A queer thing is happening in Christianity. It is being invaded by the mindless totality of cultural confusion. If you are a woman, you can now declare yourself a man, a pastry, or a possibly even a Goodyear tire. It's the ultimate metaphysical Transformer, this ghoulish veneration of a defiled imagination. Unsurprisingly, if you question the sanity of those who wish to rewrite reality, they often retreat into the auto-developed morass of mercenary martyrdom. In other words, they see themselves not only as the strange object of their un-sanctified imagination, they begin to see themselves as a martyr.
As you already know, Adventism is not immune to this problem. Alicia Johnston, an Adventist 'pastor' who came out as bisexual in April has a blog site where she promotes her new bisexual 'identity'. Her latest blog is titled "Losing My Religion, Finding Something Better." Let's take a look at this article.
Her blog post opens with this statement:
Today I’m finally going to talk about something that has been conspicuously missing from my blog: the crazy journey I have been on in my faith since coming out publicly as bi. Perhaps I’m ready to talk about it today because I’m beginning to recover some sense of spiritual grounding again.
Note the word crazy. Yes, it is crazy for a woman to want to be sexually immoral with both men and women, as opposed to being a wife and mother according to 1 Peter 3:1-6. God never intended for her to be immoral. Let's go on:
I realize now that the real change since coming out isn’t about the Bible or God, it’s about the church. So much of it has been about the way people and institutions responded to me coming out. As expected, there was praise from some and attacks from others. What did surprise me is the reactions I haven’t heard, reactions I fully expected to encounter from Bible-believing Christians.
What reaction hasn't she heard? It is this, she expects that a Church like ours would support her forays into gay theology (she calls it affirming theology) because the Adventist Movement was a restitutionist movement from it's beginning, restoring and recovering lost biblical truths. Since the Advent Movement restores many truths in its incarnation of the last day message, she expects that we would be open to recovering lost truth about the goodness of homosexuality. Her statements:
When others reverted to tradition, Adventist theology progressed, embracing the Sabbath, new understandings of death and the nature of the soul, new prophets, and new prophecies. We were a faith unafraid to go back to the Bible. We were people of the book. I was a true believer in this visions of the Adventist church.
Because of this, I had a framework for why it was okay to open myself up to new understandings of scripture. When I studied and changed my mind about LGBT+ affirmation, that wasn’t a big threat to me. It made sense. It’s how Christianity is supposed to work.
Since coming out, I’m unable to believe that this vision of Adventism is true in the present, even if it was in the past. Coming out has decimated my faith in the church.
The response I expected and rarely received was thoughtful, careful engagement with me in study of the text. If Adventist understandings of truth are based on scripture and not on tradition, the first response to my work should be curiosity fostered by a desire to understand the Bible better.Instead, I found people insisting that this matter has already been decided, that it’s part of settled theology in the Adventist church. In fact, many times I’ve been asked what more an Adventist pastor could do given the limitations of our theology.
In stark contrast to this attitude of the early founders of our church, the Adventist church has taken a settled position against same-gender marriage and against transgender people.
For her, she has supposedly discovered new affirmations of homosexuality in the Bible, and it is puzzling to her that Adventists are largely unwilling to embrace these new discoveries. First, these are not new discoveries, but rather old paganism, and second, the Bible is clear that God created male and female as a special expression of the Godhead, the only container of blessings for the family (Ephesians 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-25).
God sets the boundaries of human existence in Genesis 1-3. Mankind is made in His image and created male & female. They are given dominion over the earth. They are purposed to find meaning and morality by doing His will as revealed in His words. They are to procreate themselves through the institution of marriage, establishing a container through which the Creator’s blessings flow through a family. They are perfectly positioned at two opposite ends of the gender binary. Alicia Johnston is warring against God's distinctions. In her own words, our doctrines are not Scriptural and it took her lust for both men and women to expose this truth to her.
The Church Is Creedal and Theologically Calcifying
I expected the official church to take this stance [opposed to LGBTi]. The church is becoming more creedal, theologically calcifying for decades. What I didn’t expect was the lack of curiosity and open engagement from individuals in the church.
I’ve studied hermeneutics at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. I know how it works. The hermeneutic I’ve used in my work is conservative.
According to Johnston, opposing LGBTi abomination is creedal and theological calcifying. Consider this. A woman by-product of the Andrews Seminary (which is itself a product of cultural accommodation) is marrying theological liberalism to cultural liberalism. The starting point for her is “God called me to the ministry” a statement she makes in her April video.
No. The enemy called you to grasp a position that you weren’t designed for, and after stepping out into the thick mist of theological experimentation, you wandered into the existential badlands of LGBTi. Said Paul “I suffer not a woman to teach…”. He was right, and these blog musings prove it. God directs us to renounce sin issues in our lives, not celebrate them.
This has been the source of my frustration. It seems that this unwillingness to return to the text with humility and curiosity has met me at every turn. Nothing seems like a good enough reason to even seriously ask these questions. It doesn’t matter that there has been new and credible scholarship. It doesn’t matter that the current doctrine is doing immense harm. I t doesn’t even matter that there are many Adventist pastors who privately believe the church to be wrong.
You’re right. We should apologize for allowing the Bible to make people feel guilty. If we don’t put a stop to that, it could lead them to repentance, and repentance is simply not acceptable in our enlightened culture. Ps. Those "pastors" ought to be fired, so they can become Episcopalians.
The Martyrdom Complex
"Before coming out, I expected the pain of the church’s rejection of me, but I’m finding more and more that I’m also rejecting the church, and it’s just as painful."
Translation: "Feel sorry for me. My feelings are more important than truth and Bible doctrine."
"Many times it’s seemed to me that faith, God, and religion bring nothing but pain to the world. I understand why people reject religion altogether. There are many times and many ways in which religious systems are the reason why people are xenophobic, fearing and attacking anyone different than themselves.
In other words, religion often makes people worse instead of better. I’ve struggled with this reality over the last few months. It’s hard to accept it. It’s hard to know what to do with this information when religion has been such an important part of my life."
Then she hasn’t experienced true religion, which, as James tells us, is the antithesis of self-worship and keeps us un-spotted from the sins of the world (James 1:27). I like that sort of thing.
I’ve realized that religion is often a tool for oppression, but God (and even religion) are also a source for strength, hope, and the most important movements for liberation in the history of the world. People who are the most despised and feared in society find strength in God. Maybe that’s why so many atheists are straight, white men while those against whom religion has been wielded as a weapon paradoxically tend to believe in God.
As one of those who has been often targeted by religious people and institutions, I’ve found that God can be a source of strength for withstanding assault from God’s own supposed followers. After all, wasn’t Jesus crucified by religious leaders using the power of the state for violence?
LBGTi martyrdom. "Please feel sorry for me." Honorable mention: It's those pesky white men, the source of most of society's ills (according to disgruntled liberals). Take note. When the bedfellows of Theoliberalism and Politiliberalism unite, they give birth to the god of chaos, and disaster is his (or her) rainbow in the sky.
Exchanging True Religion for False Religion
In other words, I realize that I don’t want to give up on God, and surprisingly I don’t even want to give up on religion. My soul still longs for God. The divine still soothes, fills, and inspires me.
Freedom comes from loss, growth comes from pain, and God has always brought beauty from ashes. When the roof caves in you can see the stars for the first time. Destruction clears the way for growth. Losing my religion doesn’t have to mean losing religion. It could be an unimagined and desperately needed new beginning.
Here's the bottom line. She isn't giving up on religion, she is exchanging genuine religion for a false one. The philosophical approval of homosexuality is innately religious. And it is false religion, the sacrament of paganism!
In closing, God calls us to a life of truth, freedom and joy. Each of those are available to God's children and the only way to join (and stay part of) God's family is to walk according to the Holy Spirit, not after the flesh (Romans 8).
Listen up, Andrews University. God calls us to be peculiar, not queer. Big difference. "Peculiar" arises from not following people into sin (dissipation) (1 Peter 4:4). "Queer" is following people into sin. If we don't lead the immoral to repentance and freedom today, then they will lead lots of Church members to destruction tomorrow. To this point, the story of Alicia Johnston is a joyless, truthless account of moral surrender, destined for depression in this life and divine condemnation in the Judgment.
Yeah, this is a bad story, but it could be come a good one through repentance, cleansing and freedom---IF she repents and allows the Lord to rewire her heart with truth.
I hope she does. We'll run the story as good news!
"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime * in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit" (1 Peter 4:1-6).