The PCA on homosexuality: the influence of Covenant Theological Seminary…

The PCA on homosexuality: the influence of Covenant Theological Seminary…

…holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers… (Titus 1:9, 10)

The majority of men and women in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) no longer oppose homosexuality or same-sex marriage. The respected Pew Research Center documents this in its Lily-funded Religious Landscape Survey. Pew drilled down into the views of specific religious groups and denominations on a number of issues including homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and here are their findings on the men and women of the PCA.

Homosexuality:

  • Homosexuality should be accepted: 49%
  • Homosexuality should be discouraged: 40%
  • Neither/both equally: 4%
  • Don’t know: 7%

Note the combined percentage of “accepted,” “neither/both,” and “don’t know” is 60%. Only two-fifths of PCA men and women are willing to say homosexuality should be “discouraged.”

Same-sex marriage:

  • Same-sex marriage strongly favor/favor: 40%
  • Same-sex marriage oppose/strongly oppose: 49%
  • Same-sex marriage don’t know: 11%

Once again, note the combined percentage of “favor” and “don’t know” is 51%. This means less than half of PCA men and women are willing to oppose same-sex marriage.

I contacted Pew and spent some time looking at their survey questions, sample size, margin of error, etc. They were generous with their time and information. I also spoke with pastors (including PCA) and an academic with some knowledge of sample size, statistical significance, Pew, and surveys. Pew’s stellar reputation and Lily funding exist for good reason.1

The leadership of the PCA may make a weak stab at denying these findings claiming they themselves don’t agree with the responses Pew received, but if not, where is the fruit of their labors demonstrated in the conscience and public witness of those they have preached to for decades?

For this slide to Gomorrah, the PCA has no one to blame but her pastors. This state of affairs is what anyone would expect who has watched Covenant Theological Seminary for the past twenty-five years.

The men of the PCA who have led this debauch will deride Pew. They’ll tell their 285,000 sheep that there’s no need to worry—they can go back to sleep, but the sheep do so to their own peril.

This week, Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship preacher Al Baker sent out a jeremiad titled, Queer Culture in the PCA. Baker’s focus is the  PCA’s own Memorial Presbyterian Church – St. Louis hosting the gayfest titled Revoice.

Typical of the speakers is recent Covenant grad Stephen Moss who has been privileged to have Tim Keller protege Scott Sauls promoting him nationally.

A few months ago, Sauls travelled up to St. Louis to speak on Moss’s gay Christian relationships at Covenant Presbyterian (PCA) Church – St. Louis. Sauls also brought Moss down to do his gay Christian thing in his own congregation, Christ Presbyterian Church – Nashville. It caused a bit of a ruckus, but nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, surfing off the support of Covenant Seminary and rich PCA pastors in Nashville and St. Louis, Moss is now making common cause with the gays, lesbians, queers, questioning, and other “sexual minorities” of Revoice. Moss is announced as one of the speakers at the upcoming Revoice conference at Memorial Presbyterian (PCA) Church – St. Louis, and here’s his conference bio:

Stephen Moss is a recent graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and previously, he spent three years on staff with Reformed University Fellowship at UT-Knoxville. Since first sharing his story publicly in 2013, Stephen has frequently spoken and written about his experience as a Christian who is gay and celibate. He currently serves as Sexual Minority Ministry Coordinator for FirstLight Ministries in St. Louis as well as a founding board member of Revoice. Stephen enjoys hiking, good food with friends, and Broadway musicals.

Stephen Moss and I have spent an hour or two talking together after Scott Sauls gave him a bunch of publicity at Christ Church in Nashville. I initiated the conversation in the hope of warning Stephen pastorally concerning the sinfulness of the road he’s chosen, and where it would lead. Sadly, the evils I warned him against have come to pass. Check out the Revoice conference workshops. It’s impossible to hide the degradation of this event about to be celebrated by PCA and Covenant Seminary leaders, hosted by this PCA church in St. Louis, and led by Stephen Moss.

Another speaker at the Revoice conference is Jay Sklar, Professor of Old Testament and Vice President of Academics (sic) at Covenant Theological Seminary. Click on the bios of Revoice conference speakers and Covenant Seminary keeps showing up.

Then there’s this bio for Wheaton College grad student, Jack Bates.

Our recent book The Grace of Shame is an expansion of the warnings Stephen Moss received. Members of the PCA who want to understand the devious tactics employed by PCA men across the denomination who follow Sauls and Moss should read this book. If you’ll permit one of the authors to say so, this book is a good preparation for the battles coming on the floor of general assembly and presbytery meetings this year and years to come.

Weep and pray for the PCA.

(For a more recent post documenting the decay in the PCA led by Covenant Theological Seminary, see this January 16, 2019 post.)

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1. Here are the questions used to ascertain a PCA affiliation:

Q.E1 What is your present religion, if any? Are you Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Orthodox such as Greek or Russian Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, atheist, agnostic, something else, or nothing in particular? INTERVIEWER: IF R VOLUNTEERS “nothing in particular, none, no religion, etc.” BEFORE REACHING END OF LIST, PROMPT WITH: and would you say that’s atheist, agnostic, or just nothing in particular?] 1 Protestant (Baptist, Methodist, Non-denominational, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Reformed, Church of Christ, etc.) 2 Roman Catholic (Catholic) 3 Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/LDS) 4 Orthodox (Greek, Russian, or some other orthodox church) 5 Jewish (Judaism) 6 Muslim (Islam) 7 Buddhist 8 Hindu 9 Atheist (do not believe in God) 10 Agnostic (not sure if there is a God) 11 Something else (SPECIFY) 12 Nothing in particular 13 Christian (VOL.) 14 Unitarian (Universalist) (VOL.) 15 Jehovah’s Witness (VOL.) 99 Don’t Know/Refused (VOL.)
ASK IF PROTESTANT OR CHRISTIAN UNSPECIFIED OR SOMETHING ELSE/CHRISTIAN (Q.E1=1, 13 OR {Q.E1=11 AND CHR=1}):
Q.E2 As far as your present religion, what denomination or church, if any, do you identify with most closely? Just stop me when I get to the right one. Are you [READ IN ORDER, BUT DO NOT READ MATERIAL IN PARENTHESES] INTERVIEWER: DO NOT READ QUESTION IF R VOLUNTEERED DENOMINATION IN PREVIOUS QUESTION. RECORD RESPONSE IN APPROPRIATE CATEGORY. 1 Baptist 2 Methodist 3 Lutheran 4 Presbyterian 5 Pentecostal (Assemblies of God, Four-Square Gospel) 6 Episcopalian (uh-pisk-uh-PALE-yun) or Anglican 7 Church of Christ, or Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) 8 Congregational or United Church of Christ 9 Holiness (Nazarenes, Wesleyan Church, Salvation Army) 10 Reformed (include Reformed Church in America; Christian Reformed) 11 Church of God 12 Nondenominational or Independent Church 13 Something else (SPECIFY) 14 Or none in particular 15 [VOL. – DO NOT READ] Jehovah’s Witness 16 [VOL. – DO NOT READ] Just a Protestant 17 [VOL. – DO NOT READ] Just a Christian 18 [VOL. – DO NOT READ] Seventh-Day Adventist 99 [VOL. – DO NOT READ] Don’t Know/Refused
ASK IF PRESBYTERIAN (Q.E2=4):
Q.E3g Which of the following Presbyterian churches, if any, do you identify with most closely? The Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Presbyterian Church in America, or some other Presbyterian church? 1 Presbyterian Church USA 2 Presbyterian Church in America 3 Associate Reformed Presbyterian (VOL.) 4 Cumberland Presbyterian Church (VOL.) 5 Orthodox Presbyterian (VOL.) 96 Other Presbyterian Church (SPECIFY) 97 Presbyterian not further specified (just a Presbyterian) (VOL.) 99 Don’t know/Refused (VOL.)

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About The Author

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Tim Bayly has been senior pastor of Clearnote Church, Bloomington since 1996. Married to Mary Lee, the Baylys have five children and twenty-something grandchildren. Tim's book on fatherhood is titled "Daddy Tried" and he is co-author of a book on homosexuality titled "The Grace of Shame.’

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