So if Drag Queen potty hour was such a big deal, why didn’t the founders of our nation mention it in the constitution?
I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.
It never entered George Washington’s venerable mind that the civil magistrate would need to cover that one. Why? Because there were no men tempted to wear women’s clothing in the 18thcentury? No, not hardly. Some of those Victorian fellows were already getting pretty racy with the lacy. And besides, this temptation to sexual confusion was covered by Moses in the 15thcentury B.C., so we can pretty much assume that this sin is as old as dirt. It probably occurred to one of Adam’s kids in a cave somewhere in Mesopotamia at the dawn of time.
But it also didn’t occur to the venerable GW because he believed in other authorities besides civil government. He believed in the authority and blessing of family and church governments. In the normal course of things, parents are entrusted with training up children in the culture of Jesus (Eph. 6:4), which means among other things, that they are entrusted with teaching their boys and girls how to be boys and girls, and which clothes go with which sex, modesty, etc. So when we get to the point where the civil magistrate needs to ban trans-dressers from children’s story hour at the local library, a number of things really have gone wrong. Among them massive and gross failures of fathers and pastors. The church has not discipled those in its own ranks to obey everything the Lord Jesus commanded. Fathers have not raised their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Instead, we have largely been seduced and discipled by enlightenment secularism – the false gospel of statism – that a neutral public square will end all our benighted religious bickering and wars. This religion has been the religion taught in our public schools now for over a century. It’s the religion that claims to be non-religious, the faith that is only based on science and reason and Darwinian fairy dust sprinkled over it all. And now we arrive at the ludicrous point of needing to tell hairy men in maxi dresses and lipstick that they may not groom small children to be as ugly as they are.
So in the ordinary course of things, civil magistrates need not legislate what marriage is, what boys and girls are, exactly how much of a woman’s breast may be exposed in public, and who may read stories to children in public spaces. This is because fathers and pastors and the general public police their own ranks. But when a culture crumbles to the point where nearly naked men are gyrating in public and little children are being cheered to imitate them on day time television, Christian civil magistrates are not free to throw up their hands and say that there is nothing to be done. But neither are they free to micromanage society and legislate beyond what God has given them authority over. Just as churches must not “help” the poor in such a way as to take away their dignity and agency and responsibility, so too the civil magistrate must not “nanny” the public. But there are certain menaces to public good that must be resisted. The fact that congress felt the need to pass the Defense of Marriage Act (ironically, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996) signaled that we were in deep trouble. But it was still the right thing to do, and when the Supreme Court unconstitutionally and illegally overturned the clear rule of law, the law of nature, and God’s eternal law, the United States should have collectively laughed and ignored the Obergefell ruling.
But the enlightenment secularism infection goes deep. With the exception of a few holdouts here and there, our fathers and pastors largely submitted to Obergefell, calling it the “law of the land.” But this was not merely illegal usurpation on the part of SCOTUS and cowardly acquiescence on the part of the states and the congress and the people, it was also an act of superstitious faith. It was a religious prostration before the god of the land. Five justices in black robes pronounced ominously that two dudes can become one flesh. They made this announcement with no less pomp and lisping than pagan priests fresh from the auguries. Only instead watching the flight patterns of falcons to practice their divinations, these high priests proclaimed that they had cut open the innards of the constitution and found there snug between the kidneys and intestines the right to do anything that makes you happy. The priests proclaimed this new doctrine, and the “faithful” bowed and worshipped.
So this is the problem. Christians worshipped that golden calf. Christians are still worshipping that golden calf. They are worshipping that golden calf every time they say it is the law of the land. Every time they acknowledge any legitimacy to that ruling, as well as it’s bloody predecessor Roe. But all of these rulings have been built on the pagan altar of neutrality and equality. That false religion claims that if the state remains neutral and unbiased, the maximum number of viewpoints, practices, religions, and ethnicities will be permitted to COEXIST. And every time Christians agree with that they are putting a pinch incense on that altar. Every time Christians agree that Darwinism should get just as much public air time as Creationism, they are putting a pinch of incense on that altar. Every time Christians agree that sodomites should be allowed to march down the street performing obscenities in order to make room for Christians to do the same, Christians are putting a pinch of incense on the bloody altar of neutrality.
There is no neutrality. Nations cannot pretend to have no allegiance to any god. Jesus commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to the nations and disciple the nations. And in the New Jerusalem, John saw the nations bringing their treasures to the King. In the end every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. They will either do it now in this age willingly and gladly, or else they will be made to do it at the end, right before they are cast into the lake of fire. For Christians to insist that the public square have no allegiance to Jesus, is for Christians to defy their Lord Jesus. It is for Christians to insist that their nation not be saved.
No doubt someone reading this imagines that all of this is a call for a Christian Taliban or a Sharia Theonomy. But let me be clear: I’m saying nothing different than the apostles themselves when they proclaimed the Lordship of Jesus and called all men everywhere to repent and be saved in Him. The fundamental question is whether we trust God or not. Is God’s word good and true or not? Can man come up with a better system of law than what is found in the entirety of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation? Is there any other name by which men may be saved? We are living with the results of such human hubris today. In our arrogance we have locked up 2.2 million people in prisons like animals, we have murdered 60 million babies, we have states insisting that this murder be allowed all the way up to birth and maybe even after birth, we have skyrocketing opioid addiction, climbing suicide rates, families ravaged by porn and sexual promiscuity, and the statists solemnly warn us about the dangers of theocracy?
And all God’s people said, what?
Do we believe in theocracy? Well, do we believe in the rule of the Triune God in every realm and every sphere? Is Jesus Lord over every square inch of this universe? Absolutely. Should people do wicked, immoral things in the name of Jesus. Of course not. How do we know that? Because of some spark of goodness in the human soul or because the Bible tells me so? I’m going with the latter. Should we obey the Bible in our families, in our churches, and in our public squares? Absolutely. Where is Jesus not Lord? The rule of man is harsh and cruel and crushing. Haven’t we had enough of that? The law of God is just and wise and gracious. A truly biblical and Christian republic would privilege Christianity publicly, but it would be far kinder to non-Christians than the current religious regime of secularism — a lying scam, pretending to have no allegiance, while demanding shoe laces and spiders and eyes of newts for their cauldron of equality. But it’s all a sham, a farce, worse than a gaudy Halloween party. And you know it’s all a big charade because secularism has no grace. It has no forgiveness. Secularism cannot save because it has no Savior. It’s just a depressed and petty, thin-skinned tyrant.
The issue isn’t that we in the 21stcentury have uniquely sinful hearts. No, we’re just as gunked up as the rest of human history. The issue is that we have given in to the gunk. There has always been perversion in the hearts of men, and men have sought out dark corners of the world to perform their gunk, and they will until the end of the world. But God in His grace and mercy has refused to let our sin be the last word. From the beginning, from the first moments of Adam’s despairing fall, God spoke the most gracious no. And that ‘no’ is most gracious because it is a ‘no’ of hope, a ‘no’ of promise. Francis Shaeffer famously said that our fundamental problem since the dawning of the enlightenment and rationalism has been a cataclysmic surrender to despair. When man began ignoring and later outright rejecting his Maker, what was left was man alone, finite man, foolish man, fallible man, fallen man, and that really is a desperate condition. But into the blackhole of human sin God has spoken and we have heard: He is there and He is not silent.
And so in this moment of Drag Queen potty hours and gayshame parades and partial-after-birth abortions and mass incarcerations and social justice jingoism, I am not distraught. I am not despairing. Jesus is risen from the dead. He has gone down into the darkness and He became all of this sin and shame. He became our guilt for this. He became our defiance, our lies, our contempt, our gunk. And He swallowed it all. He took it all. He made atonement. Jesus established perfect justice. How could I despair at this moment when Jesus paid for all of this with His precious blood and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father?
No, I’m actually more hopeful because the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. We do not call on the civil magistrates to legislate righteousness out of desperation or despair. We do not call on civil magistrates to ban these public obscenities because we are afraid of men in dresses. Ha. When all of the courts and officials and armies and presidents take their stand against the Lord, it’s like a momentary bubble in the breeze, like a puff of pink smoke before a hurricane. God is not worried. God is not on the defensive. God is not thinking about Plan B or looking around anxiously for other options. God sits enthroned in the heavens forever. He sits and smirks at all our feverish plotting. So we call on civil magistrates to ban these charades in the name of Jesus, which is to say, in the name of our Savior, in the name of the King of the Universe, in the name of the Word of God, in the name of Him who rides upon the Storm, in the name of the Name above all names. And so we are not calling them to repentance in a panic, in a tizzy, in a bluster. No, we are calling them to life from the dead, we are calling them into the unapproachable, inextinguishable Light of light, that times of refreshing may come on our land. The land us full of dead and dry bones, and we are sitting in our beach chairs, ice teas in hand, ready for the show.
I wrote recently that becoming a Christian is like losing everything in a housefire, and then walking through the rubble and finding unexpected treasures that somehow miraculously made it through the fire, given back to you. Becoming a Christian means taking up a cross, dying with Jesus, surrendering everything, and then rising with Him, and receiving all things back as unexpected treasures – such that all is grace. But the same thing applies to nations and public squares, to families and churches. We need badly to repent, to surrender to Jesus. It’s too late to patch this thing up. It’s burned to the ground, it’s dust and ashes, but if we surrender, if we admit we are dead, He will make us live again, and He will give us grace.