Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

By James Jeffery

Author: Rosaria Butterfield

Publisher: Crossway

Year: 2023

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). To see AP’s interview with Rosaria see below:

AP’s podcast with Rosaria Butterfield

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 Lie #5: Modesty is an Outdated Burden that Serves Male Dominance and Holds Women Back.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.

3. Transgenderism and Envy

Rarely are the sin of envy and transgenderism linked. Yet, at its heart, the desire to change genders is always the result of envy: the failure to give thanks to God for the gender he has assigned to us, and the longing to be something we are not. The Bible is clear that we do not get to choose our gender — it is a God-given gift.

Without confronting envy undergirding ‘transgender’ ideology, we cannot lead those struggling to repentance and faith. Moreover, if we truly love those identifying as ‘transgender,’ we cannot be silent as they are consumed by a sin that destroys their body and soul (cf. Proverbs 14:30, 27:3-4).

Exposing the link between envy and transgenderism, Butterfield writes:

“Envy and voyeurism fester in transgenderism—and in social media that creates a false community—and fuel its predatory envy. Transgenderism is reckless exhibitionism, taking captive image bearers of a holy God for harm and danger. Why would the church look on and smile? Why would anyone?” (p. 211)

If we are to have compassion towards those deceived by transgender ideology, we must identify the pernicious and destructive lie that is destroying them. This is particularly the case when we consider transgenderism and children today.

With pastoral sensitivity, Butterfield recognises the difference between transgenderism in adults and children. She writes:

“Christians bear a responsibility to minister to both, as both are hurting people, but to help, we need to distinguish between the two and diagnose the problem accurately. The former, adults suffering from an illness, requires biblical counselling and Christian medical care. The latter, manipulated kids, requires that we protect them (and ourselves) from false teachers and remove them from government schools whenever possible.” (pp. 199-200)

Butterfield’s exhortation regarding government schools is controversial, particularly for many Australian Christians who have long trusted in the public education system. However, times have changed, and state schools now brainwash children in transgender ideology from the moment they begin kindergarten.

4. Feminism is Anti-Christian

Butterfield challenges the notion that feminism and Christianity are compatible. Drawing on her own experience, Butterfield identifies feminism for what it truly is: idolatry. Feminism was not a mere academic concern for Butterfield — it was her religion before knowing Christ. She confesses that feminism was something she continued to contend against even once she was saved:

“Feminism was my religion before Christianity was, and it was the hardest thing to shake. Feminism and lesbianism fused together in my worldview. Feminism was the blood that pumped lesbianism into life. My feminism was my idol, and as a new believer I was tempted to build the gospel around it.” (pp. 154-155)

At its core, Butterfield recognises that the central issue with ‘feminist Christianity’ is that it is not grounded in the teaching of the Bible. She exhorts believers not to impose the matrix of feminism onto God’s Word, but rather to draw out from the Bible what is really there.

She writes:

“A faithful Christian is called to read the Bible and to submit to what is there in the Bible, not to seek a universal woman’s voice—a “gynocentric interruption” — or to read what you imagine should be written on the page.” (p. 176)

She laments how feminism has made inroads in the church and the way it has distorted our understanding of God’s good design:

“An almost-Christian feminist worldview championed by many Christian women runs rampant as I type these words. Its faithful members meet for worship on Twitter. Feminism is incompatible with biblical personhood because it contradicts the creation ordinance.” (p. 156)

Many churches today have subtly embraced feminism through progressive vernacular and the insistence of overthrowing gender roles. The insistence for women to have their ‘voices heard’ has led to the ignoring and rejection of God’s prohibition exercising authority over men in the church (cf. 1 Timothy 2:12; 1 Corinthians 14:34). This has manifested itself in the increasing number of women preaching, leading worship, and exercising authority in the church.

Thus, there is nothing more anti-woman than feminism, for the attempt to minimise gender distinctions is an attack on the God who created us male and female. Rather that delighting in the roles and responsibilities God has graciously given to women, feminism insists that women should essentially act like men.

In contrast to feminism, liberty comes not through political revolution, but a revolution of the heart and soul by Jesus Christ (p. 153). This is the only way we can delightfully submit to God’s Word for His glory, including God’s blueprint for the sexes.

5. Feminism and Exhibitionism

One of the most perceptive insights made by Butterfield is our culture’s insistence that women engage in exhibitionism. That is, women are most liberated and joyful when they engage in self-glorification. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The world we live in teaches women that wearing minimal clothing is empowering, and that being loud mouthed and aggressively ambitious is a virtue. In other words, it teaches women to view modesty as an outdated, traditionalistic, and oppressive practice.

Yet, if feminist exhibitionism were truly liberating, why is it that young women today have unprecedented rates of mental health problems? The high prevalence of body-image disorders, anxiety, and depression among women may suggest that feminism has not delivered on its promises.

At its heart, Butterfield suggests feminist exhibitionism is a rejection of the Biblical virtue of modesty — a trait produced when we come to know the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Following Peace and Keller’s definition, Butterfield stresses that modesty is ‘an inner attitude of the heart motivated by a love for God that seeks His glory through purity and humility; it often reveals itself in words, actions, expressions, and clothes.’ (pp. 269-270).

She continues:

“A modest woman does not bring attention to herself but instead gives glory to God. Modesty, however, is not some kind of passive weakness; it is a virtue.” (p. 268)

A life lived in the pursuit of magnifying Jesus Christ is the opposite of feminist exhibitionism. The Christian life is not about ‘my rights,’ but rather about serving others with the gifts and opportunities God has given us.

Instead of being taken captive by feminism, Butterfield exhorts Christian women to embrace their God-given identity and responsibilities. This involves rejecting the world’s insistence for women to engage in exhibitionism, instead pursuing modesty:

“A godly woman’s modesty is a sacred principle, infused with God’s grace. A godly woman’s modesty is a signature virtue, the beauty of which our anti-Christian world mocks and despises. This confusion about the vital role of modesty in the life of a woman has been slipping into the church.” (p. 267).

In other words, there is hope for women who have been taken captive by exhibitionist feminism, and that hope is Christ. By finding ourselves in him, we no longer need to prove our worth and value by gaining the respect and admiration of the world. Rather, our life becomes a constant seeking to make His name great through the way we live and treat one another.

In an increasingly rebellious world, godly women will only become more attractive and glorious. Their honourable and modest conduct will shine like the sun, and they will be beacons of hope in a dying civilisation. Together, we will testify that ‘the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit’ is truly ‘of great worth in God’s sight’ (1 Peter 3:4).

In Summary

As someone who was once an insider, Butterfield’s story and experiences give her a unique and valuable perspective on LGBT issues. She is unashamed to call sin what the Bible calls sin, to expose the faulty foundations of the feminist ideology, and to show how Jesus Christ offers liberty and life to those enslaved in sin.

This book is not a political or theological rant. Instead, it is a plea to Christians not to fall for deadly lies that are destroying the lives of countless people around us. For this reason, Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age is a valuable resource for Christians of all ages. When used with the companion study guide, this book will be an indispensable resource for Christian parents, leaders in university ministries, and small-group leaders.

I have no doubt this will be a controversial book, yet it is only so because we have drifted so far from the truth. Though we may have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, Butterfield presents us with the hope of the gospel. For it is only the God of truth who offers salvation and freedom to those held captive by deception.

[1] J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (New York: Macmillan, 1923), 5.

[2] Peter Jones, The Other Worldview (Lexham Press: Kirkdale Press, 2015), 5.