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Comments On Greg Johnson’s Christianity Today Article

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Written by Richard D. Phillips | Wednesday, May 22, 2019

We want to celebrate sinners of all kinds finding redemption in Christ. But we must not celebrate sin of any stripe through our in-Christ identity…But “gay” is an explosive category, identifying a whole culture that cannot be insulated from extremely destructive sin… if the Revoice sector of the PCA is going to insist on “gay in Christ” they have to know that they are provoking a great many brothers and sisters who really want to show charity but cannot understand why we would celebrate a sin-identity as part of the Christian experience.

Gospel Reformation Network (GRN) Council Member Dr. Richard D. Phillips provides some helpful thoughts on the recent “Christianity Today” article written by PCA Pastor Greg Johnson:

“My heart is always glad when I hear or read of a fellow sinner finding redemption in Jesus Christ. The troubling part of what Greg is saying is what seems like a continued insistence on celebrating gayness in Christ. When I read “Jesus loves gay people” in his article, my first thought was that Jesus has grace to save gay people. Amen and amen. But Revoice speaks of “gay treasure, glory and honor in heaven,” and in general indicates gayness as a redemptive category in Christ. Nate Collins’ book is pretty clear in stating that SSA is rooted in creation rather than the fall, and if I am not mistaken this was taught at Revoice. This is disastrous, as many of us have been trying to argue graciously.

We want to celebrate sinners of all kinds finding redemption in Christ. But we must not celebrate sin of any stripe through our in-Christ identity. In Greg’s article, he touchingly writes of just who he is in his style choices and jokes about trying to keep the “gay-dar” down. I can smile with him as he courageously tells his story. But “gay” is an explosive category, identifying a whole culture that cannot be insulated from extremely destructive sin. So I don’t want to argue with a person’s story of finding salvation in Christ — in fact, I want to applaud it. But if the Revoice sector of the PCA is going to insist on “gay in Christ” they have to know that they are provoking a great many brothers and sisters who really want to show charity but cannot understand why we would celebrate a sin-identity as part of the Christian experience.

Of course, we have to acknowledge the sin structures of our pre-Christian natures. And, of course, being born again does not eradicate sin structures from our lives. But we would not celebrate a sin-related identity in any other matter than this one. The difference between embracing SSA brothers and sisters in their Christian struggle is a far cry from celebrating “gay-in-Christ.” The latter involves a significant capitulation from the holiness to which we are redeemed and, in my view, is extremely unwise pastorally.”

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