A Church Without Truth
Did you know “the gospel demands” same-sex parodies of marriage?
This asinine claim was made last year at a Presbyterian Church USA event, the Covenant Network of Presbyterians’ 2013 “Marriage Matters” conference (reported by “The Layman Online,” Nov. 17).
Now what gospel was this, that sets aside God’s standards of sexual morality and “demands” that the church embrace evil as good? Well, umm… none, really. The speaker, a man called William Stacy Johnson, said he didn’t look at text or doctrine. I doubt he ever looks at it, because it will not give him what he wants.
So he kind of skipped the Bible and fished out this teaching, he explained, by looking at the life of Christ. Please ignore the sin of pitting the Son against the Father to make God bear false witness against Himself. Johnson’s reasoning seems to be that, since Christ spent time in the company of sinners, He was obviously giving them permission to keep on sinning.
That part’s missing from my Bible, just as Romans Chapter 1 seems to be missing from his Bible. But then he doesn’t look at the text, does he?
Let us quote Mr. Johnson. “If you think you can have salvation without having solidarity with our brothers and sisters, then you are wrong.”
What does that mean, if anything? Have any other major sins been expunged from God’s law? Are we now free to worship other gods, and idols? To commit murder? If a thief sat down to dinner with Jesus, did that give him leave to go on stealing? Jesus told the woman accused of adultery, “Go, and sin no more.” Did He really mean that she was now at liberty to hop into bed with any man she fancied?
Our Lord had compassion on sinners. So should we: for all have sinned. But sinning to your heart’s content, with a rebellious church aiding and abetting it, can hardly be what Jesus had in mind.
Mr. Johnson went on to spout more folly. “[T]he church’s refusal to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples is prompting many young people to quit the church,” he babbled.
Do tell? Every year, Johnson’s PCUSA has been hemorrhaging members. There’s hardly anyone left in it but daft old white liberals. Every week, whole congregations depart—not a single one of them has ever cited, as its reason for leaving, a frustrated desire to have the church recognize homosexual pseudo-marriage.
If Mr. Johnson were right, all these people would be fleeing to the United Church of Christ or the Episcopal Church, where “gay marriage” is de rigueur. But the UCC and the EC are also shrinking like crazy. Surely those denominations should be bursting at the seams with refugees from the PCUSA. But of course they’re not.
Johnson couldn’t be bothered with the text or doctrine of the Bible, so he drove his point home with excerpts from a couple of “Star Trek” episodes. This was too inane to be repeated here. And having quoted those well-known theologians, Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, Johnson concluded, “We have to be all about the gospel.”
What gospel? The one that lets you keep on sinning?
And they wonder why their denomination is in trouble.
Johnson wasn’t the only speaker at the conference to toot the horn for homosexuality. He had plenty of company, including a church expert in “feminist theology and womanist ethics.” If you don’t know what “womanism” is, don’t bother to look it up. Trust me, it isn’t worth it.
St. Paul exhorted the early Church, “Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). The PCUSA isn’t taking his advice. After all, Paul didn’t fly a starship. When it comes to being conformed to this fallen world, the PCUSA leads the pack.
We must conform to Christ in having compassion on persons trapped in sin—not only the sin of sodomy, but all sin. “Compassion” does not include teaching sinners that sin isn’t sin anymore because Hollywood trumps the Bible.
Why can’t these flatline churches understand this? Could it possibly be because they have exalted their own word over God’s word. Could their sinful pride, their hubris, be the straw that stirs their drink? Their absolute refusal to follow Christ in saying, “Not what I will, but what Thou wilt”?
It sure looks that way.
We grieve for those Christians who’ve chosen to remain in the PCUSA, to try to save it from itself. But there comes a time when one is forced to recognize that it’s not their denomination that matters, but the truth of God’s word. A church without the truth is not a church.
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