Here is a gay man who believes gay sex is sinful. He has “turned to Christ”, but does not believe that will alter his desires.
He has selectively read the Bible, and found the complete depravity of humanity. We all deserve Hell, he thinks, but he has accepted Jesus as his saviour and lord so hopes he will escape it. His Christian journey now is to grow in faith struggling with his temptations, which will always recur- not just same sex attraction, but all kinds of vileness.
I believe that is false. With a few, diseased exceptions, human beings are born loving, social beings. We all do our best under difficult circumstances. This is observable. And, given that only a tiny number are Christian in Matt Moore’s sense, how is it that anyone creates beautiful things, or acts well? It is not even the sole Biblical view: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, “Your works are wonderful, and I know it well”, “God saw what God had made, and behold it was very good” are just three quotes which spring immediately to mind. Also, imagining that human beings are so entirely perverted is to give far too much power to the Devil. We are Christians, not Zoroastrians.
So, his belief that his homosexuality is sinful perverts all his Christianity. He is in Hell now: he sees himself in continual temptation to wrong, with no power of his own to counteract it. He needs to exert eternal control, and his control will never be enough.
Similarly, a heterosexual Christian who believes homosexual behaviour is sinful is caught in the same trap. He has no reason to believe himself any better than the gay man. He too is born Wrong, all his aims and drives are against God’s will, and he must resist doggedly. He can only rely on God’s forgiveness, and never on any good in himself.
The belief that homosexuality is wrong is not just a trivial error. It vitiates Christianity, turning it from a view of human beings with God which gives life and health to a view of us which makes all of life a miserable struggle, with endless grovelling to idols. Thank God it is dying away.
The Saudi border authority has a new service. Women are not allowed to travel outside the country without the permission of their male “guardian”, and now when one does, the border authority sends a text message to that guardian. Initially the guardian had to opt in- the woman had no choice in the matter- but now it is automatic.
Infantilisation of women is not good religion. Unfortunately it shows how extremist religion tends, whether Salafist or the nuttier extremes of Evangelicalism: it is impossible to be Pure, and the fuckwits get the idea that greater extremism is more “pure”. So Complementarianism ends with women unable to work. I must be a better Christian than I was before, they think, because I take it More Seriously. It is but a short step from there to denying the Christianity of others.