Homosexuality in the PCA: on the road to affirmation...

Error message

The second key area identified by the PCA's Cooperative Ministries Committee was "Homosexuality and related issues" (for commentary on the first issue—"the role of women"—visit my previous post)...

Homosexuality and related issues – particularly, how the PCA may best minister in a fallen world to homosexual persons, graciously sharing the Gospel and maintaining biblical standards of conduct and biblical marriage.

As we were reminded repeatedly throughout the PCA's 42nd General Assembly, committees do their work carefully, thoughtfully, and intentionally. So I take it that the particular wording of these five key areas is not just a mumble. To be fair, I did not hear the CMC's report and have not seen the document, so I am going out on a limb by trusting the writer of the byFaith article. If the byFaith staff is faithfully reporting the CMC statement, I've got a bone to pick.

Notice that the CMC stated they want to help the PCA to minister to "homosexual persons." They did not write "persons tempted by homosexuality;" or better, "persons tempted to commit homosexual sin" or "persons tempted by same-sex intimacy." Intentionally using the label "homosexual persons" shows their hand...

They've bought into our culture's definition: homosexuality is an orientation that is inevitable, organic, unavoidable, and precious. The person is a "homosexual person" and his same-sex attraction is part of his person, his being. It's there at his core.

The word "sin" is not found in their statement, nor the word "repentance." Without those key words I understand the statement this way: we must figure out a way to fit together our view of homosexual orientation and the Bible's teaching on homosexual activity and companionship. In other words, how can we tell the "homosexual person" that we don't think his desires are sinful but that he can't have sex with another man or marry him. Such is the twisted program one has to undertake if the sin of homosexuality is viewed as precious and different. How is it not sin and sin simultaneously? And how do I best minister the gracious gospel during the "it's not sin" stage before we get to the biblical-standards-of-conduct "it is sin kinda" stage?

Now I'm beginning to understand why big-city pastors keep saying this is a complicated issue requiring nuance and sophistication.

Consider this rewrite:

Homosexuality and related issues—particularly, how the PCA may best minister in a fallen world to men and women tempted by homosexuality, graciously leading them to repentance, to faith in Christ, to reliance on the Spirit's power, and to accountability for their sexual purity.

See the difference? See the simplicity? See the hope? 

Such were some of you (1 Cor. 6:11)...


Andrew Dionne is the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Spartanburg, SC. He and his wife Sarah have six children. Read more from Andrew here.