“Now is the time to say . . . ‘God is queer.’”
Who spoke these blasphemous words, and what was the context of the statement?
The words were spoken by Quinton Caesar, a Lutheran pastor in Germany, at the conclusion of the annual gathering of the nation’s Protestant (meaning Lutheran) pastors.
The conference theme was “Now it the time,” and this was the immediate context of Casear’s words (who himself is black, originally from South Africa):
“Now is the time to say: ‘Black lives always matter.’ Now is the time to say: ‘God is queer.’ Now is the time to say: ‘We leave no one to die.’ Now is the time to say we send a ship and much more and we welcome people at safe harbors, safer spaces for all.”
And how did the crowd of church leaders respond? With sustained applause and shouts of approval, especially for his statement that “God is queer.” (Watch the video here.)
Talk about a picture of an apostate church.
Talk about a vivid illustration of blasphemy and spiritual blindness.
Talk about shouting to the nation, “We are the blind leading the blind! Come follow us into the ditch!”
And how did the Church Assembly respond to his message? The Assembly said,
“Quinton Ceasar gave a very personal and emotionally stirring sermon in the service... He denounced racism and made it clear that many people do not feel safe in the church.”
Ah yes! It was a “very personal and emotionally stirring sermon”! Preach it, brother!
And how did the Assembly respond to the “hateful” comments that Caesar received in response to his message? (I don’t doubt that some of the comments were, indeed, hateful.)
The leadership said, “Nobody has to agree with the statements of the sermons or the elements of the closing services. Exchange and even productive arguments about it are even desired – also among us. But attacks on those who justifiably denounce racism and discrimination in the church lack any form of decency and a culture of debate, they are deeply unchristian. We resolutely oppose this hatred.”
So, the problem was not that an ordained, state-salaried pastor in clerical robes declared that “God is queer.” No, the problem is that people responded with hatred. That’s what must be “resolutely opposed.” That’s what lacks “any form of decency.” That’s what is “deeply unchristian.”
Talk about calling evil good and good evil. Talk about trying to take the speck out of your brother’s eye while you have a plank in your own (see Matthew 7:1-5). Talk about deep self-deception.
And do these leaders really think that the main problem most people had with Caesar’s message was his denouncing of racism? Hardly. It was the blasphemous pronouncement that provoked most of the ire.
Caesar had also stated that,
“God is always on the side of those on the margins, who are unseen or unnamed. And if God is there, then there is our place. Love has never been a mass movement. But I'm an optimist.”
So, since God sides with those on the margins, He Himself must be queer. But of course!
Based on this kind of logic, Jesus, who hung out with prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors must Himself have been a whoremonger – and a financially corrupt one at that. That would be an equally sick deduction to make.
Even Germany’s far-right party, the AfD, which is far more political than it is Christian, tweeted that “the Evangelical [= Lutheran] Church has completely distanced itself from the Christian faith.”
This, of course, is completely true, but there is nothing new here. The State Church, as a whole, has been apostate for many years now. It’s just a bit more obvious than before.
No wonder hundreds of thousands of people are leaving these churches every year. No wonder hundreds of church doors are closing and countless church buildings are being sold.
When clergy do not believe that the Bible is really the Word of God, when they no longer preach the gospel, when they themselves do not know God and therefore cannot bring others into His presence, there is no compelling reason for people to attend their services.
What true hope can they offer?
What type of life transformation can they promise?
Already in 2018 it was reported that, “Last year saw 660,228 fewer members in Germany's Protestant and Catholic churches . . . .” (A major reason that the Roman Catholic Church of Germany is also bleeding members is because of the many sex scandals that have plagued it.)
The real gospel will nourish the hungry and the thirsty and challenge the faithful and committed. Human variations of the gospel are no gospel at all. They promise little and deliver even less. They are devoid of the power of God.
Little wonder, then, that church attendance among free evangelicals – meaning, Protestant Christians who are not part of the State Church – is “much higher.”
True Christians want to hear the Word of God. They want to worship Jesus. They want to encounter God.
Consequently, where the Word is being preached (as God’s Word, not as some ancient religious document that is similar to other ancient religious texts), when Jesus is being exalted, when people are meeting with God, true Christians, along with non-believing seekers, will come.
In contrast, if they wanted more of this world’s philosophy, they would simply stay home.
The truth be told, if this annual State Church conference wanted to be accurate with their theme, with one voice they should have shouted out, “Now is the time to proclaim what has been obvious for decades. We are an apostate church!”
May God give courage to the believing remnant. May He pour out a massive spirit of repentance on this very influential (and very lost) country. May the true church of Germany, in all its varied forms and expressions, arise.