Scott Sauls, a controversial pastor at the Presbyterian Church in America, has recently been placed on indefinite leave from his position as Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, following an investigation into his conduct as a leader.
According to a report at RNS, the leave comes after an investigation prompted by a letter sent from former Christ Presbyterian staffers who raised these concerns. In a video message to the congregation, Sauls apologized for an unhealthy leadership style that harmed the people who worked for him and the church. Sauls made clear he had not been involved in any sexual sin or substance abuse.
Sauls is accused of having an unhealthy leadership style that harmed the people who worked for him and the church and he admitted to verbalizing insensitive and critical comments of others’ work, using social media and the pulpit to silence dissenting viewpoints, and manipulating facts to support his desired path. His suspension was prompted by a letter from former Christ Presbyterian staffers who raised concerns about Sauls’ conduct as a leader.
The investigation by Christ Presbyterian and the Nashville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America found that his leadership style was unhealthy, according to the report. The elders of Christ Presbyterian expressed their hope that Sauls’ leave would lead to healing and reconciliation. His standing as a pastor will be reviewed at an upcoming meeting of the Nashville Presbytery.
If Sauls is suspended by the Nashville Presbytery, he would not be able to carry out the duties of an ordained minister. His suspension comes amid a series of exposes over his stance on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, which has drawn criticism from many within the conservative Christian community.
Sauls, a contributor to The Gospel Coalition, has expressed support for the Revoice “gay Christianity” movement and offered a sort of apologetic for it. In August 2022, Sauls suggested that heterosexual marriages should mirror the commitment found in gay marriages despite knowing that these “marriages” are “out of step with Scripture” and he has now taken the express position that if one’s sexual and marriage ethic doesn’t include provisions for combating the loneliness among homosexuals, then it isn’t truly Christian.
Sauls also argues that God’s provision for the need to fulfill the deep, emotional desire for intimacy is through the local church, rather than marriage. However, this view goes against the biblical orthodoxy of marriage and sexuality, which recognizes that marriage is the institution that God has designed to fulfill one’s need for intimate relationships.
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The church is certainly the primary source of relationships with other Christians, but it is not the place to fulfill intimate relationships. The church is Christ’s bride, not ours. Therefore, it could never fulfill in us what God designed the institution of marriage to fulfill. A biblical sexual ethic calls on one to repent of their idolatry and lust of the same sex and turn to Christ, following the Creation ordinance of fulfilling our sexual desires and need for intimacy through a marriage between one man and one woman.
If nothing else is certain about the woke church movement, it should be noted that it always leads to apostasy when it is embraced.