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A Time Of Judgment

Increasingly, the Sexual Revolution leaves no room for Christians to straddle a middle ground
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From a Washington Post story about pro-abortion/pro-choice religious leaders:

When the Rev. Kaeley McEvoy began at Westmoreland Congregational in 2018 she faced a question: Should she tell her new congregation she’d recently had an abortion?

McEvoy was already a reproductive rights advocate, and to her the experience wasn’t in conflict with her faith. When the pastor and her then-boyfriend learned in 2016 that she was pregnant, the first place they went was to a cathedral, to pray — and to call doctors’ offices in search of one to do the abortion. Other visitors to the cathedral happened to try to enter the small chapel where McEvoy was on the phone, but her boyfriend turned them away, she remembers, saying “something holy is happening here.”

My God.

McEvoy eventually worked up the courage to tell her congregation about her abortion:

In November, McEvoy, a 29-year-old with a melodic preaching cadence, took the high, white pulpit at Westmoreland and said she had “never felt more known and heard and loved by God than when I entered the doors of a Planned Parenthood.” Then last month she addressed a group of Christian abortion access activists meeting in a D.C. church: “Something holy is happening here, friends.”

So: the lady Christian pastor was sleeping with her boyfriend got pregnant, had an abortion, and publicly calls it sacramental.

This is demonic, flat out. A reader of this blog wrote to me to say that if she said in public that she had thrown a sack of puppies into the river, this pastor might well have been leading the pitchfork-bearing mob to her house. But this woman — a Christian pastor! — conceives a child in an out-of-wedlock affair with a man, consents to the child’s murder, calls it “holy,” and proclaims it in the pages of the Washington Post. I hope she repents before it is too late for her soul. But you know, this kind of thing is so clarifying. So clarifying. This is a story about the state of Christianity in the West, in 2021.

The Greek Orthodox archbishop is also in the story:

Last month, the most visible leader of Orthodox Christianity in the country, Archbishop Elpidophoros, said at the antiabortion March for Life that the biblical Mary “freely chose” to bring Jesus into the world, “and God respected her freedom … we march not for coercion.”

Here is the fuller quote, from a prayer the archbishop delivered at the March for Life:

We affirm the gift and sanctity of life – all life, born and unborn. As Christians we confess that every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.  Every life is worthy of our prayer and our protection, whether in the womb, or in the world. We are all responsible for the well-being of children. We are their “keepers,” and cannot shirk from our accountability for their welfare.

At the same time, we also affirm our respect for the autonomy of women.  It is they who bring forth life into the world.  By His incarnation, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ assumed human nature, through His conception in the womb of the Virgin Mary. She freely chose to bring Him into the world, and God respected her freedom. We can and must make the case for life, both born and unborn, by our own example of unconditional love.

We march not for coercion.

We march with compassion,

With empathy,

With love.

And with our arms extended to embrace all.

So am I to conclude that the leader of the Greek Orthodox in the US is in the “personally opposed, but” camp? Wow, an Orthodox archbishop. That’s discouraging. I can understand how one gets to this position, though I think it’s wrong, but the archbishop’s inclusion in a story in the Washington Post about pro-choice religious leaders ought to wake him up — that is, charitably assuming he didn’t know this beforehand — that he opened himself up to being used by the people who wish to keep it legal to exterminate unborn life. Then again, he must have known this.

One of Elpidophoros’s close colleagues, Fordham’s George Demacopoulos, said in response that “Christian moral teaching isn’t black and white.” The Fordham Orthodox are among the Orthodox people I’ve said are not worth dialoguing with on matters of sexual morality. They want to queer the Orthodox Church, in the sense that they want homosexuality to have the same moral status as it does in the Episcopal Church. Which, by the way, look at the altar at the Anglican chapel in an Oxford college:

That is their god, the progressives. Once again, this is a point of clarification about where we are as a church in the West.

Another example. Yesterday this clip made the rounds of some of my Evangelical friends. This is the senior associate pastor of First Baptist Orlando, a megachurch:

He talks about how the congregation has within it people who like one kind of music, and people who like another. It has old, young, Republicans and Democrats, diverse and diverser, and:

We have transgender, LGBTQ, straight, single, married, divorced, and cohabitating people. These same people attend, listen, serve, grow and give.

Then he gets emotional. “And in the midst of all this, we have one of the most beautiful worship experiences you can possibly imagine.” He finishes by saying that we all come together to celebrate how Jesus “is changing us” and “has set us free from the bonds of sin.”

Wait … what?! He compares people living in what Scripture and the Christian tradition regard as serious sin to those who prefer one kind of music to another? How, exactly, is Jesus “changing” them, if they remain in their sin? No one can object to gay people, trans people, cohabitating people, and so forth, coming to church — but the point of encountering Jesus Christ in church is repentance, and finding new life. From this pastor’s remarks, it’s hard to discern that this Southern Baptist church expects repentance — say, chastity from its unmarried congregants, straight and gay alike. Sounds like everybody is affirmed in certain sins. Those “beautiful worship experiences” are worthless if they don’t lead worshipers — all worshipers, because all are sinners — to repentance and unity with Christ. Maybe the pastor confuses “changing us” with “entertaining us” and “giving us all a big emotional high.”

Here is Jesus Christ, from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 12: 51-57:

“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?…”

We are in a time of discernment, a time of judgment within and among the Christian churches. The Sexual Revolution is cutting right through the heart of every church — and if it hasn’t reached yours yet, it will. You will have to take a side. Read the signs of the times. And don’t be deceived on any side: