June 27, 2015

How Did We Get Here? Desensitize, Normalize, Demonize, Idolize, Legalize, (Victimize)!

by Caleb Kolstad
gay white-house-rainbow

Michael S. Williamson—The Washington Post/Getty Images http://time.com/3938935/white-house-rainbow-gay-marriage-decision/

For many decades the LGBT movement has worked tirelessly in effort to fundamentally transform America’s conscience with regards to sexuality and gender.  This has been achieved, in large part, with direct assistance from Hollywood.  In a Hollywood Reporter article from 9/25/14 Natalie Jarvey wrote, “Gay couples? Gay kisses? Yawn. New sexual boundaries are being broken as Amazon’s ‘Transparent’ is the latest to tackle a once-taboo topic.”  Long before Bruce Jenner decided to go public with his transgender decision the path had already been paved for him.  In my judgment, a ‘team effort’ strategy during a sweeping “moral revolution” is what helped advance the LGBT cause so rapidly.

Our LGBT friends need to remember that not too long ago many/most “Liberal/Progressive” politicians actually campaigned in favor of traditional marriage (take Bill and Hillary Clinton for example).  The night before his presidential election victory in 2008, then candidate Obama said, “Marriage is between a man and a woman.” I do not support same sex same weddings though I do oppose California Proposition 8.  Much has changed in seven short years (and much has not).

If I were to summarize the LGBT strategy I would highlight six simple words: Desensitize, Normalize, Demonize, Legalize, Idolizeand for some, Victimize (or you could say Penalize)!  It is remarkable in some ways that less than 4% of the population has effectively influenced the Supreme Court into changing the “legal definition” of marriage (ultimately no human court has the authority to redefine what God designed).

Bruce Jenner

Photo credit: Annie Leibovitz: Vanity Fair

Now before you dismiss this article outright as coming from one of those “angry Baptist preachers” I would encourage you to at least consider the real life examples that are listed below.

The goal of this post is not to call on Christians everywhere to boycott Hollywood and Starbucks.  Every Spirit-filled believer has to make their own Biblically informed decisions as to what they are going to watch, listen to, and read.  Unlike some pastors, I do not believe that Christian liberty should not be taken away from believers just because it is regularly abused (for more on what the Bible teaches concerning grey area decisions consider this, this, and this). I for one take my wife to a restaurant owned by a gay chief, have gay friends, still enjoy Starbucks, hope to take my children to Disneyland one day, and occasionally go to the movie theater- but now I digress.

How did we get here?  Contrary to popular opinion, TV shows and movies are almost never “agenda-less” entertainment.  People write books and movie scripts with a certain worldview and with specific goals in mind.  My blog is no different.  I have a Christian worldview.  As such I believe that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  I try and convince my small “audience” to follow the clear teachings of Scripture as an expression of love for Christ (John 14:15).

Back to the widespread influence of Hollywood.  Neal Postman observed correctly long ago that many Americans are simply “amusing themselves to death.”  This means that most church kids know far more about the entertainment world then the world of the Bible.  They know the lyrics of secular songs far better then they know lyrics of most sacred songs. They spend more time watching TV/movies then just about anything else.  In view of this, as my Greek professor often said, “We need to be aware so we can beware.”

Suffice it to say, the amount of TV shows that promote the LGBT agenda are too numerous to count.  Here is a VERY small sampling:

Photo credit: HADAMSJ VIA YOUTUBE

Disney Channel–  Many parents assume that everything on Disneyis kid friendly.  Then along came Good Luck Charlie– “Taylor has two moms.” It is only a matter of time before a major animation film attempts to introduce a young audience to an openly gay character.

ABC Family– Has many popular programs for tweens and teens.  Series like Pretty Little Liars, the Fosters, and Ryan Seacreast’s new reality series, Becoming Us.  Becoming us is “a reality show about a boy who learns not only are his parents getting a divorce but also his father is becoming a “woman.”

TV Shows for ‘grown-ups’ (past and present): Programs like Roseanne; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Once Upon a Time; Bones; Glee; How I met your Mother all have/had GLBT characters on it and the list here goes on and on.

Even classic television programs like PBS Masterpiece include homosexual characters and more subtle pro-gay stories.  Take for example Downtown AbbeyCall the Midwife, and Sherlock.

There are obvious LGBT movies like Brokeback Mountain and more covert pro-gay movies like Imitation Games.  As many of you know, the quantity of Hollywood movies with LGBT characters increases each month.  One might conclude based on what they see on the big screen that a large percentage of the American population is LGBT.  Yet Gallup said recently that Americans greatly overestimate what percentage of the population is gay.

Of course if you subscribe to any premium channels like Starz, HBO, Showtime (which I do not recommend) you know that most of the popular series on these channels contains large quantities of nudity, sex scenes, and LGBT characters.

If you’re looking for a good resource to help inform your entertainment choices check out  www.pluggedinonline.com.

Hollywood is not alone in pushing the LGBT agenda.  I have also noticed that ESPN and other major sports outlets have made an aggressive push to promote the Gay Rights movement.

Here are a small sample list of illustrations:  Jason Collins Sport’s Illustrated cover- The Gay Athlete (April 2013)

ESPN’s nonstop coverage of Michael Sam 2014 draft (Sam was picked in the last round and cut by the Rams shortly after.  The Michael Sam “sports stories” were mostly about his sexual preferences and his courage to come out not so much about his football skills).

After Friday’s Supreme Court Decision ESPN put together a list of “sports stars” who spoke positively of the gay marriage victory. Here are a few ESPN/Twitter examples: NBA player Kennth Faried said, “Love conquers all! #samesexmarriage finally legal in all 50 states. I’m so happy for the LGBT community. Thank you SCOTUS! #loveisintheair.”  USA women’s soccer star Alex Morgan wrote- Finally, a big step in the right direction for our country!  NFL player Scott Fujita said- Resist the urge to engage in debate with those in opposition to equality. There is NO MORE debate. Just rejoice and celebrate this moment.

During Friday’s “star of the night” segment on ESPN Sportscenter one of the hosts awarded his prize to the Supreme Court for their SCOTUS decision in promoting liberty and justice for all.  This has become par for the course with ESPN and SI.  How is any of this sports related you might ask?  It’s not, that’s the point. (How Did We Get Here?  Desensitize, Normalize, Demonize, Legalize, Victimize)!

If time allowed I could also cite plenty of quotes from professional singers/bands (#lovewins was the hash tag celebrities used to celebrate the SCOTUS ruling).  From Sam Smith to Willie Nelson to Josh Groban to Madonna to Lady Gaga. In other words, many of your children and grandchildren’s role models used their celebrity platform to celebrate this landmark LGBT victory.

I also do not have time to share quotes and statistic about how the homosexual agenda is being promoted in many public schools.  Hopefully you understand that most school districts are teaching your children that gay is the new black.  In the mind of many educators today if you oppose the SCOTUS ruling you must be a bigot, a hate monger, and/or an ignorant, narrow-minded fool!

So I ask again, how did we get here?  Desensitize, Normalize, Demonize, Idolize, Legalize, Victimize).

“As early as 1989 homosexual activists came up with a basic 6-point agenda:

  1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible(…)
  2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers(…)
  3. Give homosexual protectors a just cause(…)
  4. Make gays look good(…)
  5. Make the victimizers look bad(…)
  6. Get funds from corporate America”

Long ago James Dobson described the homosexual agenda as follows: Their goals include universal acceptance of the gay lifestyle, discrediting of scriptures that condemn homosexuality, muzzling of the clergy and Christian media, granting of special privileges and rights in the law, overturning laws prohibiting pedophilia, indoctrinating children and future generations through public education, and securing all the legal benefits of marriage for any two or more people who claim to have homosexual tendencies.

How should we respond?  I direct you to some of the most biblical, articulate, educated, and helpful articles.  Namely, Dr. Al Mohler’s article here, Dr. Voddie Baucham’s article here, & Dr. John Piper’s article here.  You might also consider signing this Declaration and have it published it in your newspaper.  “We’re part of the 7,000 who will not bow the knee to Baal at the altar of sexual idolatry.  We are not ashamed of the gospel (God, Sin, Jesus, Our Response).”

Dr. Mohler concluded his fine article with this timely word of encouragement. “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 forever.”  God help us all.

Caleb Kolstad

Posts

Caleb is the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in Freeport, IL.
  • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

    My greatest fear now is for my beautiful baby grandson. When he starts school he will be forced to accept this new definition of marriage and family or he will be labeled a hater and bullied for his faith. It is one thing for adults to deal with that kind of opposition, but children? God forgive me, but I’m having such a hard time praying for my enemies at this point. 🙁

    • calebkolstad

      I would encourage you to spend some time with Jesus in John 14. I just preached through John 14:27. What a promise! Oh how I need/desire Jesus’ peace. Take your burdens/fears to the Lord in prayer! Remember Daniel and his young friends who stood strong while in exile! God is faithful!

      • Jane McCrory Hildebrand

        Thank you, Caleb, for that encouragement. I will study those passages tonight. May God help all our children and grandchildren to be Daniels!

  • Adam

    How did we get here? Well, let me first begin with the following text from1 Peter 4:17

    ” For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

    So let’s answer the question by looking at the inside first rather than the outside. Once again, how did we get here? We got here by:

    1) The church failing to stand together on this issue. Where are the mass demonstrations by the church against this type of behavior? Sermons in the pulpit against evil sound good but when the Pastor doesn’t organize and exhort his congregation to couple action to words, it is a failure on the part of both Pastor and congregant.

    2) The church fundamental afraid of being labeled as ecumenists if we decide to march alongside those of another strain of Christianity than ourselves. So instead, we preach a sermon, listen to a sermon, and forget it soon afterwards…but only after we are done criticizing the perpetrators of the evil as expounded upon in the sermon.

    3) The church slowly succumbing to the philosophies and doctrines of the day

    4) The church caring too much what other people think

    5) The church too content with its current comfortable state of existence.

    When the world sees a mass movement of people in one direction not countered with the same fervency and urgency by the opposing side, society will eventually be persuaded by that which they see to be the stronger influence. The civil rights movement is a perfect example, although that was completely different in that that was a justified movement. The church has lost its influence in the culture because there is no unified presence of the church within society. We all have our own little religious “cells” but no unified front fighting together on the frontlines. Why? Because I am a fundamental Baptist and you are not, or vice versa. We wear different uniforms even though we have all been commissioned as soldiers of Christ under the same blood.

    ” For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
    1 Peter4:17

    • calebkolstad

      Lots to chew on here. I am not sure I agree with every point but I think you highlighted some issues that I neglected to mention. Thanks.

  • calebkolstad

    Just read this via Alan Cagle- Francis Schaeffer in 1982. “We must understand something very thoroughly. If the state gives rights, it can take them away –they ’re not inalienable. If the state gives rights, they can change them and manipulate them. But the Founding Fathers believed there was a Creator and that this Creator gave inalienable rights –that is what has given us the freedoms which we still have…We are losing those freedoms and we can expect to continue losing them if this other worldview continues to take increased force and power in our country.”

    • Still Waters

      The more I study history, the more I view the U.S. founding documents as simply the pinnacle of Enlightenment philosophy, based upon the principles of Locke and Voltaire, not Scripture. Both Locke and Voltaire are the sources of the social contract, and both denied the doctrine of original sin, stating the concept that man in his natural state is basically goo. God existed for them as he existed for Thomas Jefferson, a mere invisible hand, as Adam Smith, the great Enlightenment economist would say.

      As such they were flawed from the beginning, as the 1857 Dred Scott SCOTUS ruling, which declared that the original Constitution never allowed the African race to become American citizens and rather classified them as slaves, proved. It was that horribly unjust ruling, lauded by many as proving state’s rights, which led to the 14 amendment. It is that amendment which is now being blamed for this new ruling. Perhaps, if the justices of 1857 had upheld the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which they claimed to uphold, the justices of today might never have concerned themselves about creating a new right.

      In any case, there are no such thing as rights in Scripture. Man is not to kill his fellow man, as they are all made in the image of God; but God gives and takes away the gift of life as He sees fit. There is nowhere in the Bible that suggests we have a right to liberty or pursuing happiness. The former is only found in Christ, and the latter is often portrayed as standing in direct opposition to the pursuit of God. Man’s duty in this world is not to uphold rights, but to carry out his responsibilities, to God first and then his fellow man – to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God.

      • Robert Sakovich

        This is something that Schaeffer also noted. The people founding this country wanted all of the benefits that come from Christianity without the Christian foundation at the heart of it.

  • calebkolstad

    I forgot to link: An Evangelical Declaration on Marriage: Here We Stand. http://preacherboy316pt2.blogspot.com/2015/06/an-evangelical-declaration-on-marriage.html

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  • Johnny

    So why not, “How should we respond” simply be, turn off the television and don’t support Hollywood?

    • calebkolstad

      Johnny- as noted in the article- The goal of this post is not to call on Christians everywhere to boycott Hollywood and Starbucks… Christians need to live out Acts 1:8 and be faithful witnesses.

      Other passages that I find helpful here are: Jude 3-4, I write to you appealing that you contend
      earnestly for the faith.

      Romans 1:16-32, For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power
      of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the
      Greek.

      1 Timothy 6:12, Fight the good fight of faith.

      Romans 12:9, Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

      Eph 4:15- Speak the truth in love.

      Acts 5:29- We must obey God rather than man.

      1 Timothy 6:20, guard what God has entrusted to you

      Mark 10:6-7,
      “But from the beginning of creation, God MADE
      THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND
      THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God
      has joined together, let no man separate.”

      1 Cor. 6:9-11, And such were some of you…

      The article also quotes Mohler- “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 forever.” God help us all.”

      • Johnny

        The culture is one thing (talking with neighbors and co-workers) but the filth of the culture (TV and movies) is another thing completely. Far too often I hear church leaders do these hermeneutical gymnastics to justify watching what they want to want, and I’d much rather hear a pastor talk about his interest in the puritans instead of his fascination with garbage prime-time TV programming…

        • calebkolstad

          I think I understand your concern now. On one extreme you evangelicals with Amish-like tendencies (who are not in the world or reaching lost sinners with the gospel- contra 2 Cor 5; Acts 1:8). On the other you have those who justify loving the world and/or worldliness under the banner of contextualization. Being balanced in the Christian walk is not easy. We desperately need the Word and the Holy Spirit guiding our steps. I know I fail in these areas sometimes. Father forgive me. Thanks. CK

  • Gary

    Desensitize…Normalize

    Brother, though common in the news these days, the fact that you can post a lewd, nearly half naked picture of a “woman” reminds me that Christians lost the battle long before the GLBT battle of this day. I know my comments reveal that I am too dated, but you did not edify anyone posting lewdness, even if this lewdness is also perverse.

    The immodesty of Christians is part of the desensitizing of our own children so that they accept as new normal a lewdness and sexualized image even in evangelical spheres.

    This should bother you as it bothers me. But apparently it does not. I would not have my sons read your post – it does not help them with Matt 5:8.

    So, the natural next step after a generation of lewdness in the hetero world is to migrate to the homo world with even more lewdness, now with perversity added.

    We need to go way back and start with repentance in our own evils and then maybe God will have mercy as we face the more perverse ones of our day – ones that many Christians helped to create half a century ago…we undressed as heteros, now we undress as homos. A natural progression from sin to more sin because sin is never satisfied.

    But I am usually called a prude for my observations. But I believe they are integrally relevant.

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  • Dave O

    It’s desensitization that has taken a fairly short amount of time contrasted with history. A strong foundation can be weakened over time by chipping away at it in it’s strongest points, sometimes a strategic set of blows weaken it in one shot. It’s interesting to think that this decision made by 5 people with an agenda was expected and just a few years ago it wasn’t even an argument.

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