The presupposition of our world right now is that we create our own identities and our own values. Therefore, if you make a statement of judgment, that's seen as a personal attack. It's a very delicate place to be as a Christian; if we make any kind of statements, we are dismissed as being hate-filled.
Behind all this is the attack on the binary. Stanford University offers a course entitled "Destroying Dichotomies: Exploring Multiple Sex, Gender and Sexual Identities." Two lesbians write an article, "Can We Put an End to the Gender Binary?" This is, of course, the notion that is currently driving our culture in terms of sexuality. A short time ago, a public school department in Texas sent a message to its schoolteachers, telling them they must no longer refer to children as boys and girls. What's going on here? It's the abolition of the binary. And so our culture, which was based on the binary--God creating the world separate from himself and putting distinctions within his creation--is now under massive attack in a deliberate attempt to get rid of any notion of distinction...in order that we can never again remember God as distinct from us.
People like Hugh Hefner and Alfred Kinsey concurrently attempted to destroy the binary by changing how we view sexuality. At the time of his Hefner's death, his son described his father's achievement thusly: "My father was a leading voice, advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom." Piers Morgan, after being invited to an event at the Playboy Mansion, said "It was the nearest thing to a Caligula-style Roman orgy I have ever experienced."1 We're back to Rome. We're back to the Roman orgies and that's seen as good. It's viewed as sexual liberty, and that's what the culture now looks forward to.
I met a brilliant German intellectual named Gabriele Kuby during a trip to Korea in 2017. Kuby, a radical feminist and atheists during the 1960s, helped bring about the so-called Sexual Revolution. But then she became a Christian. Kuby argues in her book, The Global Sexual Revolution, that this movement started with a student rebellion and is now a revolutionary cultural agenda of the world's power elites that rejects any standards of sexual morality as it attempts to create a new human being. It is aimed at a person's innermost moral structure. A person who is sexualized from childhood is taught that it is right to live out all of your instincts without reflection, and that it is wrong for you to set boundaries for those instincts.
When I was a student during the 1960s, I noticed the liberation of heterosexuality. But now we're seeing the liberation of homosexuality, which offers a brilliant way of proposing and encouraging one-ism. Because everything is basically the same, we cannot and should not make clear gender distinctions. Morally, you cannot say that one is better than the other.
The whole revolution of non-binary thinking has received a powerful expression through this homosexual movement. In 1970, most of us didn't know that the Gay Revolution Party Manifesto said, "The Gay Revolution will produce a world in which all social and sensual relationships will be gay, and in which homo and heterosexuality will be incomprehensible terms." And we are moving now, are we not, into this time of a gender-free society, with sex any way you want to practice it? Queer theory insists that all sexual behaviors and identities and all categories are normative. It insists that "deviate sexualities" are just social constructs, and the idea of sexuality as an essential, biological, and eternally-objective category is wrong.
This is the world in which we are to proclaim the gospel. These are the ways that our eternal foe is changing the way we think about existence. And it has led to a surprising development: we have begun to enter into what some intellectuals describe as a "post-secular" world. We've gone beyond two extremisms--the extremisms of theism and atheism. According to our philosophers, we don't want extremism, so there's only one middle ground where we can land: pantheism.
This view of existence is now being proclaimed as the coming together of secular humanism and religious paganism. I recommend Richard Tarnas's The Passion of the Western Mind. Tarnas talks about a new synthesis: the union of atheistic humanism and spirituality. The latter includes platonic and pre-Socratic philosophy, hermeticism, mythology, the mystery religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Gnosticism and the major esoteric religions, and neolithic European and Native American spiritual traditions. All of this is gathering now on the intellectual stage, in Tarnas's view, as if for some kind of climactic synthesis. The intelligentsia--who once rejected all these kinds of approaches as simplistic and not worthy of the human mind--are now adopting these spiritual methods as a means of putting our world back together again. As Tarnas observes, "The deep passion of the Western mind has been to reunite with the ground of its being; that is the birthing womb of Mother Nature."
The elevation of Mother Nature: that is the great synthesis where anti-Christian, anti-biblical thinking plans to arrive. Recall Melanie Phillips: "The attack on Western civilization, at its most profound level, is an attack on the creed that lies at the very foundation of that civilization." Coming from a Jewish woman, Phillips's next words are astounding: "That creed that must be eliminated is that of the first line of the Apostles Creed: 'I believe in God the Father Almighty, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.'"
*This is the third post in a series on new paganism.