Kaci Clark-Porter and Holly Clark-Porter, a Married Lesbian couple, were ordained to the pastorate on Sunday, March 22, 2015 at First and Central Presbyterian church. This unbiblical ordination to the Christian ministry was performed, of course, after the national Presbyterian Church changed its definition of marriage from being an institution between one man and one woman, to two persons. Interestingly, the Lesbian couple were “ordained” at the same time.
But why should any of this be a shock to us, when most of the old (and dying), mainline denominations have traded Biblical orthodoxy for apostasy?
Who would’ve thought that even the traditional, “Bible-Only,” funny-clothes wearing, pacifistic Mennonites would also be besieged by the pro-gay agenda?
I think its important to ask why it is that while the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches are “staying the course” with Apostolic morality; the Churches of the Protestant Reformation have fallen prey to the wave of moral depravity.
The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church traditionally adhere to a doctrine that claims that God has revealed his perfect will through two streams of revelation: Scripture and Tradition.
In their case, when they refer to the “Scriptures,” they are referring to the larger canon of biblical books that the Early Church used, known as the Septuagint. By the way, most of the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the New Testament, are literal quotes from the Septuagint.
In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, “Tradition” refers to the “oral” and/or the interpretive teachings of the Church Fathers. In other words, Apostolic “Tradition” is the traditional, interpretive key to understanding and applying the Scriptures. This means, that regardless of the “higher critical,” theological loopholes proposed by “progressive” theologians; the “Church” will not change its doctrinal stance, because its teachings are based upon the interpretive lenses of the Church Fathers.
In both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, only a Biblically defined marriage between a man and a woman can be considered a “Sacrament,” or means of grace.
On the other hand, the Protestant Churches of the Reformation that rejected “Tradition” in exchange for “Sola-Scriptura” (Scripture Alone) are the ones who are suffering the brunt of theological revisionism. While Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians have “Tradition” as their hedge of protection against apostasy…Protestants have largely based their interpretations through “exegesis.”
Exegesis is a very important element of Bible study. The word “exegesis” literally means “to draw out.” The problem with many “Sola-Scriptura” adherents (and I’m one of them) is that we oftentimes project and force our own preferences into the Scriptures, or worse, we pull out proof texts out of context in order to justify our pretexts.
The Churches of the Protestant Reformation are not only being dismantled and destroyed by a blatant spirit of immorality; we are also being destroyed by an irresponsible (and frankly, false) doctrine of Salvific Grace. As Evangelicals we love to quote Ephesians 2:8-9, but we forget verse 10. In other words, we preach a type of salvation by Grace that actually encourages the devotional laxity that is killing even the most orthodox of Evangelical denominations.
The Protestant, Sola Scriptura doctrine of Salvation is often interpreted to say something like this:
Once saved, always saved, no matter what. Jesus did it all on the Cross, so there’s nothing you MUST do to be saved. You are baptized. Jesus did it all, so relax… your salvation is assured. You really don’t have to pray. You really don’t have to go to church. You really don’t have to read the Bible. You really don’t have to Evangelize…because Jesus did it all. Actually, you might not even have to be a Christian (active follower of Christ) in order to be saved.
Regardless of how we’ve cheapened the salvific doctrine of Grace, this is what Scripture says:
Philippians 2:12-13 ESV- Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 3: 10-12,14 ESV- that I may know him and the power of this resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
In other words, salvation by Grace is not only about being assured of our salvation, but also to be licensed by God to walk in Grace; as if we deserved to be saved by means of our works.
Biblical salvation is not based on an adherence to a social or cultural spirituality, but rather, upon the decisive determination to follow Christ as a disciple, even if it kills us. As a matter of fact, Christ clearly says the following:
Luke 10:37-39 NIV- Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
There are many things we can justify in life if we wanted to, such as Gay “Marriage” or Gluttony (of which I am guilty). The point is that Jesus came to save “sinners,” (Mark 2:17; 1 Timothy 1:15) who recognize their broken condition, and who actively seek to be healed by the wounds of Christ.
In other words, we must fervently practice the Apostolic Faith as it is found in Holy Scripture, through the interpretive lenses of the Church Fathers. That means, we must take the Faith by the reins and begin to gallop gallantly as a witness to the world that we are true disciples of Christ.
“Patribus enim credo quia Scripturae Credo.”
Translation: “I believe in the Fathers because I believe in the Scriptures.”