Saturday, August 18, 2018

Todd Pruitt on Homosexuality and the PCA

For the Love of Those Fighting Against Homosexuality - The Aquila Report
So, to those wondering if the PCA is in the process of embracing homosexuality let me say that to my knowledge there are no pastors within our denomination promoting the acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage.
This is a troublesome statement made by a PCA minister. By "embracing homosexuality," presumably he must mean "promoting the acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage." In other words, he seems to have defined for us what it would be for the PCA to embrace homosexuality. For this servant, embracing homosexuality not just entails but reduces to promoting the acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage.

Before dealing with the heart of the premise, I'd like to tease out from that complex statement a less obvious concern - but a serious concern just the same.

Why should we believe that the "process of embracing homosexuality" has not already begun in the PCA? At the very least, is the process of having begun moving from any point A to any point B ever a matter of actually arriving at point B? For example, even had the United Methodist Church and PCUSA repented and stopped short of where they are today (point B), prior to doing so wouldn't the process of having moved toward embracing homosexuality already begun? After all, what does it mean to be stopped in one's tracks? Or, is the process of getting to a full blown acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage dependent upon a final acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage? If so, then there's no true process of getting anywhere until after we get there, which is a denial of the rational order of things.

No, we must face the facts. That same sex attraction (SSA) advocates have gained a seat at the table in the PCA is a sure indicator that "the PCA is in the process of embracing homosexuality." The only question is, will the denomination take a firm stance and resist the urge, now that it has unwittingly begun a process of embracing homosexuality? (For various reasons I think my denomination will get this right and without cutting a half-way covenant.)

But all that is incidental to my main concern.
However, the organizers and speakers of Revoice profess fidelity to the biblical position on sexual intimacy – that sexual intimacy is a gift of God legitimately experienced in marriage between a man and woman.
Remember, at the very beginning what defined embracing homosexuality was the acceptance of homosexual acts or homosexual marriage. Accordingly, affirming a traditional position on sexual intimacy (marriage) would seem to be the same thing as rejecting homosexuality. I find that woefully inadequate for the simple reason that one can affirm the biblical view of physical intimacy as it relates to marriage while yet affirming SSA! Revoice-advocates do just that. They defend the legitimacy of celibate homosexuality. They believe that homosexuals need not repent of homosexual attraction, which presupposes that these folks indeed are homosexuals! So, not to reject the legitimacy of SSA is to embrace the legitimacy of homosexuality - regardless if one will "profess fidelity to the biblical position on sexual intimacy.” One is not a homosexual because he practices homosexuality anymore than one is heterosexual because he engages in any sort of physical conduct.
Rather, the debate in the PCA is over the moral status of homosexual desires. The debate extends to the legitimacy of sexual orientation as a category and whether homosexuality is a fixed albeit broken marker of human identity. There are some in the PCA who are comfortable with using terms like Gay Christian to describe Christians who have homosexual desires but choose in obedience to Scripture to remain celibate. However, there are others who believe it is vital that terms like Gay Christian or Queer Christian must not be used in the PCA; that we must not adopt the world’s understanding of sexual orientation and identity...
This much is correct. The debate is over SSA. It is also correct that conservatives in the PCA resist terms like Gay Christian. What the pastor seems to miss is that the fundamental objection is not a question of whether we "adopt the world’s understanding of sexual orientation and identity." Rather, the issue chiefly lies with the fact that the term Gay Christian is an oxymoron. There are none. Those who refuse to turn from SSA (i.e. repent!) and instead merely strive to abstain from acting on such desires are homosexuals. Their identity is not Christian in any sense but rather Gay. They're quasi-moralists, not repentant sinners. The decidedly unrepentant (effeminate included) will not inherent the kingdom of God, regardless of whether they act on their dispositions or not.
But I am deeply dismayed at their insistence on using worldly and ungodly categories and language to describe human identity and sexuality. For instance, the category of sexual orientation is deceptive.
The category of Gay is accurate if it fits. The point is it has no place in the church, not because Christians should identify themselves in some other way (of course they should), but because the label isn't appropriate for the penitent. Christians are penitent.
Then of course there is the language of Gay Christian, LGBTQ Christian, Queer Christian, and sexual minority. Is it possible that the PCA hosts, organizers, and speakers of Revoice were unaware that such language would vex and confuse a great number of their brothers and sisters in Christ? It stretches credulity to believe the present controversy surprised them.
Who is confusing whom?

Romans 1:24-27 teaches that certain shameless acts proceed from dishonorable passions (i.e. SSA). Also note that this particular sin is construed here as punishment for idolatry.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
The passage goes on to teach that God turns some over to a "reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting." SSA attraction is in the mind, from which flows shameless acts. To strive merely toward "chaste" behavior is not just foolish but disobedient. Homosexuals must agree with God. They must confess and cry out to be delivered from unnatural and deviant attraction toward the same sex.