*Note: I use the language of “LGBTQ persons” in this post, which is sloppy. Ontologically, there is no such thing as an LGBTQ person. I hope to write a post on this in the future, but wanted to make a note of it here to clarify.
So, Canada has passed Bill C-4 which outlaws preaching Christ and His ways to LGBTQ persons. The bill which becomes law this week forbids any practice aimed at changing certain LGBTQ sexual perversions to something akin to biblical sexuality. And alas, Christian preaching does just this sort of thing. Thankfully, there are several courageous pastors in Canada who will preach on biblical sexuality this very Sunday, defying the twisted law of their land. Many pastors in the states look to be preaching on the same subject this Sunday, standing in solidarity with our brothers to the north. Now, it is not hard to imagine someone objecting and asking the question, “Why would these ornery preachers do such a thing?” Before giving an answer to that question. I want to steel man that objection.
Someone might say that Christians should not have their knickers in a twist about Bill C-4 because they can go right along with their business just as before. They can have their biblical sexuality. They can even preach about biblical sexuality. They just can’t preach about biblical sexuality universally. They can’t declare it to all men, women, and children. They can’t demand that those who disagree with them and live contrary to their sexual ethic straighten up. In short, you can’t preach to convert without prior consent.
You can see this objector putting his arm around you and taking you aside. He wants to walk you back from your fundamentalist edge. He reasons with you—”Listen friend, regardless of the law’s wording, you and I both know that if Frank comes to you and asks for your Christian help to leave off his transgender lifestyle, then you’re free and clear. If he were to go off the rails and press charges against you in the future for “conversion therapy,” the court simply must rule in your favor. Just keep clear documentation that Frank came to you for your Christian counsel, requesting your biblical sexual ethic, and you’ll be fine. You don’t need to go preaching these public sermons that could get you put in the stocks. You just need a counseling waiver. Make sure a person is good with where you’re taking them before you start out.”
That is the very deal with the devil that far too many evangelicals have made.
The Valley of Dry Bones
Imagine Ezekiel walking there in the valley of dry bones. He’s stepping over piles of femurs and tibias. Life is so long gone that Ezekiel can’t tell which clavicle goes with which sternum. The LORD asks him, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And Ezekiel, having been infected by our secular humanist assumptions replies, “I suppose so Lord, I mean if they really wanted to. Their heart must be in it. But I suspect if they have the will to live, maybe these bones could.”
God overlooks whatever it is that has gotten into Ezekiel and simply tells him, “Ezekiel, prophesy to these bones.” But Ezekiel stops up short, “Now LORD, do we have their consent?”
A Fire and a Hammer
God says in Jeremiah 23:29 that His Word is like a fire and a hammer. It melts cold hearts and breaks hard hearts. And it does not ask permission before starting a blaze. The modern assumption is that the power is within, the spark plug is within, and the god is within. Given that supposition, how in the world could a Christian try to convert those set in their LGBTQ ways? That presupposition must be addressed before any of the chaos we swallow each new morning will make any sense.
The power is in God’s Word. The spark plug is Holy Scripture. God did not ask permission from the darkness in the beginning when He said, “Let there be light.” And He does not ask the blue jays and palm trees for their authorization as He upholds them by the Word of His power. He did not get your consent when He formed you in your mother’s womb. And He does not ask for pre-approval when He causes one to be born again by the incorruptible seed, the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
So here is the answer to the question. Why would these ornery preachers declare far and wide, to each and every human, that God made them male and female? Because we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation. Man is dead in his trespasses and sins. There is no salvation in him. There is no ability in him. He will search in vain inside himself for a way out of his miserable condition. As the Calvinists know, the very faith through which we are saved is itself a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8). And how does God distribute that gift? How does He deliver faith to man? He does so by His Word, that very Word which Canada says you can no longer deliver to LGBTQ people—”So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
This is a point that needs to be fastened down with some commercial grade bolts of the carbon alloy steel variety. So let me come at it from another angle, leaping off a Lewis quote.
Life from Outside
In God in the Dock, Lewis writes, “On any view, the first beginning must have been outside the ordinary processes of nature. An egg which came from no bird is no more natural than a bird which had existed from all eternity. And since the egg-bird-egg sequence leads us to no plausible beginning. Is it not reasonable to look for the real origin somewhere outside sequence altogether?”
Indeed, the real origin comes from outside. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He did so out of nothing, by His Word. And time and time again by His Word, God has created life where there was death, peace where there was chaos, and righteousness where there was wickedness. But that salvation comes from outside of the system, from outside of creation, from outside of man, whether he thinks himself to be a man, a woman, or a purple squid. Salvation comes to man by the Word of God. And I repeat myself less you forget: Canadian authorities will now put you in prison for up to five years for delivering that saving, converting Word to LGBTQ persons. There is no penalty at this time for delivering that Word to heterosexuals. The Canadian government, in a nasty case of homophobia and transphobia, seems only to want the LGBTQ community cutoff from the water of life.
Thanks be to God there are Christian ministers who will obey God rather than man this Sunday.
You Shall Live
To those who identify along the LGBTQ spectrum, there is good news that comes from your very Creator. And though certain civil leaders would try to cut you off from that word, there are Christians who refuse to comply. That good news, so dangerous according to Canada’s leadership, is this: Jesus Christ came to save sinners. This Christ is the Word that causes dry bones to live. He was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. And He has risen from the dead, never to die again.
This Word Himself has come. And He is announced to you that you might be changed. You indeed must be changed, just like every sinner who has ever been saved. And the change He brings runs all the way to the core. He changes your heart, resulting in a change of orientation, identity, and expression. There is no part of you that remains the same when you take on the name of Christ. And that is the very name that you must take on. So as the apostles preached two-thousand years ago, we likewise say to you—”Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).