North Florida Presbytery Same Sex Attraction Study Committee Report

At the 2016 October meeting of the North Florida Presbytery, the moderator appointed an ad hoc study committee to examine issues pertaining to same sex attraction in light of a recent ruling of the Nashville Presbytery Committee on Judicial Business.  In January of 2018, the North Florida Presbytery voted unanimously to receive the committee's report.

The report answered eight key questions.  Below are those questions and summary statements of the committee's report which can be read in full here.

1. What are the origins of same-sex attraction?  Same sex attraction is a result of Adam's original sin, the fall of mankind, and the total corruption of human nature.

2.  Is same-sex attraction a disability that afflicts certain Christians? No. While disabilities are results of the fall they are amoral and do not constitute transgressions of the law of God. However, same-sex attraction is an inclination towards sin that emerges from the fallen nature.  While Christians are not morally culpable for disabilities they are responsible for their attractions.

3. What is the relationship between sexual temptation towards a member of the same sex and sexual lust? Is the temptation itself sexual immorality?  The committee affirmed that external temptations are not inherently sinful (Hebrews 4:15) but temptations arising from the corrupt nature are sinful desires and lusts that must be mortified.

4. Is it sinful to be sexually attracted to a member of the same sex?  Yes. It is sinful to be attracted sexually to a member of the same sex. Homosexual desire is unnatural lust, a motion of the fallen nature, and is thus truly and properly sin (Romans 1.24-27; WLC 139).

5. Is sexual attraction towards a member of the same sex morally equivalent to sexual attraction towards a member of the opposite sex? No. Heterosexuality is natural while homosexuality is contrary to nature.  While it is possible to glorify the Lord through heterosexual expression within the confines of monogamous marriage, it is impossible to glorify God through homosexual expression in any context.

6. Should we encourage a faithful believer—who experiences persistent same-sex attraction, but chooses to honor God through a celibate lifestyle—to identify as a ‘Gay Christian’? No.  Believers are not identified by their sins but by their Savior. Jesus is the Christian's new identity.

7. What are the proper ways to create space in order to minister to people dealing with same-sex attraction? The church must be a compassionate hospital for all sinners. But the church must not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and must preach the whole counsel of God's Word.  The committe offered eight specific recommendations.

8. What are resources for engaging this issue?  The committee offered a bibliographical sampling of modern literature on the topic of SSA that included works by Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, Wesley Hill, John Stott, and Matthew Vines. The committee also utilized materials from the Westminster Standards, John Calvin, Francis Turretin, R.L. Dabney, and Louis Berkhof.

You can read the full report here.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.16.53 PM.png