In his book, Review of “Dangerous Affirmations: The Threat of ‘Gay Christianity’” M.D. Perkins analyzes the movement of what he terms “gay Christianity.” In his forward to the book, Stephen Black notes that revisionists’ expressions of “gay Christianity” include:
- A person who identifies as “gay” is simply part of God’s plan for a diverse church.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT)-identified persons are free to serve in any capacity within the church without restriction.
- Sexual orientation is innate and immutable.
- To truly “love our neighbours,” Christians must fight for LGBT causes, including allowing LGBT persons to serve openly within the church, marry, and adopt children.
According to Black, these expressions reject and revise traditional biblical sexual ethics. While admitting nuances, Perkins broadly summarizes “gay Christian” theology into separate categories: gay Christian theology, affirming theology, queer theology, and gay celibate theology (side B theology). These categories ultimately contrast what Perkins refers to as a “legitimate biblical interpretation” (p. 29) (See “Legitimate biblical interpretation” section below). According to Perkins, other than a “legitimate biblical interpretation,” any of these would be a “threat” to the church. In addition to being an elder at the Lawndale Presbyterian Church (PCA), Perkins identifies as a research fellow for the American Family Association (AFA), the book’s publisher. The AFA is an American conservative protestant non-profit organization that focuses on traditional pro-family agenda and media activism. The AFA is not without scrutiny and disdain by some LGBT advocacy groups, notably the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has accused AFA of being an anti-gay hate group. In a sense, this book puts iron into an existing cultural war.
English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online. https://esv.literalword.com/
DeYoung, K. What does the Bible really teach about homosexuality? Wheaton Ill: Crossway Publishers, 2015.
Gagnon, R. A. J. The Bible and homosexual practice: Texts and hermeneutics. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2001.
Perkins, M. D. Dangerous affirmations: The threat of “Gay Christianity.” Tupelo, MS: American Family Association, 2022.
Phelan, J. E. “Review of Kevin DeYoung’s What does the Bible really teach about homosexuality?” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 8, no. 8, (2022): 212–15. https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2022881
Smith, P. “United Methodists are breaking up in a slow-motion schism,” AP News (October 10, 2022). https://apnews.com/article/religion-gay-rights-f3fc3ec9e1f39501495d227d5a0963f8
James E. Phelan is an adjunct professor for Liberty University -Virginia and Grand Canyon University Arizona, United States.
Phelan J.E. “Review of M. D. Perkins “Dangerous Affirmations: The Threat of ‘Gay Christianity’”,” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 9 no.1 (2023): 45-49. https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2023916