakened their bones both in height and strength. An endocrinologist previously found that children treated with gender identity medications reported greater self-harm, while girls exhibited greater emotional problems and dissatisfaction with their bodies.
The gift of transforming truth
Thousands of books and articles have been written documenting the scientific, biological, and factual evidence for biblical sexual morality. My point today is simply to remind you that our Creator knows us better than we do and wants only our best. He is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).
Since neither divine nor human nature changes, God’s word is just as relevant today as when it was first inspired (cf. Hebrews 4:12). It is still “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). When it addresses sexual morality or any other subject, it is still true. When we declare and defend biblical truth, we are not imposing our personal beliefs but giving others transforming truth that can lead them to God’s very best for their lives.
St. Augustine, one of the most brilliant people who ever lived, testified, “Where I found truth, there I found my God, who is the truth itself.”
Let’s join him.