A Sad and Slippery Slope

A while ago I overhead a conversation about why someone would choose a church far away from where one lives. When asked, this particular person responded as follows:

“When I saw the church had a female pastor I knew that they would probably be more accepting of gay people like me.”

In a split second, and unbeknownst to him, he confirmed a conclusion that has been raging for a long time: a reversal of gender roles in the local church is a slippery slope to the reversal of believing God’s design for sexuality.

Often outsiders provide a clear window into a church culture that we fail to see because we are so immersed in it. My friend saw from the outside what so many of us fail to see on the inside. While I think it is a helpful commentary on what unbelievers think of the church, I think it says profound things about where our theology leads us. Denying that egalitarian beliefs provide a slippery slope to accepting homosexual behavior is merely postponing the inevitable.

But the issue is not about homosexuality at all, really. By the time a church moves into a reversal of gender and sexuality they typically have long given up the most important thing of all—submission to God’s authority over all things.

What I overheard that day is far more important than whether or not women can be pastors or homosexuality is a sin. And those are important things. It has to do with a church that is no longer living under the authority of God’s word. It has to do with a church that is no longer proclaiming the Gospel.

Sometimes the clearest arguments for our beliefs come in the most unlikely places. But this man’s belief is not a point to be argued. It is his life. Understanding God’s design for manhood and womanhood has tremendous implications for the souls of men and women. If a church abandons the truths of God’s word there, it will abandon God’s word in the most important places—namely the Gospel. The atoning work of Christ for sinners like us cannot be true in a church culture that denies the very essence of who we are created to be.

The loss of the Gospel in a local church has devastating ramifications for the souls of men and women in those congregations.