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Lies the Church Accepts

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March 30, 2023 9:05 pm

Lies the Church Accepts

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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March 30, 2023 9:05 pm

Lies the Church Accepts

Dr. Renton Rathbun talks to Rosaria Butterfield about lies that the church accepts. What have you been told that’s a lie?

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Wake up, everyone. It's time for The Steve Noble Show, where biblical Christianity meets the everyday issues of life in your home, at work, and even in politics. Steve is an ordinary man who believes in an extraordinary God. And on his show, there's plenty of grace and lots of truth, but no sacred cows. Call Steve now at 866-34-TRUTH.

That's 866-34-TRUTH. Or check him out online at thestevenoble And now here's your host, Steve Noble. Where is the spiritual battle today is what we want to ask. I mean, is it in D.C.?

Is it in the secular universities? Is it the battlefield in Hollywood? Well, today we're going to discuss how the real battle for today is actually right in the church. And so welcome to The Steve Noble Show. I will be your host, Renton Rathbun. I'm sorry. Steve is not here.

But before you turn that dial, I promise you that you are going to love this hour. We have a very special guest with us today. And she is a former professor of English and women's studies at Syracuse University. She was a defender of the LGBTQ plus community and was even identified as a member of that community. In her quest to expose Christianity as a disingenuous kind of failed argument, she was converted miraculously to Christ in 1999 through the ministry of a loving pastor who would become like a father to her. Her her memoir is in a book entitled The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. The chronicle that chronicles her journey. Today, we have with us Rosaria Butterfield. Her husband is Kent Butterfield, pastor of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America up in North Carolina.

And she is now a homeschooling mother and author and speaker. And she is going to tell us and we're going to discuss a little bit about her new book coming out. Rosaria, thank you for joining us and welcome to the show. Yeah, thank you so much, Renton.

It's good to be here and good to see you again. Well, thank you. The book that's coming out this summer. Can you tell us the title and a little bit about what it's about? Yeah, yeah. And I think it's coming out in September because I'm doing the audio book this summer. And you know, you have to wait on the homeschool mom, right? It's already the show, but I'm not ready to go.

So here we go. So the book, the book is called Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age. And it is a difficult book. It was a difficult book to write. And it's I hope I hope it's not a difficult book to read, but I know you've read it.

Well, let me ask you this while you're while you're talking about it, what you say it's a difficult book to write. What made it difficult for you? It involved a lot of my own repentance because, you know.

I certainly was one of those radically converted people, and I was a lesbian activist when I met the Lord and and then I quickly became a defector to the LGBTQ community. And and it was rough. I mean, it was very, very rough. I was one of the first crop of tenured radicals.

So there was a lot hanging on the line. What I say in my memoir is that I lost everything but the dog. And, you know, that's true. I actually did not lose my job, which is interesting, because that was 20 years. Because that was not today. That's right.

But. But I did end up leaving my job for something, something greater and something better, and that was to marry Kent Butterfield and become a church planter's wife. So and I do and I mean that sincerely. I mean, I think that one of the one of the things that I had to learn is what is a mature woman?

You know, what is it? What does it mean to be a mature Christian woman? And what it means is valuing the creation ordinance. And so anyway, but but so I was radically converted, but my sanctification came slowly. And I have made many, many sinful moves publicly as a Christian intellectual and as an advocate for Christ. And so one of the reasons the book was painful is I have to start with a bunch of my own repentance. And I don't mean the repentance from decades ago. I mean the repentance from right now. Repenting for my my use and my advocacy of transgender pronouns. Repenting of of my really just the sinful attack that I took against reparative therapy.

You know, and countless other things. So hard was, you know, because, you know, because the book really started with the question, why is there a civil war going on in Christianity? My enemies are not Christ's enemies.

Why are we at war against each other? Oh, there's an Aiken in the camp. Oh, I'm Aiken. You know, that means you're a rough start to a book. Well, you know, you would when you when your first book came out, you know, I think there was this huge hunger for for an author that has lived the life and then able to to see a real conversion.

And then to have an honest conversation about this and all that sort of thing. And there seemed to be a lot of acceptance at first. How do you feel things? Do you feel things have changed as far as the temperature towards towards this kind of talk and what you're doing in this new book?

Yeah. Well, here's I think here's what's really changed when I came to Christ. I came to Christ in a church with a pastor and elders and Christian women who were gathered around me. And the idea was I was going to you know, I was a new creature in Christ. And what that meant was as a born again Christian, I was going to grow in sanctification and no longer be gay.

And that's true. You know, that's that's really what did happen. Now, it didn't happen, you know, like that. It wasn't like I was, you know, and the next day Rosaria woke up and put her feet on the floor and she no longer felt like a lesbian. That's not what happened. Sinful feelings, especially sinful sexual feelings.

They they they root deeply and they need to be dug out and dug out and dug out. And, you know, and you spent you develop a new PhD topic in learning how to hate your sin without hating yourself. And it's rough and it took a while. So I'm not saying that it was instantaneous, but it is true. What is true is that a truly converted person does not pretend that the Lord Jesus Christ made an ally with the sin he crushed on the cross.

And therefore it's OK to be gay and Christian or even possible to be gay and Christian. And so what is what has happened and I. All right. Well, let's get going with these questions before we before we go before we go with the questions. Give us a quick summary of your book. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, I really just wanted to understand why this civil war had broken out in, you know, in evangelical Christianity. And so the book comes up with three reasons. And from these three reasons, the evangelical church has normalized five lies. And so that's really it. And so the three reasons, you know, because it is a good question, I think. Right.

What if my enemies are only Christ's enemies and if Christ is not divided, why are there enemy lines within Christianity? Yeah. So my three reasons were, you know, we have really failed to see that the seeds of the gospel are in the garden. We've acted as though the New Testament can just kind of orbit orbit without the creation ordinance. Right.

Yeah, that's right. We have failed to read the times. We say things like, oh, it's always been this bad. No, we're downstream of Obergefell, Bostock, the quote unquote respective marriage act. When sin is codified into law, these are different days. And we've actually we've failed to love our enemies. And instead, we've pretended that our enemies are our friends. And God doesn't call us to call our enemies friends.

He calls us to love our enemies. And then that has launched these five lies. You know, the first lie is that homosexuality is normal. The second lie is that pagan spirituality is kinder and gentler than biblical Christian faith. The third lie is feminism is good for the church and the world. The fourth lie is transgenderism is a normal gender variant, you know, for some people. And the fifth lie is that modesty is an outdated expectation from the patriarchy and masculinity.

Now we're getting triggered. It shall be defied. Well, that's great. So let's let's take the first the first lie. You know, I am the director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Bob Jones University. And our understanding of what a biblical worldview is, is that it takes that meta narrative of scripture, the creation, fall, redemption narrative and try to see it as a world view. And narrative is very important to us because I think we are we're story people is how God made. This is why I wrote the Bible the way he did.

So tell us how has the world made homosexuality normal and and in that explain to us this idea of intersectionality thing. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, the world has been trying to make sin normal from the garden. So it's not this is not a new idea. And as a story person, you know, I love in Paradise Lost that that, you know, Milton creatively suggests that Satan first comes as a little frog, you know, chirping in telling a story. Right.

Chirping. Yeah. But I would say, you know, some pretty big, profound changes happened with modernity and specifically in the 19th century with this idea that a person is a person's feelings are, are inherently true about who that person is. And we can go back to Freud and Marx and Darwin and Hegel and German romanticism and and Carl Truman, you know, raises some of these things in his book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, basically just the idea that that your feelings are an epistemological truth and they tell us not only what you like or what you dislike, but who you are.

So your feelings have some kind of an ontological power. And what that does is it stands over and against what the Bible calls identity. And that's in the image bearing of a holy God. So you find your identity in Genesis 127 that God made you in the image of God and what a kind of loopy, heretical church will do is confuse being made in the image of God with being made as the image of God.

And so when you hear things like, well, you can't deny, you know, you can't deny gay marriage. Gay people are made in the image of God. Well, what people what you're hearing there is that that that that homosexuality, which is a sinful manifestation of the role of the flesh and the devil, is somehow part of image bearing. It can be part of image bearing because God has no sin. So we grow in our identity as a man or as a woman.

So you have really two options. And we know that maleness and femaleness, that our sexed bodies are ontological because we will be men and women in the New Jerusalem. And so when our bodies are raised, they are, in fact, they have our sexed bodies have an ontological imprint. Now, for for some of us, we might hear the word ontological and I think I'm not sure what what she means by that.

What's ontological? Yeah, it has to do with your being-ness and the idea that God made you and he redeemed you. And when you are when you are dead, he will when he returns, he will raise you and that there will be a ontological or a thumbprint of God himself in your being. And that is and that is the knowledge and the righteousness and the holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. So that's like the most fundamental part of what we are.

It is the who. Yeah, it is the who you are, who you are. And and this becomes profoundly important, of course, when we are trying to deal with sin, our sin and other people's sin.

And if we're talking about, you know, which is the, you know, the idol of the day transgenderism, you know, I would say the very best news of all that you could say to someone who is lost in their transgendered sin is to after you have shared the gospel, remind them that when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and our bodies are raised in in glorification and righteousness, whatever mutilation you've done to your body isn't there. That's right. Now we have.

Oh, go ahead. Know that you are the man you were meant to be or the woman that you were meant to be. That that our sin doesn't mock God. God can't lose. That's right.

So we have about one minute left before the next break. Can you tell me in one minute how this has kind of seeped this normality that we see out in the world? How has that seeped into the church and through whom?

Right. Through Side B, Christianity, through Revoice, through figures like Preston Sprinkle, Mark Yarhouse. Christianity today hasn't helped. Gospel Coalition has not been our friend.

And we can also not fail to mention David French. Wow. OK. Wow. So when we when we come back, what we want to talk about is maybe something specific like Revoice, because, you know, we want to make sure we get some good grounding and everything. But then we want to see how exactly does something like homosexuality or even questioning our our gender or even something that has turned into the new argument is same sex attraction bad.

So that's what we're going to tackle as we come back in just a minute. All right. Well, we are with Rosaria Butterfield. We are talking about her new book, The Five Lies.

Let me make sure I get this right. The five lies of our anti-Christian age, which will be coming out in September. And we are talking about the kinds of lies that the church has begun to accept and has accepted through different people, different organizations that have been created. We have been talking about how the world has made homosexuality and and gender questioning and all that sort of thing normal.

But now it seems we live at a time where the church is starting to normalize these things. And one of the tools that have been used to do this is an organization called Revoice. Rosaria, can you tell us a little bit about Revoice? Yeah, absolutely. The premise of Revoice, which is an organization that was started in 2018 by Nate Collins and someone else.

I don't I don't want to mention his name because he actually is no longer part of Revoice and is very happily biblically married now and doesn't, you know. But see, it happens. It happens. But you know, the idea is that sexual orientation is true, that it is an accurate reflection of your ontological and phenomenological personhood. It is who you are. It is how you are. It is fixed.

There are these weird anomalies like Rosaria and, you know, a few others. But other than that, once gay, always gay. They were very happy. It's a it's a heretical organization. And they were very happy to take the various attributes of God, such as immutability, and apply it to sexual orientation. And of course, because sexual orientation, it used to be gay and lesbian, and then it was bi and then it was trans. And now it has 78 different flavors of this. 78? Now, let me tell you something.

When your identity is based on letters and you have more letter identifications than you have an alphabet. You know, that's that's nuts. Yeah. And so and actually World magazine, Mary Jackson did a fantastic job writing a story about what Revoice is.

And it came out, I don't know, sometime in 2022. So it was really, really good because I think everybody, or not everybody, but I think the Broad Evangelical Church was really, you know, snookered by them because what Revoice said is, you know, we are faithful. We are celibate. We are not having, we are, we are, you know, this is a heavy burden upon us.

We are, you know, we are not having sex. We are not, we just like to go to gay pride marches, and we just want to bring a little bit of gayness to the church because we are gay. Gay is who we are. And so in some ways it raises an important philosophical question. If gay is who someone is rather than how someone feels, that's a different understanding of personhood than what the Bible offers. Yeah, that's right.

I mean, it seems as though they are relying a lot on the philosophical outlook of the world to try and compose it into the world of religion, the world of Christianity. Absolutely. I wonder, are they, you know, the Catholic Church for a long time has associated sin only with activity. Exactly.

I didn't act on it. But when Luther was standing there with the bread in his hand at the mass thinking, who am I to hold the body of Christ, that's when the Reformation began. It began with realizing sin is in me, not just what I do.

Exactly, exactly. And so quite frankly, if sin were only a physical problem, you would just need an app on your iPhone to like remind you, you know, you know, but, but sin is an ethical problem and sin is, it is a problem of desire. And so we in the reform side of things would say that if you desire something that God hates, that is what the Westminster Confession of Faith would call a motion of sin. And the Heidelberg catechism reminds us that we indeed are responsible for our sin, including our original sin, we are responsible for that. And the Gospel of John reminds us that we love the darkness. And so it's a self help group that was meant to help the church become more gay friendly on the idea that you would be able to build bridges with the gay community, and you would therefore be better able to share the gospel.

The problem is that bridge depended on you accepting the worldview of that homosexuality is in fact a legitimate category of personhood, that LGBTQ plus minus, etc, etc, is who someone actually essentially is, rather than a manifestation of the world, the devil, and the flesh. Yeah. Um, from what I'm hearing, it sounds like what you're saying is, if we accept the sin of other people, we're actually hating them. Absolutely. And if we, if we try to reach out and call people to repentance, it's actually loving them now. Absolutely. Could you explain how they would differ from that view?

Right, right, right. Well, what what they would say is that they're not sinning. They would say that being gay is not a sin, that our feelings are not a sin. And so you can already see it's a theological discussion, you know, from, again, a reformed understanding of sin, we are dealing with original sin, actual sin, and indwelling sin. And, and indwelling sin is a bear, we don't, we're not kidding. There is not a person on the planet who is, is happy about a Christian that is who's happy about indwelling sin, it is a bear.

And, but we are not to coddle it. And we are not to present it to ourselves, our world or the church as something anything than what it is, a sin that can send you to hell. So the real disagreement is over whether my feelings are sinful. And, you know, what's interesting is I look at Romans chapter one, and it condemns the activity for sure. But it also says that their desires were evil. And, and so I think what it seems like they're trying to make a difference between the desires that are sinful spoken in Romans chapter one, and some kind of orientation that isn't a desire is just who I am.

Right, absolutely. So it's fascinating too, if I can just sort of say you, you really know Satan's in this mix, because within Revoice, you have people who will say things like, sexual orientation is who I am. And at the same time, you'll have someone on the transgender side saying, well, this body of mine, this physical body, that's just a psychological choice. And, you know, and so it is not loving to leave people in delusional states, but it's also not loving, you know, we're called to make our calling and election sure. So it is not loving to make a bunch of false converts to a bereft Christianity with a Christ who has no power to transform your life and save you from your sins.

That's not loving, that's deceptive. You think some of this has to do with the way the church has begun to see holiness as a pharasetical kind of way of looking at the world, and if we really love people, we'll, we'll accept them as they are. How do you think that translates into what scripture actually says about sanctification? Right, absolutely. Well, first of all, I think that, you know, we are called to accept people where they are, we just don't have to approve of them where they are.

You know, so I think in some ways, you know, you got it, you're supposed to live with your eyes wide open and that's, that's, that's appropriate. But no, I think that what the church, the event, the Broad Evangelical Church has done is import some ideas about some psychological ideas about what it means to be a human being, and then added a very weak gospel on top of that. And yet, you know, from a, again from a, from a Christian, a real, you know, like a real Christian perspective. These are, there are a lot of red flags, a number of the people in Revoice don't believe in a eternal hell. They don't, there's, they're all kinds of doctrinal errors, you know, things that would actually prevent that person from being, you know, I don't know, a member of my church. And so we just have to, you know, really ask the question, do we believe that a Christian is a Christian, just because you say you are.

Yeah, that's right. Yeah, when we come back, I'd like to talk more about that idea of fruit and knowing whether you know what a Christian is. And what I really like to do is kind of think about the difference between orientation.

All right, well welcome back. We are with Rosaria Butterfield, and she is talking to us about her upcoming book, The Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age, which will be coming out in September so get those pre-orders in now. We were, we were just talking about how she was, during the break, we were talking about how she's had resistance from when she goes speaks at other schools and things like that, from alumni that have come out as gay or, or whatever and now trying to be activists against her. And one of the, one of the issues I think that the church has really tried to grab on to to kind of be, I don't know, more open minded more reasonable or whatever it is, is somewhere in this same sex orientation idea where they feel that this is an orientation. And when I asked people about that they will say well this orientation will always be my temptation.

Right. And, and so it's just my battle, it's just my battle, it's who I am, it's my temptation. And so I would like to know Rosaria, how do you distinguish between an orientation and a temptation?

Right, right, right. Well, first of all, we are so sloppy with our categories, right, and, you know, I just, we, it's, it's, it really will be the demise of the broad evangelical church, I am confident of that. But first of all, there, we don't have, there's no such thing as a sexual orientation, we have a sin orientation. And everybody has a sin orientation and homosexuality is a, it is indeed an extreme kind of sin. It is a very, it's one of the bigger sins.

Sin does have categories of heat to it. Any sin that attacks a creation ordinance is, those are the biggies. But its category is the same, it's not a, it's not a separate category, it's not as though you've got lying, stealing, cheating, and then you got homosexuality and that's a separate category. It's only a separate category because the Bostock and Obergefell Supreme Court cases have codified this particular sin as a grace and a civil right.

And now we live in a land that does that. And as Christians, we need to be ready to defy that at every, at every level. But when you have this kind of internal rumbling from supposed gay Christians, I think that those are who are in the camp of the winsome is our end goal.

We'll never, you know, you just, you know, you just have to lose the battle. So we are all oriented towards sin in our fallen Adam. And then our job, because it is our responsibility, is to fight that sin and to mortify that sin.

John Owen talks about the, we are to mortify and vivify. So we are to kill the sin and live in Christ and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. And if we have to kill the sin five million times a day, then we do it.

And, you know, it is everyone, everyone, you know, every conscious Christian, before you even, when you wake up in the morning, before your alarm even goes off, you, you're thinking about praying that the Lord would protect you from those things that you don't want to fall into today. Well, those are not temptations. A temptation is not an internal hook for something that God hates.

That is a sin. A temptation is an outside, you know, assault, something that takes you off. Now, I'm going to quote from a book I really like here, The New Reformation Catechism on Human Sexuality by Christopher J. Gordon. It takes the Heidelberg catechism and rewrites it for really the sexually broken.

And so here's question number 19. Isn't there a difference between temptation and the practice of evil desires, or as you said, orientation? And the answer is God requires that we avoid entering into all forms of temptation. Temptation is not a sin when it originates from outside of us. Temptation becomes a sin when we entertain and welcome the sinful desire of our hearts and act upon them.

And Genesis 3, 6, 4, 6 through 8, 2 Kings 5, 20 to 27 are some of the scripture proof texts for this. That is so helpful because I think that when it comes to killing sin, I like that you brought that up by John Owen, who is famous for saying be killing sin or it will be killing you. This idea of killing it, isn't it true that even as a soldier who learns how to kill learns to kill strangers and there is a lot easier to kill a stranger than someone you know and someone you have affection for? Right. And so isn't it true that it's harder to kill a sin when you've grown affection for that sin?

Absolutely. And I think that's the whole Revoice Gay Christian movement, you know, they discovered their inner desires in some kind of the same way that you might discover a little stray kitten, you know, outside and you bring it in and you feed it and you realize, oh, you know, it's not just a regular kitten, it's a tiger. But it's little and it's sweet and it's got stripes and you know you're going to be smart about your tiger though you're going to buy a collar and a leash, and you know, and then three months later it eats you alive because that's its job.

That's right. That's its nature. That's its nature, it does what it was intended to do and so we have to come to the place and I think this is extremely hard for people who are struggling against homosexual desires right now. You're living in a world where the church said, I don't like you're just you're probably just feeling like you're torn apart by wild horses, but you have to know that the Bible knows you better than you know yourself. You have to know that you have to believe that and you have to be more deeply in the word than you are these, you know, these almost Christian feminist blogs pop up, like, you know, dandelions in the spring so you, you have to do that.

And so, and so I think it sounds very basic but, you know, the, the last section of the book is really about things like how to stay connected to loved ones without becoming indoctrinated by them, and how to read the Bible, how to read the Bible really believing that it knows you better than you know yourself. Well, would you say, and this is, you know, I don't know what the, what the temptation of homosexuality is like but I do know the temptation of sexual sin and other things like that. And it seems to me there are people who say that they hate the sin, and they've been fighting it and they hate it. Do you think that there's a difference between hating how it makes you feel, and the situation, it has put you in, as opposed to hating the actual sin, could you explain that a little bit.

Absolutely, absolutely. And if I could just flesh out one thing that one of the challenges we have when we try to set up an analogy is that the analogy isn't quite right. The explanation isn't quite right so heterosexual sexual sin is a sin of practice. It is not a sin of pattern. Homosexual sin is a sin of both practice and pattern. And so that's why I think we need to, on the one hand, understand that sin is sin, but on the other be willing theologically to look at each sin, according to the thing it wants you to betray about yourself, because it's going to be a little different. And so I think that's part of why, you know, failing to understand that the seeds of the gospel are in the garden that the creation ordinance has bearing on the gospel. Becoming just sort of silly New Testament Christians has created this, this, this, you know, playing fields for gay Christianity, because it doesn't recognize that God makes God creates with a pattern in mind. And the pattern that God had in mind is one man and one woman. And there is nothing wrong if for the people who are listening, and you are struggling with, or maybe losing your battle with homosexual desire, it is right to pray that God would make you desire the right things. It is important to acknowledge that you are desiring the wrong things, not only would it be wrong for you to practice it but you are desiring the wrong things, pattern and practice, and to your question though yes, you are not only to be upset or concerned or to be ashamed of or just conflicted about the consequences of your sin, but you are to see the way that it, it jeopardizes your own image bearing of a holy God, that you are to grow and knowledge righteousness and holiness and so any sin that you are courting, and you are coveting and you are, you are allowing to flourish is indeed violating your ability to do exactly what God has called you to do. Isn't it true that a lot of the, and we only have about a minute left but wouldn't you say it's true that a lot of the kind of compromise that has happened has happened because we're trying to see where the edges are of how far we can go as opposed to am I offending my God, do I really care about that is that really something that bothers me deeply, and I and I think we are deeply bothered when, when we are hurt, or even when people we know are hurt, but it's very difficult for us to think about how bothered I am when God is offended. I think that is a that's typical of this kind of thing. Well thank you so much Rosaria for being with us I really appreciate you taking the time to be with us, it has been great being with you. Thank you so much.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 04:04:50 / 2023-04-04 04:18:29 / 14

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