Archive | Homosexuality

PCA Report Names Sin While Not Being Named by It

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has been facing a great deal of internal controversy over the last couple years because of the Revoice Conference which was hosted by a PCA church in St. Louis. Last summer, the PCA General Assembly addressed the controversy with two crucial decisions. First, the General Assembly voted to affirm the Nashville Statement and to use the Nashville Statement in discipleship materials produced by the denomination. Second (and I believe more consequentially), the General Assembly voted to appoint a committee to draft a statement of belief on gender and sexuality. Kevin DeYoung and Tim Keller are among those who were tasked with drafting the report.

The committee has completed its work and has issued its report today. Their work now awaits consideration at the 2021 meeting of the General Assembly where hopefully it will be approved by the denomination. The report affirms all the major lines of the Nashville Statement but roots its affirmations much more explicitly within the Reformed tradition.

The report is really long, but the heart of it is comprised of twelve affirmations that set forth the consensus of the committee and hopefully of the entire denomination. So even if you are not able to read the entire document, you at least need to read the twelve statements. They address every major point of contention in the intramural debate among evangelicals about gender and sexuality.

Here are some of the most significant items that I noted in my reading of the twelve affirmations: Continue Reading →

Florist takes her case to the Supreme Court… again

If you aren’t familiar with Barronelle Stutzman’s case, you need to be (watch above). Barronelle is a 74-year old grandmother and florist who was sued by Washington State and by the ACLU after she declined to participate in a gay wedding. She serves gay people in her store. She has even hired gay people to work in her store. But she is a Christian and cannot in good conscience lend her talents to help celebrate a gay wedding. So when a gay man whom she had served for nine years in her store asked her to participate in his gay wedding, she told him that she could not because of her relationship with Jesus. She was apologetic, but she nevertheless did the right thing according to her Christian conscience.

Word got out on social media about what happened, and the government and the ACLU sued her for violating anti-discrimination law. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and the court ruled in her favor, vacated the Washington State court’s decision, and ordered the State court to come up with a decision that respects the constitution. The state court refused to comply with the Supreme Court’s directive and ruled against her again! Now Barronelle is making an appeal (again!) to the Supreme Court for help.

The Tri-City Herald reports:

A Southern Baptist, [Barronelle] has argued that arranging flowers is artistic expression protected under the First Amendment.

“Barronelle serves and hires people from all walks of life. What she can’t do is take part in, or create custom floral arrangements celebrating, sacred events that violate her religious beliefs,” Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of Alliance Defending Freedom’s U.S. legal division, said in a news release Wednesday.

“Because of this, the Washington Supreme Court upheld a ruling that threatens Barronelle with personal and professional ruin,” she added.

“Regardless of what one believes about marriage, no creative professional should be forced to create art or participate in a ceremony that violates their core convictions. That’s why we have taken Barronelle’s case back to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Progressives constantly gas light Christians and claim that we are crying wolf about being mistreated for our ancient beliefs about marriage and sexuality. The next time you hear them gas light us, I want you to remember Barronelle Stutzman. Both the state and the ACLU won’t leave her alone but are trying to ruin her financially unless she agrees to violate her religious convictions and to participate in gay weddings. It’s an abhorrent, ugly thing that they are doing to her. It’s hard to believe that this is still going on after all these years (and even after a Supreme Court ruling in her favor!), and yet here we are.

I hope the Supreme Court rules once and for all on the constitutional principle at stake in Barronelle’s case. This case is about more than her. It’s about all of us who believe what the Bible teaches about marriage. If the government can coerce her to violate her conscience, then they can do it to anyone. And that’s the issue.

Beware of a “Test the Fruit” Hermeneutic

When Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian came out in 2014, I could hardly have imagined how much of an impact it would have among evangelicals. Nevertheless, it has had an impact. Some of the high-profile evangelicals (e.g. Jen Hatmaker) who have come out affirming gay marriage have done so on the basis of arguments found in Vines’ book.

Among the ideas from Vines’ book that I still see gaining purchase among evangelicals is a particular hermeneutical oddity that Vines draws from Jesus’ teaching about “trees” and “fruit” in Matthew 7:15-20, where Jesus says,

Every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Whereas Jesus applies this to false teachers, Vines applies the principle in a way that goes against the way Jesus intended it. Vines writes, Continue Reading →

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