A report from Hope Rawlson at the blog for the Institute on Religion & Democracy has documented that students at Duke Divinity School, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, have held a “Pride” worship service to pray to the “Great Queer One.”
She revealed, “Divinity Pride, a student group affirming the ‘dignity, faithfulness, and strength of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, and gender/sexuality non-conforming Christians,’” held the event.
The posting explained, “Criticizing the church, Justis Mitchell, a first-year M.Div student, stated, ‘In the pews we listen to the pastor who preaches about commandments, condemning those who disobey, predicating a future of fire and turmoil.’ However, Mitchell believes that ‘We can become holy, we can become worthy, we can become valued…even as we remain queer, even as we discover our own queer God whose presence is within these walls.’”
Renowned Islam expert Robert Spencer wrote in a column at PJMedia, “It was inevitable that Leftist divinity students, marinating as they are in the relentless insanity of the Left’s pet causes, would end up making gods in their own image: gay, woke, and whatever else the Left is idolizing at the moment. Duke Divinity School is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, which is already like being affiliated with the Maoists (gay, gender-fluid Maoists, that is), so it was the perfect place for a recent ‘Pride worship service’ in which participants offered prayers to ‘the Great Queer One.’”
Rawlson noted Caroline Camp, a second-year M.Div student, opened the service with, “Strange one, fabulous one, fluid, and ever-becoming one.”
She claimed God is “mother, father, and parent” and “drag queen, and transman, and gender-fluid.”
She reported, “A self-identified trans woman, C.J. Surbaugh, a first-year M.Div student, defended gender transition as biblical.”
Surbaugh insisted, “I would like to suggest this as a trans text,” citing Genesis 32:22-31.
“The passage details Jacob wrestling with a stranger until daybreak. The man harms Jacob’s hip and commands Jacob to, ‘Let me go, for it is daybreak.’ Jacob responds, ‘I will not let you go unless you bless me.’ As a result, God blesses Jacob and gives him the new name ‘Israel.’”
But Surbaugh, Rawlson reported, sees, “an example of a negotiated body, a trans body, which has been both momentarily injured and fundamentally blessed.”
“Surbaugh compares Jacob’s struggle to the experience of taking testosterone to transition from a female to a male identity. Surbaugh wonders ‘how Jacob felt after the angel had gone’ and if ‘he felt the same way I did on the clear October morning when I learned to give myself a hormone shot,’” she reported.
Rawlson wrote, “Christian doctrine has historically defined the relationship between a man and a woman as the only biblical form of marriage. Yet, the church is called to speak the truth and rescue the lost. Prominent Reformed theologian John Piper wrote, ‘No sin must keep a person out of heaven. None. What keeps a person out of heaven is the unrepentant pursuit of sin, and the rejection of God’s provision for its forgiveness in Jesus’s death and resurrection.’”
Spencer described the Duke event as a “bizarre service” and said the students “have made a god out of their own proclivities.”
But he pointed out they weren’t even original.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Grey Goose) a year ago gave thanks to her god for his salvific sacrifice: ‘Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice.’ Catholic University displayed a painting of George Floyd as Jesus,” he noted. “New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-Planned Parenthood) proclaimed in September 2021 that the unvaccinated ‘aren’t listening to God and what God wants.’ The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which is so far-Left as to make Duke Divinity School look like MAGA country, last October published a new hymn entitled ‘The Climate is Changing.’ In September 2019, climate idolaters at Union Theological Seminary began worshipping potted plants as a ‘liturgical response to our climate crisis.’”