Whether we like it or not, we are in a state of war. The cultural wars witnessed between the Republican party and the Democrats have spilled into the church.
There, despite the nice words of love and reconciliation, they are just as vicious as they are on the political landscape.
We start with the political battles.
Democratic government and its heavy handedness on gender and gay rights has divided the country into bitter camps as January Littlejohn of Florida and her husband found out recently.
The Littlejohns’ oldest girl (of three girls) is mildly autistic and, therefore, vulnerable to peer pressure and love circles. The Littlejohns found out, by accident, that their daughter belonged to a “Friendship Affirming Group” at school. This group was a wing of the Lesbian Gay Binary Queer affirming group on campus, recognised as such by the school authorities and afforded a guidance counsellor to boot.
Ms. Littlejohn’s daughter, through this group, and with the guidance counsellor’s support, had changed her name, was allowed to use boy’s shower rooms if she wanted to and to camp with boys on trips if she so desired.
She also wanted to be referred to as “he”.
Her mother was the volunteer of the year at the school, prepared coffee breaks for teachers and learners, and all this had been hidden from her. She confided in one of the teachers. When no resolution came her way, she found out that confidant was in fact the head honcho counsellor for the LGBQ group.
Further, she found out that there were at least ten schools in Florida with similar arrangements. Florida Governor had this to say. “There was a school in Leon County. Some people at school decided her daughter was a boy. So, they changed her name.
“They changed her pronouns. They did all these things without telling her mother.”
This is the heart of the war that is going on here. Government says it has authority to do these things without the permission of the parents. Social transformation is only one part. Ms. Littlejohnn says the second part is surgical transformation. The authorities can arrange for the girl’s breasts to be removed surgically and for a tail to be grafted to her private parts. An email from Vanderbilt University boasted of how much money they could make by carrying on such surgeries.
The Democrats are in the forefront of this ideological transformation of the US. Republicans are seen as Neanderthals who should suffer the fate of their ancestors; extinction.
Democratic leaders, on the other hand, send their children to strict Christian schools, and rule over their families with strict patriarchal iron fists.
The greater picture
These debates have spilled over into the religious organisations. I travelled to Los Angeles on behalf of the United Methodist Church. We were welcomed by Bishop Karen Ollivetti. Ollivetti, who achieved fame for openly travelling with her gay lover, is famous for challenging church doctrine.
She welcomed us with a homily on love. At lunch hour I asked who the woman overshadowing her was. My neighbour whispered to me about love enduring all things and said something about being the bishop’s wife.
The saints have requested that Bishop Olivetti be removed from the sanctuary, but her brother bishops are compromised.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah, a Mormon state, is fighting a losing battle. Since same sex marriages became legal in 2015, institutions that do not observe such laws could become liable to prosecution by federal authorities and lose tax exempt status. What if a church provided accommodation for its cleaners and then found out one cleaner was in a gay relationship? “We must keep churches, religious charities, and religious universities out of litigation in the first instance.”
That, my dear brother, is only a matter of time.
The North Carolina Methodist Conference has allowed one third of its churches, as we speak, to disaffiliate (to quit) the mainstream church. Those quitting say that the Book of Discipline has not been enforced. The contradictory paragraph says that “all persons are of sacred worth” and welcome to the table of fellowship. Another section says that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The World General Conference, which includes African and Asian bishops voted to strengthen the ban on gay clergy and weddings.
That Global Methodist Church further emphasizes that the issue here is not just about gay marriages, and gay clergy, but about the increasing secularisation of the church by progressive pastors who deny the divinity of Christ and the sacredness of scriptures.
The progressives have been disrespectful of the virgin birth, calling it just a mythical story.
The progressives in the church are talking like Democrats. Insistence by the saints on scriptural doctrine has earned them the nickname of homo-phoebes and loveless Christians.
This is in line with Democrat leadership positions laid out by former president Barak Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden. These two lectured the church on the pagan doctrine of: “It is not about who you love, but whether you love them at all.”
The Arkansas disaffiliation meeting, called by Bishop Gary Mueller under pressure from District Superintendents, which happened November 19, illustrates the pain that the devil has inflicted on the saints. He prayed with a heavy heart, hoping that differences could be reconciled. The meeting lasted from 10.00.a.m t0 6.00 p.m. and with a heavy heart, an agreement to disaffiliate one third of the churches was no longer avoidable.
“There is a significant difference of opinion in this room,” the bishop concluded and hoped against hope for reconciliation, “we can show the difference Christ makes in the way we treat teach other.”
American churches mirror very closely the differences in the political landscape, the terms conservatives and progressives equally apply. Progressive bishops love to sit at the table of brotherhood with governors, like the priests of Baal did, clothed in their splendid robes, speaking great words about love and reconciliation while denying the divinity of Christ, while receiving instructions from Queen Jezebel.
- Ken Mufuka is a Zimbabwean patriot. He writes from the US.