Lines: Why I believe Sherman Street doesn’t understand nor believe their new statement on human sexuality

“That LGBTQ+ people of Sherman Street, whether single, in a dating relationship, or married, who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, enjoy full participation in the life and leadership of the church, including ordination to the roles of elder and deacon, preaching, being married, having their children baptized, and filling leadership roles as their gifts allow.”

If you listened to Pete’s fine video you’ll notice that this fits precisely into the Keller critique as therapeutic identity. Pick your most salient aspect and make the partial the whole. Rick Warren said a similar thing. These men aren’t stupid.

I wonder if Sherman knows what they’re saying and also believes it. I’ve got my doubts. This is why I’ve been skeptical of the progressives on this issue all along. Is there really no “bridge too far”? I don’t believe it.

There’s that lovely pastoral couple Staff – Sherman Street Church

I can think of a dozen ways they would be kicked out of ministry by Sherman and Classis GRE for sex outside the lines. The thing they’ll struggle with is “where are the lines”?

Now they have lines. They would find them if the right occasion developed. But why can’t you put them on paper or the website?

Also on their website was their “mission statement” which made me smile. Not the content so much, but the presence. They survived the seeker/business church wave. That wave in church leadership was all about making clear lines and holding one another to them.  Sorry, I distracted myself… Mission and Vision – Sherman Street Church

It’s not a terrible sin to have lines you can’t articulate. We all have them. In fact all of the lines we can articulate are approximations of where “the line” really is. These lines are important, but we never fully grasp them.

So why have lines at all if they can’t do what we want them to?

Because we can’t also make a line about the lines yet we have always known them and found them useful together. Lines: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

the old line: marriage is one man, one woman, intended for a lifetime. sex is properly located within marriage.

The new line? Can you find a new line in Sherman’s declaration?

The proposed CRC new line was “marriage is two people, intended for a lifetime. sex is properly located within marriage.”

Sherman pretty much destroyed that and Neland never even got to have ONE Synod for itself. Is the GRE “white church in the old colony neighborhood” market so tight that they had to one-up Neland so quickly? How will First CRC respond to this rush to the genderless eschaton? (Hint: the Gnostics got there first 17 centuries ago, sorry.) Did they not have a same sex married deacon of their own, or even elder or pastor to outshine them? I suppose a statement will do. Both was are how we signal about the lines we’re not clear about.

The old/new line didn’t last long. That was no surprise. As Cathy’s response to Bill showed “even fly-over country has its own fly-over country”. Cathy’s church didn’t get the line-free non-memo about pre-marital sex and co-habitation.

Everyone needs to work on their lines. Not that we’ll succeed in perfection. Not that we’ll be able to fully live up to them. But when we’ve got some drafts of our lines we can compare them and figure out what sorts of relationships we can have with each other.

If the married couple who are the pastoral leadership (how complimentarian of them BTW!, It’s nearly Tim and Kathy Keller in a more progressive wrap) decided to have an open marriage and start inviting singles and married couples from the church into their “circle”, the “LGBTQ+” wide open spaces starry eyed frontier would find some lines in a hurry. Why? Because there are few things that will bring destructive chaos into a community faster than unregulated sex. There’s a line to remember in all of this.

“Well they would never do such a thing” Probably not, and that’s because you hired some people who know where some lines are, even if you didn’t mention the line. Everyone knows it, until someone tries to test it.

So where are those lines again? pvk

About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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