FORGET NONE OF HIS BENEFITS
volume 18, number 22, May 30, 2019
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:16,17
Bible or Babble?
In the overture coming from Missouri Presbytery Ad Hoc Committee to the June, 2019 PCA General Assembly to Investigate Memorial Presbyterian Church for Hosting the Revoice 18 Conference in July, 2018, requesting a study committee deal with the issue of homosexuality and same-sex attraction, part of the resolution reads as follows:
Be it further resolved that the Committee be permitted to recruit others, within the confines of its budget, to serve as its advisors, regardless of denomination or gender, with particular concern to secure those with experience in counseling those dealing with same-sex attraction . . .
This clause of the resolution raises many red flags. It urges that advisors, regardless of denomination or gender, be recruited to assist the Teaching and Ruling Elders on the Committee. First, why do we even need a study committee? Secondly, why do we need advisors? Thirdly, why do we need advisors from other denominations? Fourthly, why do we need women advisors? And fifthly, why do we need those advisors with counseling experience in dealing with same-sex attraction?
Allow me to take these one at a time. Before I get to these questions, however, we should consider what seems to be an underlying assumption which is driving each aspect of this resolution. What shall be our authority in this matter? Will it be Bible or will it be babble?
Paul makes clear to young Timothy that all of Scripture is God-breathed. Therefore as we know, or should know, the Bible as God’s inspired, infallible, inerrant word is our complete authority in all matters pertaining to salvation, sanctification, and ultimately our glorification. John Gill says that the God-breathed Scriptures are profitable for ministers to fetch doctrine from, and to establish it by; and for hearers to try and prove it by. Gill says, in commenting on reproof, that Scripture reveals error and heresy, and that the sword of the Spirit cuts it all down. It serves as a corrective, exposing wickedness and its consequences. And it trains in how to live righteously in this world. To summarize then, the Bible is God’s authoritative revelation on how to get on the road of holiness. It also lets us know if we have wandered off the road of holiness. It shows us how to get back on the road. And it directs us on how to stay on the road.
The Bible is all we need to deal with the issue of homosexuality. My friends, we have for many years now been departing from the clear teaching of the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith on the issues of creation, the nature of the gospel, women, and now homosexuality. We have tended to look first to science, culture, and psychobabble.
So, consider my five questions. Why do we need advisors? Are not the Ruling and Teaching Elders, who would be appointed by the Moderator, those men who believe in the infallible, inerrant, and inspired word of God, adequately equipped for every good work? Why do we need advisors from other denominations? Will the proposed advisors be Reformed, ordained men who are steeped in the Scriptures? Why do we need advisors who are women? Paul makes clear that he does not allow women to teach or exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet (1 Timothy 2:11). How is it that women advising men on such an important issue as homosexuality is not a violation of Paul’s admonition to Timothy? And why do we need advisors who have experience in counseling on the issue of same-sex attraction? What kind of counselors shall they be? Are there not all kinds of “Biblical” counselors today? Will they be men or women who are Biblically driven, who look to the sufficiency of Scripture, who trust solely and completely in the directives derived from the Bible? Will they be “nouthetic” counselors? Or will they be men or women who look first to the culture, who have been affected by the anecdotal, emotional, heart-rending stories of “heroes” who have fought valiantly to live celibately as homosexuals in the church? Will they look first to psychology? Will they look to the psychobabble of Mark Yarhouse who is ground zero for this whole movement?
We do not need advisors. We do not need advisors from other denominations. We do not need advisors who are women. We do not need advisors who are necessarily experienced in counseling homosexuals. The issue is the Bible, not babble. What does God’s word say about homosexuality and so called same-sex attraction? The Bible is clear. This is pretty simple. There is no dichotomy between desire and lust. The Greek word epithumia in the New Testament means lust. Same-sex attraction is sin and of this sin, all men and women must repent.
What is so difficult about this? The issue is clear. It seems that many in the PCA are earnestly seeking to mainstream perversion. Finally, there is no need whatsoever for a study committee on the issue. The PCA’s doctrinal standard has spoken clearly on the issue (Larger Catechism Q and A 139). Same-sex attraction is homosexual lust and homosexuality is condemned by Scripture and the Westminster Confession of Faith. A study committee, with or without advisors, whatever their stripe, would only move us further away from the Bible and closer than we already are to babble. We must reject, at all costs, this overture for a study committee.
1. Page 113 <mopres.org> 2. John Gills’s Exposition of the Bible, 2 Timothy 3, <biblestudytools.com> 3. <thirtypiecesofsilver.org> March 21, 2019, Thomas Littleton
4. See Forget None of His Benefits, volume 18, number 16, May 16, 2019 for the explanation.