An Upcoming Christian Conference Is Causing Quite A Stir In The Christian Community
A LGBT Christian conference titled Revoice is causing quite a stir amongst Christians. The event is scheduled for July 26–28 at Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri, with hundreds expected to attend. The view of the conference is that a person can faithfully affirm both Christian identity and a homosexual identity.
The Conference’s stated mission is “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.” The organizers promise three benefits to those who attend:
- New Community. “Gather together with other gender and sexual minorities and those who love them and experience a new kind of gospel community.”
- Better Conversation. “Listen to, learn from, and participate in conversations with speakers who bring a nuanced perspective to the table of discussion.”
- Diverse Collective. “Benefit from curated presentations on a wide variety of topics related to LGBT experience and the historic, Christian sexual ethic.”
This view is not new – See Matthew Vines work as an example. This particular conference charts new territory by looping in numerous figures associated with Covenant Seminary and the Presbyterian Church in America, among other institutions and churches.
The conference is framed around three keynote speakers (Wesley Hill, Eve Tushnet, and Nate Collins) and a host of breakout speakers. Some of the breakout sessions have titles like, “Redeeming Queer Culture: An Adventure,” “Journey To Embrace: A Conversation On Empowering the Church To Embrace the LGBT+ Community In Fresh Ways,” and “Coming Out In the Shadow of the Cross: Queer Visibility as Redemptive Suffering.”
Revoice has already garnered criticism from some for what is perceived to be an effort to advance a LGBT agenda in churches at the expense of sound Christian teaching.
According to its website, the conference will have workshops divided into groups such as gender or sexual minorities, parents of LGBT + children, etc.
There will also be workshops to equip pastors, church leaders and others.
People took to Twitter to post their opposition to the conference.
Shawn Waugh tweeted, “The ‘gay christian’ is an oxymoron. It’s the same as saying the ‘adulteress Christian’, ‘the Christian drunkard’, ‘the Christian thief.’ This #Revoice conference is another modern day attempt to de-christianize evangelicalism. There are many drinking the Kool Aid.”
Bryan Matheson says “#Revoice teaching, Let us live with our temptations Denying The Gospel” He said “Starting to think #Revoice is really denying the clarity of the gospel on sexual immorality. Theological clarity matters” He also tweeted “#Revoice teaching you to deny clear scripture teaching Col 3:5; Gal 5:24; 2Co 5:17;”
Just recently Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has expressed concern about an upcoming conference centered on LGBT Christians.
In an episode of “The Briefing” podcast released Friday, Mohler said his “biggest concern” about the conference is the event’s apparent acceptance of the idea that sexual identity “becomes a defining issue that isn’t changed by the Gospel and isn’t transformed by sanctification.”
“I did not say that coming to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ results in any kind of immediate transformation of sexual desire,” said Mohler.
“What I am arguing is that holiness and sanctification as revealed in the New Testament means that progressively whatever sinful desires mark us should become less a part of us and we should seek to identify with them in a lesser way, not in a greater way, by the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts and in our lives in sanctification.”
Mohler took issue with the conference’s descriptions of queer culture, with him arguing that Revoice’s language on the issue implies that LGBT identity “has something morally and theologically positive and profitable to add to Christianity.”
Greg Johnson, lead pastor of Memorial Presbyterian, which is hosting the event, explained to The Christian Post that his church agreed to host Revoice last year in response to a request from a seminary grad who is a member of their church.
“Admittedly, the conference organizers have chosen to use some language that has left some folks confused. If you’ve never met a celibate gay Christian, you have to read closely,” he told CP. “They may not mean what you think they mean,” said Johnson.
“I think the big pushback has come from people who confuse the orientation and the action. Someone can experience homosexual attraction or orientation without engaging in homosexual behaviors.”
Organizers of the conference say “Revoice” means updating or refurbishing with a new voice and that’s what they hope to do when it comes to ministering to those attending and beyond.
Charlene Aaron. July 1, 2018. “LGBT Christians? Mohler Says Revoice Conference Weakens Gospel by Affirming Gay Lifestyle.” CBNNews. http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/june/lgbt-christians-mohler-says-revoice-conference-weakens-gospel-by-affirming-gay-lifestyle
Owen Strachan. July 1, 2018. “On the Revoice Conference, “Gay Christianity,” and the Apostle Paul’s Showstopper Words to the Corinthians.” patheos. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtlife/2018/06/on-revoice-gay-christianity-and-the-apostle-pauls-showstopper-words-to-the-corinthians/
Tim Challies. June 15, 2018. “The Controversy Behind the Revoice Conference.” Challies. https://www.challies.com/articles/the-controversy-behind-the-revoice-conference/
Michael Gryboski. Gay Christian Conference Accused of Pushing LGBT Agenda on Churches.” The Christian Post. https://www.christianpost.com/news/gay-christian-revoice-conference-accused-pushing-lgbt-agenda-churches-224580/
Michael Gryboski. Al Mohler Expresses Concern Over Gay Christian Revoice Conference.” The Christian Post. https://www.christianpost.com/news/al-mohler-expresses-concern-over-gay-christian-revoice-conference-225276/
Photo credit: Challies