“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.”
What? You might be asking what Christianity or the Bible has to say about Monkeypox. Actually, Christianity and the Bible explains all that we see and do. When Christianity (both natural and particular revelation included) is understood properly it explains everything, including Monkeypox. That said, there are some specific issues related to Monkeypox that bring it to the top of the list. Some things, like cancer or heart disease, can be quickly attributed to living in a fallen world marred by sin and that is pretty sufficient. Monkeypox is different because because of the manner in which it is spread. Progressives (Christian and non-Christian alike) will be quick to decry anyone who deals with this issue honestly, scientifically, and Biblically. Why? Because 95% of cases are among gay people, mostly men. It is culturally taboo to point out this reality; it is considered homophobic to point this out. What should Christians make of this reality?
First, ethics is intimately connected to the physical reality in which we live. Our culture seems to dismiss any form of ethical responsibility at all. School shooters aren't the problem, it is the guns. Illegal aliens (undocumented immigrants) aren't the problem, the border or the wall is the problem. Criminals aren't the problem, it's the system. All of those are a rejection of the idea that evil and wickedness can exist within the person. They reject any sense of moral responsibility in order not to "stigmatize" or "shame" someone. Christians must reject this often subtle lie. The gospel itself is based on the premise that that people are morally responsible for the evil they perpetrate no matter how small the evil act is. There is guilt, shame, and even stigma associated with evil and wicked actions...there should be (Romans 3).
Monkey pox appears to be spread primarily through sex between a man and a man. Christians believe there are two kinds of revelation from God. One is the natural universe. This includes the hard sciences like physics, biology, chemistry, and o on. If God created the world (He did) then it makes sense that we might learn some things about God by studying the world. We can come to theological and moral conclusions by studying the world we live in. Yes, even moral principles can be understood in this way. Could it be that something like Monkeypox, AIDs, and STDs tell us something about the ethics of sexual behavior? Licentious sexual practices very often have detrimental physical effects. This includes homosexual behavior, but is not limited to homosexual behavior. Having multiple sexual partners, sex outside of a monogamous sexual relationship, and other sexual acts can have physical consequences like the transmission of diseases.
Second, the broader culture often assumes there isn't really a connection between the world of ethics and the physical world. Ethics is relegated to beliefs about what is good and bad, but those things are subjective. That is to say they exist inside of each individual subject and not outside of the subject. This is often referred to as relativism and stems from a postmodern perspective of the world. The late Francis Schaeffer talked about this as the upper and lower story of a two story building in his book How Should We Then Live. The lower story is the dwelling place of reason, logic, the hard sciences, etc. The upper story is the loci of emotion, ethics, artistry, etc. These two kinds of things are separated. This separation is a false separation, an inappropriate bifurcation that must be necessarily avoided. Ethical realities/moral absolutes have physical implications. As it relates to Monkeypox, the moral reality that same sex sexual acts are morally wrong has physical implications. The fact that 95% of Monkeypox cases are among the gay population screams that there is a moral reality behind the spread of this disease. While the previous statement is bound to be wildly unpopular and considered to be homophobic, bigoted, and hateful, none of those false accusations have any bearing on the truth.
Nature gives us a minimum of a hint that homosexual behavior is morally wrong. The basic biological realities relates to sexual organs and having babies tells us that there is a proper use of those sexual organs. The reality of STDs and other diseases like AIDS suggests that there are improper uses for our sexual organs. Some say the answer is "safe sex" but to quote the great philosopher D.C. Talk:
Safe is the way they say to play
Then again safe ain't safe at all today
So just wait for the mate that's straight from God
Don't have sex till ya tie the knot
When the Biblical sexual ethic is followed a host of real, physical, and social evils are avoided. Homosexual activity (Lev. 18, 29; Rom. 1; 1 Cor. 6, et al.) is expressly prohibited along with a host of other kinds of sexual activities listed in the same texts. Another example is incest which can have detrimental effects on the children produced in such a case. Monkeypox is an epidemic among a particular population and to shame those who point this out dismisses the the reality that morality has physical, real-world implications on a personal and societal level. The apostle Paul's words in Romans 1 seems appropriate here, "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another."
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.