“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love,” says the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13:13 — and many Christians apply this passage to LGBT individuals by welcoming them and including them in their worship community.
There are also Bible passages that make God’s intentions clear for human sexual relationships.
The Old Testament states, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22 ESV). The New Testament puts “homosexual offenders” among a list of people who “will not inherit the kingdom of God” unless they are cleansed through Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV).
As churches struggle with biblical boundaries and social inclusivity today, one prominent Southern Baptist leader is speaking out about the recent Revoice conference, saying it is framed with confusing language and does not represent scriptural Christianity, as the Christian Post noted in a recent article.
The conference occurred last week at a St. Louis, Missouri, Presbyterian church (shown in the photo above this article). Its goal was encouraging LGBT people “so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality,” according to the conference’s website.
But is a blending of the two — historic evangelical Christianity and the LGBTQ lifestyle — even possible?
“Revoice represents an attempt to build a halfway house between LGBTQ+ culture and evangelical Christianity,” said Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a person of considerable influence in the Baptist faith, in a lengthy post on his website of the conference.
Other Christians were concerned with the substance of the conference as well — and said evangelicals who endorsed Revoice were advancing nonscriptural views.
The Revoice Conference is not about helping those who struggle with same-sex attraction to remain faithful to Christ. It’s about normalizing homosexuality in the church. #Revoice18 pic.twitter.com/byMtr6X4s8
— Jules ☕️ Diner (@JulesDiner) July 28, 2018
One Revoice conference workshop called “Embrace” was described as “a suite of discipleship resources on human sexuality,” while another workshop title used language common to social justice warriors: “Building Justice Bridges: How a Missiological Approach Shifts Our Posture and Reaches LGBT People.”
“The chaos and confusion” that are “the inevitable products of the sexual revolution continue to expand and the challenges constantly proliferate,” said Mohler in his post. “The LGBTQ+ revolution has long been the leading edge of the expanding chaos, and by now the genuinely revolutionary nature of the movement is fully apparent. The normalization of the behaviors and relationships and identities included (for now) in the LGBTQ+ spectrum will require nothing less than turning the world upside down.”
Everyday Christians also struggle with the topic.
“The issue is respecting others who are different from you, while also doing what God thinks is right — what He tells us is right, in the Bible,” one Catholic man, who worships at a parish in northern Massachusetts, told LifeZette. “But isn’t God, in fact, loving everyone with His rules on relationships? Isn’t He loving their health and their eternal souls by putting restrictions on the most personal of activities?”
Revoice adherents believe in celibacy and do not believe gay marriage is a Christian marriage as God intended it. But they want their “sexual identity” recognized in faith communities, along with all the language that goes with being a “sexual minority.”
Some contemporary Christian buzzword book and conference titles are:
– Refuel, Revive, Reset….. and now Revoice.
The most needed and perhaps avoided is "Repent" but that might not sell too many books or conference tickets.
— Gavin Beers (@GavBeers) July 27, 2018
“We believe that the Bible restricts sexual activity to the context of a marriage covenant, which is defined in the Bible as the emotional, spiritual, and physical union of a man and a woman that is ordered toward procreation,” reads the Revoice website. “At the same time, we also believe that the Bible honors those who live out an extended commitment to celibacy, and that unmarried people should play a uniquely valuable role in the lives of local faith communities.”
Mohler isn’t at all convinced that pairing traditional, historical Christianity with aspects of the LGBT lifestyle is possible — or right.
“This language implies that Christians can be identified in an ongoing manner with a sexual identity that is contrary to Scripture,” says Mohler. “Behind the language is the modern conception of identity theory that is, in the end, fundamentally unbiblical.”
The founder of Revoice, Nate Collins, is linked to groups like LoveBOLDLY, which does not endorse the historic Christian view of sexuality, noted the Christian Post. An upcoming LoveBOLDLY conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Collins is scheduled to speak, will have many perspectives represented, including that of a woman in an openly lesbian relationship.