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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Daily Bible Verse

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

An Open Letter to Pastor Chuck Parker Concerning Homosexual Ministers

 

Pastor Chuck Parker

Lexington Presbyterian Church  [https://www.lexpreschurch.com/]

246 Barr Road

Lexington, South Carolina 29072

 

 July 4, 2021

 

Dear Mr. Parker,

A few weeks ago I attended your morning worship services.  After service you and I had a private discussion at the front of the church as the others were leaving.  I must tell you that I was greatly offended by your response to my concerns about openly homosexual ministers being ordained in the Presbyterian Church America, although they profess to be “celibate”.  There is no way for me to either verify or falsify whether or not such homosexual men are actually celibate or not.  Therefore I think it is problematic to ordain men who may or may not be struggling to overcome their sinful desires.  Worse, they openly profess to be oriented to a homosexual predisposition, which contradicts what the apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.  It is in fact unbiblical to identify with a sexual orientation that contradicts both Scripture and empirical science.  There is no scientific evidence to confirm the anecdotal evidence that homosexuals are born with that condition. 

The Bible, however, does say that all sexual sins arise from the sinful nature and total depravity.  Homosexuality is the result of idolatry and rebellion against God as well as the fallen nature of mankind.  (Romans 1:18-32).   I was pleased to hear that the PCA General Assembly recently voted to reject the ordinations of the homosexuals being pushed by Revoice in the PCA.  The vote was overwhelming.  Hopefully at the next general assembly the PCA will vote to change the Book of Church Order.  That being said I will not be attending your church or recommending your church again unless and until I hear you and your elders have repented of your promotion of Tim Keller, Revoice, and the ordination of homosexuals whether they be celibate or not. 

As you recommended I did go to the website where the position paper by Tim Keller, Kevin DeYoung and others is posted.  (https://pcaga.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/AIC-Report-to-48th-GA-5-28-20.pdf).  I carefully read the statement and it was troubling on several glaringly obvious points.  The first is that the paper presupposes that upholding the moral law of God, which is binding on all believers and unbelievers as the moral standard by which we are to live, is somehow “hurtful” to unregenerate elect and reprobate persons.  It also implies that the moral law of God and the Westminster Confession of Faith are somehow “legalistic”.  But legalism is defined by adding to God’s written word what cannot be logically deduced from the propositions in Scripture.  (WCF 1:6).  This is in and of itself an unbiblical proposition even according to the Westminster Standards.  Secondly, the paper presupposes that homosexual orientation is somehow the result of biological predispositions of the human body or chemical predispositions of the human brain.  However, the doctrinal standards hold that sinful predispositions are the result of a moral and spiritual inability due to the total depravity or total inability with which God cursed humanity after the fall of Adam.  Although the doctrine of total depravity generally refers to the extent of the corruption of the human nature and not necessarily to the degrees of wickedness of particular individuals, there are different degrees of the heinousness of particular sins.  (WLC 150-152).  The Westminster Confession clearly states that the moral inability of the sinful nature is not due to a natural inability but due to a total corruption of the human soul as composed of the intellect and the will and the emotions.  (WCF 9). 

Furthermore, the Westminster Larger Catechism does assert that there are different degrees of the severity of certain sins, including homosexuality, incest and bestiality.   (WLC 150-152).  Although even a small sin and the total depravity of the human soul is enough to condemn someone to eternal punishment for everlasting time after the final judgment (WLC 152), it does not follow that homosexuality is somehow equal to the sin of heterosexual adultery or fornication.  In fact homosexuality is called an abomination.  (Leviticus 18:22).  Furthermore, the Arminian ministries which have tried to cater to homosexuals in order to help them change have been miserable failures.  Exodus International no longer exists in the Orlando, Florida area because its leaders decided they could not change and went back to their homosexual lifestyles.  Unless a person is regenerated supernaturally by the Holy Spirit they will never change or struggle against their sinful thoughts and actions, both of which are sinful.

The idea that human behavior is determined by biology or genetics or brain chemistry has more in common with Thomas Hobbs or B. F. Skinner than with biblical Christianity or with the Westminster Standards.  Therefore, there is no excuse for homosexuals in regards to the anecdotal claims of having been born that way or that they cannot overcome their thoughts of same sex attraction.  As for the claim that even heterosexuals occasionally face opposite sex attraction is to essentially minimalize homosexuality as somehow less sinful than heterosexual attractions.  But the bottom line here is that lustful thoughts are sins no matter who has them.  It is one thing to lust and another to experience attraction to the opposite sex.  Basically it is a logical fallacy to gaslight heterosexuals by accusing them of struggling against sinful sexual thoughts while at the same time using that gaslighting to minimalize the severity of the homosexual sin of claiming by anecdotal evidence that homosexuals are unable to change their sexual orientation.

I fully agree with the following statement at the 48th general assembly:

“Officers in the Presbyterian Church in America must be above reproach in their walk and Christlike in their character. Those who profess an identity (such as, but not limited to, ‘gay Christian,’ ‘same-sex attracted Christian,’ ‘homosexual Christian,’ or like terms) that undermines or contradicts their identity as new creations in Christ, either by denying the sinfulness of fallen desires (such as, but not limited to, same-sex attraction), or by denying the reality and hope of progressive sanctification, or by failing to pursue Spirit-empowered victory over their sinful temptations, inclinations, and actions are not qualified for ordained office,” the amended rule states.

The amended rule will go to local church bodies for a vote before the second round of convention balloting next year following which the language would be placed in the PCA’s “Book of Church Order.”  (https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/07/05/presbyterian-church-in-america-takes-first-vote-on-banning-ordination-of-openly-gay-men/)

I was also troubled by the position taken by Tim Keller on the evolution issue.  I believe in the doctrine of creation by divine fiat, not theistic evolution.  I heard things which you intimated that seemed to indicate that you do not accept the doctrine of creation by divine fiat.  The doctrine of theistic evolution opens the door to neo-orthodoxy and the irrationalism of Barthianism.  It also implies that Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses and the patriarchs are not actual persons who existed in human history or salvation history but are instead typological archetypes representing etiological myths concerning the origin of moral evil and the moral law of God.  The doctrine of common grace has the tendency to subject Scripture to the philosophy of science instead of the doctrine of supernatural and special revelation.  The Bible is not subject to revision by some external authority such as textual criticism, empirical science, or human philosophies.  Science and secular philosophies are human centered and prone to the corruption of sinful thinking rather than a complete submission to the authority of God’s written word.  Science is always changing and never arrives at the truth.  (2 Timothy 3:7-9).

In regards to our discussion after service that day, I mentioned to you that I have an openly homosexual brother who recently joined the Roman Catholic Church.  That younger brother is a practicing homosexual.  He is not celibate as far as I know.  He is also HIV positive and has been so for several years.  He is on HIV suppressant drugs in order to extend his life.  You and other liberal Presbyterians think that you are extending grace and mercy to homosexuals but in effect what you are doing is accommodating to the secular culture and enabling homosexuals to continue in their open rebellion against God’s written word.  Your view presupposes that God is unable to regenerate homosexuals and cause them to repent.  (Acts 11:18).  There are no contingencies in God’s eternally immutable mind.  He is able to do exceedingly more than your finite view of God presupposes.  (Philippians 3:21).  You made your point when you asked me to leave without considering that you are in fact hurting those of us who stand on the biblical principles of God’s written word.

Until these issues are cleared up I will not be encouraging anyone to attend your services and will be recommending that they attend other more conservative Presbyterian or Baptist congregations.  Maybe you are not concerned with my opinion.  But remember that church membership works both ways.  I would never join a church that refuses to take a stand for the truth.  Also, I am posting this open letter to my blog at www.reasonablechristian.blogspot.com.  I am doing so because I believe that congregations and denominations are equally to be held accountable to the final authority of God’s written word, which is propositional and logical revelation.  (John 1:1, 9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 10:35).

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

Charlie J. Ray

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