We live in an era where the lines between the Church and the world are increasingly blurred. One might argue that the waters of the sacred have been muddied by the fingers of the secular, tugging insistently on the hem of the holy. One such instance that demands attention is the increasing involvement of Christian congregations, like GodSpeak Calvary Chapel, with organizations such as Turning Point USA.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” —Galatians 1:10
Particularly emblematic was an event that was held on the evening of February 6th, 2022. Yes, I understand this is older, but it appears to be overlooked and is particularly relevant now as we see more and more Evangelicals aligning themselves with this movement.
National Republican and faux-conservative queer activist Scott Presler, an open homosexual, was invited to speak at GodSpeak Calvary Chapel. His speech revolved around practical topics such as voter registration drives, massive city trash clean-ups, and candidate training classes. However, the content of his message isn’t our primary concern. Our focus, rather, is on the decision of the church leadership to platform a homosexual on stage at a church.
Here, you can see him on stage at this church, dressed like a woman and talking with a seriously effeminate lisp, as the church congregations laughs and applauds him for blasting Hillary Clinton.
Who is Scott Presler? Presler is an openly homosexual self-proclaimed “conservative” (but not really, because homosexuality isn’t conservative at all) who frequently speaks about being a homosexual in “conservative spaces.” This is a behavior indicative of the wider trend of identity politics, also not conservative. This approach inherently prioritizes personal identity attributes over shared values, a tactic decidedly unconservative.
Furthermore, his outspoken identification as a homosexual within these traditionally conservative spheres is a flagrant contradiction to biblical sexual ethics. Far from upholding conservative values, Presler is actively facilitating the erosion of these very principles. His activism promotes the normalization of homosexuality, thus distorting the Christian sexual ethic in a deeply troubling way.
From a standpoint firmly rooted in historical, Bible-based conservatism, a church platforming such a man can only be seen as a clear and troubling departure from sound Christian practice and teaching. This is not a critique of all of Presler’s political ideologies nor is it an attack on his person. It is a critique of the fundamental principles upon which Christianity stands, principles that are being compromised by conflating Christian values with secular politics.
The Apostle Paul warns us in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men… will inherit the kingdom of God.” Given the clear Biblical teachings on the matter, one must question: is it appropriate to give such a platform within a house of worship to an individual who openly lives in contradiction to the God-ordained sexual ethic?
The Church, first and foremost, must be the salt and light, the proclaimers of truth in a world drowning in moral relativism. Our highest allegiance is to the teachings of Christ and the Word of God, not to any political ideology. Inviting an openly, practicing queer onto the stage of a church where the Word of God should be proclaimed implies an acceptance or tolerance of a lifestyle that scripture deems sinful. It suggests a normalization of homosexuality within Christian circles, a dangerous and unacceptable compromise of the Gospel.
The Gospel is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). Yes, the gospel is about our personal salvation, but also about how we live in accordance with our salvation, proclaiming God’s truth in a broken world. We are called to love our enemies but we are not called to affirm them in their sin, whether openly or tacitly. Love is not synonymous with unqualified affirmation.
Indeed, we are commanded to love our neighbors. We are also commanded to share the truth of the Gospel. An integral part of that truth is biblical morality and a call to all people to repent and turn to Christ in faith. It is therefore incumbent upon us, as followers of Christ, to uphold these teachings even when it may be countercultural or politically inconvenient to do so.
Christian congregations and leaders must carefully consider the message they send when they extend their platforms to individuals whose lifestyles contradict the teachings of the Bible. We must hold steadfastly to the Gospel, even as we navigate the complex terrain of political and social engagement. Our primary commitment must always be to the Lordship of Christ and the authority of His Word over all aspects of our lives, both private and public. The Gospel must always take precedence over politics, for it is the power of God unto salvation.
With this in mind, it turns out that Turning Point USA has shown itself to be one of the biggest conduits of compromise within Evangelicalism, willing to partner with and platform anyone so long as they hate Democrats. And being a Bible-believing conservative Christian isn’t about hating Democrats, it’s about loving the Christ who died for us—and platforming homosexuals in church settings to lecture us on political or social activism is not loving Christ.