Just recently a Presbyterian pastor, Reverend Jane Spahr (yes, Jane), was reprimanded with an official rebuke by her denomination's highest court for performing same-sex weddings just prior to California's Proposition 8, which legally banned the unions. The regional commission of the Presbyterian Church (USA) ruled 4-2 that the reverend was persisting in a "pattern or practice of disobedience" by performing the ceremonies. In the same ruling however, perhaps to lighten the sting and shame of a wordy and toothless censure, the commission went on to praise the actively lesbian pastor for her "prophetic ministry" and "faithful compassion." And then, in a schizophrenic retreat from their own finding, the panel of Presbyterian officials actually called on the broader denomination to look to her example "to re-examine our own fear and ignorance." So instead of any sting to the rebuke it actually became an endorsement (you broke the rules, but for a good cause, and we hope to follow).
Welcome to "Crazy Land, U.S.A." Who needs Disney's Fantasyland when we have formerly rock-solid denominations performing same sex marriages in the name of "tolerance and inclusion." What would John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church have to say? How utterly intolerant and noninclusive it is to God to mollify culture at the expense of His very precise and clear commands throughout Scripture. What makes the story even more pathetic is that the denomination had previously given pastors approval to bless same-sex unions, as long as they didn't call it "marriage." It's this denomination's newly featured exhibit in Crazy Land, "Honey I Shrunk the Scriptures - they now mean nothing."
You who are genuine Christians in the Presbyterian (USA) denomination had better wake up. The days of pretending that this little weed would die with a few squirts of Roundup and personal piety are over. It's a voracious and consuming growth that is now filling the landscape and squeezing the few Christians remaining who actively stand against the legitimization of sexual immorality, homosexuality included. If you are a man and you have a heart for the Lord and you belong to that denomination, please do something! All of us in Biblical evangelicalism are watching in horror as the front lines collapse around you on your watch. Could it be any clearer? If you don't hold the line, our flanks are exposed. Borrowing C.S. Lewis' phrase to describe men with spiritual fortitude, we ask aloud, where are the "men with chests?"
But that's the heart of the problem isn't it? We're running out of men with spiritual fortitude. They're more scarce and harder to find than "easy oil." Forty plus years into the feminist movement and we have very few resilient men left. Our culture has become an amorphous sea of androgyny, where everything has been watered down into ubiquitous gender neutrality. And so the rise of homosexuality within professing Christianity not only goes unchecked by weak men, it is the essence of the problem itself, and the very cause of gender confusion and homosexuality's advance. Men who will not be men.
If hyper-sensitive evangelicals were the only ones sounding the alarm and making a ruckus over the loss of authentic masculinity, then perhaps moderate (one-foot-in-the-world) Christians might be excused in their apathy. But the subject has become so blatant as a general cultural issue that the secular media is writing about it.
Newsweek Magazine just featured an article entitled "Man UP! - The Traditional Male Is an Endangered Species. It's Time to Rethink Masculinity." The article quotes one social commentator who brazenly claims "The end of men is upon us." Hyperbole aside, there is a thread of truth within that statement. All that God created man to be - leader, protector, provider, and head of the family - is disappearing like dew in the morning. The article's authors simply advocate a kind of cowardly surrender, calling on men everywhere to embrace their feminine side and retreat into the ambiguity of androgynous roles and occupations. They say men should stay at home and raise children at the same rate that women do; and they should simply concede that the economy and the world are shifting in dramatic ways that give the feminine and nurturing disposition a strict advantage. In other words, put on your skirts and a little lipstick boys, its a woman's world now.
The world recognizes the change and they embrace it. The article says nothing about this being the natural fallout and intended design of radical feminism from the outset. What did we expect when we as a culture demanded equal rights, Title IX, affirmative action, and genderless societal roles as the feminist irrationally demanded? Where did we think this would go? We have arrived at the very place the conservative opponents of feminism warned us about. Men are marginalized, masculinity is a comedic punchline, and society pays a huge price.
And although I am a pastor of a small church in a very big fight, we will hold fast. Our congregation will teach its boys to be men, and teach it's men to be the role models that God demands. We will speak up regarding the issues of the day according to God's Word. We will love, protect, and lead our wives and daughters, and we will fight the prevailing and wholesale emasculation of men by guarding and protecting the sex roles Scripture demands. And if a lesbian pastor asserts her right to perform same-sex unions within our denomination, we will stand and let our protest be heard. We will lead, we will serve, and we will fight for truth. Join us, won't you?