My Terms for Remaining

It’s obvious that I am deeply troubled by, and in opposition to the current direction of the PCUSA. As the previous data shows, many members have made the painful decision to sever fellowship with the denomination. Many who have departed would say that the PCUSA has so violated orthodox Reformed Christian doctrines that their consciences demand separation. Although I will not second-guess these decisions, I am not convinced that exit is the best choice.

Some who stay seek to carve out islands on which they can quietly live out their orthodox faith surrounded by a sea of postmodernist heterodoxy. However, if you were living on an island where the water level rose steadily, is it sustainable to keep repeating, “There’s nothing to worry about because I have this shrinking patch of dry land?”

So, if I refuse to exit but reject remaining in silence, then on what terms do I intend to remain? As is so often the case, these terms are identified with power and precision in one of our precious Confessions, in this case the Larger Catechism’s commentary on the Ninth Commandment, which discusses our responsibility not simply to avoid untruth, but also to not enable falsehood by our silence:

“The sins forbidden in the Ninth Commandment are … concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others …” [7.255]

Therefore, throughout January and February my posts will explore the postmodern Christian belief system within context of the same-gender marriage issue.  Those who hold these views constantly and aggressively press their arguments towards their chosen ends. My Christian conscience demands that their ideas be countered by the best that I can produce within the context of Christian charity and honesty.

These are the terms under which I will remain in the PCUSA. Perhaps, in God’s sovereign providence this will contribute to reversing the water’s rise, or, will build up the island of orthodoxy even as the water continues to rise. Whatever the result, I must speak out so long as God grants me voice.

O Lord, who shall sojourn in thy tent?

   Who shall dwell on thy holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right,

   and speaks truth from his heart;

who does not slander with his tongue,

   and does no evil to his friend,

   nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;

in whose eyes a reprobate is despised,

   but who honors those who fear the Lord;

who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

who does not put out his money at interest,

   and does not take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

Psalm 15 (RSV)


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