Monday, September 12, 2022

Side B theology, "nature" and "will"

Over in the degenerate country that was once a long time ago a godly nation, Christianity Astray Today back in December 3 2021 had published a opinion piece promoting the ideas of "Side B Christianity." "Side B Christianity" teaches that one can legitimately be or identify as homosexual, LGBTQ+, as an expression of one's struggle with these sexual sins, and at the same time call oneself a Christian. As opposed to "Side A" which celebrates the goodness of homosexual acts and LGBTQ+ sex acts, up to and including "marriage," "Side B" claims they agree with the Bible that these sex acts are sins. Therefore, as Christians, they would not engage in these acts, yet they continue to assert their identity as LGBTQ+ and assert they are in those "communities."

As LGBTQ+ acts are gross sexual perversions, Side B followers are most definitely to be lauded for treating these as sins and refusing to engage in these sins. At the same time, their continual identification with gross sin as an identity marker goes against everything Christ died for in purchasing us to be holy in His sight, which excludes identifying with our sins. One argument that a Side B advocate might advance though is a favorite of the LGBTQ+ lobby, that they are just "born this way." In other words, by nature, they were created with this LGBTQ+ orientation. Therefore, just as one born a man identifies as a man, one borns Hispanic identifies as Hispanic, so likewise one born LGBTQ+ should identify as LGBTQ+.

Now, there are various ways to adddess Side B theology and show how it is contrary to Scripture. I however would like to approach it alongside the issue of "will" and "nature." When we tell someone that LGBTQ+ is wrong, we are asking them to "will" to not engage in it, to "will" to not identify as that. In classical metaphysics however, "will" is a property of "nature." But if "will" truly is a property of "nature," then what does this imply for the issue of Side B theology? If by nature they are LGBTQ+, then they would be unable to will to be something else. In other words, under classical metaphysics, Side B proponents would be justified in claiming LGBTQ+ as their identity, even while they do not engage in the sex acts themselves.

Christians of course would point out that in Christ, we are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore, as new creation, our identity is now in Christ and not in our past sins. They are correct in their response. However, that is an insufficient response when one understandings how classical metaphysics interact with Side B theology. If in classical metaphysics, the "will" is a property of "nature," then having a new nature in Christ means having a new "will." However, as Reformed Christians, we hold that grace does not destroy nature but rather renews it. In other words, the new nature we have in Christ does not nullify the created nature. The old, sinful nature most certainly would slowly pass away. However, the old, sinful nature is not necessarily the same as the created nature. Side B proponents could claim that LGBTQ+ identity is just like being male or being Hispanic, and therefore is not part of the old, sinful nature. If that is the case, then being a new creation does not remove the LGBTQ+ aspect anymore than being a new creation makes a Hispanic man not a man and not a Hispanic. Of course, there are a couple of spectacular claims made here, all of which I do not believe are defensible. The point here is that if such a claim is made, then classical metaphysics has been used in the service of Side B theology. Since "will" is a property of "nature," then it is wrong to attempt to make a LGBTQ+ "Christian" change his "will" on this matter, as he can no more change that than a human become a cat.

The good thing about rejecting classical metaphysics is that we do not have to worry about what one's nature is. The fact is that God commands us to be such, therefore everything else is wrong. Side B theology is wrong because it matters not what their natures may or may not be; whether they are "born this way" or not is irrelevant. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and all are to repent of what God calls sin regardless of their "nature" or feelings about the matter. It matters not whether your nature allows you to reject LGBTQ+, because God has commanded therefore it must be done.

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