Believers must recognize that some ideas and movements originate from biblical principles and have godly goals that liberate neighbors. Other ideas and movements originate from rebellious impulses with godless goals that exploit neighbors. If God’s love is “the foundational truth about human sexuality,” then we must outright reject the godless ideas that have a veneer of liberation but lead to exploitation. Let’s have discernment to see the tree for its fruit.
The Christian Reformed Church in North America faces a contentious synod in June over marriage and sexuality. Those standing for biblical marriage have organized into the Abide Project. Advocates for inclusion in the CRC recently rebranded into the Hesed Project. Overtures continue to pour in from various classes (regional groups of churches). In March, the eight directors of the various Congregational Ministries came together to speak into the conversation. Their joint statement calls for humility on all sides, saying sexuality is “a massive, complicated mystery.” They said, “With something as complex as human sexuality, we must begin with a humble admission that no matter how much we think we accurately judge the true meaning of Scripture, we only scratch the surface of understanding.” The statement concludes by saying, “we need to begin with the truth, that God is love. This is the foundational truth about human sexuality.”
Lost in this debate is the historical roots of LGBTQ advocacy. Some movements are begun by Christians working out biblical principles that liberate others. Other movements are begun by skeptics who explicitly seek to overthrow biblical principles and exploit others in the process.
Standing against slavery has historically been a Christian movement. Abolitionists William Wilberforce and Sojourner Truth among many others were moved to liberate fellow human beings from bondage because of their strong Christian convictions.
The LGBTQ movement also has a history. It has been infiltrating the church in recent years, but its history is very different than the Abolitionist movement.
A self-proclaimed “godless Jew” who is considered the father of modern psychology, many of Freud’s theories are now widely discredited. His concepts of the Oedipus complex and penis envy did not get very far, but his view of human nature had legs: The primary motivation for all human beings (including children and infants) is sex. Subconsciously, our underlying motivation is sexual from birth. The regulation of sex stifles the person’s primal drive and thus is cause for psychological problems. Since religion placed restrictions on sexuality, Freud’s view of religion was especially hostile. He explained in The Future of an Illusion that religion was a mentally manufactured security blanket for adults to deal with the fears and uncertainties of life. For Freud, God is an imaginary friend in the sky to escape our fears while suppressing our most important desires.
One of Freud’s intellectual successors, Helmut Kentler also believed children were inherently sexual. Kentler’s dissertation urged parents to teach their children that they should never be ashamed of their desires. Believing Nazism emerged from repressed sexuality, Kentler’s goal was to develop a child-rearing philosophy for a new kind of German man. Sexual liberation, he wrote, was the best way to “prevent another Auschwitz.” Throwing off the restraints and boundaries on sexuality would supposedly solve mental and social problems. His now-notorious “Kentler Experiment” was premised on the idea that juvenile delinquency was due to repressed sexuality. For almost 30 years, Kentler’s government-funded experiment placed homeless children with known pedophiles.
In the late 1940s/50s, Kinsey published on his surveys of the sex lives of American adults. He reported that taboo sexual practices were common in America and sexual habits were of a wide variety, including homosexual. Kinsey’s biographers report that he was driven by a desire to overthrow the sexual ethics of his father’s Methodist principles and to justify his own sexual compulsions. For Kinsey, there were no boundaries to sexuality. He is quoted as saying, “The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform.”