Rosaria Butterfield is well-known as a former professor teaching feminism and living as a lesbian lifestyle who came to Christ, abandoned her former ideologies and sinful life, ultimately married, and became a pastor’s wife. She is now a strong advocate for biblical Christianity and traditional marriage (chapter one reviews her conversion story). She also powerfully opposes the LGBTQ+ agenda which has infiltrated the Western culture. Five Lies is written to expose and challenge deceptions that the LGBTQ+ community has fostered upon an age that has now abandoned Christianity. Those lies are as follows:
- Homosexuality is normal and homosexual orientation is immutable or fixed.
- Being a spiritual person is kinder than be being a biblical Christian.
- Feminism is good for the world and the church.
- Transgenderism is normal.
- Modesty is an outdated burden that serves male dominance and holds women back.
Butterfield believes two landmark Supreme Court rulings changed the American landscape. Obergefell vs. Hodges in 2015 redefined marriage resulting in gay marriage becoming the law of the land. In 2020, Bostock vs. Clayton County, CA, established LGBTQ+ as a civil right. These rulings effectively gave approval to LGBTQ+ ideology and lifestyle and, in addition, made it a crime to oppose the same. It is not enough that homosexuality be accepted, or even approved, it must now be celebrated and promoted even by the majority who disapproved.
Butterfield believes not only homosexual acts but also desires are sinful and in need of repentance (pp. 25, 48, 51). Borrowing from Thomas Watson, she offers six ingredients of true repentance (p. 20). Concerning transgenderism (a word invented in 1974, p. 213), the author makes a case for it being the sin of envy (pp. 30, 193-211), and she traces homosexual orientation theory to Freud (pp. 65-69). Butterfield believes that many identifying as transgender are embracing a social contagion much like the fads of anorexia in the 1980s and false memory syndrome in the 1990s (pp. 219-221). “Even the LGBTQ+ affirming American Psychological Association reports that gender dysphoria does not persist into adolescence—or adulthood in most cases” (p. 219). As a matter of fact, 85% will outgrow gender anxiety by puberty and almost everyone by adulthood (p. 216). Sadly, even many in the evangelical church have bought into queer theory. Best known may be the Revoice movement, “A gay Christian movement that falsely claims biblical orthodoxy, maintains that failing to honor a person’s homosexual orientation and identity is spiritual abuse” (p. 59, cf. pp. 78-85). One of the talks at Revoice18 held at Memorial Presbyterian Church (PCA) in St. Louis, Missouri was entitled “Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure” (p. 153).
Butterfield’s remedy for those involved in Revoice, and all who have bought into the LGBTQ+ agenda, is simple and straightforward: “Be a member of a true church, leave gay culture for Christian living, and get the help you need from your church and, if needed, from a good counselor” (p. 85, she expands this corrective on pp. 86-87). Butterfield is consistent throughout the book that the only safe place to be is in a biblical church and, if the Lord wills, in a godly marriage (p. 153). And in addition, it is important that we know Christ better than we know the world (which means we are in the Bible more than the internet (p. 22)). After all, “We are not getting ‘information’ when we check the Internet. We are merely swimming in our own feedback loop” (drawn from Jeff Orlowski, p. 282).
The author distinguishes between empathy and sympathy (she supports sympathy, or pity, in reference to homosexuals) (pp. 101-102). She also believes that we can offer acceptance to homosexuals, as that is living in reality, but we must not give approval (pp. 292-306). Butterfield is strongly Reformed in her theology and postmillennial in her eschatology (p. 24). These stances color to some extent her views but do not separate her from readers who hold other biblical understandings. This is an excellent book that wades into one of the most important cultural and moral issues of our times and provides solid biblical solutions.
by Rosaria Butterfield (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2023), 344 pp. + xxi, hard $25.99
Reviewed by Gary E. Gilley, Southern View Chapel