The Wedding Sermon and the PCA
I am not sure if it is possible for me to find anything I care about less than the royal wedding. I care more about how liver is cooked and I don’t eat liver. So I have no interest in the festivities that took place last weekend at Windsor Castle. At least I did not care until brothers in my own denomination including pastors began publicly praising Rev. Michael Curry and the sermon he delivered.
I won’t get into the details of Curry’s sermon. David Robertson of St. Peter’s Free Church in Dundee has done that in a clear and convincing critique HERE.
It must be pointetd out that the Rev. Curry is one of the leading forces in the continued apostasy of the Episcopal Church. He is not a friend of biblical orthodoxy. He is no friend to the truth concerning human identity and sexuality. Ironically, he is no friend to marriage. Reverend Curry is actively seeking to change his church's marriage liturgy to include homosexual couples thus vandalizing the biblical vision for marriage.
His conception of Jesus and what it means for him to have died on the cross are very different from the witness of Scripture. Likewise, his conception of what it means to love our neighbor and love God would depart in many ways from what we understand from Scripture not least of all in terms of getting the gospel right and speaking the truth about human identity and sexuality.
Reverend Curry’s sermon was a rather typical paean to “the power of love.” I think John Lennon would have been pleased. No wonder the secular media, various celebrities, and theological liberals were so enamored with it. But one would expect more wisdom and discernment from Reformed evangelicals. To say the name of Jesus is not the same as proclaiming Christ. Rascals throughout the history of the church have used the name of Jesus from Arius to Pope Leo to Fosdick to Kenneth Copeland.
Yet there it was on my social media feeds: fawning praise for “brother Curry” and his beautiful proclamation of the gospel from some of my brothers in the PCA. I could not decide whether to be surprised or not. Regardless, it was a sad thing to see.
In addition to the lack of discernment think of the unkindness it is to those faithful Anglicans who are hanging on or who have had to flee the ever-apostasizing Episcopal Church for reformed evangelicals to heap praise upon Rev. Curry and his sermon. These faithful brothers and sisters have been harassed in court by the denomination which Michael Curry leads. They have been sued and the property they occupied confiscated under the leadership of Curry. So much for the power of love I suppose.
This event served as something of a canary in a coal mine experience for me. It has revealed the presence of a dangerous leak. PCA pastors publicly praise an apostate for a moralistic sermon and call it gospel proclamation from a brother. And yet when some of us express concern about the doctrinal trajectory of the PCA we are met with anger, incredulity, or demands to prove such a trajectory exists.
From David Robertson’s piece:
When Curry spoke of the cross, [he] spoke of it as sacrificial, as exemplary, not as THE atoning sacrifice. We too can be sacrificial and it is that sacrificial love that is redemptive and changes the world. Can you see what he is doing? He is turning the cross from being THE redemptive work, to it being an example of redemptive love that we can all show. He is teaching us that we can save ourselves and indeed save the world by just having the kind of love that Christ had and following his example. That is not the Gospel. It is the antithesis of the Gospel.
It seems that some of my PCA brothers who had praised Reverend Curry and his sermon have removed those posts. Perhaps upon further reflection they saw that such praise was inappropriate. I hope that is the case. If so, a follow-up to their readers/congregants would probably be appropriate. This issue matters. Again, I would never expect the leader of the EC in the USA to preach a sermon faithful to the gospel. But that it was being praised by Reformed evangelicals left me grieving. I hope those initial words of praise were nothing more than an understandible enthusiasm to hearing Jesus' name in such a well-broadcast event. I hope the praise was not the result of such things as the influence of N.T. Wright. Wright's view of the gospel, atonement, and imputation are, as many know, incompatible with the doctrinal standards of the PCA and other Reformed denominations. Sadly, Wright has had a rather strong influence among some pastors in the Reformed community. For them, I fear, a moralistic sermon on the love of God would indeed sound like the gospel. I hope that pastors will be open and honest about their theological commitments. The unity of our churches requires such honesty.