Rosaria tells it like it is – we must heed her important words:
The latest book from Rosaria Butterfield is essential reading. The former lesbian and women’s studies professor has of course now rejected her former postmodernism and sexual radicalism, having become an evangelical Christian. She is now a homeschooling mom living with her husband (a Presbyterian pastor) and 4 children in North Carolina.
She is one of the most cogent and incisive analysts today of where modern culture is at – especially in its sexual dimensions – and how God’s people ought to respond. I have written about her before, including this piece: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2023/04/04/forget-the-trans-pronouns-and-all-the-other-harmful-lies/
Although this book is penned especially with a female audience in mind, both sexes will find so much of value here (and yes, there are only two sexes!). She insists that until the church starts obeying the Lord and stops living by lies, things will only get worse – for all of us.
Just as the Bible early on features the story of the Tower of Babel, so too this book. The chaos and confusion found in that biblical story is just what we find in today’s culture. And it is not just because of the secular left militants who are waging war on all that we hold near and dear.
Too many in the church are abandoning truth and embracing the lies of the surrounding culture. The five lies that she focuses on here are these:
-Homosexuality is normal.
-Being a spiritual person is kinder than being a biblical Christian.
-Feminism is good for the world and the church.
-Transgenderism is a normal.
-Modesty is an outdated burden that serves male dominance and holds women back.
As can be seen, these pretty much cover all that we find in the current all-out attack on marriage, family, sexuality and morality. That the world is pushing this insanity is to be expected. That so much of the church is going along with all this madness is to be condemned.
Butterfield takes on these lies head first, using Scripture, logic, fact, love and grace as she shows us how we all suffer when such lies are embraced and perpetrated. It is high time all Christians return to God and his word, and ignore the suicidal siren songs of the spirit of the age.
She reminds us that the real way to love our enemies is by telling them the truth. That is biblical love in action. For example, those who are trapped in the harmful homosexual lifestyle desperately need to be told that they do not have to be homosexual.
And we need to tell our brothers and sisters in the faith these and other truths as well. Women need to be told once again that there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to be a wife and homemaker. Kids who are confused about their sexuality need to be told the truth about the harms of bodily mutilation and the irreversible damage they can get into.
Consider the first and fourth lies that she covers. Neither homosexuality nor transgenderism are part of God’s creational order. They are results of the fall, and the Christian is called to resist sin and the effects of the fall, not submit to them and regard them as normal.
The world – and worldly Christians – tell us we must embrace who we think we are. They say we must “navigate” our homosexuality or affirm our “preferred” gender. But God wants to equip us to resist sin and affirm who he made us to be.
And as with so many who embrace these lies, having a short memory (having no historical awareness) contributes greatly to this. Butterfield reminds us that the secular concept of sexual orientation is quite recent. She says that it
began in the nineteenth century. You will not find the concept of sexual orientation in the Bible. Instead, the Bible locates sexuality in the creation ordinance as a covenant between one man and one woman. “One man and one woman” can be covered by the word heterosexuality and reflects the goodness of God’s creation. Biblical sexuality is natural, God-blessed and procreative. The goodness of heterosexuality is found in our unique and distinct biology as men and women and the procreative power God gives, while its holiness is found in the covenant of marriage. In contrast, homosexuality is unnatural, sinful, and barren… (p. 67)
That one even needs to state such obvious realities, and pen whole books about them, shows just how far our culture has slipped, and how far the churches have embraced lies and spurned biblical truth. And the problem with historical – and biblical – amnesia is also clearly evident in those confused Christians who embrace the trans delusion. Says Butterfield:
Transgenderism is such a new concept that the 1973 Oxford English Dictionary that sits open on my desk has no entry for it. The word came into existence in 1974 as an adjective referring to “persons whose sense of personal identity does not correspond with their anatomical sex.” This term combines two older words. The first is trans, which means “to bring across or over, to transfer, to cause to cross, to extend across, or to convert.” The second is gender. Until the twentieth century, gender meant being male, female, or neuter. It wasn’t until 1963 that gender began to refer to social attributes that differ from biological sex. (p. 213)
We must speak truth to those caught up in the lies of the trans world – not to do so leaves them in a world of pain and ruin:
Believing things that aren’t true is a sin that leads people into further sin. Eve’s sin in the garden was believing a lie. Obviously anyone identifying as transgendered is living in some state of confusion and pain. But asking people in pain to define their own problem without stable, objective standards is the height of irresponsibility and cruelty. This has wrecked the lives of countless teenage girls, families, workplaces, and schools (just to name a few of the casualties).” (pp. 217-218)
Given that modern feminism also refuses to accept the creational order instituted by God, as with the above errors, let me offer just one quote from Butterfield on this matter:
Early on in my Christian life as I was struggling with the relationship between feminism and the bible, I found myself meditating on the pattern and design of creation. God used Psalm 72 to help me see it. One Lord’s Day in church we sang, “Long as the sun and moon are known, they’ll fear you through the ages all.” How do the sun and moon fear God? By fulfilling their creational design. The sun doesn’t wonder if it is the moon. The moon doesn’t think that perhaps it will wake up tomorrow as the sun. The design of the sun and moon is as plain as day and night. And for the sun and the moon to fulfill their design, they must do the work that matches the nature.
Yet we image bearers of a holy God are so hardened by sin that we don’t see our rebellion. We call it liberty, progress, feminism, but God sees it as rejecting the brightness of glory, scorning our designated roles and places as kings and queens. We scoff at the glory God holds out for us when we deny the biblical gender roles he has reserved for his daughters.
God’s design for women is as earth-shakingly excellent as God himself… (p. 156)
In dealing with these various lies, Butterfield brings plenty of biblical, historical and intellectual firepower to bear on the mass deception we find everywhere. And her aim is not just to win arguments with non-believers, but to set people free from their bondage, delusion and false beliefs. And she wants this just as much for Christians caught up in all this as non-Christians.
But just as Jesus warned us, being willing to speak truth to those caught up in lies, sin and deception will not be easy. It will be costly. But true love is always costly. As she writes:
God calls us to live our Christian lives with courage, tell the truth, and fear God and not man. Can we with Jesus sing Psalm 118:6: “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” I know. You can think of a long list of things the world can do to you. Your son, who calls himself Julie, won’t talk to you. You will be fired from your job if you don’t put a rainbow sticker on your door. Your neighbors will hate you when they learn that you believe in the God of the Bible. All of this may be true, and still this verse calls us to put things in perspective, specifically the Lord’s perspective as seen in Hebrews 11, where we see firsthand that God uses our faith whether we live or die. (p. 32)
Serious words. But we live in serious times, where falsehoods, deception and mass madness are everywhere on the rise, including in our churches. And the damage being done by all this is utterly massive. Unless biblical Christians speak up, standing strong on the unchanging truths of Scripture, our culture is a goner. We need courageous truth-tellers like Butterfield. Who will join her?
Let me point out that a lengthy Afterword offers a lot of helpful and practical advice for those who are struggling in some of these areas – or have friends or family members who are. As someone who has ‘been there and done that,’ Butterfield has plenty of useful wisdom on offer here.
In sum, this is a terrific book penned by a terrific woman. How a “women-centered, pacifist, lesbian vegetarian” turned into a remarkable warrior for God and his truth is an amazing indication of how God can set people free and use them for his purposes.
You need to get at least two copies of this book: one for yourself and one for a friend.
Thank you so much Rosaria for speaking biblical truth, and for speaking it so boldly.