Interacting with LGBTQ is a front-burner topic across the various denominations. Some denominations have announced unqualified acceptance (PCUSA, etc.) while others are responding in a loving and biblical way.
I was interested to note that some LGBTQ groups are trying to both hold to orthodox Christianity by affirming homosexuality is a sin but questioning whether homosexual-orientation and SSA (same-sex attraction) is a sin. That position alone is likely to put many off-balance and question their position.
Revoice and Response
I recently found out that a group called Revoice is holding an upcoming conference to discuss this position. The conference is scheduled for July 26-28 in St. Louis at Memorial Presbyterian Church. What surprised me is that the conference is being held in a PCA church.
There are many responses to all of this including:
- Evangelical Conference To Discuss Bringing ‘Queer Treasure, Honor, And Glory’ Into Heaven
- Why Revoice Hurts My Feelings, and Why Nobody Should Care
- What about Revoice?
- More Thoughts on Spiritual Friendship/Gay Christianity- Unpacking Some Basic Confusion
- The Mortification of Courtly Love
- I Resonate—and Disagree—with This Gay Christian
- Book Review of “Single Gay Christian”
- Response to CTS President Mark Dalbey’s PCA General Assembly Statement on Revoice
- Nouveau Pelagianism
- As the Serpent Uncoils
- Revoice in their own voice
- What about the Revoice conference?
- Is Homosexual Orientation Sinful? – This article in particular is just excellent
Overall, I’ve found Denny Burk and Douglas Wilson to be the most helpful responding to all of this. What is at the root of all of this, and why a conference in a PCA church was even able to get off the ground are these questions:
- Is homosexual orientation sinful?
- Is SSA sinful?
- Can a Christian identify as LGBTQ?
Here is a quote from Denny Burks’s article “Is Homosexual Orientation Sinful?”
So how do we answer the question, “Is same-sex orientation sinful?” Insofar
as same-sex orientation designates the experience of sexual desire for a person of
the same-sex, yes, it is sinful. Insofar as same-sex orientation indicates emotional/romantic attractions that brim with erotic possibility, yes, those attractions too are sinful. Insofar as sexual orientation designates an identity, yes, that identity too is a sinful fiction that contradicts God’s purposes for his creation.
Many of the articles I cited above point out that identification as LGBTQ and Christian just can’t work. The NT frequently indicates that Christians are one body and their identity is in Christ – not Christ and something else, just Christ. To do otherwise is to be divisive. To do otherwise is to disrespect Christ. If there was ever a time when the church could have divided, it was in the NT era when there could have easily been a Gentile-Christian and Jewish-Christian splinter groups. Paul responds to this strongly in Ephesians:
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Eph 2:11–16). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Revoice In Their Own Words
As mentioned above, someone collected many quotes from the folks that stand behind the Revoice conference (Revoice in their own voice). Some of the more provocative statements on the Revoice site include:
Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.
Few conversations taking place today need to be revoiced more than Christian discussions about LGBT people and the way they experience their gender and sexuality. Like talking heads on evening news, conservative Christian leaders and their conservative LGBT brothers and sisters find themselves in a conversation whose posture, content, and tone is ill-suited to developing a consensus path forward. Yet this is a gospel issue. These conversations need to be revoiced so that the gospel of Jesus Christ can more easily be applied to the individuals who are involved in them.
For the sexual minority seeking to submit his or her life fully to Christ and to the historic Christian sexual ethic, queer culture presents a bit of a dilemma; rather than combing through and analyzing to find which parts are to be rejected, to be redeemed, or to be received with joy (Acts 17:16-34), Christians have often discarded the virtues of queer culture along with the vices, which leaves culturally connected Christian sexual minorities torn between two cultures, two histories, and two communities. So questions that have until now been largely unanswered remain: what does queer culture (and specifically, queer literature and theory) have to offer us who follow Christ? What queer treasure, honor, and glory will be brought into the New Jerusalem at the end of time (Revelation 21:24-26)?
The head of Revoice is Nate Collins who was recently interviewed on Sheologians (go Summer and Joy!) I encourage you to check out that episode. While Nate is quick to discount the label “gay Christian”, the Revoice site is obviously making a case for LGBTQ-Christians. During the Sheologians interview with Nate, my heart broke to hear him talk about historically sitting in evangelical churches for a half-hour at a time listening to “gay jokes”. We are all sinners and no one has the high ground.
It is disconcerting that this, in this form, is able to gain strength in the PCA and hope these links will help those who have questions.