Earlier this month, an employee at a Catholic university committed a devastating hate crime. A student accused her of denying her “existence” because she adhered to a traditional Christian doctrine: that human beings are male and female. The police are investigating this horrific injustice, according to Loyola Marymount University’s Orwellian-named Bias Incident Response Team.
There are contradictory reports on what happened, but both sides agree that the offending employee (who will remain nameless) expressed the Christian doctrine — and general commonsense principle — that people are either men or women. This idea has become the hate crime “denying transgenderism.” Cosette Carleo, a student involved in the incident, said “you can have your opinion,” so long as it doesn’t “deny my existence.”
Corleo identifies as “gender-neutral,” and seems to believe it a personal attack for anyone to state the obvious biological fact that 99 percent of human beings either have two X chromosomes or one X and one Y, thus designating them male or female. According to the new reigning ideology on even a Roman Catholic campus, gender is a social construct unconnected with biological sex, and denying this is tantamount to heresy.
Unfortunately, orthodox Christians have no choice but to reject this new view of gender. As Genesis 1:27 clearly states, “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” But Jesus goes even further. In Matthew 19:4, he says, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’?”
Who would have guessed that this statement would be controversial? That it would be considered a “hate crime” is utterly unthinkable. And at a Roman Catholic university, no less — despite the fact that Catholic doctrine is just as uncompromising as Jesus on the whole created-male-and-female thing. Nevertheless, Jesus has some excellent advice for such situations in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
In fact, some argue that the Christian church thrives most in periods of persecution. The faith exploded during the late Roman Empire, and although this growth can be explained through social networks, it is nonetheless impressive. The small group of Christians after Jesus’ ascension (put around 120 and 5,000 by the book of Acts) eventually outnumbered all other faiths in the Roman Empire, which had an estimated population of 60 million.
In China, the faith is similarly exploding, despite a less-than-favorable political situation. Rodney Stark, a prominent sociologist, has estimated that the amount of Christians in Asia will likely surpass the entire population of the United States by 2050. Many of them worship in house churches and spread the faith behind closed doors, but that forces them to focus on the crux of the faith, and facing public pressure can make Christianity that much more inspiring.
In the West, the faith has generally held power. Since the days of Constantine, corruption has infiltrated the Christian church. During the late middle ages, faithful Christians emphasized purity over power, and set the stage for the Reformation. The competition between different parts of the church actually helped purge much of the corruption, and something similar persists among churches in America today.
Churches across the country have splintered into many different groups, with different approaches to a secular culture often at odds with Christian doctrine. Some have rejected the new sexual ideology entirely, others have embraced it. Due to the Bible verses quoted above, many argue that to embrace the LGBT agenda is a rejection of orthodox faith. Others seek to accept as much as possible, preaching tolerance and a watered-down version of love.
Next Page: What happens with churches that reject biblical teaching for LGBT ideology.
Oftentimes, the churches accepting the LGBT agenda at the risk of denying biblical teachings are losing adherents at breakneck speed, while the groups which adhere to orthodox doctrine are growing, in number and influence. This may be considered a positive result of such cultural struggles, as it leads to a clearer and more accurate definition of what Christianity is and why the faith is important enough to lead us to face social stigma.
Nevertheless, Christians in power have a habit of becoming complacent. Like other monopolies, state-sponsored churches allowed their goods and services (preaching the faith and helping parishioners act it out) to deteriorate. This partly explains the difference in religious fervor between Europe and America. Even in America, however, many pastors abuse their authority. Perhaps a bit of social stigma will help energize the church.
The good news about situations like the “hate crime” at Loyola Marymount University is that many Americans will likely realize how absurd it is. A new kind of sexual ideology may have taken over large sections of the culture, and a new “sex bureaucracy” may be introducing regulations to college students’ love lives, but the majority of Americans are still likely to realize that saying there are two genders cannot rightly be considered a hate crime.
Nevertheless, we are living in interesting times, and the sort of cultural threat Christians face today is odd and unique. Let us pray it reinvigorates the church, and that it will threaten the rights of average citizens as little as possible.