Dr. Albert Mohler: “Gay” Culture and the Riddle of Andrew Sullivan

…The normalization of sin represents

a progressive hardening of the nation’s heart

against the Gospel.

From Gay Culture and the Riddle of Andrew Sullivan, by Dr. Albert Mohler, published Oct 27, 2006:

andrew-sullivan.jpegAndrew Sullivan is a man of ideas. In recent years, Sullivan has emerged as one of the most influential intellectuals in American public life. Furthermore, he has been identified with some of the most controversial issues of our times–a fact that is hardly surprising given his libertarian view of morality, conservative views of politics, Roman Catholic views of Christianity, and the fact that he is a prominent homosexual advocate…

In the October 24, 2005 issue of The New Republic, Sullivan writes about “The End of Gay Culture.” Of course, Sullivan’s perspective on homosexuality and gay culture is deeply rooted in his own homosexuality and his ardent embrace of his own homosexual lifestyle. He is anything but a dispassionate observer…

As he reviews the impact of the HIV crisis, Sullivan points to some patterns that emerged in its aftermath–patterns that would likely be missed by those outside the gay subculture. The emergence of lesbians as leaders of the major gay rights organizations was, Sullivan suggests, largely due to the fact that the gay male leaders were largely dead…

“Gay marriage is not a radical step,” Sullivan insisted…

But, even as Sullivan argued for the acceptance and legalization of same-sex marriage, more radical homosexual theorists were dismissing marriage altogether. As Sullivan explained,

“Marriage of all institutions is to liberationists a form of imprisonment; it reeks of a discourse that has bought and sold property, that has denigrated and subjected women, that has constructed human relationships into a crude and suffocating form. Why on earth should it be supported for homosexuals?”

Sullivan’s 1995 book, and his most recent article, must be read in light of his 1998 testimonial, Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival. This book was written after Sullivan had been diagnosed as HIV-positive. As he recalled:

“I contracted the disease in full knowledge of how it is transmitted, and without any illusions about how debilitating and terrifying a diagnosis it could be. I have witnessed first-hand a man dying of AIDS; I have seen the ravages of its impact and the harrowing humiliation it meant. I had written about it, volunteered to combat it, and tried to understand it. But I still risked getting it, and the memories of that risk and the ramifications of it for myself, my family, and my friends still forced me into questions I would rather not confront, and have expended a great deal of effort avoiding.”

When a high school friend asked Sullivan how he had contracted the virus, Sullivan informed him that he had no idea which sex partner had been the source of the viral transmission. “How many people did you sleep with, for God’s sake?,” his friend asked. Note Sullivan’s answer carefully:

“Too many, God knows. Too many for meaning and dignity to be given to every one; too many for love to be present at each; too many for sex to be very often more than a temporary but powerful release from debilitating fear and loneliness.”

In other words, the public Andrew Sullivan emerged as a major proponent of responsibility, stability, and self-control, while the private Andrew Sullivan was deeply involved in homosexual promiscuity.

All this broke into public view in 2001, when a homosexual columnist discovered that Sullivan had been posting advertisements for unprotected homosexual sex at internet web sites. The ensuing controversy within the gay community was vitriolic, even as it was revealing.

“The End of Gay Culture” is an eye-opening essay. As an exercise in cultural analysis, it demonstrates genuine insight and an insider’s perspective. More than anything else, Sullivan’s article should awaken thinking Christians to the fact that homosexuality is being normalized in the larger culture. This surely represents a matter of urgent missiological concern, for the normalization of sin represents a progressive hardening of the nation’s heart against the Gospel.

At a more personal level, this article reminds me to pray for Andrew Sullivan. I say this even as I realize that he may be more offended by my prayer than by anything else. In most of his writings, Mr. Sullivan demonstrates a consistent and ardent determination to celebrate homosexuality as central to his own self-discovery and personhood. Yet, he also reveals significant doubts. When he explains that he “never publicly defended promiscuity” nor publicly attacked it because “I felt, and often still feel, unable to live up to the ideals I really hold,” I detect a glimmer of doubt. I have faced Mr. Sullivan in public debate on issues related to homosexuality. I consider him to be among the most gifted, thoughtful, and unpredictable intellectuals on the current scene. More than anything else, I want Mr. Sullivan to find his self-identity and deepest passions in the transforming power of Christ–the power to see all things made new. Without apology, I pray that one day he will see all that he has written in defense of homosexuality, and all that he has known in terms of his homosexual identity, as loss, and to find in Christ the only resolution of our sexuality and the only solution to the problem we all share–the problem of sin.

Andrew Sullivan has been a focus of my prayer since I first learned of his HIV-positive status. I do pray that God will give him strengthened health and the gift of time. After all, our Christian concern should be focused not only on the challenge of homosexuality in the culture, but the challenge of reaching homosexuals with the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel.

Continue reading at Albert Mohler…

This article was posted on Monday, November 6th, 2006 at 8:05 pm and is filed under "Civil Unions" & "Gay Marriage", 01 - Gay, A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Activists, Andrew Sullivan, Baptist, E - Praying for the Lost, News, Physical Health. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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