(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.“