Thursday, March 10, 2011

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine

Pastor John Stuart (Stushie) of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville Tennessee has written an impassioned blog posting about the direction the Presbyterian Church is taking as it comes close to voting away any sexual standards. His post is found at Heaven’s Highway. The title is, Cradling the Grave - 1 Timothy 4

Stuart writes, “The denomination that I belong to finds itself at an unprecedented and unenviable crossroads. Within the next couple of months, the current ordination standards are going to be changed. This means that people who are in an active relationship, whether homosexual or heterosexual, who are not married, can be ordained to ministry if their local presbytery agrees. The only barriers to ministry and eldership will now be academic ones, but even they could be challenged.”

He also writes, “The Christian church will flourish elsewhere. Faithful Christian communities will grow and we will watch with enviable eyes as they are blessed. There will come a day when we will curse this moment in our denomination’s history…”

I wish, no pray, that all the ‘moderate members’ of this denomination would at last understand what is happening. Our congregations are being sold out to the god of this world. The culture of this generation is about to become the acceptable culture of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). As our culture tumbles into deeper darkness the denomination will tumble into a deadening antinomianism, a turning away from the privilege the redeemed possess, that is, to live the law within the freedom of Christ's redemptive transformation. Jesus fulfilled the law, now united to him we walk in that freedom.

We are transformed and given the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we might walk in newness of life. God is not doing a new thing, he has done a new thing already and in Christ we belong to newness. We are washed and made clean that we might praise our Lord with purity of heart. With the help of Jesus we keep catching up to the righteousness he has given us. He wills that we should walk in good works “which God prepared beforehand.” Eph (2:10)

Soon our churches will be emptied or filled with broken people who will find no balm in Gilead, no healing for sin sick souls. We cannot rightly preach Jesus when we do not preach his love for the outcast and the maimed. And his love entails their redemption, forgiveness and transformation. May God turn our hearts to Jesus and make us hungry to do his will at all cost.


Doug Hagler said...

"voting away any sexual standards"

I wish we could vote away hyperbole - as if a single clause in the Book of Order was all that stood between purity and the seething tides of sexual anarchy.

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

Unfortunately, holding the line on sexual standards is meaningless when the resurrection has been a toss up for decades.

Viola Larson said...

Not everyone letting sexual standards go disregards the resurrection. The sexual standards are however, going because so much of our essentials have been let go by some. They are wrapped around each other.

And this I think is the problem with many moderates; they do not get the connection between such things as Christology, the authority of scripture and sexual standards. They do not understand that we are throwing something away that was deeply connected to basic Christian beliefs. They think that there will now be peace. But instead we will now have to grapple with the whole basis of our faith, the Lordship of Christ.

Viola Larson said...

And chris,
This is a good time to left up brothers and sisters as others once lifted you up.

Viola Larson said...

In one sense you are right. It hasn't totally but then there is the PUP report which is actually what tore my Presbytery apart.

Fr. Chris Larimer said...

You are prayed for, Viola. (Esp. on this, your birthday.)

But what conservatives, orthodox, or whatever the name is must see is that there is no enforceable theological position in the PCUSA.

When I got in, I thought that the essentials of the Reformed Faith (the Solas, TULIP, Westminster Presbyterianism) were up for debate, but core Christian doctrine was still there. All of us now know that to be false.

You do yeomans work exposing the debased theological stance of the PCUSA (writ large, as speaking through its official mouthpieces). The point I'm making is that without a concern for theological integrity - adherence to the catholic faith among the leadership - the bedroom behavior concerns are misplaced. And they come off as nit0picking and self-serving in light of the relatively free pass that heterosexual fornicators are getting in the debate.

Jason Huff said...

Doug -

It's actually far worse than you suggest. As Viola's post indicates, this is not a vote so much on sexuality as it is the authority of the plain meaning of Scripture and its consistent testimony. If one of the clearest and most unambiguous laws from the OT that is reinforced in the NT can be argued and debated away, then the denomination will have proven that everything theologically is up for grabs limited only by the minds within the local presbytery.

Let's just remember that it's not the conservatives who have brought sexuality into the discussion over and over again. It's those who want to change the church's ethic that have done that.

Viola Larson said...

Cris I didn't say that for my sake but for the person I linked to.

Walter L. Taylor said...

Like the Episcopal Church (USA)the PC(USA) will increasingly become a smaller, more liberal denomination, all the more vicious to any signs of orthodoxy in its midst. This is the larger picture that this present vote gives us. If nFOG passes, it will help to speed up the process. But the die has been cast. Now pastors, churches, and inviduals must answer the hard questions and take the hard actions.