Pride: A Christian Response

In 2011, then 63-year-old Italian History Professor Roberto De Mattei made the following statement about the decline of Rome: "The collapse of the Roman Empire and the arrival of the Barbarians was due to the spread of homosexuality... The Roman colony of Carthage was a paradise for homosexuals and they infected many others.’"[1] Unsurprisingly, many called for his removal from teaching. Eleven years later, and any criticism of the LGBTQ community, along with their “pride” celebrations, has invited only stronger antagonism from secular society. How are Christians to maneuver within this vitriol atmosphere? The answer, of course, lies within the gospel and a biblically shaped worldview.

The Fall of Rome and the Fall of the West: Decadence and Pride

De Mattei was not the first to make the case that the fall of Rome was largely due to a decadent society enthralled in the sins of sexual promiscuity and deviance, nor was he the last. Historiography long recognized the correlation between a society's sexual decadence and its inevitable decline and fall.

One may even postulate that the Western World—America in particular—is currently marred by these same trappings and is itself a mirror of the fall of Rome. Sexual sin, when it is permitted to run rampant, will ultimately bring the downfall of culture and destruction of civilization as we know it.

Scripture is replete with examples of God's judgment against sexual sin. Sodom and Gomorrah stand as smouldering examples of the extent of God's wrath against the sexually immoral. In fact, the Apostle Paul goes as far as to say that sexual deviance, especially of the LGBTQ variety, is the result of God having turned sinners over to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:18-32). It's not that sexual sin is just another sin amongst many; sexual sin is, according to Romans 1, one of the most wicked and depraved sins that one can commit.

“Pride” Month Comes Before a Fall

This, of course, brings us to Pride Month: A month devoted to pridefully celebrating some of the most wicked and heinous sins imaginable; namely, that of homosexuality, transgenderism, gender confusion, and all other manner of sexual deviance. The very name brings with it the warning found in Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Indeed, when sins that are against God’s created order, that rebel against nature, and are opposed to His Law are pridefully celebrated, destruction cannot be far off.

How fitting it is that the “pride” movement has attempted to commandeer the rainbow as their own emblem. In reality, the rainbow is not a symbol for sexual fluidity, but a covenantal sign from God that reminds His creation that He will not flood the earth again, as in the days of Noah. If God’s judgment seems far off, it is only because the covenant sign of the rainbow holds true and the patience and longsuffering of God are beyond measure: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23).

The Christian Response: Repent, and Believe the Gospel!

What are Christians to do? Preaching against these sins is often met with criticisms of prudishness, homophobia, transphobia, backwardness, and repressiveness. Some Christians even believe that if we are to effectively preach the gospel and reach the lost, we need to be more winsome and less jarring, and therefore we ought not to mention these sins at all.

According to Scripture, this could not be further from the truth. Truly preaching the gospel means plainly recognizing sin as sin and calling all sinners to repentance.

Consider John the Baptist. His preaching often leaps off the pages of Scripture for the modern reader. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" I once heard him referred to as a "prototypical doomsday prophet," and if his preaching makes modern man uncomfortable, it does seem as though his fiery demonstrations of gospel truths made his contemporaries uncomfortable as well. After all, John the Baptist was not at all afraid to approach even the leaders of his day to preach against their sin—even sexual sin—that he might call them to repentance and salvation in Christ.

Matthew 14 contains the account of how John the Baptist was beheaded. He went to Herod the Tetrarch and called him to repent because of sexual sin; it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife. The result of this preaching? John’s head on a silver platter.

This story encourages Christians in two ways. First, we must be willing to proclaim the gospel at all times to all people, and that means recognizing sin as sin. It is actually loving for us to do so. Secondly, we ought to expect persecution for our efforts. But, like John, we must faithfully proclaim the gospel without fear of what may happen to us at the hands of sinful men. We know the Lord, and thus we need not fear any mortal man.

So, what does the Christian do during “Pride” month? The same thing we do every other month. Faithfully follow the Lord and His Word, preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray that Jesus would conquer His enemies, either through salvation or judgment.


Jacob Tanner is pastor of Christ Keystone Church, a Reformed Baptist church plant in Central Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife and two sons and is the author of Union with Christ: The Joy of the Christian’s Assurance in the Doctrines of Grace.

[1] See: Nick Pisa, “Outrage as top Italian history professor blames fall of Rome on rise of homosexuality,” Daily Mail, April 8, 2011.


Jacob Tanner