Faithlessness, despair and hate
The Sept. 6 letter by John Byrum, “It’s time to be offended,” published in the Opinion section of The News & Advance deserves an emphatic rebuttal. Homosexuality and transgenderism are not liberal, modern or a threat to the church. The outrage at homosexuality expressed by the church is all of the above.
In Matthew 19:12, Christ speaks of eunuchs of men, of God, and self-made. These males served as guards for harems due to their lack of attraction to females. Two millennia in the past, Christ spoke of men born or rendered such that they were not attracted to the opposite sex.
The Seventh Terrace of Purgatory in Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” written in 1320, details the trials of both homosexuals and heterosexuals convicted, but not condemned, for lust. C.S. Lewis, one of the most celebrated Christian writers, describes the pederasty that was prevalent in British boys’ boarding schools in the early 1900s. (“Surprised By Joy” 1955, Chapter 6)
In short, homosexuality and transgenderism has been around for a long time, and they were not cause for outrage amongst the generality of Christendom until the advent of the modern church.
Second, classic Christian texts describe as liberal, the adherents to modern American evangelical faiths, i.e. today’s right wing Christian. Reference: “Apologia Pro Vita Sua,” Cardinal Newman; “On Christian Perfection,” John Wesley; “Epistle to the Romans,” Karl Barth; “The Pursuit of God,” A.W. Tozer.
Further, each describes the threat these “modern liberal Evangelicals” pose to Christianity. The abandonment of Christ one beatitude at a time. Christ scourged daily for material wealth, political gain and personal acclaim. The cause of the poor, alien and imprisoned forsaken. Pride and provocation mutated into virtues, while humility and prudence derided as the vices of the weak and politically correct. Truth becomes transient like mankind. The distinction between Christian and barbarian evaporates. Christians left naked, fanatically defending one or two “articles” of faith to combat the omnipresent fear and anxiety of being judged by a God as merciless to them as they to their fellow man.
In sum, Christian evangelicals reborn as outraged evangelantes.