The PCA is now the PC(USA): lessons from Revoice

New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:

6 Likes

I saw Jay Sklar’s name was not bolded and he is a member of Mo Pres.

2 Likes

Thanks; I’d missed another one, also.

I hate to like articles like this.

Thank you, all, for your work. I have shared this. It is helpful, particularly in its clear argument against large denominations and egos.

3 Likes

I appreciate the post, Tim.

My question is this: As a layman, how far do we go? I have a job that requires a large part of my.mental and emotional resources. The Christian school I work at has issues I’m addressing as an employee. I have a minister who seems to be heading leftward, and does not like to discuss things at any depth (which, ironically, makes him effective in the Australian context). I’m also told I should be fighting against the leftists in politics, the media and education. I also should speak out about the Uighars…

I haven’t got the time or energy.

What do I do?

5 Likes

What I can now see is some PCA churches becoming PINO (PCA-In-Name-Only), whether or not they leave in time. I can also see a lot of the laity in other PCAs looking to jump ship at a convenient moment as they watch the PCA as a whole descend into the same morass that claimed the PCUSA.

Where they will jump ship to is a really good question. As, nowadays, people’s loyalties are far more towards the church they worship in than to the movement or tradition to which that church belongs, all bets are off. I can see people from reformed backgrounds end up in non-Reformed churches, for all those churches’ bugs, because there are things those churches will actually be getting right.

1 Like

TE Randy Lovelace: Chesapeake Presbytery Team Leader Pastor, Columbia Presbyterian Church, Columbia, MD. MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary (1997). Former Sr Pastor of Redeemer Montclair–church plant Montclair, NJ–part of the Redeemer Network.

LinkedIn, CPC bio page, Twitter, Photography Business

Also,

  • CPC was an OPC congregation when he took over in 2011. Transferred to PCA in late 2018 or early 2019
  • BA in English from Wheaton.
  • In his June 7th sermon (transcript) he mentions participation in his local BLM march as part of a sermon illustration (top of page 4 of the transcript).
  • A quick web search didn’t turn up the earliest church listed on his LinkedIn page.

As, the “Team Leader Pastor”, he presumably led the team that issued this paper on marriage/sexuality.

  • “At the fall of humankind, recorded in Genesis 3…” (p1, par 3)
    • “humankind”
  • “We unequivocally condemn all injustices, sinful intimidation, and physical violence perpetrated against anyone because of sexual attraction or practice.” (p 2, par 3)
    • So, definitely not a theonomist.
  • “God helping us, we shall continue to teach against and to refuse to condone or participate in any sinful form of sexual practice—including sexual abuse or harassment, pornography, sexual lust, extra-marital sex, adultery, polygamy, unbiblical divorce and remarriage, homosexual conduct, same-sex union and marriage, and gender reassignment.” (p5, par 2)
3 Likes

Would PCA-In-Name-Only churches that supported BLM be “PINO Noir?”

11 Likes

" … PINO Noir . . ."

:grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing: :confounded: :confounded: :confounded::face_with_hand_over_mouth: :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :nauseated_face: :nauseated_face: :nauseated_face: :face_vomiting: :face_vomiting: :face_vomiting:

3 Likes

Laughing myself silly

Interesting that choosing a homosexual identity is not on that list, although conduct is.

2 Likes

I found it interesting that “sexual abuse or harassment” led the list.

1 Like

A PCA elder sent me a text with a link to this website. I don’t know the gentlemen responsible for the website but it would seem that they are preparing to get bloody, within the PCA.

https://www.firmfoundationpartnership.com/

2 Likes

Interesting. I came across this (and read the letter at the link provided) just after reading Aaron Renn’s latest cogitations on “owned space.” In it, he offers the following short-hand contrast between conservatives (of any sort - religious, political, economic, etc.) and liberals:

My heuristic is that conservatives (Christian or no) tend to be good institution builders, but poor at protecting institutions and at creative endeavors. By contrast, liberals are very good at creative endeavors and excellent at taking over existing infrastructure, but are not nearly as capable of building institutions themselves.

I think Renn’s admittedly broad-brush characterization is verifiable within the Christian history of North America. In the last wide-spread apostatizing in American Protestantism in the second half of the 19th Century, the progressives steadily infected and co-opted the religious institutions built by religious conservatives. In the so-called Modernist-Fundamentalist unpleasantness of the early 20th Century, it was the conservatives who were eventually marginalized within or ejected from the established denominations.

In my lifetime (I’m 73 now), only two denominations have not followed this pattern - the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Southern Baptists. The “bloody fight” within each church spanned several years before the progressive elements retreated.

Fifty years later, what do you see going on in both these institutions? Same song, second verse.

And, so it seems to this non-Presbyterian observer of the PCA. Initially it was a group which retreated, out-gunned, out-smarted, out-manned (in any sense you want to put on that term) by the Presbyterian liberals, mostly over the issue of sex and its impact on church mission and polity.

It’s now 47 years since the PCA was launched (originally named the National Presbyterian Church). To this side-line observer, it looks like Renn’s characterization of liberals and conservatives applies not only to the American Lutherans and Southern Baptists, but also to the Presbyterians.

With the various agendas approved by the PCA General Assembly over the past 20 years (the period I’ve been watching from the sidelines), I can’t expect a repeat of how the Lutherans and Southern Baptists recovered their denominational institutions. Having done so, neither church has succeeded in keeping the progressives at bay.

My prayers are with the orthodox within the PCA. A fight at this point will be very bloody indeed, primarily because a far less bloody fight was eschewed 25 years ago.

4 Likes

I keep telling people that these reform movements are pitiable unless first the local congregation and presbytery have been reformed. And inevitably they haven’t. The men putting themselves forward as leaders of national reform too often are doing so precisely because national reform is cosplay to disciplining one’s own elders and pastors and deacons and congregation, as well as one’s friends at presbytery.

A proven track record of reform at its most decentralized, local, and smallest (starting with oneself) is the necessary qualification to doing anything broader. If a guy wants to ride a white charger and tilt at those you both agree are the enemy, check out whether children of his own and fellow pastors and elders have been disciplined by his session.

Truthfully, that’s the acid test of all of these men now putting themselves forward as white knights. What in the world have they been doing with themselves? Did they expose Revoice, for instance—and the answer so far has been no. They waited until the end of the battle to say they now were going to fight (or in other cases, leave). Love,

11 Likes

I stopped reading the home page at this point:

Please know we are not assigning motives. We believe most moderate Progressives are attempting to change the culture and our churches for the better. But moderates and their more radical progressive leaders are in serious error, and their progressive trajectory ultimately leads to a New Liberalism that has undermined and will continue to undermine the PCA.

That’s literally the third paragraph of their “call to arms”, and it tells me that it’s completely dead in the water. Why?

Because “not assigning motives” simply means that this “reform” movement is committed to not calling for repentance. Specifically, there needs to be a call to repentance to those men who have actively led the denomination astray, whether they did so naively (which doesn’t reduce culpability) or with knowledge and scheming.

Now, as Tim has already pointed out, I have to ask myself: am I willing, as a pastor in a local congregation, to do this (consider and judge motives wisely and call for repentance) with the people I fellowship with on a regular basis?

9 Likes

What you’ve written here is true, but I don’t know what to do with it. I am in St. Louis at New City Fellowship. I grew up at Francis Schaeffer’s own Covenant Presbyterian. My parents were once friends with the Chapells, and I was friends with their sons. At New City, I recently attended a Sunday school class on gender, sexuality, and leadership where the teachers actively questioned and taught the opposite message the elders hold on male and female sexuality in the church. I was dumbfounded. Who is leading here? I don’t want to go to Memorial, rich Covenant or the Kirk or the massive, high steepled Twin Oaks out west in the county. New City is weak on discipleship. Where should I take my family? I’ve been looking at an OPC church, but it’s a long way away.

You might find that a better fit for you and your family is a church which isn’t in any of the Reformed movements, but which, overall, does get things right in this respect?

1 Like

I’ve been thinking about that. My wife and I had brief stint in an Acts 29 church here in St. Louis black in 2006 (The Journey — Darrin Patrick was the pastor). We saw the writing on the wall and returned to the PCA when we noticed corrupt leadership patterns and a lack of accountability for the pastors and elders at the Journey and Acts 29 as a whole. There was no authority above them for any of the congregants to appeal to, and that church had a revolving door. So with that experience behind us, I want to stay in a denomination that has a strong accountably structure, but now I’m finding that accountability matters little when our own Missouri Presbytery has a record of weakness on a number of issues discussed here. If anyone is familiar with St. Louis and has any recommendations on healthy churches in this area, please feel free to DM me.

Just talked with Randall Kirkland who resigned from Chairman of Masters College/Seminary board in situ. A dear friend who has agreed to serve on board of New Geneva Academy, our pastors college. Check out his church, small and credo, but faithful: https://cfbcstl.org/about/leadership

If I can put you in touch with him, Dan, please say the word. Love,

5 Likes