Zach Lambert is an internet-famous woke pastor at Restore Austin, a church in Texas’ capital. Even many Christians may not have heard of the guy, but rest assured he shapes the discussion about the faith on social media — and not in a positive way.
His pinned tweet on his X profile, from September 2023, should tell you what this guy is all about: “I grew up in white evangelicalism. They taught me that: we’re all equal in Christ, anyone is welcome at church, we should uplift the oppressed, every religion deserves freedom, [and] the words of Jesus must be taken seriously.
“But when I planted a church centered on these values, white evangelicals called us woke liberals, claimed we weren’t real Christians, and kicked our church out of their denominations and networks.”
Indeed, part of that statement is true: Lambert’s church was kicked out of the Evangelical Free Church of America for refusing to sign what he called “an anti-LGBTQIA+ policy that the Texas-Oklahoma District wrote in response to our church not discriminating against queer folks,” the Texas Observer reported in November 2022. That, alone, should set off alarm bells.
But don’t take my word for the fact that Lambert is one of those pastors that 1 John 4:5 warns about, those who are “from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.” Listen, instead, to Pastor Lambert himself, whose spectacular self-own about Biblical language went bad-viral on Monday.
The one-sentence post featured a familiar react video of someone whispering “no” and shaking their head to Taylor Swift, who acts shocked. I won’t pretend to know who the other celebrity is, although it looks vaguely like Selena Gomez or maybe a Kardashian (unlikely, given the circumstances of the bad blood between that family and TayTay).
What I do know, however, is that the caption is almost completely bogus: “’The word homosexuality didn’t appear in any Bible until 1946 and even then it was a translation error.’”
“The word homosexuality didn’t appear in any Bible until 1946 and even then it was a translation error.” pic.twitter.com/r6bib0RxsD
— Zach W. Lambert (@ZachWLambert) January 8, 2024
Wow. That’s a pretty blockbuster implication — that homophobia was cooked into the Bible by foaming-at-the-mouth Christian bigots slightly after World War II! It’s also — as you can probably guess by the community notes on this bad boy — completely false!
First off, as the link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes, the term “homosexuality” — meaning one whose sexual inclinations lean toward those of the same sex — was coined by Karoly Maria Benkert, an Austrian-Hungarian psychologist, in the 1800s.
However, shocker of shockers, the basic concept that Benkert was describing appears in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and it appeared in plain-as-day English text as early as 1611.
Quoth the King James Bible, Leviticus 18:22: “Thou shalt not lie with mankinde, as with womankinde: it is abomination.”
Huh. How about that?
Or maybe he should try 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Know yee not that the unrighteous shall not inherite the kingdome of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicatours, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankinde … shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Just in case you’re unclear on what “effeminate” or “abusers of themselves with mankinde,” what Paul means is homosexuals. But please, don’t let the facts or the Word of God get your way, Pastor Lambert, just because you can’t read yee olde Englishe.
Commenters were just as brutal as the Word, as well:
The word Trinity appears no where in the Bible.
This post is purposefully misleading. To those of you who are being led astray by this FALSE Shepard I suggest you read the following verses in any Bible translation that you desire.
1 Cor. 6:9–10
— Saint Elle (@SaintEllee) January 8, 2024
lol. False Prophets are all over X today!
— PaulCorinthian (@PCorinthia92240) January 8, 2024
The Hebrew literally calls it ṯō·w·‘ê·ḇāh: AKA an abomination.
Stop trying to pretend God condones gay sex.
— Jeremiah Campana (@jesusandliberty) January 8, 2024
Now, at this point, Pastor Lambert used the woke sophist’s way out: No, no, he said, the almost-unequivocal statement he originally posted was, in fact, very equivocal and nuanced. But, above all else, the fact that people contradicted Pastor Lambert is evidence enough alone that they’re bigots. According, that is, to Pastor Lambert.
“This QTs and replies to this are why I often say homophobia and transphobia are first principles for right-wing Christians,” he said in a follow-up post which included context that should have been there in the original:
1. This QTs and replies to this are why I often say homophobia and transphobia are first principles for right-wing Christians.
2. Even conservative biblical scholars agree that 1 Cor. 6:9 is NOT talking about sexual orientation, which is why combining “malakoi” and…
— Zach W. Lambert (@ZachWLambert) January 9, 2024
Of course, all that nuance was left out of Lambert’s initial lie bomb, which was designed to get the clicky-clickies and make him trend. To that extent, I suppose I’m playing into that — but this is important inasmuch as it serves as notice that nothing this attention-seeking man or his confederates have to say needs to be taken seriously.
For the entirety of church history until roughly the day before yesterday, nobody seriously doubted that, within the 66-73 books of the Bible (depending on whether you’re Protestant or Catholic) God expressly forbade same-sex relations — the same way He forbade adultery, sex before marriage, lust, and various other forms of licentiousness.
Nobody stopped to consider that the Bible never expressly talked about “sexual orientation” or made the claim that the absence of the word “homosexuality” — a relative neologism in the history of the English language, all things considered — meant such arrangements were allowed.
When the world’s opinion of homosexuality changed, however, people like Pastor Lambert changed along with it, and for reasons that are all too clear. We’re now expected to believe him when he tells us that his conforming to the world is, in fact, him conforming to the Bible, and we need to conform along with him.
No matter what Lambert might believe about the fungibility of LGBT issues, Jesus is pretty clear on where this kind of pastoral “leadership” will go: “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.