Butterfield and Five Lies of Our Age

There’s no question that the West is becoming increasingly antagonistic towards Christianity. One reason for this is that the ever-expanding LGBT agenda is deeply incompatible with biblical Christianity. In our age of ‘self,’ choice and rights are paramount, and no one has the right to tell someone else what to do (unless, of course, you are correcting a Christian).

Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age speaks into our context, unpacking how we arrived at our current state. Butterfield gives a biblical diagnosis and prognosis of our predicament, outlining the key issues at stake. For this reason, it is a critical book for our day and age.

The author, Rosaria Butterfield, was formerly engaged in a homosexual relationship and worked as a radical feminist academic at Syracuse University in New York. After a radical encounter with Jesus Christ, her life was irrevocably changed. She now serves the Lord as a writer, speaker, and homemaker, sharing the good news of Jesus and its transformative power.

As the title suggests, the book provides biblical truths in response to five lies prevalent today:

  1. Lie #1: Homosexuality is Normal.
  2. Lie #2: Being a Spiritual Person is Kinder than being a Biblical Christian.
  3. Lie #3: Feminism is Good for the World and Church.
  4. Lie #4: Transgenderism is Normal.
  5. Lie #5: Modesty is an Outdated Burden that Serves Male Dominance and Holds Women Back.

You ought to buy the book to receive all it has to offer, but here are some key points I took away:

1. The Lie of Gay Christianity

In Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age, Butterfield cautions Christians against jumping on the ‘Gay Christianity’ bandwagon. This movement describes homosexuality as an identity rather than a behaviour, refuses to identify homosexual lust as sinful (cf. Matthew 5:27), and embraces LGBT language in Christian activities (i.e., diversity, inclusion, hate speech, etc.).

Butterfield argues that ‘Homosexual orientation is a man-made theory about anthropology [which] comes from atheistic worldviews that coalesced in the nineteenth century in Europe.’ (p. 65) The Freudian idea of ‘sexual orientation’ is an anti-biblical concept which must therefore be rejected by the church.

She reflects on her own deception before becoming a Christian:

“Instead of lesbianism being who I was, I now understood it as both a lack of righteousness and a wilful transgressive action. I was no victim. I was no “sexual minority” needing a voice in the church. I needed to grow in sanctification—just like everyone else in the church.” (p. 49)

She continues:

“I learned that we repent of sin by hating it, killing it, turning from it. But we also “add” the virtue of God’s word. It is light that changes darkness. The Bible calls us to mortify (kill) and vivify (enliven). I realized that Christians are given a new nature, yet we have sin patterns that we need to kill, to be sure.” (p. 49)

‘Gay Christianity’ is not only anti-Christian, but it denies salvation to those in the snares of sexual sin. It negates the possibility of freedom from disordered sexual desires and does not appreciate the power of the cross to free captives from their sin. On the contrary, the gospel offers a better narrative.

First, those who have engaged in homosexuality — in thought or deed — need not view themselves as permanently enslaved to their desires. Instead, God calls them, as he does all people, to repent and believe in the gospel, that they may have everlasting life (cf. John 3:16).

Second, it provides freedom and hope to those feeling shackled by their sins. By accepting Christ, we can overcome the deeds of the flesh through the Holy Spirit, including sexual sins. God no longer defines us by our transgressions, as we have been united with Christ. For believers, how beautiful it is to be recognized as a ‘new creation’ rather than being labelled by our sins?

2. Spiritual or Biblical?

In recent times, liberal Christianity has reared its ugly head again. In the name of ‘tolerance,’ liberal Christianity despises exclusive truth claims as bigoted and inhospitable. As J. Gresham Machen, author of Christianity and Liberalism wrote in 1923:

“The movement designated as “liberalism” is regarded as “liberal” only by its friends; to its opponents it seems to involve a narrow ignoring of many relevant facts.”[1]

Similar to the climate of the early 1900s, there is now a push in the West to distinguish ‘Biblical Christianity’ from ‘Spiritual Christianity.’ In other words, your relationship with Jesus is more important than your doctrine.

Butterfield challenges the false dichotomy between spiritual and biblical, suggesting that true spiritual only flows from biblical Christianity. Unless spirituality is tethered to the truths of Scripture, it is nothing more than subjectivism.

Butterfield echoes the words of Peter Jones, who suggests, ‘Spirituality has become a do-it-yourself life hobby that blends ancient Eastern practices with modern consumer sensibilities.’[2]

She explains why only biblical Christianity provides the strength and power we need to resist worldly lies:

“What makes one child’s faith stand against the world and another fall in conformity to it? The word of God is our answer. And the word of God is an answer of hope. Jesus is our hope, and he is not done with any of us.” (p. 124)

Biblical faith is grounded in the promises of God as revealed in His Word. Unlike the chaff of ‘spiritual Christianity,’ biblical Christianity is anchored in real promises of hope, joy, and peace for those who repent and believe.

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