The PCA Has Tim Kelleritis: Will the Presbyterian Church in America Heed the Warnings?

The church should welcome those who are gay or struggle with same sex attraction, but it should not weaken calls to repent or ignore a real Christian sexual ethic.

UPDATED: Several PCA pastors tell me they think I am overstating or misstating the problem.

They say the problem is not that pastors are avoiding or embracing certain sins as fine, but that they are figuring out how to talk to culture in the 21st century. That may be true in some cases, but in a growing number of cases it is not true at all. They are either scared to talk to the culture or they are fine with the culture. At a time the world is coming for the children in their church, they’re rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic avoiding the water coming in the boat. Tim Keller, as he really is, should be a solid model for how to talk about churches. But some pastors have embraced a mischaracterization of Keller to be more like him. The authentic Keller is a good model on this stuff.

The Presbyterian Church in America (“PCA”) is one of the fastest growing denominations in America. It is the non-heretical branch of the Presbyterian Church within the United States. Its sibling, the PCUSA, is one of the dying mainline churches that has long rejected scripture in order to cater to itching ears.

But the PCA, to which I belong, is starting to hear some prophetic calls and I worry too many of their elders are ignoring what is happening. One of its supported campus ministries, Reformed University Fellowship, has the same problem. Rosaria Butterfield has been one of those quite vocal about the growing problem, but again, a lot of people are ignoring the growing problem.

Given my involvement in the PCA, and in a very solid PCA church no less, I have been hesitant to say anything, but after several weeks of conversations with people that have picked up steam after the release of the Nashville Statement, I think it is worth saying something.

The long and the short of it is that the PCA has Tim Kelleritis and this disease is slowly, incrementally infecting some of its churches. It will start affecting presbyteries and will ultimately harm the whole denomination.

Tim Keller, for those who do not know him, is a rock star among theologians. He is one of the most famous graduates of my seminary, Reformed Theology Seminary (actually, he is not, but you would think he is, given how often he is talked about on campus. Right up there with Calvin). He started Redeemer Church in New York, which showed an orthodox believing pastor could lead a large and thriving congregation in New York City, a place many Christians view as a new Babylon.

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