After Bradley Helgerson, pastor of the Church on the Square in Georgetown, Texas, spoke out at a city council meeting against a pro-LGBT mural, the church found itself evicted from its leased space with little explanation, but Helgerson said that God has used the situation for good.
The city of Georgetown has a new mural painted each year through a partnership between Georgetown Independent School District (GISD), the Georgetown Arts and Culture Board, and the city council. This year’s mural was designed by a middle school student and reads, “be your own person” written in rainbow letters with poppies colored as the transgender, bisexual, non-binary, and other sexual pride flags.
Helgerson, whose church had been holding its worship services in space leased from the Georgetown Palace Theatre, spoke out against the mural at a city council meeting. Helgerson said he wanted to provide “theological context for the ideology lurking behind this artistic expression.” He said it attempts to “fundamentally reorder society.”
He explained that as man has through wealth and technology gained greater control over nature, man has forgotten that he must conform to the created order, but instead has opted to rebel. He said this control over nature has led to “cultural hubris” which seeks to liberate itself from all restraints, “casting doubt upon creational distinctions which have stabilized western civilization for millennia like the important difference between men and women — a flouting of the natural order which cannot be done with immunity.”
He added, “Deny gravity by jumping off a high-rise building and the consequences are immediate, but if you deny biological gender the consequences may be delayed but they will be no less tragic.”
Helgerson discussed the purpose of art, which he says is to help us to understand the sacred and the transcendent and to conform us to it. He said that the imminent threat to our society is a rebellion seeking to destroy the sacred. He explained,
“Many have been fooled into thinking that such a rebellion against reality is an act of liberation that when we tear down every normal we’ll be left with a freer society that true freedom comes when the shackles of the sacred are removed. But the work of the LGBTQ movement is not the work of liberation but of liberationists whose desire is to destroy the societal order itself precisely because of its demand for conformity. In other words, it’s not a matter of open mindedness but of closed heartedness to right judgment that is the problem. Therefore, their goal is to remove all judgments all boundaries as is testified to by the endless numbers of genders and sexual orientations they affirm.”
He further warned,
“I know this seems extreme in the context of one mural, but it’s not just a mural. It’s a piece of propaganda for an ideology that seeks to destroy Western civilization and to use our children as its foot soldiers. And so it’s not culture that we’re talking about, but it’s anti-culture. And to refuse to push back against it now will mean the substantial loss of real liberty for our children in the future.”
A member of Church On the Square, Aliya Mathiesen also spoke out, reading Romans 1:18-32 and calling the mural “an abomination” that would invite God’s wrath.
Less than two weeks later, Helgerson received an email from Ron Watson, executive artistic director for the Georgetown Palace Theatre, telling him that that church was being evicted, effective immediately, due to “resource management issues.” The church was fully paid up on its lease, which ran month to month.
After multiple requests for more information, Helgerson received no answer. The church’s audiovisual team was contacted to pick up their equipment where they were met not by Watson but an employee and given a check for the remainder of the month’s rent.
“It was highly suspicious,” Helgerson remarked. “The way that it was terminated just made no sense. It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, we changed our mind, we’ll give you until the end of the month’ or, ‘Here’s why…,’ or anything, it was just an immediate cutting off, giving us absolutely no chance of finding a place for our Mother’s Day service.”
Helgerson posted on the church’s Facebook page that the church had been “canceled” and said, “no doubt this is in retaliation for my remarks at the city council meeting last week.” He added that the church would meet on the courthouse lawn for services. “Worthy is the lamb who was slain,” he added.
“It ended up being amazing,” Helgerson said. “God took something that was done for evil and made it for good.”
Helgerson’s stirring remarks are worth listening to. His view of the transcendent and the beautiful are reminiscent of such Christian apologists as G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, as are his criticisms of the “revolutionaries.” As Chesterton discussed of those who rush to tear down the lamppost without stopping to consider why they are tearing it down, the destruction of societal and physiological norms is harmful to all. Chesterton’s discussion of the modern revolutionary is also appropriate as he discusses that such a person has been so busy attacking everything that he has no grounds to stand for anything.
He opens that segment with,
“But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it.”
Chesterton ends his point by writing,
“Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
During her remarks Church on the Square member Aliya Mathiesen quoted Luke 17:2, which says, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Advancing the LGBT ideology has been a millstone for the children of Georgetown, Texas, and across the country as evidenced by a middle school student designing the mural as a good thing even as other children around the country are being chemically and physically mutilated in the name of gender ideology and secular humanism.
Throwing off God’s design has only brought confusion, anxiety, and despair to our society and this current generation of young people, not freedom. Only a return to Scripture can save our society and our children, as only its time-tested truth and the grace of Christ can deliver authentic peace and freedom.