In light of questions surrounding the upcoming Revoice conference to be hosted by Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Covenant Seminary would like to provide the following statement of clarification. Covenant Seminary is neither sponsor nor organizer of the event. Faculty member, Dr. Jay Sklar–whose expertise is in Leviticus–has been asked to address the relevance of Leviticus and how it supports the historic Christian understanding of God’s intent for marriage and sexuality.
As bible scholars committed to the inerrancy of Scripture, Covenant Seminary faculty are regularly asked to speak at churches and conferences, considering it a duty and privilege to share the truth and authority of the Bible in all areas of life. We believe that the unchanging veracity of Scripture is always relevant and has the inherent power to influence culture and lead people to the light of Jesus Christ.
In the last ten years, there has been a dramatic change in society’s views and perspectives on questions related to human sexuality. In light of this reality, Covenant Seminary faculty believes it vital to offer a Scriptural view of sexuality whenever possible to serve the church and offer the hope of the Gospel to anyone who may be seeking it.
As the denominational seminary for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), we gladly uphold the inerrancy of Scripture, the Westminster standards, and the sanctity of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Our faculty firmly believes that God’s intent for sexuality, laid down in creation and reaffirmed by our Lord, is that it be expressed in marriage between a man and a woman (Gen. 1-2; Matt. 19:4-5). Outside of this context, sexual activity is sinful—whether heterosexual or homosexual—and requires wise pastoral care and discipline when committed by those in the church.
In keeping with these commitments, Covenant Seminary faculty further affirms that a Christian’s foundational identity is found in their union with Christ. At Covenant Seminary, we teach clearly and without reservation that our true identity is rooted in our relationship with God through Christ. Being “in Christ” means that we are adopted into God’s family, made co-heirs with Christ, and filled with God’s Spirit for power to live a life honoring to God. Our every encouragement is for our students to find their identity in God and to embody his character in a life of holy obedience. To say, “I am a Christian who struggles with ‘x’ kind of ongoing temptation to certain kinds of sin,” is part of the testimony of one’s sanctification but is not the foundation of who we are in Christ.
Because of our passionate commitment to God’s Word and all it teaches, we are equally passionate about sharing the Gospel with all people, testifying to them of the love, joy, peace, forgiveness and sanctification we experience when we repent of our sin and trust in Jesus. This extends to sharing the Gospel with those in the LGBT+ community, or for that matter, any community of people.
Covenant Seminary remains faithfully committed to upholding the unwavering biblical standards on marriage and sexuality while engaging and equipping leaders to be wise shepherds, in terms of both sharing the gospel and of loving and pastoring those who are trusting in Jesus and facing temptations to unfaithfulness in these areas. This is, after all, God’s calling: In all of life, we must hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching as we reach those who do not yet know Jesus and as we help those who do to remain faithful to him.
In Service of Christ,
Dr. Mark Dalbey
Covenant Theological Seminary