Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

50 Important Quotes from the book “We Cannot Be Silent” by Albert Mohler

New Mohler bookI recently read Albert Mohler’s outstanding new book We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong, a very important book that I can’t recommend too highly. I highlighted many passages in the book. Below are 50 of the best quotes from the book:

  • When it comes to marriage and morality, Christians cannot be silent—not because we are morally superior, but because we know that God has a better plan for humanity than we would ever devise for ourselves.
  • We are facing nothing less than a comprehensive redefinition of life, love, liberty, and the very meaning of right and wrong.
  • There is no middle ground in the church’s engagement with homosexuality. Either churches will affirm the legitimacy of same-sex relationships and behaviors or they will not.
  • The Christian church has long been understood by the culture at large to be the guardian of what is right and righteous. But now the situation is fundamentally reversed. The culture generally identifies Christians as on the wrong side of morality.
  • The moral revolution is now so complete that those who will not join it are understood to be deficient, intolerant, and harmful to society.
  • Put bluntly, so long as sex between a man and a woman implied the possibility of pregnancy, there was a biological check on extramarital sexual activity. Once the Pill arrived, with all its promises of reproductive control, the biological check on sexual immorality that had shaped human existence from Adam and Eve forward was removed almost instantaneously.
  • It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of the separation of sex and babies from the moral equation.
  • Marriage was thus shifted from being a covenant into being a mere contract that should be considered in force only insofar and for so long as both parties feel equally committed to the contract.
  • In the end, we will almost surely have to concede that divorce will harm far more lives and cause far more direct damage than same-sex marriage.
  • The Pill allowed sex without babies, and the modern reproductive technologies allow babies without sex.
  • In previous centuries, non-marital cohabitation between a man and a woman was not only frowned upon, it was sometimes even illegal. In recent years, cohabitation before marriage has become not only expected but also a replacement for marriage itself.
  • Ultimately, seen in tandem, the contraceptive revolution, the arrival of no-fault divorce, the arrival of advanced reproductive technologies, and the social acceptance of extramarital sex and cohabitation are all evidence of the success of the sexual revolution and elements that have fueled the expansion of that revolution into terrain that the early sexual revolutionaries could never have imagined.
  • The logic of same-sex marriage cannot end with same-sex marriage. Once marriage can mean anything other than a heterosexual union, it can and must eventually mean everything—from polygamy to any number of other deviations from traditional marriage. It is just a matter of time and the progressive weakening of moral resolve.
  • In After the Ball, Kirk and Madsen set out a program that, in retrospect, was likely even more successful than they had dreamed. They demanded that American society embrace homosexuality as a normal sexual experience and view same-sex relationships on par with heterosexual marriage.
  • In one of the most successful aspects of their strategy, Kirk and Madsen petitioned the movement to “portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers.” Similarly, the two argued, “For all practical purposes, gays should be considered to have been born gay”.
  • Again, the most amazing aspect of this strategy is its overwhelming success. If anything, the momentum gained by the effort to normalize same-sex relationships during the last two decades has exceeded even the wildest aspirations of these early activists.
  • While Kirk and Madsen provided the homosexual movement with marching orders, the actual outworking of the progress of the homosexual agenda has been documented in Linda Hirshman’s Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. As she argued, the public acceptance of homosexuality had to overcome what she called the “four horsemen” of moral judgment. Those arguing for the normalization of homosexuality and same-sex relationships had to overcome the pervasive judgment in American society a generation ago that homosexuals were “Crazy, Sinful, Criminal, and Subversive.”
  • The efforts of the activists have been so successful they have not only undone the original psychiatric judgment on homosexuality, but in some ways they have completely reversed the nation’s moral judgments. At least in American popular culture, to consider homosexuality to be morally suspect, in any way, or a form of mental illness is culturally dismissed. “Homophobia” is now the new mental illness and moral deficiency, while homosexuality is accepted as the new normal.
  • The normalization of same-sex relationships and behaviors could not have happened without a significant group of liberal Bible scholars, theologians, and religious leaders who were willing to declare that the church’s position on the sinfulness of homosexuality—a position that had existed for millennia—was in error and needed a major overhaul.
  • In the main, liberal Protestant denominations have moved away from biblical teachings on human sexuality to the acceptance of same-sex relationships, the affirmation of openly homosexual clergy, and, more recently, the authorization of clergy to perform same-sex marriages. This trajectory can be traced over and over again in denominations such as the Episcopal Church, The Disciples of Christ, the United Church of Christ, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Each of these denominations, in their own way and on their own timetable, has made headlines and nationwide news by moving progressively to the left on these issues.
  • The leaders who moved to normalize homosexuality recognized that they needed both the culture and the courts on their side if their movement was to succeed. They persuaded the public by means other than the courts, but they still used the courts to add moral authority to their movement.
  • The effort to normalize same-sex relationships has succeeded most when it presents homosexuals as harmless neighbors, kindhearted friends, and contributing members of a happy society. The nation’s entertainment culture has provided Kirk and Madsen’s strategy the space it needed to thrive. A concerted effort to present a constant parade of happy, nonthreatening homosexuals in popular culture has undercut the notion that homosexuality is subversive to a healthy society.
  • For those who understand marriage to be the lifetime union of a man and a woman on the basis of Scripture, same-sex marriage presents a situation of daunting challenge. The reason for that is quite simple: our convictions about the nature of marriage preclude us from recognizing the union of a man and a man or a woman and a woman as a real marriage. In the Christian understanding, same-sex marriage is actually impossible, so we cannot recognize same-sex couples as legitimately married.
  • While the law may redefine marriage in a legal sense, Christians must continue to affirm that marriage, in the eyes of God, remains the union of a man and a woman.
  • The ability to “transform” gender and have “gender reassignment surgery” is so new that it was not even considered a prominent part of the gay rights movement when it emerged in the 1960s.
  • Arguing that we should draw a clear distinction between who an individual wants to go to bed with and who an individual wants to go to bed as requires the dismantling of an entire thought structure and worldview. This is why the transgender revolution, even more than the movement for gay liberation, undermines the most basic structures of society.
  • A biblical response to the transgender revolution will require the church to develop new skills of compassion and understanding as we encounter persons, both inside and outside our congregations, who are struggling.
  • The (transgender) movement makes a sharp distinction between gender with regards to an individual’s self-understanding and an individual’s sex, which refers to the biological sex determined at birth.
  • Transforming the way children think of gender is actually central to the transgender movement.
  • The reality is that there is no end to the transgender revolution; endurance is one of its central dynamics.
  • We unflinchingly hold, therefore, that to be born male is to be male and that to be born female is to be female. We affirm that biological sex is a gift of God to every individual and to the human community to which that individual belongs.
  • The church must also respond to the transgender movement by rejecting both the reality and the morality of gender reassignment surgery.
  • The gospel provides the only true remedy for sexual brokenness. The theological and pastoral challenges we face in the transgender revolution are indeed enormous, but they are not beyond the sufficiency of Christ’s cross and resurrection.
  • Conservative Christians far too quickly accuse the proponents of same-sex marriage of being the enemies of marriage, believing that marriage was in great shape before same-sex couples started clamoring for the legal recognition of their unions. This is intellectual dishonesty, and the record must be set straight. The previous damage to marriage can be traced to the intellectual, sexual, legal, and therapeutic subversion of marriage by heterosexuals.
  • As the defenders of traditional marriage have warned for many years, the legalization of same-sex marriage will necessarily open the door, in both logic and the law, to the recognition of polygamy and a multitude of other sexual relationships.
  • The Bible is straightforward in its depiction of sexual sin—from adultery to incest and bestiality to same-sex behaviors. The Bible’s honesty on these matters is an incredible gift to us.
  • The doctrine of redemption reminds us that every single human being—whether heterosexual or homosexual—is a sinner in need of the redemption that can only come through Christ.
  • While gender will remain in the new creation and in our glorified bodies, sexual activity will not. Sex is not nullified in the resurrection, but rather fulfilled.
  • The Christian’s faithfulness in marriage and faithful defense of marriage and gender is an act of Christian witness—indeed, one of the boldest acts of Christian witness in this secular age.
  • Biblical Christianity is the final wall of resistance to the homosexual agenda. In the end, that resistance comes down to the Bible itself. It is not an argument over what the biblical text says, but over the authority of the biblical text and the proper means of obeying it.
  • With the movement toward same-sex marriage and the normalization of homosexuality gaining momentum, some churches are running for cover. Yet our Christian responsibility is clear—we are to tell the truth about what God has revealed concerning human sexuality, gender, and marriage. No one said it was going to be easy.
  • Any sexual expression outside of that heterosexual marriage relationship is outlawed by God’s command. That fundamental truth runs counter not only to the homosexual agenda but to the rampant sexual immorality of the age. Indeed, the Bible has much more to say about illicit heterosexual activity than it does about homosexual acts.
  • Our response to persons involved in homosexuality must be marked by genuine compassion. But a central task of genuine compassion is telling the truth, and the Bible reveals a true message we must convey. Those contorting and subverting the Bible’s message are not responding to homosexuals with compassion. Lying is never compassionate—and ultimately leads to death.
  • Religious liberty simply evaporates as a fundamental right grounded in the U.S. Constitution, and recedes into the background in the wake of what is now a higher social commitment—sexual freedom.
  • Even while religious liberty is supposedly recognized and affirmed, it is often being transformed and minimized. The Obama administration provides a classic example of this. Numerous representatives of the administration, including President Obama himself, have shifted their language from “freedom of religion” to “freedom of worship.” Though these two phrases may appear to be very similar, freedom of worship is a severe and deadly reduction of freedom of religion. Religious freedom is not limited to what takes place within the confines of a church building and its worship. Freedom of worship marginalizes and ghettoizes Christian speech so that its liberties only exist within the confines of a church facility—but it does not guarantee a right to a public voice. Freedom of worship essentially muzzles the Christian in the public square.
  • We must recognize that as the sexual revolution gains more and more traction in the court of public opinion, the church will continue to be displaced in the larger culture.
  • The moral revolutionaries now demand us to shift our understanding of same-sex behaviors and relationships from the category of sin to the category of moral good.
  • A robust biblical theology should inform us to expect that those struggling with same-sex attraction who come to faith in Christ and repent of their sins will continue to struggle with some of those sins and impulses until Christ calls them home.
  • Christian faithfulness in our generation demands that we allow ourselves to genuinely love people even when we cannot endorse their lifestyle, grant recognition to the relationship they believe they deserve, or sanction their sin.
  • Should a Christian attend a same-sex wedding ceremony? The simple answer is no, but, of course, there are a number of complex issues we must think about here. Attending a wedding ceremony always signals moral approval. Attending a same-sex marriage ceremony is to grant a positive and public moral judgment to the union. At some point, that attendance will involve congratulating the couple for their union. There will be no way to claim moral neutrality when congratulating a couple upon their wedding. If you cannot congratulate the couple, how can you attend?
  • We cannot be silent, and we cannot join the moral revolution that stands in direct opposition to what we believe the Creator has designed, given, and intended for us. We cannot be silent, and we cannot fail to contend for marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
  • In one sense, everything has changed. And yet, nothing has changed. The cultural and legal landscape has changed, as we believe this will lead to very real harms to our neighbors. But our Christian responsibility has not changed. We are charged to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman and to speak the truth in love. We are also commanded to uphold the truth about marriage in our own lives, in our own marriages, in our own families, and in our own churches.
  • We are called to be the people of the truth, even when the truth is not popular and even when the truth is denied by the culture around us. Christians have found themselves in this position before, and we will again. God’s truth has not changed. The holy Scriptures have not changed. The gospel of Jesus Christ has not changed. The church’s mission has not changed. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.