Where our churches are headed...

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Early in my ministry, I warned Evangelical pastors within the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA) that their failure to rebuke and discipline fornication, adultery, and unbiblical divorce within their own session and congregation rendered their campaigns against the normalization of sodomy at the presbytery and general assembly level impotent. After all, PC(USA) liberals were only asking for their immorality-of choice to be granted the immunity the immoralities of conservatives had already been granted.

Time and again, I saw and had reported to me the failure of tall-steeple Evangelical pastors to do anything about the sins of their elders, particularly unbiblical divorces and adulteries. But then these same rich and famous pastors would mount their white stallions and sally forth against homosexual ordination once a year at General Assembly, taking home the reputation of Biblical integrity and courage they deserved not one bit.

So twenty years ago, my church and I resigned from the PC(USA), transferring into a southern denomination called the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)...

In our session meetings twenty years ago as we chose which denomination to transfer into, we said to each other that the PCA would likely get us twenty years or so of orthodoxy and then it would go bad, too. That was about right. After ten years, I looked on helplessly as the PCA's seminary professor of theology and ethics began rabble-rousing for the repeal of sodomy laws, and working at the general assembly level, I was appalled by the most famous and rich pastors' refusal to preach against abortion or homosexuality or racism.

So where are we headed now?

Again, I've been saying for some time now that we're headed into polyamory and lowering the age of consent for sex with children. We've already declared immunity within our own churches to those who are serial polygamists (successive divorces and remarriages), so what possible moral authority can we have when we try to speak up against straight polygamy, or as it's commonly called, "polyamory?"

When supposed Biblical churches are so weak at defending the honor of Christ and His Church within our own fellowship, how can we possibly mount any sort of righteous campaign against the Unitarians as they declare that the lost is actually found, the evil is actually good, and the wrong is actually right.

The Washington Post reports the Unitarian and Universalist Church has maintained a growth rate of fifteen percent over the past ten years and within its fellowship is an organization called Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness:

(Unitarian) is the religion of last resort for the intermarried, the ambivalent, the folks who want a faith community without too many rules. It is perhaps no surprise that the Unitarian Universalist Association is one of the fastest-growing denominations in the country, ballooning 15 percent over the past decade, when other established churches were shrinking. Politically progressive to its core, it draws from the pool of people who might otherwise be “nones” – unaffiliated with any church at all.

But within the ranks of the UUA over the past few years, there has been some quiet unrest concerning a small but activist group that vociferously supports polyamory. That is to say “the practice of loving and relating intimately to more than one other person at a time,” according to a mission statement by Unitarian Universalists for Polyamory Awareness (UUPA). The UUPA “encourages spiritual wholeness regarding polyamory,” including the right of polyamorous people to have their unions blessed by a minister.

If we don't correct and discipline child-abuse and incest and serial polygamy and racism in our own churches, we have no moral authority to oppose those who are forthright enough to advocate publicly what we advocate privately through our cowardice and complacency.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!