First, before I write a brief message, I want to solicit your help. Apparently, The Aquila Report is no longer willing to publish any of the articles I write. I need your help in finding alternative ways to get the news out about Vanguard Presbytery. Your feedback is appreciated.
Second, we are working on a website for Vanguard Presbytery and an invitation to the Convocation of Sessions on July 30, 2020 at Stephens Valley Church in Nashville, TN. It will be sent out by email and each of you will receive one. We also will be trying to get a head count of people who plan to attend our meeting.
There is an old Russian proverb that says this: “he who forgets the past loses one eye; he who dwells on the past, loses both eyes.” We always have to learn lessons from the past, but we must keep our focus on the present and future. From this point forward, I will not be writing any articles that are focused on the PCA primarily. Any references to the PCA will be simply in passing—the same way I mention the PCUS which I left in 1973 or the Methodist Church which I left in 1971. The battle for the heart and soul of the PCA is over. The PCA as an evangelical denomination is completely over. There will continue to be evangelical pastors and churches in the PCA for a while, but the PCA will never again be a predominantly evangelical denomination. I was asked over the last few days if the PCA could be revived by several different people. I told each of them the same thing which I repeat to all of you. It would take the greatest revival and outpouring of the Spirit in the history of the Church to turn around the PCA. It would have to be greater than the Great Awakening. It would have to be greater than the Puritan movement. It would have to be greater than the Protestant Reformation. It would have to be greater than Pentecost. Why do I say that and how can I say that? Because the Great Awakening did not turn around the Church of England or the 18th century Presbyterian Church in America. It awakened people out of those denominations and actually led to splits from both of them—the Methodist movement in Great Britain and the New Light Presbyterians in America—but it did not restore either of the mother denominations to evangelicalism. The Puritan movement did not revive the Church of England as an evangelical denomination. The Protestant Reformation did not revive the Church of Rome as an evangelical denomination, but rather resulted in a split from it. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost did not return Judaism to the worship of the Messiah, but resulted in the people of the Book and the followers of the way leaving Judaism. People can naively stay in the PCA thinking that they will turn it around through prayer for revival, but it will not happen unless something greater than Pentecost happens. Here is what I would say to those of you who are pumping yourselves up with false hope. You are dwelling on the past and have lost both eyes. You think you are working for revival, but you are actually accommodating the decline of the denomination. I will join you in praying for revival in this country and throughout the world. I hope you are willing to join me. But I will not become blinded by the past and focus my prayers on a denomination that has moved away from evangelicalism.
The reaction to the PCA’s Study Committee report reminds me of events that happened in Desert Storm/Desert Shield. After totally routing the Iraqi Army and chasing them out of Kuwait, the US Army was systematically destroying them on the highway back to Baghdad. Then, President George H. W. Bush called off the fighting. The next day, Saddam Hussein was carried on the Armed Forces network declaring an Iraqi victory as he said, “How great is victory with the help of Allah.” I thought of those words as some conservatives declared two weeks ago that the conservatives had won with the release of the Ad-interim Study Committee’s Report on Human Sexuality. Yes, how great is victory when our eyes are planted firmly in the backs of our heads. We might not yet be able to see how the report will destroy the PCA, but we have convinced ourselves that we won a great victory. The Study Committee report will pass easily in St. Louis with the help of many conservatives who simply are not presbyopic (far-sighted). Homosexuality will become deeply rooted in the denomination along with cultural Marxism, the social justice gospel, and the Critical Theory. I am just plain tired of warning people about the PCA. I have at least one eye focused on the future. And that future for me is Vanguard Presbytery and the denomination that arises from it. I am not going to lose both eyes and I would encourage you not to do so either.
Dewey Roberts, Pastor at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Destin, FL
P.S. If you have emailed me in the past two weeks and I did not respond please do not be offended. I visited pastors and elders from 5 churches last week and 4 churches this week.