I did not grow up in a Reformed denomination, nor did I come to faith or begin my path to ministry in one. Much of my early experience in faith and ministry was in what one of my college professors called “Baptistic” traditions; that is, Baptist churches, congregationally-driven churches like the Evangelical Free Church, or […]
This year has been another year marked by headlines of church leaders being removed from their leadership positions due to misconduct. However, this year the stories have been even more notable because of the prominence of many of these pastors and also the nature of the misconduct. These abuses of power and misconduct hurt not […]
The theme of this year’s Gospel Alliance gathering hosted at Faith Church was “Love and Justice.” The gathering consisted of sessions that encouraged church leaders to keep the call of the church to be inclusive of all ethnic groups (Revelation 5:9-10; Ephesians 2:13-16) and marked by love and justice while waiting continually for our God (Hosea 12:6). There […]
Through the years I have heard many people claim that the contemporary American church does not know “what to do” with single people and often either intentionally or unintentionally marginalizes them. Sermons on marriage are preached and special marriage classes are offered, and churches have numerous ministries that focus on children and families; these are […]
The 2018 General Synod of the Reformed Church in America commended the Great Lakes Catechism on Marriage and Sexuality to churches and classes for “reflection, study, and response … as a means of deepening our understanding of the biblical teaching on human sexuality and finding a pathway forward toward unity in mission and ministry.” (The […]
One thing emphasized by the leaders of the Gospel Alliance is the desire to be known for what it stands for rather than what it is against. Choosing to be for something, however, always results in rejecting other choices or options. This idea of saying “yes” to something resulting in saying “no” to other things […]
The Gospel Alliance’s distinctive that “the Church solemnizes a marital union between a man and a woman to reflect the covenantal love of Christ and His Church” is not calling for any sort of change in church teaching or practice, but rather reflects a desire for the church to stay in step with its historic […]
The Gospel Alliance’s distinctive that “the Church solemnizes a marital union between a man and a woman to reflect the covenantal love of Christ and His Church” is not calling for any sort of change in church teaching or practice, but rather reflects a desire for the church to stay in step with its historic and global teachings, as Preston Sprinkle so clearly discussed at the Gospel Alliance Gathering in his talk on Marital Union (see video of his talk here).
While some believe that a change in this doctrine would help the witness of the church moving forward, closer examination of churches that have changed their belief on this issue points the opposite way. Back in 2015, Time magazine featured a story about a large evangelical church in Nashville called GracePointe that changed its position on sexuality so that marriage was no longer viewed as exclusively between one man and one woman. As recently reported, since this announcement the church has seen a great decrease in size, with over half of its congregation leaving (many of their members and leaders seem to have left immediately). They are now selling their building to another church that holds to the historic teaching of the church concerning marriage and sexuality.
Deviating from the teaching that churches throughout time and across the world and theological spectrum have affirmed has not led to mission and multiplication, but rather division and decline. If we want to see the gospel move forward and change lives in our community and world, we need to be stay faithful to the teachings of Scripture that the church has held.