Browse Worthy: As the Foundations Crumble

As Psalm 11:3 asks, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Though rhetorical in nature, still one thing the righteous must do is assess the damage accurately. Here are a few important reminders of our culture’s self-destruction that call us to pray for the Lord’s mercy and deliverance.

The ninth video of the Center for Medical Progress on Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of fetal body parts has been posted. “Behold, the wicked bend the bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string” (Psalm 11:2).

In Kentucky, county clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She may be jailed for her actions. So many details make this story fascinating – the open hostility of the homosexual community and her relative calmness in the face of it; her open witness that she is taking this stand because of the authority of God’s Word; her own background that includes being in her fourth marriage; the protests in and outside the county building. In light of the media consistently claiming Mrs. Davis is “breaking the law,” I found this article by the America Family Association clarifying. “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.

Of course, judgment begins with the house of God. The sad news of R.C. Sproul Jr.’s admission of being one of the names on the Ashley Madison website is difficult to hear, though it is encouraging to see discipline enacted and Dr. Sproul seeming to receive it in the right spirit. The same does not quite appear to be the case in the Tullian Tchividjian matter, where shortly after confessing an adulterous relationship and being defrocked by his presbytery he was hired to be a ministry director at a large congregation in Florida. Many are expressing the concerns reflected in this article. “For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face.” (Psalm 11:7).

6 Comments

  1. Phillip Jones September 4, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Hello, Barry,

    My understanding of PCA rules leads me to believe that Tullian Tchividjian could one day be ordained again as a minister. Denominational rules notwithstanding, how would such an action be supported in Scripture? I am also curious about how the RPCNA’s rules; if Tchividjian were an RPNCA minister, could he eventually be ordained again?

    Grace to you, and peace,
    Phil Jones

    • Barry York September 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm #

      Phil,

      Thank you for your questions. Regarding both PCA and RPCNA polity, strictly speaking I do not believe there is an ecclesiastical rule that would forbid an adulterous yet clearly repentant pastor from returning to office one day.

      Regarding whether reinstatement in this case is supported Biblically or not, I do not have the time to respond to give a suitable answer. For further reflection, Rick Phillips, Carl Trueman, and Todd Pruitt all give good commentary on this situation and principles that can be applied to this question.

      • Phillip Jones September 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

        Thank you, Barry, I had read the posts by Trueman and Pruitt, but not Phillips’. So many questions, so few answers.

      • Barry York September 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

        P.S. Here is a fuller article answering the very question you asked with a great deal of wisdom.

  2. Chris Cole September 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    I have to disagree with you about the marriage situation in Kentucky. The whole same-sex marriage controversy came about because we made marriage a rite of government, with no biblical justification. In the bible, marriage was a contractual matter between the respective families. If you look at Ruth 4, Boaz goes to the town elders after arranging his marriage with Ruth. He doesn’t ask their approval; he simply informs them. It isn’t described as an ecclesiastical matter either. The involvement of both state and church is in the enforcement of the contracts.

    Davis suffers her conflict because the state role creates a situation of coercion. Either she is coerced to sign a marriage license against her conscience, or the two men are coerced into continuing their relationship on a basis that violates theirs.

    If her conscience forbade interracial marriages, who would be so quick to run to her defense? Yet, the issues involved (i. e., from her perspective) would be the same.

    • Barry York September 4, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

      Chris,

      Your blog site says you love the Westminster Confession of Faith. Yet with all due respect, what you espouse above is not consistent with the WCF. Read the chapter on “Of Marriage and Divorce” and ask, “How can the various Biblical regulations stated there be instituted and protected without the involvement of the church or state?” Several WCF statements either intimate or directly state ecclesiastical and civil involvement in the institution that is marriage.

      Regarding your last question, if she denied an interracial couple no one should run to her defense. That would be wrong. Both the Bible and the WCF make that clear.

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