A while back, Doug Jones & Doug Wilson published an article entitled “Owning the Curse,”
Since their article presents some startling affinities with the current controversy over Evangelical cobelligerence, it’s worth our attention. Below are some representative excerpts which will give you the drift of their argument:
Homosexuality is primarily a judgment against the church. This is our problem, the Christian church’s problem, not someone else’s. God gave the Christian church the responsibility of leading culture, and the Church did this in the West for many centuries…The things that happen in our time and in our country are therefore our responsibility. Consequently, when society sins in this way, it is because the church has sinned, has failed to lead—“their” sin stems from our failure to lead in a godly manner. The ethical circumstances would be different inn a purely pagan culture…But God’s curse of homosexuality is a special judgment against His people.
Curses are removed by our repentance, not denunciations of “them.” We should, therefore, “own” homosexual sin. Confession and right worship. Not preaching the law to secularists.
Homosexuality is about resentment. Homosexuality is a deep longing for communion with the masculine, a longing that has been trampled by neglectful or abusive fathering. Testimony from homosexuals (male and female) often points back to a sinful father or husband.
Christian fathers are a primary cause of the curse of homosexuality….Can we not say, at this point, that the primary cause of this multi-generational break appears to sit squarely with Christian fathers? Even in our own congregations, fathers are provoking their children not only to sin, but into patterns of resentment, into patterns of homosexuality.
What if we concede that the American Christian tradition is largely responsible for the resentment that expresses itself, in part, in homosexuality?
Under a curse, we should own the curse of same-sex marriage and not fight it so far as it concerns them. That is not our calling.
In the brewing culture wars, we ought not to stand with those seeking to ban same-sex marriage. False and corrupt worship brought sodomy to us, and genuine worship leads to national reformation. Not trust in civil coercion. We should openly accept homosexual marriage in the civil realm.
For the sake of argument, we should readily grant homosexual genetic claims. God controls everything, and so we can grant any and all scientific claims about the genetic bases of sin….Every sin is genetically grounded.
By way of comment:
i) Perhaps the first thing to take note of is the huge factual gap between the breadth of their claims and the absence of hard evidence to warrant their claims.
At a bare minimum, we need to see some comparative statistical data showing that sodomy is more prevalent in the present than the past, more prevalent in apostate Christian nations than non-Christian nations, more prevalent in America than the Continent, more prevalent among kids of Christian fathers than kids of non-Christian fathers.
Frankly, it says a lot about Wilson and Jones that they feel entitled to make such sweeping and censorious charges in an evidentiary vacuum. Is there something about their particular theological outlook that fosters this contempt for the facts?
We are dealing here with an ethical issue: truth-telling. What right do they think they have to air their opinions and be so very judgmental unless they are in a good position to know or have reason to believe that what they say is true?
ii) What direct and halfway convincing evidence can they offer that sodomy is a divine curse on the church in America? What would even count as evidence for such a claim?
In making such brazen allegations, they are presuming to speak in the name of God. This is no small responsibility to take upon yourself--not something to be done lightly, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence.
iii) On the face of it, their premise is demonstrably false. The very fact that you have Biblical injunctions against sodomy under both Testaments assumes the prevalence of sodomy in the pre-Christian world.
iv) I agree that the church has a responsibility to exercise cultural leadership. But even if the church were to take the lead more often, it cannot make anyone follow its lead. Suppose the majority is unregenerate or reprobate? The church has no power to constrain the general culture to accept its leadership.
v) The authors have a sociological theory regarding the origins of the homosexual orientation. Let us keep in mind that this is only a theory. It is not a teaching of Scripture. Even if it accounts for some or many cases, sodomy may well be an overdetermined behavior, with multiple predispositive factors.
vi) The authors also say that we should accept the genetic theory of homosexual origins. There are two problems with this assertion:
a) We should only take that theory seriously if it’s based on solid scientific evidence, not junk science driven by an ideological agenda. The authors never interact with scientific arguments against the genetic theory.
b) On the face of it, if homosexuals are homosexual because they are hardwired to be homosexual, if this is part of their genetic programming, then fathers are not to blame for sodomy, then the church is not to blame for sodomy.
Once again, you have to wonder if there’s something about the theological outlook of the authors which cultivates for such glaringly inept reasoning.
vii) It is especially hypocritical for proponents of the Federal Vision to blame sodomy on a worldly church. The Federal vision is a recipe for dead formalism, for the abdication of church discipline and the abandonment of a credible profession of faith as a necessary condition of church membership.
viii) It is no less hypocritical for the authors to blame sodomy on bad parenting, only to deliver defenseless children into the groping clutches of same-sex parenting. If same-sex marriage becomes the land of the law, then you will have who knows how many children raised in homosexual homes--through adoption, surrogacy, court-ordered custody, foster programs, &c.
Did the authors ever bother to consider the social ramifications of their position? This is so reckless and feckless.
One thing I do agree with: the church is responsible for its own. And the
Reformed community should be policing its own. It’s high time for the Reformed community to crack down, to formally and publicly shun the likes Douglas Wilson and Douglas Jones, who speak in the name of Calvinism while they subvert and pervert traditional Reformed morality and statecraft. Far from owning the curse, they are cursing their own.