HOW THE LGBTQ+ THRIVING MOVEMENT CONTINUES IN THE SBC AND PCA
By Rev Thomas Littleton 6/29/2019
There looks to be enough confusion and cowardice to go around in the last two significant denominations in America who had not jumped the rainbow on LGBTQ+ equality. But now both of those denominations have shown their unwillingness to simply preach Christ and leave the pressure from the shifting sands of culture out of their approach to something that God in His Word and recorded history address with zero ambiguity.
SBC MET A FEW WEEKS AGO AND REFUSED TO CONDEMN THE REVOICE MOVEMENT
The Southern Baptist had a chance to condemn the top down effort to push LGBTQ+ Thriving in historic Christian tradition but refused to do so. Instead their Resolutions committee rejected such a grassroots resolution and affirmed one of the Committees own which simply affirmed the anemic Nashville Statement which came from the same hallowed halls of Baptist learning as Revoice itself -Southern Baptist Theological Seminary .
THE MUSHY MIDDLE IS SET TO COLLAPSE
The Presbyterian Church in America met this week with 11 overtures to address or condemn the Revoice movement which also has deep ties to the PCAs Covenant Theological Seminary and was hosted in a PCA church in 2018 .
The pastor of that host church is Greg Johnson who was given 5 minutes to tell his “story” in the PCAs General Assembly in Dallas .As it turns out Johnson was less tearful and pitiful when he invited everyone to the Revoice Hospitality Suite to celebrate with scotch and pizza as can be seen in the facebook post below the video
At #pcaga? Join Nate Collins, Stephen Moss and I at the Revoice hospitality suite with pizza and scotch. (Best taken consecutively.) Tower suite 8172. 5 – 7:30 pm.
I’m thankful that a campus minister named Bill loved me. He didn’t try to fix me, control me, or ship me off to a conversion therapy camp. He loved me, welcomed me into his home, sat with me, and invested so many hours in me. He was the first person to suggest I pray about going to seminary.
Jesus hasn’t made me straight. But he covers over my shame. Jesus really loves gay people.”
ALL BUILT ON THE FALSE ASSUMPTIONS OF THE APA- NOT THE WORD OF THE LORD
Read carefully and you will see that Johnson in his CT interview affirms the same position that Revoice, the SBC and PCA are assuming -which is that homosexual orientation is real and fixed and does not change – is not changed by the power of Christian faith and conversion. This narrative is totally false and not based on the Word of God and the Good News promise of freedom from sin and new identity in Christ. In short it is a false gospel built on narratives from the APA/ mainstream culture / and seeker – sensitivity gone wild .
The follow up article from Christianity Today to the PCA meetings might be encouraging to untrained eyes and ears but in fact does nothing except to illustrate the circular and unbiblical nature of the entire set of narratives pointing back to the false assumptions of orientation .
“The decisions at this year’s PCA general assembly in Dallas follow months of controversysurrounding Presbyterian leaders’ involvement in Revoice, a conference featuring the voices of same-sex attracted Christians who affirm traditional beliefs around marriage and sexuality. The inaugural conference was hosted at a PCA church in St. Louis last July. Its second gathering was held earlier this month at another venue.
The Nashville Statement, a 14-point document released by the complementarian Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 2017, conflicts in part with Revoice’s approach, particularly article 7, which denies that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” Some participants continue to self-identify as gay or same-sex attracted.
“Most of the Christians I know who describe themselves as ‘gay’ use the word in a similar way that Paul did when he called himself a sinner. They use the word not as a banner or as an identity, but as an honest recognition of their broken state as those affected by original sin,” wrote Christ Presbyterian pastor Scott Sauls, in a 4,700-word blog post urging his denomination against “unnecessary division.”
Many of the 10 PCA overtures addressing sexuality were collapsed into votes on declaring the Nashville Statement “biblically faithful” (passed 803-541) and establishing a study committee on sexuality.
A minority proposal that specifically critiqued Revoice was not approved, and some in attendance tried to rule its scope out of order, since the ministry is not officially affiliated with the PCA and the local presbytery had already investigated and approved the involvement of the host church and its pastor, Greg Johnson.”
A HISTORY IN APOSTASY PLAYING OUT BEFORE OUR EYES.
It does matter to every person who lives in America – how these last remaining Biblically faithful denominations respond at this juncture – because the church in decline is the greatest indication of a culture and a civilization in even steeper decline – or as Leonard Ravenhill once said it “As the church goes -so goes the world”.
One of the most conservative churches in the PCA is Briarwood Church in Birmingham Alabama . This writer had done apologetics on the topic of LGBTQ+ there for many years in the past . It’s pastor Harry Reeder finally came forth in a statement to provide what some view as a long overdue response from one of the PCA’s leading congregations .
It reads in part:
“The objective was in light of the present theological confusion and missed ministry opportunities to provide a discipleship tool whereby the Lord’s people would be equipped and enabled to “contend for the faith” without being contentious and “defend the faith” without being defensive. The desired outcome being a thoughtful and loving communication of the Gospel to those yet ensnared by this sin’s guilt and power, and also to believers who may be dealing with the entangling remnant of the sin of homosexuality from which Christ has redeemed them—some of whom, praise the Lord, are on this specific journey of grace within our own fellowship at Briarwood.”
Being in the heart of conservative Alabama and the Bible Belt – it has been very difficult to watch the efforts of churches like Briarwood and pastors like Reeder and others to go along with the confusion offered by the common narratives like “SSA but celibate” and other “orientation” affirming rhetoric. So many believers and hurting families have looked to them for clarity to hear only more of the confusion and mixed messages.Many congregations and pastors have failed in similar manner.
The simple truth is that it is impossible to be a prophetic voice while in ballet shoes dancing around the LGBTQ+ issues for a decade when at any point -every pastor and church leadership could confidently take a stand on the Word of the Lord which has never altered one jot or tittle through the centuries. The VERY hesitation to stand firm a decade ago and to engage the nuanced narratives is proof in itself of the compromise that is setting in like rigor mortis across the SBC and PCA. God’s men do not need nuanced wording and culturally sensitive approaches to abominations .Nor do people bound by sins of the flesh need empty promises and helpless offers of understanding.
WE all need the power of the promises that are “yes and amen” in Christ. Promises like “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Given we are offered the kind of redemption to be made partakers of the divine nature in Christ -how can that promise be reflected in some warped idea of SSA /Celibacy and a life professing Christ but denying His power? How can the herd of professional activist pining after strange flesh paraded through SBC and PCA churches in the last decade reflect the power of God and the truth of the Gospel MORE than the millions of lives totally changed by it? Why would pastors and churches not want these powerfully transformed testimonies instead of those who like Lot’s wife looking back over their shoulders toward a Sodom in flames ? No this is not the message of the Word of the Lord being preached today – but something else- something worse- something useless and both shameful in it’s dishonesty and shameless in wrapping itself in historic theological conservatism .
There have been many people saved and discipled in Southern Baptist and conservative PCA churches but just as corrupt leadership proved the downfall of Israel and Judah as nations – so the church cannot escape the destiny forewarned for those who depart from righteousness and embrace iniquity . Judgement awaits. The SBC and PCA may have simply slowed down the march to affirmation of LGBTQ+ but they have shown the kind of cowardice and confusion that is certain to seal the deal and their own fate not many moons from now.
SBC/ PCA It was nice knowing you- but now you are only fit for the dung heap of history – unless you can humble yourselves and “repent and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die.” Revelation 3:2