Back in the early nineties, I began to recommend that grad students, musicians, lawyers, and artists leaving our congregation in Bloomington for New York City make the church served by Tim Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Church) their NYC church home. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the PCA at the time and tickled pink there was a Biblical Reformed witness in NYC (Dad was from Flushing).
Sadly, I began to hear back from these men and women that Redeemer's pastors were soft on sexuality. They reported the pastors had no heart to preach or teach God's Creation Order of Adam first, then Eve, and that Redeemer women were promoted to positions teaching and exercising authority over men. It was from these discouraged Redeemer members I first heard that foolish betrayal of Biblical sexuality that now has become the PCA's shibboleth: "A woman can do anything a non-ordained man can do."
This was disheartening. I had just left the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) for the Presbyterian Church in America a few years earlier with the congregation I was serving in Wisconsin, and we had chosen to affiliate with the PCA because of the PCA's seeming commitment to be faithful to God's Word on sexuality. Our Wisconsin session had talked it over and one man said, "If we go into the EPC or CRC, we'll immediately be dealing with the same battles over sexuality we've had in the PC(USA), but if we enter the PCA it'll be about twenty years before the corruption arrives." That session meeting was held in 1991.
This past weekend Mary Lee and I were back in that congregation for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebration of my former clerk of session and his wife, Don and Evelyn Jerred, and I reminded one of the couples there of that conversation twenty years ago...