A Review of the Missouri Presbytery’s Statement on “Homosexuality and the Gospel of Grace”

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The Presbyterian Church in America’s annual General Assembly is quickly approaching, and at least 8 of the overtures that have been submitted concern sexual identity and LGBT ministry in the church. There is also an overture to release Covenant Theological Seminary from official PCA oversight, and it’s hard to think that this isn’t at least partially due to the controversy surrounding last year’s Revoice Conference. Covenant itself seems to feel the heat. After issuing a generic statement about Revoice last year, CTS has recently released a second defense of itself, this time more clearly criticizing the ideas associated with the conference.

When it comes to Revoice and the PCA’s ministry to self-identifying but celibate homosexuals, one resource has gone largely unnoticed. In the fall of 2017, the Missouri Presbytery issued a lengthy study report, entitled “Homosexuality and the Gospel of Grace: Faithfulness to the Lord’s Calling in an Age of Sexual Autonomy.” At 347 pages, the report is substantial. It may be too substantial, however, as many people will no doubt feel overwhelmed by the page count (about a third of the document is actually an appendix, but this doesn’t take away the initial shock factor). This probably explains part of why the report has not enjoyed a wider distribution and response.

Challenge - Report - Acceptance - PCA - Source

There is another potential challenge to the report gaining wide acceptance in the PCA, however, and that is the source and makeup of the committee. The Missouri Presbytery is, after all, the home to both Covenant Theological Seminary and Memorial Presbyterian Church (the host church for Revoice 2018). At least one member of the Study Committee is an instructor at Covenant, and several others have some connection to Revoice. If you wanted to look for red flags, there would be a few.

And yet, I was surprised at how well I...
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