When the world evangelizes the church


(For those who eschew religious faith, particularly Christianity, this article is going to deal with that subject, so you might want to skip it.  For those who don’t, here goes!)

I’ve mentioned Bob Mumford before.  He’s a Pentecostal evangelist who once defined secular humanism as “what you get when the world evangelizes the church”.  I think that definition is perfectly illustrated by a so-called “drag queen pastor”.  If you’re a believing Christian, as I am, prepare to be nauseated by this article.  I apologize in advance for the offense I know it’ll give you:  but I’m quoting from it here because this is the reality we face in so many of the mainline Christian churches today.  I don’t know of any other way to drive home the danger and the threat confronting believers today.

Last year, the United Methodist Church accepted Isaac Simmons, who regularly preaches dressed as a drag queen under the name Ms. Penny Cost, as a candidate for ordination. Since that time, Simmons, who serves as an associate pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Bloomington, Illinois, has challenged basic theological concepts, projecting a worldview where divinity rests not in God but in queerness.

. . .

Simmons has published a new video of himself performing slam poetry in what may be his most provocative repudiation of traditional Christianity and embrace of queer spirituality.

“God is nothing,” the self-described “dragavangelist” repeats throughout the poem, adding, “the Bible is nothing” and “religion is nothing.” In the end, he concludes God and the Bible are nothing “unless we wield it into something.”

“God must be f***ing nothing,” he says, “if her boundaryless, transubstantiated bodies of color are run down, beaten, and strewn in the streets of America instead of ruling the runways of life.”

He speaks of God not as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but rather as the source of queerness, describing him as “nothing but a drag queen with a microphone of biblical f***ing proportions,” “nothing, but if she were, she would be ‘yes, queen’-ing her way down the runways of Paris and Montreal,” and “nothing, but if she were, she would be a seamstress of divide couture, weaving together string theory and self portraits to form the fiercest gowns of queer existence.”

He believes humanity, then, is an emanation of that divine queerness: “From under a shroud of secrecy came the beauty of humanity, humanity made in the gender-bending, identity-breaking, system-shaking image of God, the imago Dei.” He refers to humanity as “God’s queerly anointed creation.” 

Simmons writes that the poem is “directed to those who actively and passively cause harm against the LGBTQIA2S+ Community due to their understandings of Scripture.”

There’s (unfortunately) more at the link.

This illustrates perfectly what happens when one abandons the foundation of the Christian faith, namely, God’s revelation.  One can argue until the cows come home whether this includes scripture and tradition, or scripture alone, but the reality is basically the same:  our faith rests upon a foundation with which we meddle at our peril.  In orthodox, Christ-centered Christianity, God’s revelation judges us and our actions.  In anything else, the world judges revelation, and determines what it means according to the prevailing zeitgeist – as illustrated in the excerpt above.

Many Christians get hot under the collar when reading such drivel.  They protest that it’s evil (agreed), even directly Satanic (agreed), and want to drive it and its adherents out of the church altogether.  Sadly, given the world we live in, that’s not about to happen.  There are too many people who claim the label “Christian”, but believe and live as if they were anything but.  Christ had an answer for them.

I’ve long since ignored what people say about themselves and their faith (if any).  Instead, I watch what they do and how they live.  That says far more about them than any words they might (or might not) use.  I’ve said many times to people, “Don’t tell me what you believe – show me.”  Some are insulted by this, as if I’m doubting them.  No, I’m just applying the standard Christ gave in the link above:  “By their fruits you will know them.”

I therefore submit that when we look at individuals such as Isaac Simmons, we look for the Biblical “fruits of the Spirit” in their lives, and decide accordingly whether they’re disciples of Christ, or disciples of the world, the flesh and the devil.  If the “works of the flesh” are more evident than the “fruits of the spirit”, or the latter are conspicuous by their absence, then we know where that person stands.  It’s on that foundation that I think the church should decide who’s fit to preach and teach the word of God, and who is not.

I’d also suggest that most of us (including yours truly) aren’t doing as well in that comparison as we should be.  I know some out-and-out atheists whom I think are better Christians than I am, because they live in such a way as to be an example to all Christians, a genuinely good life.  I hope God will reward that, in whatever way is possible in the Divine economy.  I fear greatly that many of us who proclaim ourselves to be Christian may have a shock coming when we must, individually, give an account of our lives, and face judgment for them.

Let’s pray for Isaac Simmons and his ilk, that – since they proclaim themselves to be Christian – they may repent and truly believe what they proclaim, before it’s too late.  If they won’t, then I have no doubt that we should exclude them from our fellowship:  and, certainly, we should prevent them from proclaiming their heretical, downright evil beliefs from our pulpits.  Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we’re free to hate them, or wish damnation upon them.  I’ll wish Hell on nobody.  I’m mindful of Christ’s admonition:  “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone first.



  1. Among the reasons I swam the Tiber in 2020, leaving the Episcopal church and joining the Catholic church.

    Mark D

  2. I think this was planned. Seminary tells him thanks but no thanks and he sues. With our litigious society and permissive juries it was the perfect set up for a massive payout. The church who hired him can fire him for cause to just not renew a contract or better still when he 'preaches' no one shows up. Empty churches do not pay the bills.

  3. Sometimes we need to be the wind, the rain and the flood. Sometimes we need to drive the money lenders from the temple.

    God helps those who help themselves. Christianity does not require passive acceptance of evil.

  4. "The world evangelizing the Church," IMO, is one of the key factors behind the sexual abuse problems in the Catholic Church–too much buying into ideas that "it wasn't all that bad," "it was curable," "we don't want to ruin someone's life over a single mistake," etc. Not that there wasn't a fair amount of 'protect the Church's good name' mixed in, but the ideological current that produced it is more akin to 60s-70s progressivism than to pre-Vatican II conservatism.

  5. I am also a candidate for ministry in The UMC, in the Texas Annual Conference, though at a much earlier stage in the process than this poor, deluded soul. Our process is long and involved, with checks of our theology and fitness for ministry at multiple stages. I can only assume that the Committees and Boards of Ordained Ministry that let this person through either did not ask the questions they should have asked or did not care about the heretical answers he gave. Another alternative is that he said what he needed to say, rather than what he really believed, to get through, and that none of his mentors or supervisors cared enough to challenge his behavior. Either might be the case. The place, which I can scarcely call a church, where this person is appointed seems to be devoted to practicing left-wing politics than to practicing the apostolic faith. It seems to have been conceived as part of a "Resistance movement" within the UMC, because apparently we're not liberal enough yet.

    I wonder if this isn't the Chicago effect at work, or perhaps the progressive seminary effect. Bloomington is in the Vermillion River District of the IGRC, about as far north as one can get in downstate Illinois. I also wonder how much of the IGRC is quietly lining up to exit the UMC for the Global Methodist Church. As much as I hate to see my denomination coming apart at the seams, I can't fault anyone who's lining up to get out.

  6. I can't agree that we should never hate such people. Scripture clearly teaches otherwise.

    Psalm 139:21-22 "Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies."

  7. “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

    ― G.K. Chesterton


  8. I thought that level of disbelief in the bible and biblical God was limited to the Anglican/Episcopalian church.

  9. @Francis Turner, parts of the Anglican Communion are walking apart from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. However others in the Anglican Tradition are faithful. I spent 60 years of my life in Anglicanism.

    Because I live near a small rural Texas town, I have been attending a UMC parish for the past 4+ years. The UMC is split and the faithful will reform into an orthodox following. The Progressives will wear the skinsuit of the former UMC but will be an empty evil organization.

  10. Luke 18:7-8 I tell you, he will give them justice speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

    Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

    We were warned.

  11. @Peter: That's a common view on this matter these days, but I only tend to find that view in writings from the 20th century or newer. Martin Luther and John Calvin both commented on Psalm 139. Both fully endorsed its message. On the Catholic side, the councils certainly act as if it remains in effect. Over and over in the council documents I see written (often over minor doctrinal disagreements), "If anyone shall say xxxx, let him be anathema." My dictionary says anathema means hated.

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