Until we see the darkness of our world, until we see the darkness which holds the homosexual in bondage, until we look into his eyes and see the pain, shame, rejection, rebellion, and stronghold of the evil one, we will not seek the Lord as we ought. We will have no power to effect any change whatsoever. The answer is not cultural accommodation. The answer is not “going soft on sin,” but the answer is also not merely holding a strong view of subscription to the Confession, as important as that is.
“Build up, build up, prepare the way. Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people. For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:14-15).
Revoice 2018, a conference to be held July 26-28, at Memorial Presbyterian Church (PCA), St. Louis, has as its stated objective-supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can experience the life-giving character of the historic Christian tradition.
When mentioned this last week (Queer Culture in the PCA?), I was under the impression that while the conference is to be held at a PCA church, I was unaware that any Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) teaching or ruling elders were presenters in the conference. I was mistaken. My brethren in the PCA, we must repent. We must leave our folly (Psalm 85:8).
I also mentioned in my last article that Yahweh calls His elders to be watchmen (Ezekiel 33:1-9), to be vigilant for the sake of the flock (Acts 20:28-31a), to warn them of the approaching enemy lest they be consumed. A failure on the watchmen’s part, if their people perish, promises their blood is on their hands. So while those teaching elders in the PCA involved in the Revoice 2018conference must repent, we must also.
Perhaps some of you teaching and ruling elders in the PCA and other like-minded denominations have been faithfully warning your people of the attack of the enemy, but perhaps others of you, like myself, have sometimes been asleep as watchmen. We have been engaged in our own local ministries, but have failed to address the issues on the Presbytery or General Assembly level.
We have stood idly by and watched our denomination fold on our clear confessional position of six day creation (Westminster Confession of Faith IV.1). It seems that this position has opened the door for many more accommodations to our postmodern culture. In perhaps an honest desire to reach people with the good news of Jesus Christ, His propitiating death and resurrection, some have lived and ministered as de facto Arminians.
While claiming that they believe in the total inability of man to repent and believe the gospel, and thus are utterly dependent on the sovereign grace of God to call and regenerate, they seem to have developed a hermeneutic which looks first at the world, to see what the world is thinking, and then cleverly bend the Holy Scriptures to make them more palatable to the lost (hyper-contextualization).
It seems that they have done this on the issues of creation, social justice, women in the church, and now homosexuality. They seem to be saying, “If we wish to gain a hearing in the scientific world, then we must realize this world mocks our belief in six day creation.
If we want to reach the millennial generation, then we must embrace their infatuation with identity politics, human flourishing, and cultural Marxism.
In a world where ‘can do’ women are running major corporations, it seems so culturally irrelevant to claim that women cannot hold office in the church of Jesus Christ.
And when homosexuality and same-sex unions not only have the backing of the Supreme Court but also the majority of people in our country, then we must ‘join the twenty-first century’ and get on board with the homosexual agenda.”
I confess to you that I have not always been a very faithful watchman. Yahweh, in speaking to Isaiah, who in turn is called by him to turn Israel and Judah back to covenant faithfulness, tells him that he wants to bring revival (a renewal of his presence, power, and blessing, as promised in Deuteronomy 28:1-14). This visitation of Yahweh’s presence, power, and blessing will come to those who are contrite and lowly in spirit (see also Isaiah 66:2, Psalm 51:16-17), who clear out the spiritual decay and debris which are blocking the highway of spiritual blessing and renewal.
Are we guilty of the sins of negligence, ambivalence, cowardice? Yahweh looks to, and smiles upon those, who tremble at his word. My fellow Watchmen, we must repent. Do you want to see God revive the PCA, to bring her back to a biblical, confessional, Great Commission-based church? Remember, Yahweh dwells in two places –a high and holy place, heaven; and in the hearts of his lowly and contrite people. We have been silent far too long. We have neglected our responsibility to shepherd the church of God which he purchased with the blood of his Son. The blood of those under our charge who perish is on our hands.
We are doing a grave disservice to our people when we fail to warn them of error. Perhaps in a desire to not rock the boat, to not appear as alarmists, to go along to get along, we have remained silent, or have privately stewed, while others who are perhaps well meaning but deceived, tell the professing Christian who continues in homosexuality, same-sex attraction (or any other sin, for that matter), that all is well with his soul. My friends, the unrepentant sinner, no matter what his sin, is on his way to hell. We must warn all people everywhere of the impending judgment and everlasting fire prepared for all who are not born again, who do not repent and believe the good news of Christ crucified.
My brethren, do you see the darkness? Until we see the darkness of our world, until we see the darkness which holds the homosexual in bondage, until we look into his eyes and see the pain, shame, rejection, rebellion, and stronghold of the evil one, we will not seek the Lord as we ought. We will have no power to effect any change whatsoever. The answer is not cultural accommodation. The answer is not “going soft on sin,” but the answer is also not merely holding a strong view of subscription to the Confession, as important as that is.
My friends, I care not how strongly confessional you might be, how theologically precise you are, how many degrees you have after your name, how clever you are, what an effective expositor you might be, what a great ministry plan you possess, or what a beautiful church building you have. Until we see the darkness we will not seek the Lord in fervent prayer. We need to spend much time ruminating on the darkness of our age, which ought to promote profound humility, weeping, and contrition.
May I state, what I hope is obvious: we lack Holy Spirit power; the only way we get this power is to seek God earnestly for it (Jeremiah 29:12-14).
I mentioned last time that I would be thinking and praying about what I should do. Well, it seems to me that the first step must be corporate prayer of contrition, confession, and repentance, of how we have failed as watchmen over the flock.
Will you join me on Tuesday, June 12 in Atlanta at the General Assembly, in the Prayer Room (Regency VII) from 4 to 6 p.m.? Let us join together in prayer, confessing, repenting, and asking the Lord to direct our steps from that point forward. I have no grand strategy. We must begin with prayer.
Al Baker a minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and is an Evangelistic Revival Preacher with Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship.