One little bit of Al Mohler's recent essay on "reparative therapy," homosexuality, and the Gospel, sent me off on a bypath. It is in Mohler's quotation of a coalition of mental health-type professionals in 2008, whose stated premise was that “both heterosexuality and homosexuality are normal expressions of human sexuality.” I probed a little further and found the American Psychological Association touting the release of this document, formed by a "diverse coalition of 13 national organizations has joined in a renewed effort to protect the safety and emotional well-being of students." One wonders how genuinely "diverse" the coalition was. Not very, one suspects. Perhaps the "diversity" of a bunch of bananas: some longer, some shorter; some plumper, some thinner. But all bananas.
To say that the statement is question-begging is to say that American government spending has been "a tad short-sighted." What could "normal" possibly mean, in this context? Statistically normal? Surely not; even on the grossly-inflated 10% figure, homosexual behavior is not the norm. Biologically normal? In terms of design, again, surely not — unless one wishes to argue that the mere fact that a thing can be done with a part of the body means that it is normal to do so... in which case, the imagination quickly staggers under such new-"normal" images as fingers in pencil sharpeners, tongues in light-sockets, legs in wood chippers, and the like.
No, clearly "normal" is the result of some extensively massaged redefining. Stripped of footnotes and citations and psychologese, I daresay this "normal" amounts to "feels right to them and doesn't seem to hurt anyone." This definition, in turn, while popular, also rests atop a mountain of unfounded assumptions. Is what "feels right" therefore right? Yes!, says popular culture. "Follow your heart!"... until one mentions, say, rape or murder, which also arise from the heart. All right, not that. It has to not "hurt anyone." Why not?, one asks. Well, hurting others is bad, we guess baselessly. Oh, so abortion is out? No, no no no...
And on it goes.
You smart cookies have already arrived where I'm heading. Though our culture has selective awe and reverence for the Priesthood of White-Jacketed Experts (preferably Government Certified™), this thunderous, well-nigh Sinaitic pronouncement rests on precisely nothing.
Look: suppose someone brings you a shiny, multiflanged, multifacted, multicolored, multilimbed metallic thing with a big shiny propeller on it. He asks you, "Is this working normally?"
Your response, of course, is "I have no idea. What is it supposed to do?"
Well, that's what you'd do. You have some common sense. If you were a Government Certified™ Expert, on the other hand, you'd forcibly extract money from working folks, fund a committee, commission a study, and produce a report. If the committee noted that it kept doing the same thing and didn't burst into flames, they might name it a Disgronificator, hand it back, and say, "Yep. Normal!" Or if it worked too well, they'd regulate it into inaccessibility. But I digress.
The truth is, we really do not know what "normal" is (except statistically) until we know design and intent. That is, we don't know whether Object A is functioning normally until we know what Object A was designed to do.
So that is why in WTG I go right back to the opening chapters of Genesis, to the creation of man. It's a simple formula:
- To understand how the Gospel is a solution, we must understand what problem it addresses.
- To understand what problem the Gospel addresses we must understand what is wrong with man.
- You can't understand what is wrong with man without understanding what man was created to be and do.
In other words, God created and defined us, our world and our meaning; and we turned around and re-defined ourselves, our world, our meaning — and God.
Then all Hell broke loose.
And that, dear friends, is how we got where we are today: up is down, left is right, black is white, harmful is helpful, and perverted is "normal."
But let me throw yet one more monkey-wrench into the Autonomaton. If we want to see what a real "normal" human being is like, we need to look at Jesus, as I have argued elsewhere. Put that in the context of the rest of the Bible.
Then "normal" takes on a very different hue.