NOTE: Missouri Presbytery (PCA) is the ecclesiastical authority over Pastor Greg Johnson and the elders of Memorial Presbyterian Church. Pastor Johnson and Memorial hosted the first Revoice 18 conference one year ago in St. Louis. The second Revoice (19) will soon be held, once again in St. Louis.
Responding to national pressure from inside and outside their denomination, Missouri Presbytery put together an investigatory committee and just issued their Report. This is a part of an ongoing series on Missouri Presbytery’s Report on Revoice. All pieces in the series can be read here.
Missouri Presbytery’s Report on Revoice sums up the purpose of Revoice as follows:
We believe that it is crucial for SSA Christians to have a home in our churches. SSA Christians need to be dearly loved, discipled, to hear the Good News preached, to receive the sacraments, to be given opportunities to use their gifts in the service of others, and to share in the life of the body of Christ. Ultimately it is our hope that the raison d’être for ministries like Revoice might fade away because the church would so fulfill its calling to support and shepherd SSA persons, that it was no longer needed.
According to Missouri Presbytery, same-sex attracted Christians have no home in the church, so Revoice is filling that need. Since the church is not dearly loving, discipling, preaching the Good News, administering the sacraments, and providing opportunities for the same-sex attracted to use their gifts, Revoice must plug this gap. Missouri Presbytery presents Revoice as a parachurch organization filling a need the church has neglected or rejected.
Be careful here. Sodomy and effeminacy have a yuck factor that leaves believers vulnerable to this special pleading. Feeling revulsion at this sin and hearing all the voices condemning them for their revulsion, the sheep feel guilty about their innate sense of sodomy’s shame.
As God intended, those who obey the sex God made them by turning their sexual desires toward the opposite sex instinctively know the shame of sodomy and effeminacy. These sins set their teeth on edge, so when they are attacked for not loving homosexuals, their squeamishness leaves them feeling guilty and vulnerable. The message of the homosexualists for half a century now promoted across Western culture has always been that heterosexuals are responsible for homosexuals being unhappy and abusing alcohol and getting addicted to drugs and contracting AIDS and committing suicide. Their pastors have not strengthened them in their revulsion to sexual perversion, so sheep don’t have any confidence their feelings of the shamefulness of these perversions are good and right.
The men of Missouri Presbytery don’t strengthen them in their revulsion. Rather, these men produce 143 pages of text, throughout which there is not one mention of the grace of shame. Not once do they reinforce the grace of shame given as a loving gift by God to those tempted by these sexual perversions.
Think about this. These pastors and elders of Missouri Presbytery refuse to teach or even mention that shame is a gift of God to help us avoid, repent of, and flee sexual sin. But of course they do not avoid the subject of shame. Their Report speaks of shame repeatedly, but only to express sympathy for gays and and lesbians suffering under it. Here’s a typical passage:
The loss here is incalculable, as men live in loneliness and shame, having learned early on that the avenues for spiritual, emotional and even physical intimacy with other men are few and far between.1
Missouri Presbytery’s Revoice Committee simply assumes shame is to be overcome. Sodomy’s shame is never presented as a gift of God. Rather, it is the Church’s calling to work to remove it from same-sex attracted Christians.
Jesus died to remove their shame, and never is it stated that their shame is a gift from God leading them to repentance and faith. Shame is never a Gospel-witness. It is always a Gospel-obstacle. Perpetually they speak of shame as an intolerable burden gays must be helped to escape—not through repentance and faith, but through talking and talking about their perversion, forming groups of same-sex attracted who are also suffering under his malady who join together to force the church to stop blushing over their out-and-loud self-affirmations, to the end that they can finally be done with the closet. As the Church evolves, they are finally free to join the LivingOUT crowd, living gay and shameless.
But remember, as pain protects our body, so shame protects our soul.
Sadly, this is as incomprehensible to Revoicers as it is incomprehensible to the pastors and elders of Missouri Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. Throughout their Report, there is not a single statement even remotely positive or thankful for the grace of shame which is the kindness of God that leads us—yes US—to repentance.
(This is one in a series of Warhorn articles on Missouri Presbytery’s Revoice Report. For others, see here.)
|↑1||Page 44, footnote 42.|