In 2004, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Chicago Theological Seminary, an openly homosexual faculty member brought a special address titled, "'Do Not Be Conformed to This World': Queer Reading and the Task of the Preacher."
Earlier this month, this same seminary handed out specially packaged condoms bearing the school's name and the caption: "Take Two (For the second coming!)" (The seminary was participating in an annual celebration called The Wild Goose Festival.)
This is what happens when a seminary (or denomination; the school is part of the liberal United Church of Christ) departs from the Word and embraces the spirit of the age.
This is the trajectory of apostasy.
According to the school's website, "Since its inception, CTS has lived on the edge – literally and figuratively," fighting slavery and standing for women's rights and black civil rights, but embracing more of a social gospel than a biblical gospel.
Tragically, just as we warned last month after Dr. Tony Campolo's endorsement of same-sex unions, "If you play too close to the edge, eventually you will fall in."
In the case of this seminary, which has long since departed from biblical foundations, there's another lesson we can learn, namely that the embrace of homosexual practice is not so much an advance in "tolerance" as much as it is it a plunge into sexual anarchy, as demonstrated by the condom distribution event.
This is a major point I make in my forthcoming book Outlasting the Gay Revolution: Where Homosexual Activism Is Really Going and How to Turn the Tide).
There I note that, "We are more accepting of homosexuality today because our sexual morals are lower, not because we are more enlightened. Put another way, the gay revolution is not the successor of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s; it is the successor of the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Getting a grasp on this, we get a grasp on where our culture is really headed, helping us recognize that our embrace of homosexuality (even the more committed, less promiscuous kind) is part of our larger descent into sexual anarchy."
This is confirmed by polling data, which indicates that, "The same public that now views homosexuality more favorably also views sex outside of marriage more favorably, along with having children outside of marriage and even polygamy."
This is also confirmed by a study carried out by Prof. Mark Regnerus, who concluded that, "Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable."
In other words, as I wrote in Outlasting the Gay Revolution, "Our embrace of homosexuality is part and parcel of our larger decline in sexual morality."
This means that what is happening at Chicago Theological Seminary is not taking place in a moral and spiritual vacuum. Instead, all these branches of sexual anarchy go back to the same root, namely, the rejection of scriptural authority. We think we know better than God!
Speaking at the seminary's special convocation in 2004, Dr. Ken Stone, the aforementioned openly gay professor, said, "Queer reading asks us to take the realities of male and female seriously, while living our way into a world in which the boxes of sex and gender would no longer normalize us in just the ways that they currently do. Queer reading therefore gives us tools, even for understanding the message of Paul . . . ."
And this was part of his sermon to begin the new school year at the school.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Stone was the editor of a 2002 volume called Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, a volume containing some of the most blasphemous, shocking material I have read in my entire life. (After excerpting parts of the book for a chapter in A Queer Thing Happened to America, I was literally moved to tears of grief. Some of it was simply too shocking and vulgar to repeat, yet it was all published in an ostensibly Bible-based volume.)
To repeat: Contemporary America's embrace of homosexual practice is part and parcel of America's descent into sexual anarchy, which not only includes the full embrace of fornication, cohabitation, and having kids out of wedlock, but the celebration of polygamy, polyamory, and "swinging" on reality TV, not to mention nude dating shows and the like.
The good news (which forms Principle #3 in Outlasting the Gay Revolution) is that "Sexual Purity Trumps Sexual Anarchy," and if we walk in holiness and live in purity, by God's grace and empowerment, we and our families will thrive while those who participate in the culture of sexual anarchy will gradually defeat themselves.
As for Chicago Theological Seminary, one thing they will not do is produce world-changing disciples of Jesus, unless they make a truly radical course correction.
Stranger things have happened, have they not?