This is from Vox Popoli. Yes, many people don’t like it, but it brings up something I don’t raise in polite conversation here. Social Activism ruins everything. Vox got a letter.
The first time I corresponded with you was last year, in which I asked advice about a church which brought in a San Francisco 49er for one of their sermons. The entire point of the sermon was to lecture the congregation on how Colin Kaepernick was doing God’s work by kneeling for the anthem– not scriptural in the least. They followed a pattern of social justice convergence: firing pastors who were more scholarly in biblical works, hiring a woman to preach once a month, bringing in a more “diverse” congregation intentionally to replace the faithful. My wife and I walked out on the church and never returned. The advice you gave was to take charge of the spiritual matters of my family, as a man should, and on my end, as I’ve turned to Him, God has bestowed us with blessings beyond anything I could have imagined this year.
However, the converged church is not faring so well. They used to be one of the largest churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, and by all accounts they are failing hard. Attendance has dropped drastically. They’ve lost most of the actual “doers” on their staff to other churches. They’ve replaced most paid staff with volunteers who aren’t as competent. The church used to have its own coffee shop which it has now closed down because it no longer can sustain itself. In the space of one year since veering off into social justice, it has destroyed itself.
Social justice leads to complete ruin every time. Thought you might like an update.
Now I am not sure if this was the correct church, but it has the correct flavour of teaching.
The Elder Board of San Francisco’s largest evangelical church, City Church, has announced that the megachurch will end its practice of preventing LGBT people from becoming members if they are unwilling or unable to practice lifelong celibacy.
“Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long ‘celibacy,’ by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing,” Sr. Pastor Fred Harrell writes in a letter “on behalf of the Board and for the Gospel.”
The pastor cites social science research, saying it points to “skyrocketing rates of depression, suicide and addiction” among the LGBT people. “The generally unintended consequence has been to leave many people feeling deeply damaged, distorted, unlovable, unacceptable, and perverted,” he says.
Harrell adds that the Board has been asking the central question “What does the gospel require?”
He says the questions at the heart of the gospel are: “Who belongs to Christ’s body? And how do they belong?”
Funny. We had some teaching about lust yesterday. The church is about Christ, it is not about being diverse or understanding. Christ demands that we all change, not that he change to accept our evil. One has to look to God, and not man. So… to get off my chest what I did not say yesterday: There is no intersectional inclusion in the gospel. The correct response to sin is to love the sinner and tell them not to do. The consequences of sin, ironically, are noted by the same minister, but he does not understand that alienation comes from the sin, not the reaction to it.
If we are not convicted at least once a month to reform, the church is not doing its job. The church requires minimal input: four of us around our kitchen table, or two men with two pints and the bible in the pub is a church. We can scale down below the house church if we have to.
And when we do not teach the gospel, we get punished. As Rabbi B notes, the feminine priests are not a sign of blessing.
The death knell is the female preachers. I don’t know why, exactly, but once a church reaches that point, you can rest assured that it isn’t coming back.
It’s always associated with God’s judgment.
Youths oppress my people,
women rule over them.
My people, your guides lead you astray;
they turn you from the path.
-cf. Isaiah 3:12
The PCANZ does many things well, but this is one of the things it does poorly. There is always those who will come in, trying to be helpful, but they will kill the spirit, gut the church, and then wear it as a skinsuit. Many of them are male, but they always want to be inclusive — by which they mean bringing in their political allies, and damning those who do their new sins.
Fight to keep them out. Pray for those who have to guard the altar.
For Social Justice ruins everything.