PCA Presbytery Objects To ‘Post-Freudian Blather’

Put simply, it’s one thing to openly confess same-sex attraction, another to claim one is a ‘Gay Christian’. One would never identify as a ‘Fornicating Christian’ or a ‘Murdering Christian’, etc. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 actually points to a new identity in Christ that removes identification with former patterns of life (‘And that is what some of you were’). Paul’s language here does not undermine the fact of ongoing sin and temptation, but it does speak to an actual change in the believer. This change means we never again identify with the patterns of this world, or the patterns of our former lives apart from Christ. No appeal to grace can allow for such an under-realized eschatology. Being in Christ means that we are not under sin’s dominion—dead in our trespasses. The label ‘Gay Christian’, in not a few cases, goes overly long to make the case that Christians should embrace their sin, when Paul and the rest of the NT seems to speak in the other direction: the sin is conquered, now embrace the reality of a disciple.

We must speak more strongly when it comes to a latent issue with the label ‘Gay Christian’— the separation of will and action in sin. The use of the label ‘Gay Christian’ too often means there is an assumption that one should not be ashamed of the desire itself, only the action. This is post-Freudian blather. Read more»

North Florida Presbytery PCA (HT: Aquila Report)

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  1. This may be the first time I’ve seen criticism expressed of an explicitly “under-realized eschatology,” and I’m rather taken with the use of that term.

    “Post-Freudian blather” is quite good too, I don’t mean to suggest you have the wrong title or anything…

  2. Kudos to the North Florida presbytery for being the first in the PCA to take a biblical stand on this subject. Some might think this report was issued in response to the Revoice conference. It was however, issued in response to a similar conference in the Nashville presbytery in 2015. I urge everyone to read the entire report.

  3. Dr. Clark,
    The link you provided is not working this morning. But the information is available on the Aquilareport.org.

    Isn’t this confusion a lack of discipline and adherence to ecclesiology in a local pastor? Hasn’t he agreed to uphold distinctions established by the presbytery leadership that affect him and His Church? Has the pastor not agreed to present the keys of the Kingdom, the Gospel and Church discipline? HC 83, 84, 85. WC XXX 1., 2., 3., 4 and XXXI 1.,2.,3.,4.,5.

    According to the Aquila Report, “At the 2016 October meeting of the North Florida Presbytery, the moderator appointed an ad hoc study committee to examine issues pertaining to same sex attraction in light of a recent ruling of the Nashville Presbytery Committee on Judicial Business. In January of 2018, the North Florida Presbytery voted unanimously to receive the committee’s report.”
    “The report answered eight key questions.”

    How is a pastor held accountable to uphold the doctrine of the church when the church may not understand Ecclesiology? Or his call?

    • Kudos, Catherine!
      You really nail it. “Isn’t this confusion a lack of discipline and adherence to ecclesiology in a local pastor? Hasn’t he agreed to uphold distinctions established by the presbytery leadership that affect him and his church?” That is really a serious problem, teachers, pastors and elders abusing their positions to impose false teaching on the sheep, when they should be protecting them from it. Nice to see that there are some who are actually taking seriously the third mark of the true church, the proper use of discipline to take these errant leaders to task for their unfaithfulness to their office.

  4. The pastor (TE) in this case was the pastor in a church in the Nashville presbytery. Another elder in the presbytery filed a complaint with the Nashville presbytery. The Nashville presbytery adjudicated the complaint absolving the pastor by declaring that same-sex attraction is not sin. In response to this outrageous finding by the Nashville presbytery the Northern Florida presbytery commissioned the report posted here which rightly finds that same-sex attraction is indeed sinful. The PCA is plagued by what have been referred to as “rotten presbyteries” because of their propensity to allow and protect error which is often grievous. I’m not sure what the remedy is for that within Presbyterian polity.

  5. It is good to hear that the Northern Florida Presbytery is taking a stand.

    Presbyterian polity: rotten presbyteries.
    Congregationl polity: rotten congregations
    Monepiscoapl polity: rotten bishops.
    Everyone: sin.

    Perhaps another issue is that those of us who exited theological liberalism have a hard time escaping the clutches of moralism. We think if we get sophisticated and casuistic with things like “same sex attraction is no sin; only acting on it, oops, being unfaithful in a same sex relationship, is” we have acquitted ourselves well. Unhappily, in this, we lose sight of how we are sinners in need of the imputed righteousness of Christ.

    • Peter,
      I appreciate the end of the matter, which is the beginning. I know I am a sinner. And His Spirit assures the belief I am saved by Grace through Faith in Christ for His Church on His terms; I love to hear the Gospel and the Catechism regularly. In His Church I see sin, mine and others, uncovered and laid bare. I do not like this reality of ‘rottenness’. But He faithfully opens our eyes to see and ears to hear the joys of trusting and depending on His Spirit to do His Will rather than our own. Often miles and months separate these realities because I am such a slow, stubborn learner!

    • I have to agree that we separate SSA from SSA behavior too readily

      If I am incandescent to boiling point, how much better is that to me swinging a weak and guilty punch at someone?

      You in the US have less of a problem with male SSA, but here in the UK it becomes a badge of honor even within strict Reformed circles to admit it and say you are fighting it. Indeed it can ensure promotion

      It is hard for many of us to be other than we are. but if our sins might confuse others. then we should depart the public/teaching stage – SSA, pride, judgmentalism are as bad as fornication and fornication is no worse than lust, and lust is no worse than factiousness

  6. Given the biblical qualifications that our reformed church leaders must meet, shouldn’t we expect them to exhibit a higher standard of knowledge and behavior especially when dealing with biblical interpretation issues? If the excuse is, “well, we’re all just sinners”, then why don’t we just draw names from a hat when choosing church leaders?

    • Bob,
      You make such a good point, that if we excuse sin, as in, we are all just dirty, rotten sinners, we wink at it and legitimate it. As Peter Herz says, “we lose sight of how we are sinners in need of the imputed righteousness of Christ.” “We have acquitted ourselves well!” But God has not, and we spurn the sacrifice of Christ who came to save, not the righteous in their own eyes, but sinners. That is the point of calling out these sins, so that those who commit them might repent of them, and seek God’s forgiveness.

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