According to Science Daily, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. Make that 4,201.
I realized this as I was following the results of the latest UT/TT poll. They asked Texans about everything from the economy to immunization. What I found most interesting was their arrangement of topics. They juxtaposed Christianity and LGBTQ issues…as if they are opposites.
In our own town, I was recently on a panel to discuss LGBTQ rights. The other panelists were LGBTQ activists and another minister.
There’s a reason for the pairing in both cases: LGBTQ is a religion.
What is a religion? Again, Science Daily : “Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. Many religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures.”
Let’s unpack this a bit. In the LGBTQ universe, sexuality is the sun around which everything revolves. This religion comes with rainbow symbols and holy places like Stonewall and Moses figures like Harvey Milk. Through the unifying theme of sexuality, morals, ethics, and laws are strained. One is either a member in good standing, an ally, or an enemy.
The practice of a religion may also include rituals, sermons, festivals, feasts, trance, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. One need only attend a parade or spend time a few days in America during pride month to see examples of each of these.
Viewing the LGBTQ agenda from a religious perspective helps make sense of some of what we see today. Transgender story hour at the local library is a perfect example. Story hour shouldn’t be viewed as grown men dressed as women reading books about sexuality to pre-pubescent children. That would be strange, bordering on illegal. Local governments would be keen on shutting that down.
But if the story hour is the LGBTQ version of Sunday School, it becomes a First Amendment protected “church” service. Same with a parade that might normally get shut down for lewd and indecent behavior. But if it is a religious celebration, a pilgrimage…
Seeing the LGBTQ agenda as a religion also helps us understand Paul in Romans 1. Here, the Apostle tells us, God’s wrath comes because humans have exchanged the worship of the immortal God for mortal man. In other words: self-worship (Rom. 1:23).
Paul’s discussion of homosexuality in this context (1:24) is simply Paul’s illustration of his point. Homosexuality isn’t the worst sin, it’s simply the most obvious and outlandish example of self-worship to be seen. The real problem isn’t homosexuality, that’s just symptom. The real problem is false worship.
God made us to worship…we’re therefore all worshipers. The question is what or who will we worship. Our tendency is to worship things other than God, for the human heart is an idol factory (John Calvin).
It’s no surprise that God would use sexual terms to describe our love affair with idols. When Israel turned to them, we read they “prostituted themselves.” Why this analogy? Because God pictures us as his bride and himself as our bridegroom. When we put something before him, we are unfaithful. When we willfully disobey his Word, we are unfaithful. When we refuse to accept his wisdom, we are unfaithful.
Idols come in various shapes and sizes. The religion of LGBTQ today isn’t much different than other idols that have waxed and waned in popularity over the years. The point is…it is an idol. It cannot co-exist within a faithful relationship with God. “I am the Lord your God…You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:2-3).”