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... (They are in another PCA church and are considering whether to lend their support to an urban church plant effort being led by the PCA's campus ministry, Reformed University Fellowship. At least in the north, RUF now bankrolls and leads the PCA's church planting.)
But as I said, that session meeting was in 1991. It's now 2013—twenty-two years later—and Tim Keller owns the PCA. For years now, David and I have done our best to warn our presbyteries' pastors and elders against the corruption of Tim Keller's doctrine and practice, but as with other doctrinal matters, when cases are adjudicated by church courts, money, fame and personal relationships overwhelm men normally committed to doctrinal faithfulness, and they cave. (And yes, David and I have both told several of those men personally that it is our judgment they caved. We don't say things publicly we're unwilling to say privately.)
So what is our hope?
God's Word stands against all those who attack it because our Lord promised Heaven and earth will pass away before a single jot or tittle of the Law passes away. This is true—I've watched it throughout my life—and it gives us all great joy.
Though the kings of this world gnash their teeth, every particular of God's Order of Creation will continue to stand. Neither the decrees of the Supreme Court of these United States nor the practice of Metropolitan New York Presbytery of the PCA will be able to alter to the slightest degree God's Order of Creation that woman is not to teach or exercise authority over man and that sexual intimacy is not for man and man or woman and woman.
Tim Keller and his fans think they can fudge all around the edges of the first half of Creation sexuality and be silent concerning the second half while holding on to their Reformed street cred. So far it seems to be true.
But my Redeemer friends tell me Redeemer has few wee ones.
Meanwhile churches unashamed of God's Order of Creation have scads of children. Why just between Toledo and Bloomington I'm betting we have two-hundred covenant children under the age of six, and counting...
Covenant children have always been the future of the Church.
As someone once said, "Make love, not money."