David French and the PCA’s General Assembly

Political Polarization and the Peace and Purity of the Church

I am a minister (Teaching Elder) in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). This morning I learned that there will be an assembly-wide seminar at this summer’s General Assembly on the topic of “How to Be Supportive of Your Pastor and Church Leaders in a Polarized Political Year.” As the press release states the “panel of speakers will include RE Paul McNulty, TE David Coffin, RE Randy Hicks, and David French.”

I am utterly dismayed to see the name of David French (who is not even a member of a PCA congregation) in that list. Consider the following. French has written and spoken defending “drag-queen story hour” as a “blessing of liberty.” He has done the same in support of the legalization of so-called gay marriage. French called a law like the one in Texas that would investigate parents who subject their children to chemical or surgical mutilation of their sexual organs (so-called gender reassignment surgeries) an “illiberal extreme.” He has stated that support for the current Republican presidential candidate is evil, idolatrous, and anti-democratic, that “Trump deserves not one single Christian vote if and when he chooses to run for president again.” He and his wife left the PCA because, as his wife put it, the PCA is “brimming with neo-Confederates.” He recently starred in (the atheist) Rob Reiner’s documentary portraying evangelical Christians who support Donald Trump as dangerous Christian nationalists. Virtually everything French writes or says is about the danger posed to America by Donald Trump and a sizeable percentage of the Republican Party and evangelical church. And French routinely besmirches the character of Christians who disagree with him on these issues.

I could continue listing many more things like this that French has said and done, but one doesn’t even have to agree with me that French is wrong about any of these things. Even if I was shown to be wrong about some or all of them I think all right-thinking members of the PCA should be able to recognize that David French is about the most polarizing figure that could have been chosen to serve on a panel meant to help PCA pastors navigate the issues they’ll face in “a polarized political year.” French has made it clear that only one presidential candidate is a threat to “our democracy.” How can he then be thought able to help guide pastors in how to deal with political polarization? If the goal of the seminar was to present arguments for and against the two Presidential candidates, perhaps things would be different, assuming there was a vigorous voice on the other side of the issues from French, but that is not what this seminar is intended to do.

And furthermore, is not the pressing need of the moment for PCA pastors and elders to be guided in showing their flocks how to think biblically about civic involvement in a polarized world, rather than how they can be teaching their flocks to “be supportive of” them “in a polarized political year”? What does that even mean? Does David French believe that PCA churches should be supportive of pastors who support Donald Trump? The man who recently said this: “I think when you see such a large segment of American Christianity, of white evangelicalism in particular, tie itself so closely to one political party and to one man, Donald Trump, you’re not exactly tying the faith to virtue. That’s obvious enough. . . . They’ve essentially politicized their faith.” Or this: “I have written a lot about how the hardcore Trump evangelical base threatens our constitutional rule of law.” The General Assembly seminar announcement is worded so as to indicate that it will help us avoid political polarization. David French is the poster-child for political polarization. Maybe he’s right and we all have no choice but to vote for Joe Biden for President, but that is hardly a non-polarizing position to take. French’s place on this panel will not fulfill the seminar’s own stated purpose.

Having David French on a panel like this will also not contribute to the peace and purity of the PCA. It will do nothing but exacerbate division. Therefore, I would encourage all concerned teaching elders, ruling elders (individually or as sessions), as well as presbyteries and individual members to write to the PCA’s Stated Clerk expressing their concerns about this issue (email address: ac@pcanet.org). 

* * * * *

Addendum: Here is the email I sent, if it should prove helpful to others: “My name is Ben Dunson and I am a teaching elder in the PCA. I am writing to express my utter dismay that there is a GA seminar with David French speaking. I understand the desire to help churches navigate tricky issues in an election year, but French is an extremely polarizing figure. This will not promote the peace and purity of the PCA. Among other things French supports the legal imposition of gay marriage on America, has written of the “blessings” of drag-queen story hour, and is outspoken in his claims that support for the current Republican candidate for President is evil and anti-democratic. This is not to mention his vocal support for pro-abortion candidates for elected office. I cannot imagine a worse choice to help the PCA through the contentious issues we are facing. How will that help us avoid polarization? I would ask that the AC please reconsider this decision.”


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Ben C. Dunson is Founding and Contributing Editor of American Reformer. He is also Visiting Professor of New Testament at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Greenville, SC), having previously taught at Reformed Theological Seminary (Dallas, TX), Reformation Bible College (Sanford, FL), and Redeemer University (Ontario, Canada). He lives in the northern suburbs of Dallas with his wife and four boys.

74 thoughts on “David French and the PCA’s General Assembly

  1. Thank you for this article and the report on the distressing David French fiasco. I sent an email to that address to express my dismay and wish for those in charge to reconsider.
    Jon S.

      1. Textbook indeed and it’s probably what’s needed. There are certainly things in this world that need to be cancelled. There really is right and there really is wrong. Why is that such a hard concept? Why do we have to accept immorality and mayhem as just someone’s truth and be okay with it? Do what you want to do just don’t tell me I have to accept it just so I can be considered as accepting, modern and progressive. We are not all the same… As Jesus is quoted in Mathew 7/21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

    1. Mr. Shiflet,
      If this article is any indication of Mr. Dunson’s other teaching/writing I would suggest to all readers/students of his to be careful to do their own research.

  2. I wake up every morning utterly distressed that I can never be as morally pure, and as virtuous as David French.

    1. On a serious note, and from a Catholic perspective, I think Mr. French may be experiencing demonic oppression, to take his disdain for a political figure, and then use it to declare war against just about everything he once believed in and valued.

  3. Could not agree more. Our denomination is being used for political purposes. French is there to sow seeds of doubt in order to neutralize the voting strength of our people.

    1. Steve,
      If French would be sowing doubt, would it be doubt based on facts and logic? If that would be a problem, then perhaps conformity in voting is not healthy.

  4. To a certain extent, the more I read Dunson about David French, the more I like David French even though I don’t agree with French on everything listed above.

    But one thing is sure, the more of French’s political positions that Dunson objects to, the more it seems that Dunson has conflated his political views with Christianity. And it is that kind of conflation of the the political with the theological that makes Dunson’s position divisive within the Church, or at least in the PCA.

    Unlike Dunson, the PCA is showing some humility in recognizing that it can learn some things from French. Unfortunately in American Reformed Christianity, there is an arrogance that says that American Reformed Christianity has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them–am adapting a statement from Martin Luther King Jr.–about not just religion, but politics, economics, social theories and so on. How can one not be arrogant if they believe that they, or their favorite group, has all of the answers and has nothing to learn from others? Such an attitude starts with believing that on has nothing to learn from others to believing that one does not even need to listen to others. The problem with the above article is the arrogance it exhibits. And we should note that the Scriptures never smile on human arrogance.

    It seems that Dunson assumes that French has nothing to teach the PCA because of the sinfulness Dunson sees in the positions Dunson listed French as having. So Dunson uses deduction to show that French has nothing to offer to the PCA. But perhaps an inductive approach can either confirm, disprove, or leave Dunson’s conclusions unproven. What is a more important issue is whether Dunson’s attitude is born from arrogance.

    1. Curt, are homosexual marriage and drag queen story hour exclusively political matters in your view? Do you think the truth of scripture speaks to these issues in a meaningful way? If so, do you believe scripture to be authoritative?

      1. Adam,
        In society yes, in the Church no. Society should not have the same rules and moral standards that those in the Church have. And we should address homosexuality and drag queens with evangelism, not legislation.

        And the Scriptures are more than authoritative. The original manuscripts are inerrant.

        1. Should we also treat murder or rape or sodomy with evangelism and not legislation?! What a crackpot statement that is! Gender mutilation of children, sexualizing children and all the above should absolutely be criminalized and with harsh punishment at that.

          1. Charles,
            Look at what I am responding to and what you are comparing that with. I was asked about homosexuality and drag queen story hour and you seem to be comparing that with murder and rape.

            BTW, drag queen story hour is there to teach kids to treat transvestites and transgendered as equals in society. As for exposure to sexual materials and being “sexualized,” that ship has sailed with the internet and peer pressure. It can happen at summer camps by peers as well as at schools or the public library by other means. In addition, what has hyper sexualized our society is the combination of a consumer mentality that we get from our consumer society and the depersonalization of sex. The latter commodifies sex, makes it a consumer good. Our consumer society teaches people that their sense of significance comes from what they consume, how they consume what they consume, and how much they consume.

    2. Curt,

      You write, “It seems that Dunson assumes that French has nothing to teach the PCA because of the sinfulness Dunson sees in the positions Dunson listed French as having.”

      Do you have the same magnanimous view towards Doug Wilson, or are we to “embrace left and punch right”?

      1. Jim,
        Yes. Why? Because he has views of other issues besides Christian Nationalism. And even with his Christian Nationalism, one has to look at his intentions and concerns apart from his solution of Christian Nationalism.

    3. And in this corner, ladies and gents, we’ve got Curt Day, AmRe’s most reliable and consistently dishonest reply-guy! Nobody knows why he keeps at it folks, because nobody around has given a bag of rocks about his bad faith walls-o’-text for a king’s age, but keep at it he does. Any time there’s a chance to make an absolute fool of one’s self by demonstrating an astronomical lack of self-awareness, he’s always first in line!
      How long will he keep it up? It’s anybody’s guess! But the smart money is split between “Forever,” and “Until the editors finally get around to banning him.” I’d say that you shouldn’t miss this opportunity to see someone so completely embarrass himself, but odds are pretty good that he’ll do the same thing tomorrow.

        1. Oh, Curt. Curt, Curt, Curt. You’re just too much.
          I’m not lashing out at you. I’m laughing at you.
          The fact that you simply cannot process how ridiculous you are is all part of the hilarity.

          1. Ryan,
            Your laughter is a mocking kind of laughter. And mocking people is a way of lashing out.

            And so you never say which statements of mine cause you discomfort.

          2. Yep, I’m definitely mocking you.
            I thought I was being pretty obvious about that.
            You don’t “cause [me] discomfort.” You aren’t capable of that. “Mild annoyance” maybe, but no more.
            But you’re definitely good for a few laughs. What never ceases to be amusing is how consistent your comments and interactions with other commenters tend to be.
            I don’t know how many times I (or another commenter on AmRe!) have told you off for being a disingenuous little goblin. Your standard response is to 1) complain that people aren’t responding to or engaging with the substance of your comments; 2) completely ignore the accusations; and 3) make some snide comment, often in the form of a question, about how angry/insecure/arrogant your interlocutor is. As if that somehow made some kind of difference. I guess? I dunno. Why you think people being hostile to your puerile antics proves some kind of point is beyond me, but you clearly do. It’s hilarious.
            I have zero expectation that you’ll reflect on this. But I do hope that others who read this site will take note and avoid trying to engage with you in the future.

          3. Ryan,
            If I don’t cause you discomfort, why do you want me not to comment on this blog? You’ve said that before. You’ve told me, ‘Go away.’

            So now you say that you have reacted in no other way than to mock me. Good. If you are going to mock me, tell me why the following set of statements from my first comment is not true:

            How can one not be arrogant if they believe that they, or their favorite group, has all of the answers and has nothing to learn from others? Such an attitude starts with believing that one has nothing to learn from others to believing that one does not even need to listen to others. The problem with the above article is the arrogance it exhibits. And we should note that the Scriptures never smile on human arrogance.

          4. Because you’re a dishonest, disingenuous, delusional autist that contributes nothing to the conversation but patent attempts to demoralize anyone opposed to the Regime.

          5. Ryan,
            You make all of those accusations about me without evidence. Without showing why the statements I make are dishonest, disingenuous, and so forth. You just declare those accusations.

            Until you can show how your accusations are true, you’re making empty statements. But worse than that, you are accusing a fellow person for whom Christ died of significantly wrong actions. And that doesn’t seem to phase you, and that is not a good reflection on you.

            Finally, if you think that I am not against the regime, you are wrong and do not understand what being a leftist is about. It is that I am more leery of the regime promoted on this website than the regime yous guys are targeting.

          6. Nothing you say can faze me.
            Including your pathetic “you’re making empty accusations about a fellow Christian!” schtick. You do exactly that to the authors and editors of AmRe with just about every one of your top-level comments here. For you to turn around and try to use that as some kind of rhetorical shield is precisely the kind of dishonesty that provokes the hostility you receive from myself and others.
            Thing is, most other people are too agreeable to even notice just how manipulative and disingenuous you are, let alone make a scene about it. But a surfeit of agreeableness has never been one of my faults. I’m willing to stipulate that all relevant pearls have been thoroughly clutched provided I don’t have to listen to you do it.

          7. Ryan,
            It’s not whether what I say fazes you, it whether what you say fazes you.

            You claim that we are similar in making accusations? Not really. Why? Because I deal with the specifics of people claims. I deal with their statements. You don’t deal with statements, You prefer to use pejorative labels and general accusations without providing evidence for those accusations. When I have challenged you to show which statements provide evidence for your claims, you balked at providing any statement that support your claims

            What did I say about Dunson here? That he conflated conservatism with Christianity and that he was arrogant in how he regard David French. How did I back up the conflation claim? I pointed to Dunson’s objections to French’s political views. Why did I say he is arrogant? It is because in trying to silence French, Dunson was acting like French has nothing to teach us.

            I haven’t always succeeded, but I have tried hard to stay away from pejorative labels and I have pointed to what contributors have written when I challenge them.

            Unlike you who would like to see me not comment or would like for people to ignore my comments, I want people to read the articles and comments here. But I want to challenge them when I think it is necessary and agree with them when I can. And yes, I have almost fully agreed with a few articles and partially agreed with others.

            So say what you want. But realize that both of us will be held accountable before God for what we have said about those for whom Christ died. And that should be a sobering thought for both of us.

        2. Ryan,
          So you are laughing at my alleged dishonesty or my alleged dishonesty has made you angry?

          BTW, you’ve made a public accusation about me. And the Scriptures say that we are not make accusations without evidence. So be specific, which statements of mine are dishonest?

        1. Mike,
          So now I am on French’s payroll as well as Soros’s? At least that is what a comment in a previous article said?

          Where is your evidence Mike? I was just pointing out to Ryan that the Scriptures tell us not to make accusations without evidence.

          1. This discussion does not adorn the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. — James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. Maybe the seminar should have had Ben Dunson and David French and required them to peaceably discuss the issues about which they disagree? Meanwhile, embarrassing comments are made here (excluding Curt Day – he seems to be trying to make points, with others responding with ad hominem attacks.)

          2. Dave,
            I am trying but I don’t always succeed. I like your suggestion of having French and Dunson debate, if you will, the issues. Or perhaps the issue of how Christians can disagree on political issues without dividing the Church should be the only issue Dunson and French discuss.

    4. “Hey guys, don’t go writing off the orcs at the gate (who are here to slaughter our men and rape & enslave our women and children), the Most Revered Saint MLK Jr said we have something to learn from them. So put down your swords and let them in to our city walls, we obviously need to be humble here!”

      Curt, in another day, you would betray your countryman and brother in the faith to the enemy at the gate by assuming they even have a fraction of a good intention. Instead, you commit treason to the faith by lowering the drawbridge to invite the Sultans of Secular Humanism into the fortress while flogging the men defending it. Villages, kingdoms, and nations have fallen because of behavior like this.

      1. Andrew,
        The most important part of King’s quote to any Christian is ‘arrogance of feeling.’ Why? God is opposes the arrogant. Try to find in the Scriptures where is says that God is ok with human arrogance.

        But despite what the Scriptures say about arrogance, it still holds an attractive carrot out in front of us. That carrot is that with arrogance comes a feeling of significance. But being arrogant to feel significant is as spiritually healthy as bowing down to an idol in order to worship God. And that comparison points to something Chris Hedges said about idolatry. He said that at the heart of idolatry is self-worship.

        Now you can dismiss what he says because he is a liberal theologian. But then you would not be taking the Berean approach from Acts 17 to listening to people.

          1. Andrew,
            That depends. Is Dunson saying that neither he nor the PCA have anything to learn from David French? Do they have anything to learn from other Christians who disagree with what the denomination has said?

            Or consider what you wrote to me in your first comment:

            Curt, in another day, you would betray your countryman and brother in the faith to the enemy at the gate by assuming they even have a fraction of a good intention. Instead, you commit treason to the faith by lowering the drawbridge to invite the Sultans of Secular Humanism into the fortress while flogging the men defending it. Villages, kingdoms, and nations have fallen because of behavior like this.

            Look at the personal and speculative accusations you made. First, they are without grounds. Second, they assume that we can’t learn from unbelievers. BTW, have you established that French is an unbeliever? Consider what Romans 2:12-16 says about unbelievers to those religious people who so easily judge others:

            12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the Law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law instinctively perform the requirements of the Law, these, though not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of mankind through Christ Jesus.

            Now if Paul wrote that about unbelievers as part of an effort to tell believers not to judge those mentioned in Romans 1, think of how that applies when we look down on fellow believers. When we look down on others, how does that not put us into the role of the Pharisee from the parable of the two men praying (Luke 18:9-14).

            What is going on here is that personal accusation after personal accusation is being made when I challenge things written by the contributors to this website. And those personal accusations are in lieu of interacting with my comments. And what we all need to remember is that we will all have to answer to God for each one of our words, especially when our words are about fellow believers.

            When we believe that we can’t learn from a fellow believer, what are saying about ourselves and to Christ who died for that believer?

          2. Keep paying the Danegeld, Curt. I’m sure it will be different this time.

            Your therapeutic, psychological trope doesn’t work here.

          3. Andrew,
            I guess that you don’t want to respond to specific points. I understand that. But why when I bring up the Scriptures do you say that I am taking a psychological approach?

          4. Curt, you continue to do to me what you do to the authors and other commenters on this blog. You levy nonsensical claims of sin against us and cry wolf when we call your bluff. You don’t get it. Nobody owes you a methodical, precise debate when you are bent on being a contrarian, cannot comprehend anything you read, and attempt to manipulate everyone who interacts with you. You project claims of arrogance and anger on anyone who writes here like a strip mall therapist.

            I’m done with you. I’ve given this more time than I should have. Normally most of us work for a living, so we can’t sit around and bicker with people in blog comment sections like you do all day.

          5. Andrew,
            You’re the one who is providing accusations such as:

            Curt, in another day, you would betray your countryman and brother in the faith to the enemy at the gate by assuming they even have a fraction of a good intention. Instead, you commit treason to the faith by lowering the drawbridge to invite the Sultans of Secular Humanism into the fortress while flogging the men defending it. Villages, kingdoms, and nations have fallen because of behavior like this.

            and

            Your therapeutic, psychological trope doesn’t work here.

            But doesn’t the commandment that prohibits bearing false witness come into play here? When I make an accusation, I provide reasons why I say what I am saying. But you, and a couple of others, want to make accusations without saying why you are making them. And now, according to you, no one owes me a debate when I ask for an explanation for their accusations? How different is making accusations without providing the reasons for the accusations from making accusations without having witnesses who can give evidence for those accusations?

            What have I said about Dunson which is not in his article? He implied by his protest and words that French had nothing of value to offer the PCA. Why? I then quoted King about those who make such assumptions. So why does Dunson oppose French’s appearance at the PCA GA? Is it because French opposes Christian Nationalism? I am familiar with the PCA and I could guarantee you that not all in the PCA are Christian Nationalists.

            BTW, I watched God And Country and I thought there were others who appeared far more times than French did.

    5. Your characterizations of Mr. French’s positions and statements on “drag queen story hour” and juvenile sex reassignment surgery are incorrect to the point of being libelous. You are either intentionally lying, suffering from seriously deficient reading and language comprehension skills, or you haven’t actually read or listened to what he’s said on these topics.

      1. This comment was intended for the original author. I misplaced it here. Please disregard. I will repost in the appropriate place.

  5. “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem” (or vice versa)? Tertullian was right on!

  6. Thanks for this article. I have been a RE in the PCA since the beginning of the PCA. I am appalled with the thought of David French being on this seminar.

    1. David French is being mischaracterized. It is obvious the critics are afraid to even listen to the view that there are other ways to approach matters in a pluralistic society. His personal views are still conservative. He is trying these days through the “After party” project to bring the grace of Christ to the equation. The commentators here cannot see past their “the right is right” viewpoint. There is room for Christians to fellowship and witness even though they disagree. This is not a war we are in. Don’t treat this with a combat mentality. The PCA and other evangelicals are embracing MAGA at their detriment. French’s message to the church via the After Party Project is to forget politics and fellowship and love one another. You are conflating his political writing with his vision for the church. Don’t use straw man logic. It is a fallacy. French deeply loves the Lord and has a vision for the church. I can’t imagine a better contributor. Don’t be afraid to consider that your politics may be taking control of your Christian witness to a detriment.

      1. Chip,
        Thank you for your comment here. You state things better and more concisely than I can.

        For me it is difficult to tell the purpose of this blog. Is it to use Trump and MAGA to get their way or are the people who contribute articles here and the MAGA crowd tools used by Trump for him to get his way–or perhaps someone else’s way?

  7. From the “gay marriage article” – “I emphasize the word civil because my view on the religious nature of marriage has not changed. It is a lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, sealed before God, and breakable only on the limited conditions God has outlined in his Word.” (David French)

    From the “drag Queen article”, David French was defending the religious rights of a Christian website designer! He merely used the worldly and momentary popularity of drag shows to display how the First Amendment protects both drag queens and Christians. That’s not supporting drag queens that’s simply a plea to apply the First Amendment equally across the board. He also stated that while Nazi’s should be shamed by the populace they still have a constitutional right to share their views. I don’t think Mr. French is suddenly in support of Naziism.

  8. Please remember when leftists cry out regarding evangelicals politicizing their faith and “Christian Nationalism” etc.; they are the ones that forced the issue by “Picking the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” This is straight from Saul Alinsky’s rules. They will be held accountable for their influence of drawing men away from righteousness. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20. David French is haughty, arrogant, and appears to have selfish motives. He is a self-proclaimed “combatant” according to his admonitions in “The After Party”. I would feign to be lectured into being silent by someone so willing to politicize his views and use his influence in federal elections. I stand by the Word of God as Truth, and His Word speaks Truth into all spheres of life in this present age, including political policies that are thrust upon the American people.

  9. Thank you, Ben. It is good to see that you remain a stalwart defender of Biblical ethics in a country adrift.

  10. But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 17-19

  11. Ben – I am an RE in the PCA. You are bearing false witness against Nancy French. In the article you linked to, she is not in fact saying that the PCA is full of neo-Confederates. Either you are mischaracterizing her comment on purpose, or your reading skills need some brushing up. If it’s the former, an apology would be in order.
    Regarding David French, himself, have you actually read his essays and processed his arguments, or are you simply going with the talking points that are spread all over the internet? He is a serious thinker with whom one can legitimately disagree, but “proof-texting” him to make your points seems lame to me.

    1. I was raised attending a Presbyterian Church. In the 1980’s in Washington DC I was doing a lot of thinking (while in college) about the relationship between rights, religion, political philosophy and civil society. I wondered if I was missing something in my life so I attended a Sunday service at a (or the) “National Presbyterian Church” located on 22nd & P Streets, NW Washington DC. {now identified as The Church of the Pilgrims] The church is a substantial sandstone Gothic revival building emblematic of the enduring values of Christianity and protestant values. In the main sanctuary there were banners hanging on each column. Anti-nuclear banners, gay rights banners, pro-peace, and similar leftwing causes which had zero to do with Christian orthodoxy and protestant philosophy. After an anodyne service with an incomprehensible sermon there was a fellowship in the basement were some modest offering of food was made along with coffee/tea. There were maybe 25 people as the service and half that many at the fellowship. Two different thin, effeminate young men invited me to come back to their place .
      While I cannot say exactly what I was expecting, I can say that communist politics and homosexual advances wasn’t it. To say that the Presbyterian Church had lost its way a long time ago is an understatement.

      1. Todd, that doesn’t sound like a PCA church at all. According to their Wikipedia page, the D.C. church you described belong to the PC (USA) which is the liberal wing of Presbyterianism in America that the PCA broke away from 50 years ago. Ben Dunson is talking about the PCA in this article. And David French’s participation in the PCA General Assembly plenary as canceled yesterday.

        https://byfaithonline.com/update-assembly-wide-panel-discussion-canceled/
        https://rfbwcf.substack.com/p/the-pca-is-fulfilling-the-aspirations

    2. Don’t go around accusing people of “bearing false witness” unless you’re willing to put in more effort than that.

    3. Seriously?

      She said “After 15 years, I was just like, I can’t do that anymore. The last time a neo-Confederate confronted me, I thought, ‘I’ll go to Strong Tower.’ No church is perfect, but I doubt they’re brimming with neo-Confederates.”

      How exactly did Ben mischaracterize?

    4. Arnold,

      You are bearing false witness against Dr. Ben Dunson.
      He provided a direct quote from Nancy French. You can tell by these markings “”. Perhaps your reading skills need some brushing up.

      It appears an apology would be in order.

      If you are familiar with Dr. Dunson’s work, and you have read his essays on this publication where he is an editor you would know that Dr. Dunson is also a serious thinker. This comment seems lame to me.

      1. He quoted a phrase, not a complete sentence.
        And here’s the basic logic: Saying one place is NOT “brimming” with neo-Confederates does not necessitate that the other place IS.
        I think we’re spending too much time being incensed by Nancy’s sentence and not enough time wondering what un-Christlike things were being said to her at a PCA church. There should be no room in our churches for verbal abuse of multi-cultural adoptive families. Where’s the outrage about that?

  12. I was raised attending a Presbyterian Church. In the 1980’s in Washington DC I was doing a lot of thinking (while in college) about the relationship between rights, religion, political philosophy and civil society. I wondered if I was missing something in my life so I attended a Sunday service at a (or the) “National Presbyterian Church” located on 22nd & P Streets, NW Washington DC. {now identified as The Church of the Pilgrims] The church is a substantial sandstone Gothic revival building emblematic of the enduring values of Christianity and protestant values. In the main sanctuary there were banners hanging on each column. Anti-nuclear banners, gay rights banners, pro-peace, and similar leftwing causes which had zero to do with Christian orthodoxy and protestant philosophy. After an anodyne service with an incomprehensible sermon there was a fellowship in the basement where some modest offering of food was made along with coffee/tea. There were maybe 25 people as the service and half that many at the fellowship. Two different thin, effeminate young men invited me to come back to their place .
    While I cannot say exactly what I was expecting, I can say that communist politics and homosexual advances wasn’t it. To say that the Presbyterian Church had lost its way a long time ago is an understatement.

    1. Wrong “Presbyterian Church”. You’re talking about the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., the large, mainline Presbyterian denomination.
      This is the “Presbyterian Church in America,” a much smaller, conservative denomination.

  13. French comes across as extremely divisive–at least that’s my takeaway. Christ prayed for His Church to have unity. How is it unifying to make a living by publicly disrespecting fellow Christians? It’s bad enough to be divisive in private, let alone on the pages of the New York Times.

    Does anyone know who invited French to speak at the GC?

  14. I do not believe we owe every single person a hearing in the PCA regardless of their religious and political beliefs, and it is not true that we can learn something useful and edifying from anybody and everybody regardless of those beliefs. Do we not fence the table at the Lord’s Supper? And shouldn’t our ministers fence the table, as it were, at General Assembly? Why bring in such a divisive outside agitator as French to “enlighten” us? If Christ does not have dominion over all of His creation, including the secular realm, then He has no dominion whatsoever. It’s Christ or chaos, and what we’re currently witnessing in our nation and around the world is their choice: chaos. May we in the PCA ever choose and preserve obedience, piety, constancy and faithfulness over worldly innovation.

    1. Tim,
      You’re right, the PCA doesn’t owe every single person regardless of their religious and political beliefs a hearing. But sometimes we do things out of choice, not obligation. So the question becomes why was the choice of having French speak wrong?

      The GA is not a communion table. It is a time to listen, speak, debate, consider, and occasionally make decisions. The label ‘outside agitator’ was used. in the 1960s by defenders of Jim Crow on Civil Rights workers. So why do you consider French to be an outside agitator? Do you believe that he has nothing of value to say? As a former member of the OPC and now attending an BFC church, I see value in some of the things he has said. Or are you speaking from the perspective of a certain group in the PCA who support Christian Nationalism? Not everyone in the PCA supports that.

  15. Your characterizations of Mr. French’s positions and statements on “drag queen story hour” and juvenile sex reassignment surgery are incorrect to the point of being libelous. You are either intentionally lying, suffering from seriously deficient reading and language comprehension skills, or you haven’t actually read or listened to what he’s said on these topics.

    1. Bruce,

      Isn’t that the truth? And thankful to focus on following Jesus instead of a particular church.

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