How the LGBT Movement is Infiltrating the Church

Thomas Littleton

Video from April 2017 shows how far movement has  advanced in just 2 1/2 years. The sad reality is some are still asleep or thinking this movement can be contained or appeased . The church has one chance in our generation to get this issue right and we are getting it wrong. Revoice /Rethink/ LGBTQ+  inclusion church audits – and deeply infiltrated seminaries and campus ministries have all surfaced since this video was recorded . If you don’t know the background or how we arrived in this sad state listen and research for yourself -Watch and Pray and stand up if your church /pastor are compromising .

 

TGC AND THE VOICES OF REVOICE: CONTRIVED CONVERSATIONS OF CHANGE, Part 3

By Thomas Littleton                                                                                         7/10/2019

con·trived

/kənˈtrīvd/

Learn to pronounce
adjective
deliberately created rather than arising naturally or spontaneously.
created or arranged in a way that seems artificial and unrealistic

Synonyms- assumed , bogus , factitious ,fake, false, feigned ,forced,mechanical .mock ,phony,plastic ,pretended ,pseudo ,put on ,sham,simulated,spurious, strained ,unnatural .

Many of today’s evangelical “conversations ” on cultural engagement, politics, race, women in ministry, LGBTQ+, immigration reform, President Donald J. Trump and how  the conservative evangelical church should approach the Gospel and the Great Commission- fit neatly and sadly into the category of contrived talking points.

The circles which put forth, polish and maintain these talking points is very small,have very close kinship and originate in the same institutions . They are repeated, backup and enhanced by Christian media outlets and at endless conferences ,by publishers, podcast, and youtube videos. Those who live and thrive in the echo chamber of modern evangelicalism are allowed little access to voices outside these carefully crafted and controlled and contrived “conversations. No issue has exposed the existence of this controlled opposition and feigned conversation more than the LGBTQ+ topic and the church and among the conservative denominations no event has received more attention and effort to moderate and keep alive than the Revoice LGBTQ+ thriving events of the last two years. No player in this dance is more key to its choreographed efforts than The Gospel Coalition. This is the 3rd of 5 articles showing the depths of collusion and the evangelical deep state style influences keeping the LGBTQ+ conversation ( a conversation that never needed to happen in the first place) going in conservative Christian circles.

PCA/GRN “A TIME TO STAND ” CONFERENCE 

“A Time To Stand ” is a prime example of one movements efforts to address Revoice within the Presbyterian Church in America . The event was sponsored by the Gospel Reformation Network. The mistake was to invite two key members of The Gospel Coalition to speak. Albert Mohler who is head of SBTS where Revoice founder was educated for almost 15 years and was teaching New Testament at the time Revoice was planned and organized was a keynote .

Mohler’s people also control the Council for Biblical Manhood & Womanhood . Guys like Denny Burk CBM&W leader and a TGC writer helped develop and promote the Nashville Statement . Revoice was said to be a response to and expression of disagreement with the Nashville Statement . Mohler nor Burk never mentions that Revoice originated at SBTS with one of Burks own classmates Nate Collins. Collins along with his father, worked on Faculty at SBTS and Boyce College which Denny Burk heads for Mohler as an undergraduate feeder for SBTS.

In the GRN meetings Mohler makes much about language “He began by proving the backdrop of the current cultural understandingand vocabulary of sexuality, identity, and autonomy, and how this relates to our theology. “The vocabulary we adopt becomes determinative of what will follow theologically.” Yet he never reveals his institutions role in both sides of the Revoice conversation.

A Time to Stand – Conference Recap

TGC leader and Reformed Theological Seminary head Ligon Duncan also spoke at “A Time To Stand ” event for GRN. His 7 point speech denies over and over any official PCA involvement in Revoice while ignoring or hiding the facts related to Covenant Theological Seminaries DEEP ties to Revoice of that a PCA church hosted the 2018 event . Duncan never reveals that the leader of the team to carry out  the investigation  which The Missouri Presbytery appointed is a former CTS leader and founder the organization which incubated Revoice , employs several of Revoice leaders and that same organizations offices are  housed in the PCA church which hosted the event . This is how contrived conversations and controlled oppositions work and how people like Ligon Duncan and Albert Mohler -either willingly or through extreme ignorance ( allowing for some benefit of doubt ) give cover to the charade .

cha·rade

/SHəˈrād/

Learn to pronounce
noun
  1. an absurd pretense intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.
    “talk of unity was nothing more than a charade”

Ligon Duncan of RTS also does not speak of the fact that his RTS institution provided the research and development of the “Seeking The Welfare of The City ” (STWTC) program for “Community Development ” as a ministry template  now being used throughout the PCA and other TGC affiliated churches, church planting strategies and missions organizations. STWTC program is a toxic stew of faith based partnerships, big tent inclusion, collaborating with civic and municipal organizations focused on issues from urban redevelopment to economic justice .

The Orlando campus of RTS built the platform for STWTC which is the basis of Tim Keller’s global City to City program . Keller played a key role in the Orlando project with RTS and CRU. (Both Keller and CRU have shown growing LGBTQ+ compromise and CRU leadership are involved in the Revoice movement ) A major piece of the development ideology was the work of pro LGBTQ+ “Urbanologist” Richard Florida whose “Gay Index ” and “Diversity and Bohemian  Index” are used to measure and determine if  such projects are LGBTQ+ inclusive enough. Richard Florida is a major player in the work of the Human Rights Campaign push to apply such inclusion “standards ” to cities and counties around the globe with its Municipal Equality Index . To oversee this ongoing project and secure Ligon Duncan RTS leadership role in it- RTS created the POLIS Institute headed by RTS Phil Hissom to oversee STWTC.  Ligon Duncan fails to mention this or his Seminaries role in it.

Mission

What Mohler and Duncan and their underlings don’t say , as we shall see n far more detail, says more than their public statements, articles and in speeches at events like “A Time to Stand” for GRN.

REVOICE  MOVEMENT: IT’S BACKGROUND AND CONFLICTED, CHOREOGRAPHED CONCERT AND DANCE MOVES.

WHO KNEW WHAT -WHEN -HOW -AND WHO WROTE THE TALKING POINTS ?

Image result for denny burk, albert mohler

 

These are fair questions to ask after the last 18 months of insanity in conservative Christian circles .The Democratic party members are as good an example as is needed to watch how each member of the leadership acts- holding days of press conferences separately but all using the same presumed to be clever and hard hitting talking points. These ensure continuity of message but also confirm the existence of a memo somewhere in everyone’s inbox. So too the evangelical inner circles of TGC/ ERLC/ ACTS29/ 9MARKS and even denominational entities of the SBC and PCA  Rely upon someone up the food chain to develop the memo and ensure all spokesmen obtain a copy. Evangelical organizations like missions departments , universities and seminaries clearly operate on these same contrived -top down words and phrases and list of speakers and book promotions which are pre approved and vetted to contain the proper message . The methodology and end goals are promoting social change in the church .

Russell Moore , the  TGC affiliated SBTS educator ,leader of the ERLC declared an end to the “Culture Wars” in 2013 . He also pronounced the war lost and “Christians should just love our gay and lesbian neighbors . His SBTS educated ERLC hire from the Heritage Foundation ,Andrew Walker continues this assertion with Revoice leader/ close friend Matthew Lee Anderson. ( more on that later )

No issue has shown the depth of and willingness to compromise and force change in the church more than the LGBTQ+ topic and no one moment has so rocked the boat of the evangelical world to date as the revelations of TGC/ERLC and two major seminaries ties to the Revoice “LGBT+ Thriving in historic Christianity” conference. This 3rd part of a series on TGC and affiliates  involvement with Revoice will pull back the curtain and see the little men animating conversation.

Just  one layer in we can see the hand that is rocking the cradle of evangelical change .

THE LITTERMATES OF REVOICE -PUPPIES PLAYING IN A PUDDLE OF CHANGE 

For those who looked honestly and beyond the organized response to the Revoice controversy – the main concern that lingered was the hard reality of it’s founders long history at Albert Mohler’s  conservative SBTS seminary . But Revoice Collins is far from the only one in the “Conversation” from the Mohler breeding grounds aka puppy mill.

Denny Burk of SBTS undergraduate school Boyce College ,also heads the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and is spokesperson for the Nashville Statement (NS) The N.S. document is put forth  and claimed to represent a compassionate and pastoral but biblical and historic view of and approach to homosexuality and the cultural shifts concerning it.

Disapproval  of the Statement and criticism of its shortcomings  is claimed to be the inspiration of Revoice . In fact it is likely neither is true . The Nashville Statement does not condemn “gay or homosexual Christianity ” ,supports the “homosexual orientation “/SSA narrative  most common in the TGC talking points and makes no clear case that people can escape homosexual desire. It does not stand with ministries that proclaim such a  message of true Gospel effected change. Nashville Statement is in the mushy middle -left of center but asserted to represent the historic conservative stance.This is true of TGC /ERLC favorite Sam Allberrys SSA /Celibate  still gay narrative as well. If the new “historic view is left of center – then the conversation is never allowed to go back across that line to the true historic / biblical  context or standard. Very subtle and very effective .

EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY, DENNY BURK, REVOICE :THE BACKSTORY 

Denny was the first in the TGC loop to respond to the growing controversy over Revoice in May 2018. However his response was measured and called for the church to “wait and see since the conference had not happened yet.”

What about the Revoice conference?

Burk was a bit more critical after it was clear in the aftermath of the conference that the idea of LGBTQ+ Christian/ Queer Christian / sexual minority Christian was “not ready for prime time ” in the evangelical sea change once it had  launched. Then again recall where it was launched from- Burks own circles at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary .

Revoice is over. Now what?

(Note in points 4 and 5 Burk talks about Nate Collins and critiques his talking points but does not place a hyperlink in his name as he does Wesley Hill and others . Burk also makes no mention of Collins SBTS almost 15 history -two degrees -and teaching NT at SBTS when forming the Revoice movement . Nor does  Burk mention work off campus he and Collins have done – (Mohler also mentions Collins in his Revoice after math article the day prior to Burk’s article. Like Burk Mohler also works carefully not connect Collins to SBTS even though me names him 9 times)

 

Lets look at what Burk says and inadvertently admits in his original Revoice piece on May 30th 2018

” I make a similar case in an article I wrote for The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society titled “Is Homosexual Orientation Sinful ?”  More recently, I wrote a review of Gregory Coles book that takes a critical look at his version of celibate gay identity.”

Denny has just told us he presented a paper for the Evangelical Theological Society . This also means he was present at and presented that paper at the annual meetings of ETS.

The members of Revoice also have spent years presenting their papers at ETS along side and often in panels WITH Burk and others from TGC / denominational circles . This has been going on for YEARS. Revoice was sprung on the evangelical  public seemingly from out of nowhere . Burk nor Mohler nor SBTS/ TGC leaders have been in these behind the scenes conversations for years- at ETS and other organizations meetings AND on their own campuses .

WHAT DENNY BURK AND MOHLER DO NOT SAY ABOUT REVOICE FOUNDER 

Both Albert Mohler and Denny Burk skirt the real history on Revoice origins

*They do not mention his decade and a half at SBTS nor that he and his father taught at SBTS/ Boyce.

*The do not mention that THESE VERY same messages developing the Revoice ideology were studied and presented at SBTS and in SBTS chosen representatives to ETS- The evangelical Theological Society since at least 2013

*They do not mention Collins and his Fathers work with Exodus International as it collapsed in 2013

*They do not mention Collins work with and leadership role on the board of LOVEboldy  as “side A (fully LGBTQ+ affirming ) and side B  (SSA/ Gay Christian but celibate )and everything in between  between ” ministry with primary focus on taking a beyond Revoice message to youth and youth leaders in our churches .

*They do not mention the Revoice founders book was written while Collins was teaching NT at SBTS and was presented among his academic papers.

Collins book :

“All But Invisible: Exploring Identity Questions at the Intersection of Faith, Gender, and Sexuality ” Nate Collins

*They do not mention that Revoice was developed and it’s founder traveled to St Louis MO  to organize its launch conference with Tim Keller Protege’ and TGC leader Scott Sauls

*They do not mention that Collins close work with Mark Yarhouse is rooted in TGC and SBTS adoption of Yarhouse interfaith/ APA based ideology .

*They do not mention that SBTS /SEBTS CTS and other institutions affiliated with TGC for years have hosted  Revoice leader, speaker and brain trust member Mark Yarhouse speaking on campus and in Chapel services .

*They do not mention that the entire conversation from SSA to LGBTQ+ Christianity is all firmly rooted in the APA /  Yarhouse argument on “Homosexual Orientation” which it is asserted that the Gospel does not change. Nor do they mention their own collaboration with the same ideology and public embrace in 2014 of the mythical orientation argument which is admitted to have removed the entire issue and conversations outside the realm of biblical context or authority.

The TGC related evangelical institutions are totally compliant with the liberal /pro-LGBTQ+  American Psychological Association. TGC/ Mohler/ SBTS and other organizations,  individuals and institutions have played a pivotal role in this compliance and transition . These ongoing -contrived “conversations” sealed the deal with bringing about enough social change in the evangelical  community to prevent serious /organized opposition to the broader LGBTQ+  agenda .

 

SBTS PROFESSOR WHO APPROVED REVOICE FOUNDER COLLINS DISSERTATION IS SECRETARY OF ETS AND A TGC WRITER 

Gregg R. Allison

GREGG R. ALLISON

PROFESSOR OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY (2003)

“Allison came to Southern in 2003 from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where he taught theology and church history for nine years. He has 18 years of ministry experience as a staff member of Campus Crusade (Cru), where he worked in campus ministry, as well as serving as a missionary in Italy and Switzerland. He also co-pastored a church in Lugano, Switzerland.”

“He is the secretary of the Evangelical Theological Society and current serves as the book review editor for theological, historical, and philosophical studies, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.”

Revoice and these “articles in response to it ” are NOT “in the moment responses” at all . These very same men and women – many with ties to SBTS like Burk and Collins – have been having these VERY conversations for years – in private and in the hallowed halls of evangelical academia . The “Responses to Revoice ” are measured because they are addressing their FRIENDS  movement and because they know these talking points having made them and collaborated with them for over half a decade with these very same classmates of SBTS and other institutions like RTS and CTS and a host of TGC and related conferences  .

PRESTON SPRINKLE OF REVOICE -REVEALS THE DEPTH OF COLLABORATION 

A key leader in the LGBTQ+ Christian movement including Revoice is Preston Sprinkle. He has spoken at the 2018 event and is on the Revoice leadership Council

Who is Sprinkle ?According to his facebook bio information:

Master’s College and  Seminary are John MacArthur’s institutions in California . John MacArthur is himself a TGC Council member and would not break company of “Fight with (his) friends ” after a panel discussion at Shepherds Conference erupted over the Social Justice false gospel . Leading up to and after the Dallas Statement was put forth condemning the Social Justice leaven in evangelicalism MANY looked to MacArthur to provide leadership against such manifestations of the  “justice gospel” as Revoice -yet he has said nothing about one of his more celebrated graduates, Sprinkle involved in Revoice leadership and another famed Master’s Graduate , Francis Chan, promoting Sprinkles Faith and Sexuality organization and employing Sprinkle at his Eternity Bible College .

Sprinkle heads “The Center for Faith Sexaulity and Gender”and his podcast is “Theology in the Raw”. He isa  Revoice leader and long time advocate for  LGBTQ+ Christian .

Here is an example of his writings

https://centerforfaith.com/blog/is-a-traditional-theology-of-marriage-intrinsically-harmful-toward-lgbtq-people-part-2?fbclid=IwAR1AN4OfSWLKZpD8vewEeAI0uIE8cwoNmVUKl0sG_Ia2Lbd5oM0wkrrdh1Y

His centers mission is to-

The Center equips leaders with theologically sound and accessible resources, and helps leaders shape the people entrusted to them. To do this, The Center provides resources in the form of adult and student small-group learning experiences, leaders forums, pastoral and academic papers, private theological and pastoral consultation, and other avenues such as blogs, videos, podcasts, speaking, and webinars.”

There are at least 8 Revoice leaders on Sprinkles board including REvoice founder Collins and LGBTQ+ Christianity  “thought leader” Mark Yarhouse .

https://centerforfaith.com/about/our-leadership

SPRINKLE AND BURK HISTORY 

See what Sprinkle has to say about his work at ETS and with others like Denny Burk.

https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/blog/2014/12/is-same-sex-attraction-sinful

“A couple weeks ago I gave a paper at the Evangelical Theological Society’s Annual meeting. The paper was part of a seminar on sexual orientation and the topic was: “Is Same-Sex Attraction Sinful?” Two other participants also gave papers: Denny Burk and Wesley Hill. Denny concluded that same-sex attraction (not just behavior) is sinful, while Wes Hill argued that it is not.”

According to SBTS archives this panel discussion was in 2014 almost 5 years ahead of Revoice . Nate Collins of SBTS was also presenting at ETS meetings. Did Burk not notice?

Burk: Experience of same-sex attraction ‘occasion for repentance’

Burk and Sprinkle also collaborated on a book about Hell of which Sprinkle served as General editor and Burk as a contributor .

Today, Zondervan releases a new “Four Views on Hell” book, of which I served as the general editor. The four contributors are Denny Burk, John Stackhouse, Robin Parry, and Jerry Walls. All of the authors believe in hell; they are all committed Christians who cherish the authority of Scripture. And yet they disagree on the nature (not the existence) of hell. As the editor, I wrote the introduction and conclusion to the book. Here’s the first part of the introduction:”

“The doctrine of hell has always been part of Christian theology. Unfortunately, hell has had a bit of a checkered past. From the Apocalypse of Peter’s gruesome depictions of women hanging over boiling mire, to skin curling images of hell in Dante’s Inferno, to Jonathan Edwards’s blistering sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, to twentieth-century Bible-belt preachers barking with anger about the wrath to come, hell has been used—and some would say abused—to scare people into obedience or increase their tithe.”

https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/blog/2016/03/what-do-you-believe-about-hell

Sprinkle talks about ETS meetings with Denny Burk and REvoice leader Wesley Hill

https://www.prestonsprinkle.com/blog/2014/11/on-papers-and-poverty?rq=denny%20burk

Sprinkle -“I just arrived in San Diego for the Evangelical Theological Society’s annual meeting. I’ll be presenting a paper this afternoon on sexual orientation along with Denny Burk and Wesley Hill, and I’m participating on a panel discussion on Paul and the Law on Friday afternoon. I’m mostly excited about connecting with old friends and making some new ones. The last time the ETS meeting was in California, it was in San Francisco. That was probably my most memorable conference, though it had little to do with the actual conference.”

BURK MIGHT NOT AFFIRM THAT SSA DESIRE IS NOT SINFUL -BUT…

Burks talking points are varied from those of Sprinkle and Revoice leaders but they fully affirm SSA language and orientation which is what leads the church to the tipping point birthing a Revoice style movement .

“Christians experiencing same-sex attraction should repent of those desires, but God can transform a person’s sexual identity, said panelists at the Evangelical Theological Society annual meeting, Nov. 19 2014 .”

“Burk presented a paper titled “Is Same-Sex Orientation Sinful?” and participated in a panel discussion on the issue with fellow lecturers Preston M. Sprinkle, vice president of Boise extension at Eternity Bible College, and Wesley Hill, assistant professor of New Testament at Trinity School for Ministry and self-described celibate gay Christian”

So THESE very conversations leading up to and incubating – distilling the talking points for Revoice and the “response ” to it have been going on for at least 5 years prior to the launch of the “LGBT+ Thriving”  in our churches movement . Burk and others wish to appear to be “stepping up ” and answering the issues and concerns of conservative Christians while having known well in advance what was coming and that much of it was emerging from our own institutions for who both sides of the issue are working .

MORE SPRINKLE INSIGHT 

Why Homosexuality Is not just an Issue

Sprinkle

“Since this book is the fruit of communal discussion, I have many people to thank. Several people read through all, or portions of, this book: Joey Dodson, Roy Ciampa, Sam Roberto, Mark Yarhouse, Jeff Cook, and I am especially thankful for the many gay and lesbian readers who have offered incisive feedback, especially on my language, tone, and ignorant assumptions: Matt Jones, Nathan Collins, Julie Rodgers, Bill Henson, Brian Gee, Wesley Hill, Bill Henson, and Nick Roen. Several others, who didn’t read the manuscript but whose stories had a significant impact on my thinking, include Lesli Hudson-Reynolds, Justin Lee, Eve Tushnet, and many others whose testimonies have forever shaped my life.”

” Thanks are also due to Denny Burk, Wesley Hill (again), and Owen Strachan for your stimulating interaction in our seminar on sexual orientation at the Evangelical Theological Society’s Annual Meeting in San Diego (November 2014).”

 

REVOICE LEADER GREGORY COLES BOOK WAS ENDORSED BY TGC CO-FOUNDER D.A. CARSON AND OTHER TGC LEADERS

Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity 

“To say this book is important is a painful understatement. It is the candid, moving, intensely personal story of a gay young man who wants to live his life under the authority of King Jesus and who refuses to accept the comforting answers proffered by different parts of the culture. Superbly written, this book stands athwart the shibboleths of our day and reminds us what submission to King Jesus looks like, what it feels like. This book needs to be thoughtfully read by straight people and by gay people, by unbelievers and by Christians. It is not to be read with a condescending smirk, but with humility.” (D. A. Carson, president, The Gospel Coalition, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)”

Of course TGC writer and Sam Allberry /Living Out associate Ed Shaw endored Coles book as well

“”Greg has written a book that is a delight to read both because of the beauty of his writing and his main message: that our good God made no mistakes in either making him the way that he is or asking him to live life the way that he is.” (Ed Shaw, author of Same-Sex Attraction and the Church)”

 

 

BURK SUPPORTS ALLBERRY/BUTTERFIELD AND OTHERS IN THE LGBT+ LOOP

Burk also lauded his endorsements of Allberry as counter to Revoice message yet Sam Allberry- a TGC editor ENDORSED Revoice “for our US audience” in early May 2018 as his Living Out ministry in the UK hosted Tim Keller – co-founder of TGC -at Living Outs London conference .

“The point of view I’ve argued for is the one you’ll find in The Nashville Statement  and in the work of Sam Allberry , Rosaria Butterfield , and Kevin DeYoung among other

TGC PROMOTING REVOICE /COLLINS BOOK WITH WARNING TO “START WITH ALLBERRY “

TGC writers Ed Shaw and Revoice Speaker Rachel Gilson reviewed Nate Collins book All But Invisible and conclude it may not be a good starting point for some .

Figuring Out Faithfulness with Same-Sex Attraction

“But both avalanches have left us with a new landscape where some differences of opinion have emerged among those who espouse a traditional view on same-sex attraction. There has been friendly fire on issues like:

  • Origins: What causes same-sex attraction—is it nature or nurture?
  • Identity: What contemporary labels can—or should—a Christian use or avoid?
  • Orientation: Is it just sexual acts and fantasy that are sinful, or is it every aspect of someone’s same-sex attraction?
  • Change: What expectation of change is possible or necessary for the same-sex-attracted Christian?

“These complex and subtle differences require deep thought, and Collins’s book is an important entry in this category. He provides new vistas in this conversation which deserve our attention. Though he lands in some different places than we do (for instance, in how we choose to label our sexual orientation), we both benefited from reading his book”

Shaw and Gilson /TGC On Collins and Burk

“Notably, Collins acknowledges that one of [his] main arguments in this book is that being gay (understood as an aesthetic orientation) is not sinful in itself” (303). This is also why he engages extensively with Denny Burk and Heath Lambert’s counterclaims in their recent volume Transforming Homosexuality. Pastors, theologians, and strugglers throughout the church are making good-faith efforts to parse this question.”

But these TGC reviewers warn:

“Though the structure of the book is clear, and Collins constantly references where he’s going, he often muddies the waters through digression and wordiness. A longer conclusion that drew together the different strands the book explored would’ve been much appreciated and would’ve help alleviate confusion. Because of these deficiencies, this work wouldn’t be our first recommendation for someone just beginning to explore these issues—they should start with Allberry ,Butterfield or Hill”

Yet is was Nate Collins in 2014 while working at SBTS and TGC and presenting at ETS with Burk and SBTS/ other future REvoice leaders who reviewed Allberrys new book for TGC

Is God Anti-Gay?

Is God Anti-Gay?

So in the TGC article review of Collins book by Allberry associate Ed Shaw and Revoice leader Gilson – Collins book is said to be perhaps not a good starting point in these “explorations ” and conversations and recommends starting with Allberry….(think about it )  whose book Nate Collins reviewed for TGC in 2014 , and Butterfield (whose academic speciality is Gender and Queer Theory like that of Nate Collins and Gregory Coles whose book Shaw and TGC co-founder D A Carson endorse ). They also recommend Revoice leader Wesley Hill as a starting point .

Confused? Don’t be- It is simply the TGC LGBTQ+  vortex

In other words- “Start with our second and third base hitters and don’t try to make it to home base with Collins and Revoice if your not ready for it “.

ENOUGH TO CAUSE LGBT VERTIGO 

If these “conversations ” and tail chasing LITTERMATES  have made you dizzy – you are not the only one suffering from LGBTQ+ vertigo

Consider SBTS/ TGC/ CBM&W leader  Denny Burk is also close associates with Revoice Leader and TGC writer Matthew Lee Anderson

Just prior to Revoice 2018 Anderson speaks to the “controversy ” and some of the background with Burk and others in the SBTS/ CBM&W /TGC loop

Sex, Temptation, and the Gay Christian: What Chastity Demands

Remember that Anderson is a TGC writer as well with very long time professional ties to TGC  senior editor Joe Carter and good friends with TGC/ERLC leader Andrew Walker

See Part 1 of this report of Revoice TGC ties and background

 

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/07/03/unearthing-the-gospel-coalition-roots-of-revoice-part-1/

Part 2

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/07/07/revoice-founders-sbts-critical-theory-dissertationtgc-ties-part-2/

SBTS DENNY BURK AND MATTHEW LEE ANDERSON

In 2012 – Burk wrote “Matt Anderson has some good thoughts on the dust-up between Rachel Held Evans  and the Wilsons. He argues that the larger point Jared Wilson was making about 50 Shades of Grey has been lost in arguments about authorial intent and trigger words.”

Matthew Lee Anderson on the Dust-Up

More ETS background of these long time “conversations”

November 23 2015

Burk -“Last week the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) met in Atlanta, Georgia for its 67th annual meeting. It is the first meeting of the ETS since the Supreme Court declared gay marriage to be a Constitutional right in its landmark decision Obergefell v. Hodges. How does ETS look now that we are inhabiting a post-Obergefell culture? Here are three snapshots that I observed and now pass on to you:”

The Evangelical Theological Society after Obergefell

“(Incidentally, Matthew Lee Anderson presented a paper arguing against my writings on same-sex attraction. Somehow I overlooked his paper in the program, so I missed his session. I greatly regret that. I hope to get a copy of his paper.)”

 

Also In 2016 Burk and Anderson were presented in an RNS article as “Never Trumpers” evangelicals

14 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump

 

TGC  Burk Matthew Lee Anderson

 

In case you missed it in part 2 of this series – at min 50 is Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson- also part of the backroom conversations with Burk and others in TGC related to the Revoice approach as Anderson “pinch hits” for TGC/ ERLC leader Andrew Walker – also an SBTS graduate and Teacher – in a Mormon Interfaith conference on “loving God and our LGBTQ+ neighbor .

https://byu.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b371983d-3089-4fea-8fc8-aa6c00ecc67d

 

TRUE BIBLICAL CONSIDERATION OF DOCTRINAL ISSUE 

Council held in Jerusalem recorded in ACTS 15 discuss influence legalist and those pushing mandatory circumcision for gentile believers . Would the first century church elders have ever called together a council to discuss homosexuality and cultural shifts  toward it? Would the Jerusalem Council ever need to incorporate the latest findings of the great thinkers of Rome and its sleazy sexualized culture into the churches approach or consider its standing with the perverted Nero administration as SBC and PCA leaders did with the Obama administration’s pro LGBTQ+ policies? Would first century leaders consider giving homosexuality some special nuanced status among other sexual sins ? Would they have employed critical theory /gender/ feminine and queer theory to effect social change in the churches attitudes toward homosexuality and its varient manifestations  in public or in private ?

Not for a moment .

Sleazy

1 contemptibly low, mean, or disreputable:sleazy politics.
2 squalid; sordid; filthy; dilapidated:sleazy hotel.
3 thin or poor in texture, as a fabric; cheap; flimsy:sleazy dress; a sleazy excuse.

Acts 15  (NKJV)

Conflict over Circumcision

15 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”

The Jerusalem Council

Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, [a]acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus [b]Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

12 Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13 And after they had [c]become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14 Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:

16 ‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the [d]Lord who does all these things.’

18 [e]“Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19 Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from [f]sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

The Jerusalem Decree

22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas,[g] and Silas, leading men among the brethren.

23 They wrote this letter by them:

The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

Greetings.

24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, [h]saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”—to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one [i]accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual[j] immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

Farewell.

 

 

REVOICE FOUNDER’S SBTS CRITICAL THEORY DISSERTATION:TGC TIES PART 2

REVOICE SBTS DEVELOPMENT -AND ERLC ANDREW WALKER COLLABORATIONS

The movement behind the controversial pro LGBTQ+ Flourishing  Revoice Conference continues to reveal its roots within The Gospel Coalitions collaborations and youthful “brain trust” educated in both Southern Baptist and conservative PCA seminaries. The SBC just affirmed  the usefulness  of Critical Race Theory and intersectionality at it’s 2019 annual meeting weeks ago in Birmingham . Now the hard reality that these two vices of progressive social sciences have been in high gear and were used to launch the Revoice “LGBT+ Christian ” movement at TGC affiliated institutions is opened to public view.

NATE COLLINS DISSERTATION FROM SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY OF TGC/SBC  LEADER ALBERT MOHLER 

TGC and SBTS leader Albert Mohler has tried desperately to hide the obvious – that his Seminary educated Nate Collins . Now the hard facts : Collins dissertation tells the story of the SBTS use and engagement  of Critical Theory and Intersectionality in educating activist like the Revoice founder and even allowing them to teach at the Southern Baptist flagship seminary -long celebrated as an anchor of conservatism and the trophy of the SBC Resurgence . Nate Collins birthed the Revoice movement via social sciences, critical theory and intersectionality developed at SBTS. Using both his skills and topic of study at SBTS Collins is seeking to establish room for a “Secondary Gender Identity” in New Testament context .

https://repository.sbts.edu/bitstream/handle/10392/5716/Collins_sbts_0207D_10474.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

“Copyright © 2017 Nathan Charles Collins
All rights reserved. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has permission to
reproduce and disseminate this document in any form by any means for purposes chosen by the Seminary, including, without limitation, preservation or instruction.”

SBTS description of Collins Dissertation

Abstract
“The first chapter of this project outlines the background of studies about the Bible, gender, and social theory. The second chapter of this project surveys the landscape of contemporary feminist theory and gender studies, with particular focus on approaches that theorize feminine identity as a relatively stable and intact cultural category. The purpose of this first chapter is to highlight possible points of contact between theological priorities concerning gender in Christian doctrine and humanistic approaches to theorizing gender. The third chapter of this project focuses on attempts to theorize the significance of secondary gender differences between men and between women. It begins with a survey of theories about how categories function as markers of identity, and then explores accounts of secondary gender difference within feminist theory and gender studies. It concludes with an examination of social identity theory, and suggests that incorporating this approach from social psychology can be a helpful heuristic device in a Christian understanding of secondary gender identity. The fourth chapter examines the manner in which a specific identity label—virgin (παρθένος)— circumscribes a gendered social identity with respect to unmarried female sexuality. It does this through the presentation of an exhaustive survey of the lexical, semantic, and syntactic function of the label across 529 uses in the Jewish and Greco-Roman background literature of the New Testament, as well as the contextual associations surrounding its use in these texts. The fifth chapter examines 1 Corinthians 7 in light of the previous chapter’s findings, highlighting any additional significance they might add to Paul’s statements about virgins in his paraenesis. It proposes a newer, alternative approach that is not beset with the weaknesses of prior approaches, and suggests that the perspective on the identity of virgins gained from the previous chapter resolves some well-known tensions in interpretations of 1 Corinthians 7. The sixth and final chapter explores potential lines of scholastic inquiry that might surface as a result of this study, as well as the various conversations in our culture about gender-related issues that might be implicated by the conclusions drawn about the nature of gender identity.”

https://repository.sbts.edu/handle/10392/5716

SBTS APPROVAL 

Three SBTS professors mentored Collins work on his dissertation .

Thomas R. Schreiner (Chair)
__________________________________________
Jarvis J. Williams
__________________________________________
Gregg R. Allison

Chapters

1. GENDER AND NEW TESTAMENT STUDIES: A BRIEF
HISTORICAL SURVEY..

2. FEMINISM AND CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

3. SECONDARY GENDER IDENTITIES

4. ΠΑΡΘΕΝΟΣ IN THE JEWISH AND GRECO-ROMAN
BACKGROUND LITERATURE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

5. SECONDARY GENDER IDENTITIES AND THE PROBLEM AT CORINTH

6. CONCLUSION

Critical Theory looks to be a shared area of expertise with at least on of Collins SBTS faculty mentors Jarvis Williams a SBTS 4 time Alumnus who joined the faculty in 2013

Jarvis Williams, four-time alumnus, joins seminary faculty

Critical Race Theory, RTS, and SBTS

Quotes from William H. Smith | Thursday, March 30, 2017

It is not inference or implication that “Critical Race Theory” strongly influences the thinking of Dr. Willams and Mr. Tisby. One can draw a straight line from “Critical Race Theory” to the way these men look at race, culture, politics, society, and the particular form of society that is the church. It is impossible to miss the reality that when they speak about racial reconciliation within the church they are borrowing the language of “Critical Race Theory.”

“So, if you are still reading, after all that introductory material, here is the concern I want to raise. Mr. Jemar Tisby is a Special Assistant to the Chancellor at Reformed Theological Seminary. Dr. Jarvis Williams is an Associate Professor of New Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Both are greatly influenced by “Critical Race Theory,” are applying it to their understanding of the dynamics evangelical churches, and are using it to tell the evangelical churches what is required for “racial reconciliation.”

EXCERPTS FROM REVOICE FOUNDERS SBTS DISSERTATION 

We will only look at  few but the entire document is archived at SBTS and other websites  for  public view if a reader needs further convincing that SBTS and TGC are at the epicenter of this movement .

Excerpts

Preface

” Drs. Schreiner, Williams, and Allison, have
all been selfless with their time, particularly in the past few years as this project gained
steam. All three have encouraged me at various points when I needed extra motivation to finish, but Dr. Schreiner in particular has been the best doctoral supervisor I could ever  imagine.”

Chapter One -Speaking of Oprah Winfrey “opted in favor of her racial identity and decided to endorse Obama over Clinton.”

“Scholars in the fields of feminism, womanism, and contemporary gender
theory refer to this crisscross-identity phenomenon as “intersectionality,” a term coined
by critical race theorist and legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw.
1 According to Crenshaw, intersectionality refers to the compounded marginalization that black women experience due to intersecting forms of discrimination against them as a result of their gender and racial identities. Intersectional feminism and womanism both draw attention to structural inequalities in society that perpetuate the continuation of these compounded axes of discrimination.”

Collins – more on the growing focus on Social Identity and Gender , Sexual Orientation and Theology :

“Five years later, a different event illustrates another intersection of social
identity and gender. On October 11, 2013, the Gender Relations Center at the University
of Notre Dame celebrated the 25th annual National Coming Out Day in a manner both
novel and straightforward. After constructing makeshift wooden doorways in various
places around the campus, they invited students to publicly embrace whatever particular identity was important to them as they stepped through the threshold of the doorway.”
“The Gender Relations Center website said “individuals [could] ‘come out’ as anything –
a business major, a country music fan, a lover of bad horror movies,” and urged students
to “join us… as we celebrate the endless variety of identities that make each and every
one of us unique.”2
“Debates concerning the morality of same-gender sexual behavior aside, what
sense are we to make of celebrations like National Coming Out Day? When individuals
participate in this event, what is the meaning of the identity statements that they are
making? Do they regard their sexual orientation as a constituent part of their gender
identity in particular, or is it simply one piece of the pie that represents the entirety of
their self-identity? Or does sexual orientation constitute a ‘given’ (perhaps similar to
race?) that can index an intersectional identity (of sorts?) within individual gender
identities? Although scholars in the fields of theology and biblical studies have explored
gender-related topics for several decades now, not many of these studies reflect on questions about the ontology of gender or its theological meaning.”

The Thesis : For the “approach ” to Gender “a broadly applicable etic framework that can be flexibly applied in a variety of communities of practice..”

” …This dissertation will argue the thesis that the Greek
word παρθένος functions as a label that indexes a secondary gender identity in Paul’s
discussion of virgins in 1 Corinthians 7. The meaning of most of the elements in this
thesis is transparent enough, but the phrase secondary gender identity requires an initial
definition. In this dissertation, I will distinguish between primary gender identity and
secondary gender identity. ‘Primary gender identity’ is binary, and reflects the original
divine intent to create male persons (“men”) and female persons (“women”). ‘Secondary
gender identity,’ on the other hand, is non-binary and is the result of the pluriform effects of the enculturation of gender within human society. For now, we will operate with the following working definition in mind: a secondary gender identity is a gendered sub-identity that forms around a socially meaningful category (1) that is itself gendered in
some way by the surrounding culture and (2) that is indexed by a linguistic label.
Demonstrating this thesis will provide a degree of clarity about issues related
to the ontology of gender itself, while sidestepping the related topic of gender roles and
the cultural landmines clustered around it. It will also illustrate the significance of the
sex/gender distinction within Christian theology in ways that are less than apparent to
secular forms of gender theory. And finally, it will yield a broadly applicable etic
framework that can be flexibly applied in a variety of communities of practice and the
texts they produce, including ancient texts like 1 Corinthians 7.”

COLLINS FEMINIST SOURCES 

One example of sources sited for this historical background for Collins SBTS dissertation is “Elizabeth Ann Clark is Professor Emeritus of the John Carlisle Kilgo Professorship of Religion at Duke University She is notable for her work in the field of Patristics  Clark expanded the study of early Christianity, pioneering the application of modern theories such as feminist theory ,social network theory , and literary criticism  to ancient sources.”  https://gendersexualityfeminist.duke.edu/people/elizabeth-clark

QUEER THEORIST 

“Judith Butler is by many accounts regarded as a pioneering post-structural
feminist and queer theorist, although other French philosophers had already begun
applying the principles of post-structuralist philosophy to the question of gender by the
time she published her groundbreaking work Gender Trouble. The two most important
ideas most often associated with her are her attempt to destabilize the category of ‘sex’
and her definition of ‘gender’ according to the rubric of performativity. According to
Butler, the popular distinction between ‘sex’ (a biological classification) and ‘gender’ (a
sociocultural category) is meaningless because we have no recourse to the meaning of
sexed bodies apart from the social significance of gender differences. Our social
understanding of gender predetermines the shape of our understanding of sexual
difference.1”

https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/faculty/judith-butler

From Butlers Berkeley bio

“Research Expertise and Interest
critical theorygender and sexuality studiescomparative literature19th and 20th century continental philosophysocial and political thoughtphilosophy and literature”
Again it is important to note that Revoice leader Nate Collins is at the time both a student and an instructor of New Testament – not a Berkeley or Yale Divinity School but at Albert Mohler’s conservative Southern Baptist Theological Seminary .
CHAPTER 2 COLLINS QUOTES FROM MARGARET SANGER ASSOCIATE AND HOMOSEXUAL  HAVELOCK ELLIS 
Collins sources several pages from Havelock Ellis who heavily influenced Feminist and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger while she was exiled in England .Ellis is also credited with co-authoring the first publication in English to use the word “Homosexual ” and is much celebrated by the homosexual community as a whole.
Collins sample Ellis Quotes

“Sexology and the New Medical Science
The first essentialist explanations of gender in the modern era accompanied the
emergence of sexology as an established scientific discipline. And among these first
essentialists, the work of Havelock Ellis, a physician who had been strongly influenced
by anthropology, looms large. In 1913, Ellis published his seven-volume Studies in the
Psychology of Sex, which cemented his position as a trailblazer within the new field and
fueled a conceptual revolution in popular opinion on gender and sexuality.5
Of all the intellectual contributions Ellis made to the field of sexology, perhaps
the most significant among them for our purposes here was his practice of interpreting
human sexuality through the lens of then-common anthropological conclusions regarding courtship in the animal world. In essence, Ellis believed that animal courtship rituals could play a central role in organizing beliefs and practices regarding human gender and sexuality.6 According to this theory, man is a hunter by nature who pursues and conquers woman, his ‘prey.’ Masculinity is therefore defined with reference to demonstrations of power, while femininity is associated with modesty, or an “instinctive fear.”7 According to Ellis,”
“Force is the foundation of virility, and its psychic manifestation is courage. In the
struggle for life, violence is the first virtue. The modesty of women – in its
primordial form consisting of physical resistance, active or passive, to the assaults
of the male – aided selection by putting to the test man’s most important quality,
force.8”

MARXIST FEMINIST

Collins touches on some history of differing  types of feminism and on Marxist Feminist and their anti family and anti capitalist ideologies and efforts at “social change”

“Anti-capitalist movements. In some ways, the anti-capitalist impulse in some
forms of feminism is a development of the liberal agenda.29 Patriarchy is still the
problem, but Marxist and socialist feminists examine the relationship of patriarchy
specifically with respect to class systems. This expansion of patriarchy into the realm of a
society’s economy is a form of symbolic patriarchy, or “a social structure or community
within which power is dispersed among the male subjects.”30 Indeed, feminists initially
found in anti-capitalist theories a conceptual framework that simultaneously explained
both how patriarchy oppressed women, as well as what they could do to bring about
social change.”

“The early Marxist feminist Margaret Benston was among the first to point out
that families in capitalist economies were primarily “production units” for housework and child-rearing, and not merely passive consumption units.31 By restricting the labor of women to the domestic realm, the capitalist class of men—together with patriarchal
socialist men!—are able to benefit both from the supply of free labor they represent, as
well as from the production of new workers to fuel the capitalist economic vision. ”

JUMPING TO THE CONCLUSION

The entire 234 page document is available at the links provided. This writer made efforts to engage Nate Collins about his SBTS writings and to discuss his “conclusions” about Biblical gender given his research in the area of gender and feminine theory. Collins refused to discuss these topics or any others related to Revoice and SBTS and the controversies surrounding the LGBT+ “Thriving ” movement .

Here are Collins  hopes for the movement in his own words in the conclusion of the dissertation .

CONCLUSION”

“Overview
We began with a survey of feminist and contemporary gender theory in order
to discern the kinds of answers that theorists have provided to the question, “What is
gender identity?” We observed that responses to this question followed several
discernable patterns, and that each of them might inform a Christian doctrine of gender
that began from a supernatural framework.”
“We then turned our attention to gender theories that tackled the thorny problem
of secondary particularity among members of the same gender. We discovered that the
problem that secondary gender particularity posed to a theological anthropology of
gender might be mitigated by incorporating insights from social identity and self-categorization theory. The resulting theoretical framework is capable of supporting both a firm commitment to a gender binary that reflects the divine creative intent, but that is sufficiently responsive to a wide variety of contextual factors that further categorize men and women along myriad types of culturally salient axes of gender difference.”

REVOICING “POSSIBILITY MODELS “

“Possibilities for Further Development”
“If this project succeeds, it would seem to open up a wide vista of possibilities
for further development and expansion. The marriage of contemporary gender theory and the social identity approach seems ripe for additional development. Accounts of gender that begin from a critical realist epistemology would, in particular, benefit from the incorporation of social scientific frameworks that have been the subject of empirical
research for literally decades.”
“Accounts of gender identity and gender difference within theological
anthropology can also benefit from the primary/secondary gender identity framework
proposed in this project. These accounts might find this framework to be a useful
184 heuristic in conceptualizing the relationship between first- and second-order gender
differences and their theological implications. This might provide fresh avenues for the
development of the Christian doctrine of gender, particularly because it signals a retreat
(if only temporarily) from divisive debates about the regulative function of biblical
teaching about gender roles.”

REMEMBER -THREE SBTS PROFESSORS MENTORED AND SIGNED OFF ON OPENING THESE DOORS TO REVOICING LGBT IN THE CHURCH.

“The tentative conclusions of this study can be further tested and perhaps
expanded in the field of biblical studies. This study focused on texts written in Greek, but
scholars might engage in similar studies of texts written in other languages, such as
Hebrew, Aramaic, or Latin. Furthermore, scholars might explore other axes of difference
in addition to marriageability in order to uncover other kinds of secondary gender
identities that were in use in antiquity.”

“Finally, we can discern within our own twenty-first-century context examples
of second-order gender particularity that are both culturally meaningful theologically
significant. In some cases, these examples of second-order particularity function as axes
of difference along which modern-day secondary gender identities can be indexed by
linguistic labels currently in use in communities of practice.”

TGC AND COLLINS DIRECT TIES 

Nate Collins was writing for The Gospel Coalition in 2014 while at SBTS

Nate Collins

“If I Tell You I’m Gay Will You Still Love Me”

Nate Collins is the executive director of Aligned Grace Resources  a ministry he founded with his father to equip churches to minister the grace and truth of the gospel to people affected by same-sex attraction. Nate and his wife, Sara, live with their two sons in Louisville, Kentucky, where he is pursuing a PhD in New Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

TGC’S SAM ALLBERRY AND NATE COLLINS 

In 2013  Collins reviewed TGC editor/ Gay Anglican Priest Sam Allberry ( whose Living Out ministry endorsed Revoice )

Is God Anti-Gay?

From the first few pages, it’s clear the greatest strength of the book is its simple readability. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, Allberry, associate pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Maidenhead, England, distills the most important points of his discussion into five short chapters. Together with an autobiographical introduction and conclusion, these chapters provide a wise way forward for Christians to be a faithful and compassionate witness to the gospel in our society. What truly makes this book remarkable are the aforementioned autobiographical elements Allberry scatters throughout the book. Allberry is a young Christian pastor who experiences same-sex attraction (SSA) and is committed to a biblical vision for sexuality. The introduction, conclusion, and various other autobiographical anecdotes within the book provide a glimpse into the soul of a godly gospel minister for whom homosexuality is a deeply personal issue. In the end, Allberry gives us a coherent account of SSA that resonates both with the clear teaching of Scripture and also with our collective experience as members of a fallen humanity.”

“The shape of Allberry’s discussion is simple. Before addressing homosexuality specifically, he spends an entire chapter describing a biblical understanding of marriage and sex. Then he provides a brief overview of the various texts throughout Scripture that directly address homosexual behavior. Finally, in the last three chapters, Allberry takes a look at the issue of SSA itself from three perspectives: the individual Christian who experiences SSA; the church at large and its ministry to people with SSA; and the world, where Christians are called to be a compelling witness to those outside the church with SSA.”

“In the chapter on homosexuality and the Bible, Allberry surprises the reader at the outset with a clear warning: “What the Bible says about homosexuality does not represent everything God wants to say to homosexual people” (23). It can be hard to understand or explain SSA in light of the gospel because we sometimes take a “Strong’s concordance” approach to ethics, assuming the most relevant texts are the ones that directly mention the issue we’re trying to explain. However, Allberry’s warning reminds us that, particularly when talking to gay people, it’s often best to assume they already know what we believe about their sexuality.”

“Although the first two chapters are helpful in their own right, the final three represent the real meat of the book. A foundation by itself—without walls, a ceiling, or furniture—doesn’t qualify as a home. Likewise, sound doctrinal foundations with a sound, biblical sexual ethic are fundamental to an accurate understanding of the challenge of homosexuality. And yet, if our response fails to incorporate concrete examples of gospel grace and truth, then there’s little truly Christian about it.”

Gospel-Centered Response

“Allberry’s examination of homosexuality can be described as gospel-centered because the gospel is always a third-party dialogue partner in his discussion.”

“For people who struggle with SSA, the issue of gender identity is an enormous source of anxiety. The existential heart-cry deep within the soul of these individuals is, “What kind of a man (or woman) am I if I experience same-sex attraction?” The temptation to provide a creaturely answer to this question in the form of a culturally derived gender identity (such as “gay” or “lesbian”) can be strong. Yet Allberry rightfully insists we stick to the truths of the gospel when attempting to navigate the murky waters of gender identity.”

“Besides the broader issue of gender identity, Allberry describes how the gospel addresses other specific sources of confusion and anxiety that often plague those who experience SSA. For example, many Christians who experience SSA will remain single for the rest of their lives. Allberry helpfully reminds us that both marriage and also singleness point to our relationship with Jesus Christ, and that neither is a more blessed state than the other. As he writes, “Union with Christ forever is what the earthly states of both marriage and singleness actually point to” (74).”

“Allberry also addresses the tendency to equate “change” with orientation change. On this point, he helpfully cautions: “I believe change is possible, but a complete change of sexual orientation is never promised in the Bible” (46). In this way, Allberry notes, SSA is similar to other besetting sins Christians face. For some, SSA may be a serious but temporary temptation; for others, however, it will be a lifelong struggle. In both scenarios, we must remember our God is gracious and merciful.”

“Perhaps the most valuable chapter of the book is the one on the church’s response. The advice here is worth the price of the book. Allberry covers topics like what to do when a gay couple visits your church, as well as specific and practical suggestions that pastors and church leaders would do well to implement as they seek to be proactive in supporting saints in their congregations with SSA.”

Title Choice

“The only aspect of Is God Anti-Gay? that may actually end up confusing some people is the title itself. To be fair, at the end of his conclusion, Allberry does provide a direct (though brief) answer to the question posed by the title. But even if he hadn’t, it’s not completely far-fetched to suggest the entire book provides a compelling framework to answer this question accurately.”

“At the same time, we should probably also recognize we live in a society where the church is routinely accused of being hateful toward gays. In a recent book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons titled unChristian, they claim that as many as 80 percent of young people (ages 16 to 29) within the church use “anti-homosexual” to describe Christianity. If this is true, then the question “Is God anti-gay?” deserves a direct, full-on response.”

 

Collins own book was written while he was teaching at Albert Mohler’s SBTS

https://www.christianbook.com/invisible-exploring-identity-questions-intersection-sexuality/nate-collins/9780310526025/pd/526020#CBD-PD-Description

 

RUSSELL MOORE /ERLC GENDER EXPERT ANDREW WALKER WORKS WITH REVOICE LEADER 

 

ERLC’s Andrew Walker and Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson collaborate with TGC as recently as April 2019

Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion and the founder of Mere Orthodoxy 

Andrew Walker is a regular contributor to Anderson’s “Mere Orthodoxy” blog

https://mereorthodoxy.com/author/atwclw/

All posts by Andrew Walker

ERLC’s Andrew Walker has over 8 pages of articles on Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson’s Mere Orthodoxy going back to 2010 and up to the April 2019 Collaboration which was also published by The Gospel Coalition .

“I would like to thank Matt Anderson for allowing me to write for Mere Orthodoxy. In time, he’ll joined the enlightened readership of National Review.” Andrew Walker

MOLHERS SBTS JUST HIRED ANDREW WALKER IN JUNE 2019

http://kentuckytoday.com/stories/erlcs-andrew-walker-to-join-southerns-faculty,19757

“LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — Andrew Walker of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has been named as assistant professor of Christian ethics and apologetics at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Walker will continue to serve as the ERLC’s director of research and senior fellow in Christian ethics.

Southern President R. Albert Mohler Jr., in announcing Walker’s addition to the faculty today (May 31), said he is “one of the most outstanding young scholars in his generation.”

“I’ve known him for many years, and every year has brought only more confidence in him. God has gifted him with a keen analytical mind, and he is a passionate defender of biblical truth, the Christian worldview and the sanctity of human life.

“On issues related to marriage, sexuality and the dignity of life, Andrew Walker is stellar,” Mohler added.

“The great challenge in coming years,” he noted, “is to prepare a generation of young Christians for the challenges they will face in the future. We are looking at a culture that is increasingly hostile to life, truth, beauty, goodness and liberty. At the foundation of this crisis stands an assault upon the dignity and the sanctity of human life. Andrew Walker brings a comprehensive theological and biblical vision and an energetic commitment to apologetics to this task.”

“For the ERLC, Walker researches and writes about the intersection of Christian ethics, public theology and the church’s social witness and has been called by The New York Times one of most “undaunted” defenders of a biblical view of marriage.”

“Walker, in an SBTS news release, said, “Since its beginnings, Southern Seminary has been a bellwether for evangelical trends in America, and under Dr. Mohler’s leadership, which returned Southern to the founders’ vision, it has stood for tradition, excellence and theological conviction. Since first setting foot on the campus of Southern in 2008 as a master of divinity student, I knew this place was special. It has formed me, and I hope to carry forward its vision.”

“As a Christian ethicist, I am excited to help future pastors, church leaders and scholars understand the moral witness of the Gospel and how to connect ethics to the mission of the church,” Walker said.”

Walker is a three-time graduate of Southern Seminary, having earned master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of philosophy degrees in Christian ethics. His dissertation was about religious liberty in evangelical social ethics. He also holds an undergraduate degree in religious studies from Southwest Baptist University.

ERLC’S WALKER ,REVOICE’S ANDERSON AND TGC/OBAMA FAITH LEADER MICHAEL WEAR COLLABORATE WITH BYU LAW AND THE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REVIEW

At the very same time the ERLC employee and Russell Moore Protege’ Andrew Walker is announced as being hired by Albert Mohler / SBTS in June 2019- Andrew was scheduled to be in Salt Lake City with a key Revoice leader and Mormon leaders in an interfaith dialog on Religious Freedom and LGBTQ+ relationship to faith communities  . The event was sponsored by a Mormon scholarship development group called The Wheatley Institute . https://wheatley.byu.edu/about/

“Wheatley Institution at Brigham Young University enhances the reputation and scholarship of BYU by seeking creative and powerful ideas which lead toward practical and constructive solutions to real societal issues. The Institution broadly disseminates those motivating ideas and policy recommendations to the wider world, and is guided in all its work by enduring, bedrock values.”

Conference Title

Religious Freedom for a New Generation

( BYU THAT IS BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (LATTER DAY SAINTS /MORMONS )

REVOICING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?

Revoice and TGC leader Matthew Lee Anderson was to be joined by fellow TGC young guns Wear and Walker to join in interfaith dialog with LDS/ Islam/ LGBT activist and globalist visionaries to Rethink =Reimagine=Revoice Religious Freedom in general for a “new – more tolerant generation”.

ANDREW WALKER A NO SHOW -CHOSE REVOICE ANDERSON TO “PINCH HIT ” FOR HIM AND REPRESENT THE SBCS ETHICS AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY’S COMMISSION 

Walker was not able to make his appearance at the Mormon interfaith meeting and so the ERLC speaker chose his friend Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson to speak for him.

“The freedom to practice one’s religion is one of the most significant rights a human can possess. Join us for the Religious Freedom Annual Review where attendees will hear media, legal, and religious leaders from around the country speak on topics such as why religious freedom matters, how we can find common ground with LGBTQ rights, religious freedom in the media, and how to be a leader in promoting religious freedom in your community.”

GENERAL SESSION
Loving God and Our (LGBTQ) Neighbor: Ways Forward

https://religiousfreedom.byu.edu/presenters

Matthew Anderson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion; Founder, Mere Orthodoxy

Anderson’s presentation

Voices of a New Generation: Religious Freedom, Religious Affiliation, and Culture

  • Moderator: James Heilpern, Law and Corpus Linguistics Fellow, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University
  • Matthew Anderson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion; Founder, Mere Orthodoxy
  • Aysha Khan, Journalist, Religion News Service
  • Emmanuel Roldan, Pastor of Primera Waco
  • Kevin Singer, Co=director of Neighborly Faith

 

Michael Wear

Founder of Public Square Strategies; Author, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America

Wear’s presentation

General Discussion Session: Understanding Changing Attitudes Towards Religious Freedom

  • Moderator: Elizabeth A. Clark, Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University; Program Chair, Religious Freedom Annual Review
  • Chelsea Langston Bombino, Director, Sacred Sector, Center for Public Justice
  • Daniel Cox, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Alexander Heffner, Host, PBS’s The Open Mind
  • Asma Uddin, Fellow, Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom, UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations
  • Michael Wear, Founder of Public Square Strategies

Andrew Walker

Director of Research and Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention

WALKER TO ADDRESS LOVING LGBTQ+ WAY FORWARD -SCARY GIVEN HIS MENTOR RUSSELL MOORE’S ONGOING COMPROMISE AND POLITICAL PERSUASIONS 

ERLC/ Andrew Walker’s presentation was done by Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson

(see minute 50 of the video )

General Session: Loving God and Our (LGBTQ) Neighbor: Ways Forward Culturally and Politically

  • Shirley Hoogstra, President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
  • Shannon Minter, Legal Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • Frank S. Ravitch, Professor of Law and Walter H. Stowers Chair in Law and Religion, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Andrew T. Walker, Director of Research and Senior Fellow in Christian Ethics, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Conventions

Image result for Nate Collins

 

SEEKING COMMON GROUND IN “CONVERSATIONS WORTH HAVING “

The church is being told by these young activist writing for TGC/ ERLC / Mere Christianity/ Christianity Today and a host of other outlets that we should be seeking common ground for the common good as we pursue what Collins/ Walker / Anderson and others insist are “conversations worth having “. As far as finding the common ground that exist with Revoice LGBTQ+ flourishing movement in this case- it is clear the “common ground ” is the campus at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the domain of Albert Mohler.

As far as assessing if these “Conversations ” are worth having  with the likes of Mormon , Islamic , and LGBTQ+ activist to revoice religious freedom or to place gender/ marriage/ family and sexuality in the blender of social change powered by the theories of leftist and liberal /progressive social sciences – we must consider the conversations that took place in the gates of Sodom of which Abraham’s nephew Lot took part daily. God did not see them as “worth having ” nor did HE send angels into Sodom to seek out common ground between heaven and the “Cities of the plain”. God simply put a stop to it all in one clear assessment from His Throne. Jesus warned us in three powerful words (not much of a conversation )to “Remember Lots Wife “Luke 17:32 . Peter warned us what living on the Common Ground with the homosexual (Queer ,Collins and Revoice preferred word ) culture can do to a man with a Godly heritage and to his family .

2 Peter 2:

  6 “and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,”

SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY AND OTHER TGC INFLUENCED INSTITUTIONS ARE GONE

The sinking reality about Revoice for Biblical Conservative Churches and movements is that the effort is driven by activist trained in our own institutions – by our own trusted leaders and in the most fringe of the social sciences aimed at societal change focused like a laser beam on the household of faith . Collins work with Mark Yarhouse- the Revoice godfather/thought leader  with ministries like LOVEboldly prove that little or no real distinction is made between side A ( fully LGBTQ+ affirming ) and Side B (Gay but celibate as Revoice asserts) . LOVEboldly is also working with  their  Devoted Conference to target youth leaders and  youth groups to bypass senior staff and parents with the Revoice message.

 

2 Timothy 3

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

But know this, that in the last days [a]perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, [b]unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

 

 

UNEARTHING THE GOSPEL COALITION ROOTS OF REVOICE -PART 1

By Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                                7/2/2019

The fallout of Revoice 2018  was still swirling as the 2019 event came and went. The most significant of revelation was the open participation of TGC LGBTQ+ expert Mark Yarhouse both speaking and working as part of the Revoice leadership council. He, along with former Christianity Today editor Andy Crouch, are helping provide leadership to this LGBTQ+ “flourishing ” movement helped to solidify (and explain) ‘sTGC shared braintrust and mainstream media promotion.

TGC/ D A Carson had commissioned a Whitepaper from Yarhouse in 2010 which set the stage for the overhaul of homosexuality / LGBTQ+ issues in the mostly  Southern Baptist and Presbyterian Church in America churches and institutions under the TGC influence. Yarhouse  has remained part of the steady supply of TGC speakers nuancing race, gender , sexuality and other contemporary “issues” using psychology , social sciences, and critical theory .

MATTHEW LEE ANDERSON’S ROLE WITH TGC 

In 2013 Mathew Lee Anderson, who is also part of the Revoice leadership with Yarhouse and Crouch , worked with TGC’s  Themelios journal to critique some of the key ideologies of gender theory and sexual orientation in publication at the time .

http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/about

“Themelios is an international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith. Its primary audience is theological students and pastors, though scholars read it as well. Themelios began in 1975 and was operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008. The editorial team draws participants from across the globe as editors, essayists, and reviewers. Themelios is published three times a year online at The Gospel Coalition website in PDF and HTML, and may be purchased in digital format with Logos Bible Software and in print with Wipf and Stock. It is also accessible in full-text through the ATLA Religion DatabaseThemelios is copyrighted by The Gospel Coalition. Readers are free to use it and circulate it in digital form without further permission, but they must acknowledge the source and may not change the content”

D A Carson is the among Themelios editorial staff

“D. A. Carson | Contributing Editor and President

The Gospel Coalition”

TGC influenced seminaries provide most of the Editorial Board

  • Gerald BrayBeeson Divinity School
  • Hassell BullockWheaton College
  • Paul HelsethUniversity of Northwestern, St. Paul
  • Paul HouseBeeson Divinity School
  • Hans MaduemeCovenant College
  • Ken MagnusonThe Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Gavin OrtlundFirst Baptist Church, Ojai
  • Jonathan PenningtonThe Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Mark D. ThompsonMoore Theological College
  • Paul WilliamsonMoore Theological College
  • Mary WillsonSecond Presbyterian Church, Memphis
  • Stephen WitmerPepperell Christian Fellowship
  • Robert YarbroughCovenant Seminary

REVEALING TGC DEVELOPMENT OF THE REVOICE IDEOLOGIES PROMOTING ORIENTATION AND DECONSTRUCTING GENDER 

In 2013 Anderson did a book review  for TGC Themelios of James V Brownson’s book Biblical Gender Sexuality :Reframing the Churches DEbate on Same Sex Relationships
Brownson is an advocate for such “Side A ” full affirmation of homsexuality – groups like The Reformation and Mathew Vines. Brownson  is a leader of the Reformation Project and spoke at the 2018 Orlando Conference for Vines Reformation Project .

https://www.reformationproject.org/team

 

BLUEPRINTING REVOICE: TGC MAKING A SPACE IN THE MUSHY MIDDLE

The 2013 work in the Themelios journal book review entry  by Anderson shows the kind of efforts to lay the groundwork leading up to Revoice that he and others with TGC affiliation were engaging . The clear goal is to counter traditional views of sexuality and gender and provide a landing strip for the social sciences like critical gender and feminine theory . These are to then be mixed with Greek and Roman cultural history / Augustine / Aquinas /philosophy and flavored with a dose of (Reformed ) theological orthodoxy – in order to assert the offspring of this ideological love fest is both legitimate and biblically sound. It is in fact the illegitimate lovechild of progressive politics and postmodern presumption born into the cultural abyss and temporary insanity of a church held in the grips of organizations like TGC.

CRITIQUING ANDERSONS CRITIQUE OF BROWNSON 

Anderson gives a highly favorable critique of Brownsons work for TGC. We will highlight some points and comments by Anderson ahead of each section and bring special attention to some statements by Anderson on key issues related to the development of the Revoice ideology of which he now is a leader in promoting . Do not forget this is a TGC Theological journal Themelios publication .

http://themelios.thegospelcoalition.org/review/bible-gender-sexuality-reframing-the-churchs-debate-on-same-sex-relationshi#

(Note the promotion by Anderson of Brownson’s  Anti- Traditionalist posture , also Sexual Orientation , and Deconstructing  of Gender .)

“This entry into the ever-expanding literature on the Bible’s teaching on same-sex relationships is a welcome yet unsatisfying attempt to “discern the deeper and more comprehensive moral logic that undergirds the specific commands, prohibitions, and examples of the biblical text” that have to do with gender and sexuality (p. 9).”

“Brownson’s argument is thorough and will reward both skeptics and fans alike, as he routinely digs up what for “traditionalists” in this debate have been assumptions and calls them into question. If his argument proves wrong—as I think it ultimately does—saying where and how it goes astray is more difficult than it seems on the surface, as Brownson challenges a way of reading Scripture that for traditionalists has sometimes functioned as a trump card in this debate.”

(Anderson is “thankful ” for Brownsons varied starting point on adressing same sex relations)

“Brownson (thankfully!) starts in a place other than the deeply contested prohibitions of same-sex sexual activity. His first chapter takes on what is for many theologians the central plank of the traditionalist case on same-sex relations: the “one flesh union” that Gen 2:24 speaks of. Brownson contends that it “does not refer to physical gender complementarity, but to the common bond of shared kinship” (p. 35).”

( Anderson suggest Brownson’s work set to problematize the traditionalist positions)

“After clarifying how his own canonically rooted approach sits in relationship to other attempts to find more positive theological resources for same-sex sexual relationships, Brownson then turns toward evaluating four “very broad forms of moral logic” that are “critical for understanding what the Bible has to say about sexuality in general: patriarchy, the ‘one-flesh’ bond of marriage, procreation, and celibacy” (p. 14). Throughout these sections, Brownson offers readings of the relevant passages that are meant to problematize the traditionalist positions. On procreation, for instance, he suggests, “the witness of Scripture as a whole suggests that [procreation] cannot be a defining, or essential, aspect of [one-flesh] unions. What is ‘normal’ cannot simply be assumed to be ‘normative’” (p. 122). In returning to the “one-flesh unions,” Brownson sounds a similar note: “The fact that the Bible uses the language of ‘one flesh’ to refer to male-female unions normally does not inherently, and of itself, indicate that it views such linkages normatively” (p. 105).”

MAJOR POINT -PROMOTING SEXUAL ORIENTATION  AS SCIENCE 

(Anderson -“And critiquing the language of “sexual orientation” isn’t an option from his standpoint, either, as the “resistance of sexual orientation to change” is an “increasingly established scientific fact”)

“In the final section, Brownson turns toward the boundaries of appropriate human sexuality, taking cues from Rom 1:24–27 to focus on lust, purity, honor/shame, and natural law (chs. 8–11). Here, Brownson’s method of rereading Scripture in light of what he takes to be contemporary givens about the nature of human sexuality comes to the fore. He suggests, for instance, that “the attempt by some traditionalists to bracket sexual orientation and to focus only on sexual behavior” as a way of sorting out Romans 1 is “ultimately untenable, even if it may seem necessary or benevolent from a pastoral point of view” (p. 175). And critiquing the language of “sexual orientation” isn’t an option from his standpoint, either, as the “resistance of sexual orientation to change” is an “increasingly established scientific fact” (p. 176). When Brownson turns to “nature,” he pulls a page from many traditionalist’s playbook and affirms that “redemption does not displace or escape nature; rather, it fulfills nature” (p. 250). But our understanding “of exactly how the will of God is revealed in the natural order is subject to change, deepening, and growth over time” (p. 247). Committed gay and lesbian unions can find a place in this “renewed ‘nature’” provided that nature “is not simply determined by anatomy” and because our understanding of “nature” is different enough from that of the NT that “the New Testament does not envision the kind of committed, mutual, lifelong, loving, moderated gay and lesbian unions that are emerging today” (p. 251).

ANDERSON SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF GENDER DECONSTRUCTION TO SAME SEX UNIONS 

(Again from the above section -Anderson’s big reveal is Brownsons deconstruction of Gender that paves the way for Same Sex relations and gay and lesbian -one flesh unions . “But our understanding “of exactly how the will of God is revealed in the natural order is subject to change, deepening, and growth over time” (p. 247). Committed gay and lesbian unions can find a place in this “renewed ‘nature’” provided that nature “is not simply determined by anatomy” and because our understanding of “nature” is different enough from that of the NT that “the New Testament does not envision the kind of committed, mutual, lifelong, loving, moderated gay and lesbian unions that are emerging today”)

(Anderson’s Conclusions summing up what Brownson is promoting )

“In his conclusion, Brownson sums up his position and revisits the controversial prohibitions, repeating arguments about their irrelevance for today’s debates that are by now well known. But he also reminds us that “gender complementarity” is “not taught in Scripture, considered in its entirety, and has never been part of normative Christian teaching” (p. 266).”

“By calling into question whether the “gender complementarity” that is on the surface of the Genesis account is actually a norm that Scripture presents, Brownson indeed moves the discussion closer toward the center of the divide on this question. Yet traditionalists might simply respond that Scripture holds together what Brownson’s distinction tears asunder, namely the covenantal aspects of marriage and the anatomy in which such covenantal commitments are revealed, consummated, and made fruitful in the limited permanence of the gift of children. Brownson suggests that the focus of Genesis 2 is not on the complementarity of male and female, but on their similarity (pp. 29ff.). Fair enough. But focusing on such a similarity is only intelligible within a context where differences are assumed, obvious, and have no need to be argued for, else why bother mentioning the similarity at all? And while Brownson’s suggestion that Gen 2:24 is focused on “the formation of the essential and foundational building blocks of human community—the ties of kinship” (p. 34) is an evocative one, one wonders whether the biological ties beneath that kinship are left with any moral force at all. They did not matter much for society in Plato’s thought experiment in The Republic. Brownson’s emphasis on “kinship” has a similar sort of avoidance of the biological preconditions that make “mutual care” intelligible and valuable.”

“But these are merely initial worries, and Brownson’s book merits a closer and more full treatment than I can afford here. Indeed, his approach is useful precisely for illuminating the difficulty of defending a stance that the church has nearly unambiguously treated as the presupposition for moral reflection about human sexuality, even if there have been differences over the details of that stance. For traditionalists, the debate over whether the presupposition of anatomical difference is only “normal” or also “normative” will not be settled by appeal to empirical claims about contemporary experience or science. The grammar and meaning of human sexuality is different from other investigations into the natural world, for its subject matter extends beyond that which such empirical pursuits can deliver (namely, the meaning of human sexuality and moral norms).”

(Anderson thinks Brownson provides a “Deep Challenge” to traditionalist views on biblical gender and sexual union -worth considering carefully and closely)

“I suspect Brownson’s book will persuade few who do not share his starting points or his means of integrating “experience” into his reading of Scripture. But for the questions it raises and for the deep challenge it presents to the traditionalist account of Scripture, it is a book worth considering carefully and closely.”

Matthew Lee Anderson
University of Oxford
Oxford, England, UK

VINTAGE TGC CONFUSION 

It is very common that TGC writers take the third way approach to their articles on such topics as LGBTQ+ and Gender while leaving the reader to re-read and invest unusual amounts of time to discern what the author actually is trying to say and what the TGC and authors position is . TGC does a lot of book reviews- including  of Revoice leaders like Wesley Hill , Nate Collins and the truly bizarre work of Gregory Coles . In the mix of critical theory and dialog -uncertainty is the actual goal . It is the preliminary stages for deconstruction and the introduction of the new “insight”. TGC always likes to provoke uncertainty and unsettle its readers. Given Anderson’s critique of Brownson in 2013 was for the TGC seminary audience – the projection and assumption of agreement appears to be more profound . The reader is left compelled to investigate Brownson’s writings for his/herself.

Mission Accomplished TGC.

 

WHO IS MATTHEW LEE ANDERSON? HIS LONG HISTORY WITH TGC 

In 2011 TGC / SBC / Christianity Today writer / Ed Stetzer protege’ Trevin Wax interviewed Matthew Lee Anderson for TGC

Thinking Theologically about the Body: A Conversation with Matthew Lee Anderson

“Today, I’m having a conversation with Matthew Lee Anderson, author of the new book, Earthen Vessels :Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith . Matt blogs at Mere Orthodoxy and writes often for Christianity Today I wrote this endorsement of his book  “Earthen Vessels :Why our Bodies Matter to Our Faith ”

Tattoos, cremation, abortion, gay sex, yoga, online church: No subject is off limits in Matthew Anderson’s provocative book on the body. Anderson challenges us to deepen our understanding of what it means to be embodied. When it comes to body matters, the body matters. Though few will agree with all of Anderson’s diagnosis and prescription, all who read this book will be challenged to consider how our views of the body line up with (or depart from) Scripture and Christian theology. This is a highly ambitious project that deserves careful consideration” Trevin Wax 

ANDERSON AND REVOICE 

 

Image result for matthew lee anderson at Revoice pre conf

Anderson led the Revoice 2018 pre-conference in in PCA “South City Church ” in St Louis with long time associate ministry Spiritual Friendship .

Revoice18

 

Anderson academic studies

http://www.baylorisr.org/wp-content/uploads/Matthew-Lee-Anderson-CV-2017.pdf

ANDERSON’S WORK WITH HISTORY WITH TGC EDITOR 

His additional ties to TGC include his long time work with TGC editor Joe Carter.

Anderson worked with Joe Carter’s “Evangelical Outpost” as co-editor before both joined forces with TGC and folded Outpost into the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola where Anderson is a “Perpetual Member ” and alumni .

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/06/24/far-deeper-erlc-tgc-ties-to-revoice-lgbt-flourishing/

ANDERSON’S WORK WITH ALBERT MOHLER , ACTON UNIVERSITY AND OIKONOMIA NETWORK AT EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SOCIETY 

In 2015 Matthew Lee Anderson was working with Oikonomia Network and Acton University to present at the annual ETS meetings with Albert Mohler among others.

ETS and AU

“Major ON events will be taking place at ETS/EPS and Acton University. Here’s the scoop!”

“Acton University: Registration for next June’s Acton University conference opens on Nov. 16. As in previous years, a limited number of evangelical theological educators can get full support to attend the conference through Acton’s Oikonomia Fellowship. The ON will once again host our annual workshop during the conference, featuring TED style discussions on theology and economics from leading figures, and meaty discussions of curricular integration with colleagues in your specific theological discipline. Plus there will be all the learning and networking opportunities we’ve come to expect from AU, so don’t wait to register!”

“ETS/EPS: Don’t forget to come see us at the Evangelical Theological Society meeting this year. We have a full slate of public activities.”

“ETS Tuesday Lunch: The Oikonomia Network is co-sponsoring a panel discussion with the Colson Center, the Acton Institute and Zondervan:”

The topic was

“Benedict, Babylon and Kuyper:

Christian Faithfulness in a Post-Christian Context”

Al Mohler  (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary )

Anthony Bradley ( Acton Institute )

Carl Trueman (Grove city College and Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals )

Matthew Lee Anderson

Stephen Grabill (TGC, Calvin Theological Seminary,Acton Institute)

Greg Forster ( Oikonomia Network )

Tuesday, Nov. 17

11:45-1:00

Hilton Grand Salon C

Anderson who is now openly part of  both Revoice conference and the movements leadership council has a long history with The Gospel Coalition and its partners like Acton Institute and Oikonomia Network drafting the blueprint for the Revoice LGBTQ+ Flourishing movement in the SBC and PCA and other once conservative churches and denominations .

In Part 2 of this series will examine TGC confession of SSA to Revoice incrementalism and over use of critical theory and the social sciences to accomplish its mission .

Proverbs 23

Listen to Your Father

23 When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
Consider carefully what is before you;
And put a knife to your throat
If you are a man given to appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies,
For they are deceptive food.

Do not overwork to be rich;
Because of your own understanding, cease!
[a]Will you set your eyes on that which is not?
For riches certainly make themselves wings;
They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.

Do not eat the bread of a[b] miser,
Nor desire his delicacies;
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up,
And waste your pleasant words.

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
For he will despise the wisdom of your words.

10 Do not remove the ancient [c]landmark,
Nor enter the fields of the fatherless;
11 For their Redeemer is mighty;
He will plead their cause against you.

12 Apply your heart to instruction,
And your ears to words of knowledge.

 

 

 

PCA GENERAL ASSEMBLY REVOICE HOSPITALITY SUITE

HOW THE LGBTQ+ THRIVING MOVEMENT CONTINUES IN THE SBC AND PCA

By Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                      6/29/2019

There looks to be enough confusion and cowardice to go around in the last two significant denominations in America who had not jumped the rainbow on LGBTQ+ equality. But now both of those denominations have shown their unwillingness to simply preach Christ and leave the pressure from the shifting sands of culture out of their approach to something that God in His Word and recorded history address with zero ambiguity.

SBC MET A FEW WEEKS AGO AND REFUSED TO CONDEMN THE REVOICE MOVEMENT 

The  Southern Baptist had a chance to condemn the top down effort to push LGBTQ+ Thriving in historic  Christian tradition but refused to do so. Instead their Resolutions committee rejected such a grassroots resolution and affirmed one of the Committees own which simply affirmed the anemic Nashville Statement which came from the same hallowed halls of Baptist learning as Revoice itself -Southern Baptist Theological Seminary .

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/06/14/sbc-resolutions-committee-revoicing-resolutions-subverting-southern-baptist/

THE MUSHY MIDDLE IS SET TO COLLAPSE 

The Presbyterian Church in America met this week with 11 overtures to address or condemn the Revoice movement which also has deep ties to the PCAs Covenant   Theological Seminary and was hosted in a PCA church in 2018 .

The pastor of that host church is Greg Johnson who was given 5 minutes to tell his “story” in the PCAs General Assembly in Dallas .As it turns out Johnson was less tearful and pitiful when he invited everyone to the Revoice Hospitality Suite to celebrate with scotch and pizza as can be seen in the facebook post below the video

At #pcaga? Join Nate Collins, Stephen Moss and I at the Revoice hospitality suite with pizza and scotch. (Best taken consecutively.) Tower suite 8172. 5 – 7:30 pm.

Image may contain: text
REVOICE HOSPITALITY SUITE ? WHO KNEW?
The PCA is sinking fast and no indicator is more clear than the round of applause Johnson received from the floor of the General Assembly .
A few weeks before Greg Johnson came out as “gay but celibate” in Christianity Today
For decades, I’ve had Christian leaders asking me to please not share my Christian testimony, despite my thorough agreement with the church’s historic teaching on sexuality. Even the language of same-sex attraction—which many believers have found helpful as a way to disassociate themselves from assumptions about being gay—feels to many others like a tool of concealment, as though I were laboring to minimize the ongoing reality of sexual orientations that in practice seldom change.

I’m thankful that a campus minister named Bill loved me. He didn’t try to fix me, control me, or ship me off to a conversion therapy camp. He loved me, welcomed me into his home, sat with me, and invested so many hours in me. He was the first person to suggest I pray about going to seminary.

Jesus hasn’t made me straight. But he covers over my shame. Jesus really loves gay people.”

ALL BUILT ON THE FALSE ASSUMPTIONS OF THE APA- NOT THE WORD OF THE LORD

 

Read carefully and you will see that Johnson in his CT interview affirms the same position that Revoice, the SBC and PCA are assuming  -which is  that homosexual orientation is real and fixed and does not change – is not changed by the power of Christian faith and conversion. This narrative is totally false and not based on the Word of God and the Good News promise of freedom from sin and new identity in Christ. In short it is a false gospel built on narratives from the APA/ mainstream culture / and seeker – sensitivity gone wild .

The follow up article from Christianity Today to the PCA meetings might be encouraging to untrained eyes and ears but in fact does nothing except to illustrate the circular and unbiblical nature of the entire set of narratives pointing back to the false assumptions of orientation .

 

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2019/june/pca-nashville-statement-lgbt-revoice-sbc-ecc-vote.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+christianitytoday/ctmag+(CT+Magazine)

 

“The decisions at this year’s PCA general assembly in Dallas follow months of controversysurrounding Presbyterian leaders’ involvement in Revoice, a conference featuring the voices of same-sex attracted Christians who affirm traditional beliefs around marriage and sexuality. The inaugural conference was hosted at a PCA church in St. Louis last July. Its second gathering was held earlier this month at another venue.

The Nashville Statement, a 14-point document released by the complementarian Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in 2017, conflicts in part with Revoice’s approach, particularly article 7, which denies that “adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” Some participants continue to self-identify as gay or same-sex attracted.

“Most of the Christians I know who describe themselves as ‘gay’ use the word in a similar way that Paul did when he called himself a sinner. They use the word not as a banner or as an identity, but as an honest recognition of their broken state as those affected by original sin,” wrote Christ Presbyterian pastor Scott Sauls, in a 4,700-word blog post urging his denomination against “unnecessary division.”

Many of the 10 PCA overtures addressing sexuality were collapsed into votes on declaring the Nashville Statement “biblically faithful” (passed 803-541) and establishing a study committee on sexuality.

A minority proposal that specifically critiqued Revoice was not approved, and some in attendance tried to rule its scope out of order, since the ministry is not officially affiliated with the PCA and the local presbytery had already investigated and approved the involvement of the host church and its pastor, Greg Johnson.”

 

A HISTORY IN APOSTASY PLAYING OUT BEFORE OUR EYES.

It does matter to every person who lives in America – how these last remaining Biblically faithful denominations respond at this juncture – because the church in decline is the greatest indication of a culture and a civilization in even steeper decline – or as Leonard Ravenhill once said it “As the church goes -so goes the world”.

One of the most conservative churches in the PCA is Briarwood Church in Birmingham Alabama . This writer had done apologetics on the topic of LGBTQ+ there for many years in the past . It’s pastor Harry Reeder finally came forth in a statement to provide what some view as a long overdue response from one of the PCA’s leading congregations .

https://harryreeder.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/the-briarwood-statement-on-biblical-ministry-to-those-who-struggle-with-homosexuality/

It reads in part:

“The objective was in light of the present theological confusion and missed ministry opportunities to provide a discipleship tool whereby the Lord’s people would be equipped and enabled to “contend for the faith” without being contentious and “defend the faith” without being defensive. The desired outcome being a thoughtful and loving communication of the Gospel to those yet ensnared by this sin’s guilt and power, and also to believers who may be dealing with the entangling remnant of the sin of homosexuality from which Christ has redeemed them—some of whom, praise the Lord, are on this specific journey of grace within our own fellowship at Briarwood.”

Being in the heart of conservative Alabama and the Bible Belt – it has been very difficult to watch the efforts of churches like Briarwood and pastors like Reeder and others to go along with the confusion offered by the common narratives like “SSA but celibate” and other “orientation” affirming rhetoric. So many believers and hurting families have looked to them for clarity to hear only more of the confusion and mixed messages.Many congregations and pastors have failed in similar manner.

The simple truth is that it is impossible to be a prophetic voice while in ballet shoes  dancing around the LGBTQ+ issues for a decade when at any point -every pastor and church leadership could  confidently take a stand on the Word of the Lord which has never altered one jot or tittle through the centuries. The VERY hesitation to stand firm a decade ago and to engage the nuanced narratives is proof in itself of the compromise that is setting in like rigor mortis across the SBC and PCA. God’s men do not need nuanced wording and culturally sensitive approaches to abominations .Nor do people bound by sins of the flesh need empty promises and helpless offers of understanding.

WE all need the power of the promises that are “yes and amen” in Christ. Promises like “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Given we are offered the kind of redemption to be made partakers of the divine nature in Christ -how can that promise be reflected in some warped idea of SSA /Celibacy and a life professing Christ but denying His power? How can the herd of professional activist pining after strange flesh paraded through SBC and PCA churches in the last decade reflect the power of God and the truth of the Gospel MORE than the millions of lives totally changed by it? Why would pastors and churches not want these powerfully transformed testimonies instead of those who like Lot’s wife looking back over their shoulders toward a Sodom in flames ?  No this is not the message of the Word of the Lord being preached today – but something else- something worse- something useless and both shameful in it’s dishonesty and shameless in wrapping itself in historic theological conservatism .

There have been many people saved and discipled in Southern Baptist and conservative PCA churches but just as corrupt leadership proved the downfall of Israel and Judah as nations – so the church cannot escape the destiny forewarned for those who depart from righteousness and embrace iniquity . Judgement awaits. The SBC and PCA may have simply slowed down the march to affirmation of LGBTQ+ but they have shown the kind of cowardice and confusion that is certain to seal the deal and their own fate not many moons from now.

SBC/ PCA It was nice knowing you- but now you are only fit for the dung heap of history – unless you can humble yourselves and “repent and strengthen the things that remain that are ready to die.” Revelation 3:2

FAR DEEPER ERLC / TGC TIES TO REVOICE LGBT+ FLOURISHING

AS SBC ATTEMPTS TO BURY REVOICE AND AFFIRM ALLBERRY SSA NARRATIVE -PCA KELLER PROTEGE SCOTT SAULS PROMOTES FALSE UNITY GOING INTO DALLAS .

By Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                                6/23/2019

SBC and PCA grassroots efforts to stem the tide of false LGBT+ Christianity in their denominations are further exposing Evangelical Deep State roots and support of the movement against biblical orthodox standards of sexuality ,identity and gender.

BRIEF ERLC/TGC BACKGROUND 

Joe Carter works for Acton Institute .Actons co-founder has a long history of radical gay faith activism. Carter also works for The Gospel Coalition as writer and editor and is the “Communications Director” for the SBCs Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission which is headed by controversial progressive Russell Moore. Carter’s boss at ERLC has had some problems being forthright related to the ERLC  Revoice ties . Moore denied any knowledge of Revoice when questioned in the SBC 2018 Dallas annual meetings even while he defended ERLC Fellow Karen Swallow Prior who endorsed Revoice. ( Note -this writer discussed concerns over Revoice with Russell Moore the day before his denial .) Moore also ignored exposure of a key ERLC consultant Branden Polk who is both a leader and speaker at Revoice as well as his own alma mater and former employer SBTS ties to the Founder of Revoice Nate Collins.

NEW REVELATIONS OF ERLC RELATIONSHIPS TO A KEY REVOICE LEADERS

Joe Carter and ERLC Research Fellow Paul D. Miller have involvement with the Revoice “Pre- Conference ” and leadership Council member  Matthew Lee Anderson .Carter’s work with Anderson has a long history while Miller works as a guest writer for just aired an interview with Anderson DURING  Revoice 2019.

Matthew Lee Anderson works in leadership roles of  LGBT / Gay Christian organization  Spiritual Friendship .

Spiritual Friendship: Learning to Desire Love

He also works  with Revoice  Leadership Council with TGC affiliates  Mark Yarhouse and Nate Collins

Our Leadership

Joe Carter and ERLC  Research Fellow Paul Miller have several things in common besides their work with Russell Moore. Both are publically outspoken anti- Trump mercenaries writing for a variety of publications.But it is their common bond with Revoice and Spiritual Friendship Leader Matthew Lee Anderson that is most unsettling .

Millers podcast “Awkward Conversations” just hosted Anderson on June 7th .

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/awkward-conversations/id1459702697

4: Matthew Lee Anderson on Christian Ethics, Nationalism, and Tattoos

Interview with Matthew Lee Anderson, co-founder of Mere Orthodoxy. We talk about tattoos, among other things. Matthew’s book The End of our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith.

 

Paul D Miller works at Georgetown University and in the recently aired interviewed with Anderson  jokes about being an “evangelical Jesuit “. Anderson and Miller discussed  Anderson’s work on sexuality ,marriage and gender and  the nuanced talking points on political and cultural engagement. Anderson says he seeks to speak to young Christians  who find their parents “Christian Right”  views abhorrent and problematic . The pair then offer a variety of personal insight into the “needs” of this disenfranchised evangelical subset and on essentially how not to be like typical Christian Conservatives. Anderson wants to help young evangelicals ” question ” their parents Christian Right  views without “doubting  ” their own faith. The consensus appears to be point young evangelicals to the mushy middle so their faith has relevance to the current culture. These are hardly cutting edge discussion points after TGC/ERLC have been using them for years .

WHO IS PAUL MILLER ?

Paul D Miller biography from Georgetown website says Miller ” IS a research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, a member of the advisory board for the Philos Project, and a member of the Texas Lyceum.” And notes that Miller “worked as an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency; and served as a military intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.” Today he also works with the Atlantic Council and a variety of global think tanks and publications. No mention of Miller’s religious affiliation is made. Is he Southern Baptist ?

Image result for russell Moore

( photo from Churchleaders.com )

Why would the ERLC engage a former Intelligence officer turned anti-Trump political pundit as part of Southern Baptist Chief ethics and lobbying arm?

https://gufaculty360.georgetown.edu/s/contact/00336000015aqRIAAY/paul-miller

Revoice19

June 5–8, 2019 • St. Louis

AGAIN-ERLC FELLOW INTERVIEWED A LEADER OF THE REVOICE MOVEMENT DURING REVOICE 2019-JUST DAYS BEFORE THE START OF THE SBC CONVENTION 

ERLC Fellow Paul D. Miller interviewed (or at least chose to air)  Revoice leader Matthew Lee Anderson WHILE the Revoice 2019 event was going on .  SBC / TGC were burying stories exposing Revoice 2019 ties to the SBC . Only PCA related issue stories were in limited outlets. Denny Burk / CBM&W stopped talking Revoice 2019 after his mid March story on CTS President Mark Dalbey who made efforts to distance CTS from Revoice. It seems brazen that an ERLC Research Fellow is interviewing a Revoice /Spiritual Friendship key player while the SBC leaders prepare to refuse to denounce Revoice in the following weeks SBC meetings.

Given the grassroots efforts to condemn Revoice by Southern Baptist pastors like Steve Kern of Oklahoma -and the SBC leaderships denial of Kern’s resolution condemning it , Millers choice of Anderson for the June 7th interview is either a result of poor research or intentional backdoor endorsement .

MILLER /ANDERSON HISTORY 

Miller also included links to the blog  interview on his website . Anderson’s own website /blog is called Mere Orthodoxy where Miller is a guest writer .

4: Matthew Lee Anderson on Christian Ethics, Nationalism, and Tattoos

JOE CATER ERLC /TGC LEADER’S LONG HISTORY WITH REVOICE MATTHEW LEE ANDERSON.

Before Joe Carter found his niche coordinating the messaging of the ERLC and TGC with his day time employer /Catholic libertarian think tank Acton Institute – Cater began a blog called “The Evangelical Outpost “. Current Revoice / Spiritual Friendship leader  Matthew Lee Anderson was Joe Carter’s partner as “Senior Editors ”

https://web.archive.org/web/20090718220749/http://evangelicaloutpost.com:80/contributors

Contributors

Senior Editors:

Joe CarterJoe Carter

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005.  He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicaton. Click here to read posts by Joe.

Matthew L. AndersonMatthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee  Anderson founded MereOrthodoxy.com in 2005.  He is currently a financial planner, and has worked as a writer, educator, and editor.  As an advocate of new media, Matthew was influential in organizing the first convention for Christian bloggers.  Matthew contributed a chapter to The New Media Frontier and has been published by The CityHe and his wife of four years live in St. Louis, where they enjoy classical music, reading, and spending time together.

EVANGELICAL DEEP STATE 

This Thirty Pieces of Silver author coined the phrase Evangelical Deep State in widely published 2017 articles.

During the height of one of the most controversial revelations prior to Revoice  and just as the Revoice movement was organized and  planned – The Deep State articles detailed the little known connections of Acton Institute / TGC/ ERLC and funding behind growing concerns over Social Justice distortions of the Gospel impacting evangelicals. Among those revelations was the key funding and curriculum partnerships and how that funding was being implemented on conservative , many of them TGC affiliated, seminaires  across America . Anderson used his Mere Orthodoxy website to “parody ” the existence of the Deep State and feature longtime friend Joe Carter.

REVOICE LEADER ANDERSON QUICK TO DEFLECT ATTENTION OFF DETAILS .

Part One and Two of The Evangelical Deep  State can be read here –

Is This the Evangelical Deep State?

and here-

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2018/01/31/deep-state-two-the-evangelical-road-to-serfdom/

The cheeky low brow parody of Anderson featuring  his friend Joe Carter can been read here –

7 Things You Should Know About the Evangelical Deep State

This kind of effort mirrors the work of Right Wing Watch and other anti- conservative Christian groups

Anti-LGBTQ Pastor Fears An ‘Evangelical Deep State’ May Be Making The Church More Tolerant

ERLC LEADERS CARTER AND MILLER SHARE THESE COZY TIES TO REVOICE AND CONTINUE  ANTI PRESIDENT TRUMP/ ANTI CHRISTIAN RIGHT RHETORIC .

Paul Miller -sample

https://thefederalist.com/2016/02/29/5-reasons-every-american-should-oppose-donald-trump/?fbclid=IwAR3AJKll_FmgxF3QvNtU_-cDjnGPdJrVS_6CluCYS3ophlyluXSU23IaYBs#.VtQ6Uy3acGY.facebook

Joe Carter -sample

Why Evangelicals Are Divided over Trump

PCA SCOTT SAULS KEEPS REVOICE ON LIFE SUPPORT- CELEBRATES SSA HIGH COST OF OBEDIENCE AND EAVY CROSSES .

Covenant Theological Seminary and Memorial PCA church hosting of Revoice 2018 has made the Revoice movement a front burner issue going into the PCA annual meetings in Dallas this week,

Scott Sauls is a  TGC and ERLC contributor /progressive thought leader and protege’ of TGC co-founder Tim Keller. Sauls endorsed Revoice 2018 openly on its website. As the PCA annual meetings near- Sauls set out to promote a lengthy  justification for Revoice and his own endorsement of it. Sauls opens his discussion with the SBC’s recent handling of the (Revoice related ) issue which was in fact only the affirmation of the Revoice Yarhouse talking points promoted by TGC since 2010 and ERLC since 2013. ( much more to this part of the story is to come)

Scott Sauls

“At the risk of speaking too soon, I thought I would share a few thoughts as my denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America, heads into its annual General Assembly gathering in Dallas (think Southern Baptist Convention, but for Presbyterians).”

“Speaking of the SBC, earlier this month our Baptist friends debated and approved a resolution regarding human sexuality and marriage. This resolution was spawned by an ongoing debate within the SBC that is similar to the one happening currently in the PCA. It’s a big conversation these days, not only for us but for the entire Church in the West.”

Thoughts on Revoice, Unnecessary Division, and the PCA

Pressing every emotional button and calling for unity – Sauls ends his exhaustingly tedious diatribe with these words…

“So, what if we put the semantics and mortification discussions—which are indeed important discussions that should be had—inside the bigger, weightier context?”

“An easily-lost, and supremely significant reality is that the people we are talking about are denying themselves daily for the sake of Jesus. Like Greg Johnson and Stephen Moss, some of them are foregoing romantic involvement altogether because they love Jesus. In this, they join the company of the apostle Paul and of Jesus. In this, they share a certain fellowship with the angels.”

“We are also talking about people who, like the same-sex attracted Nate Collins and Johanna Finegan, pursue and enter marriage and have children with a person of the opposite sex because they love Jesus.”

“As we have these discussions, let’s also consider how we might celebrate and support these valiant, exemplary, self-denying, obedient souls in their ongoing pursuit of holiness.”

“Along the way, let’s also consider what we might learn from them.”

DESPERATELY  SEEKING REVOICE VALIDATION

REVOICE CAME FROM THE MAINSTREAM OF TGC/ERLC /SBTS/CTS  AND OPERATIVES OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS ARE STILL SEEKING TO KEEP IT AFLOAT 

Conclusion

The SBC refusal to condemn the Revoice movement promoting “LGBT+ thriving in historic Christian tradition ( like the SBC and PCA) speaks volumes . The quiet reality is the SBC refuses to call to question the SBTS and ERLC ties to Revoice .

Now we know those ties that bind are even stronger and go to the very heart of the SBCs ERLC . They also run deep into The Gospel Coalition through it’s Chief editor Joe Carter and Scott Sauls- protege of the TGC co-founder Tim Keller . Little remains to be determined except whether grassroots efforts to expose and expel the activist “LGBT+Christian ” movement from the SBC , PCA and other historically  biblical conservative groups will succeed or fail . Those in the SBC and PCA who understand what is happening in this era of LGBT+ compromise have  a very long road ahead either way .

The inside Deep State effort to revoice/ rethink one of the most the black and white  issues in the Word of God – proves that cultural currents, funding opportunities, and two- faced leadership have combined to form a monumental challenge to people of God, their faith,  their families and their religious freedoms .

Todays ERLC and TGC employ some of the worst of the co-conspirators in this unthinkable campaign the confuse and confound the simple truth that “God made them male and female” .It proves that wisdom from the child-like faith of babes and sucklings no longer resonates in the hearts and minds of some our most self promoting Christian thinkers and leaders. The flavor and standard of the day is nuance – not the plain speech of God’s everlasting Word. SBC and PCA people need more of the Wisdom that comes from above and far less of the coordinated messengers of our in house faith pundits.

Genesis 5:

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created. 

 

Psalm 8:

1 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have [b]ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

 

 

 

 

THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION AFFIRMATIVE ACTION: WHY CRITICAL RACE THEORY, WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT AND LGBT+ ARE THRIVING IN THE SBC

 

BY Rev Thomas Littleton                                                                                                                          6/21/2019

Concerns have been confirmed that the false “social gospel” which virtually destroyed mainline denominations decades ago  is all dressed up in slightly new clothing as “Social Justice” and it is thriving  in SBC/ PCA / TGC affiliated seminaries and institutions. Those concerns have now expanded as the SBC annual meeting in 2019 left no room for doubt that such concerns are WELL FOUNDED and spread into every corner of Baptist life.

(Note from the author -True diversity in the Kingdom of God is easily obtained by the preaching of the Gospel, aggressive prayer , evangelism and discipleship. We cast the net and God brings in all kinds of humanity as a result. I have seen truly ethnic diversity in the church and in the SBC churches. It is never achieved by intentional and questionable tactics like quotas or by the fiendish , Cultural Marxist and altogether worldly and demonic  ideologies like Liberation Theology , Critical Race/ Feminine /Gender / Queer Theories. Our Christian seminaries  are now filled with these doctrines of demons . Enough already. )

A DECADE OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE SBC 

Under the headings of “racial reconciliation, preventing abuse of women and children, and ending the cultural war slogans and anti-gay rhetoric, the Southern Baptist Convention has been driving social change and engaging the ideologies and tools of political progressivism to do it. The efforts of social change began in earnest in 2010/ 2011 at the same time a key member of the SBC Executive Committee joined forces with progressives and the Obama Administration to include the SBC, its entities and churches in participation with funding for Urban Renewal, Community Development, church/ ministry based provision of Social Services , FEMA Disaster Relief , Community Based Health Care (part of the Obama era Affordable Health Care Act ) and other programs.

SBC leadership has been engaged for decades in promoting a demographics driven AFFIRMATIVE ACTION in the SBC to “encourage” ethnic and gender minorities into leadership roles. Now the revelations of the SBC 2019 controversial postures toward progressive tools of analysis provide greater insight into the history of SBC leaders willingness to employ such secular and progressive political tactics while presenting them as Great Commission causes and Gospel driven efforts.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED AT SBC 2019

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/18/last-minute-move-southern-baptist-convention-supports-anti-christian-racial-identity-politics/

The post- SBC annual meetings “water-cooler” topic has been the shocking reality that SBC leadership openly drove (approval as useful analytical tools) progressive political and legal construct “group guilt” called Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality in the Southern Baptist Convention. Just one year ago these realities hid below the surface. Most Baptist would have denied their existence or any notion they would become mainstream in a year’s time. Further -the idea that the SBC would engage or allow CRT /Intersectionality to be approved as uses tools of assessment provides helpful insight into examining in retrospect (in their own words) the SBC long term Affirmative Action Programs for minority / ethnic / gender inclusion in leadership.

SBC leaders are both comfortable and familiar with using such radical ideology .

One of the most effective ways the SBC has driven these conversations forward is through the Resolutions Committee’s handling of Resolutions submitted by the rank and file of the SBC members and messengers.

The actions of the members of the 2019 Resolutions Committee  reflect the affirmative action /inclusion efforts and produced resolutions:

*Supporting “Critical Race Theory” (although he author of the resolution sought to condemn it . http://capstonereport.com/2019/06/13/sbc-2019-resolutions-committee-severely-altered-resolution-against-identity-politics/32605/   -the authors own words  https://sovereignway.blogspot.com/2019/06/sbc19-resolution-9-on-critical-race.html?m=1)

*Affirming multiple efforts for Women’s Empowerment and Inclusion as well as “addressing abuse “

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/year/2019

http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/year/2019

* Refused to condemn the radical Revoice LGBT+ Thriving Conference with deep ties to SBTS/ ERLC and homosexual orientation

http://olivetbaptistokc.com/resolution-and-petition-2/

Instead the RC provided their own resolution affirming Same Sex Attraction / fixed Sexual Orientation / Celibate gay people who are Christians pay “Costly Obedience “to follow Christ and the Church should engage “Hospitality “ and welcome the LGBT community especially  those “Struggling with SSA  but who commit to remaining celibate . (This narrative sadly negates the reality of Gospel Transformation of the desire or attraction and the RC refused the Biblical language of “temptation” be used instead of “attraction”

WHO IS ON THE 2019 RESOLUTIONS  COMMITTEE ?

http://www.bpnews.net/52308/committee-on-resolutions-named-for-2019-sbc

It Should be noted from the information above that SBC President J.D. Greear who lead the 2019 convention meetings and panels has a “Pastor for Community Development “ on his staff and that he was part of the Resolutions Committee (RC).

“Tremayne Manson, associate pastor for community development and outreach, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, N.C”

It is also of note that the RC Chair is a part of SBTS / President Albert Mohler’s efforts to “Remove the Stain of Racism from the SBC” and a panel discussion on the Co-operative Program stage in Dallas 2018 which spoke of Critical Race Theory positively but with little notice from convention goers.

Another member of the RC is Walter Strickland an SEBTS professor (head of the Kingdom Diversity Dept ) whose admission to the New York Times that he teaches radical the Black Liberation Theology of James Cone at SEBTS (President Danny Akin )  has likely led to the removal of the Kingdom Diversity archives and -before that – removal of every mention of the funding behind it .

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/05/15/why-is-kern-the-lead-evangelical-vocation-social-justice-funder-going-into-hiding-at-sebts/

Greear’s “Pastor of Community Development “ on the Resolutions Committee would be strategic to keeping the issues that help Summit Church stay in the Urban Game of community and economic development . This appointment certainly appears self serving on Greears part. Others presence ensure that an resolutions that make it through the Committee reflect the SBC leadership agenda on race- gender-and LGBT.

Read more on how the Resolutions Committee is working to drive race/ feminism / pro LGBT policy through the 2019 resolutions

https://thirtypiecesofsilver.org/2019/06/14/sbc-resolutions-committee-revoicing-resolutions-subverting-southern-baptist/

LONGSTANDING SBC AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN THE NAME OF DIVERSITY  AND INCLUSION 

SBC Executive Committee has had an aggressive Affirmative Action program since 2011 under the administration of Frank Page as CEO.

http://www.sbc.net/manyfaces/manyfaces.pdf

In this booklet we see the intentionality of the SBC push for demographic /numbers-based inclusion and diversity.

FRANK PAGE /SBC THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND TAX DOLLARS

It should also be noted that Frank Page as head of the Executive Committee had also yoked the SBC with the Obama White House and its revision of the Bush Era Faith Based Partnership Programs enabling SBC churches, ministries, and entities to receive federal grants i.e. taxpayer funds under which guidelines non-discrimination was /is a key component of participation .

https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/ofbnp/about/2009-2010

“Inaugural Council Members”

Dr. Frank Page
Pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church; President Emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention”

SBC AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PLAN

We will primarily focus on the section/ Part One of the Executive Committee plan for increasing diversity in SBC leadership. The other portions recount history and seek to affirm their actions and assess remaining needs for more emphasis on what are clearly demographics driven programs. The entire report is available and is presented in the context of a Biblical narrative but the focus on numbers and outcomes do not lie.

http://www.sbc.net/manyfaces/manyfaces.pdf

“Copyright © 2018 The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee”

“The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted twelve action steps in 2011 to encourage increased participation of ethnic minority churches and pastors in the overall fabric of Southern Baptist life. That same year, Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed the first of numerous ethnic advisory councils to assist the Executive Committee and the Convention’s entity leaders to understand and appreciate perspectives ethnic minority churches bring to the Convention’s task of reaching our nation and the nations with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The chapters in this book set a contemporary context for the Convention’s progress in racial reconciliation, summarize the ethnic advisory councils’ reports, and highlight their recommendations to strengthen the Convention’s effectiveness in reaching people from every race and language group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The writers inform the larger Southern Baptist family on the state of ethnic work within the SBC, reflecting on the Convention’s past efforts to reach and include ethnic churches and leaders, assessing the present reality of ethnic church participation in Southern Baptist life, identifying what needs to be done to increase effectiveness of reaching people from every ethno-linguistic group with the Gospel, and suggesting specific action steps for prayer, collaboration, and unity for a Great Commission Advance.”

ROLLING OUT A NUMBERS DRIVEN -NOT GOSPEL DRIVEN PLAN FOR INCLUSION OF ETHNIC AND GENDER MINORITIES

“For many decades, the Southern Baptist Convention has been known as the most culturally diverse evangelical denomination in the United States. This has not happened by chance; for from its inception in 1845, the Southern Baptist Convention expressed a commitment to reach lost souls in America and around the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ. The task of reaching every ethnic/racial group in America with the Gospel has not been easy because, throughout the years, each of these groups has continued to grow, thus continually changing the cultural face of America. For example, between 2000 and 2015, the African-American population expanded by 23 percent; the Hispanic population by 60.3 percent; the Native American population increased by 62 percent; and the Asian American population grew by 76.1 percent.1 From the perspective of percentage population growth, the picture that emerges is that while in 1950 the ethnic/racial groups comprised less than one-fifth of the American population, by 2010 they comprised one-third of the population. By 2050, ethnic/racial groups are projected to comprise more than half of the US population.2 These demographic realities clearly illustrate that the cultural face of America is constantly shifting. This leads to the question, “How is the face of the Southern Baptist Convention changing?” The answer is that in 2017, more than 20 percent of the churches and church-type missions that cooperate with and contribute to the Southern Baptist Convention were predominantly-ethnic/racial congregations. This is supported by the fact that between 2000 and 2015, SBC-related Native American congregations grew by 24 percent; Asian congregations by 52.3 percent; Hispanic congregations by 56.2 percent; African-American congregations by 61.4 percent; and “all other” congregations (including Haitian and multiethnic) grew by 71 percent.3 The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 8 In light of these changing demographics, it is indeed encouraging that in 2015 the Southern Baptist Convention approved a Resolution on Racial Reconciliation that called for Southern Baptists to be more proactive in enlisting participation and representation from ethnic/cultural groups in its boards and entities. We are indebted to Dr. Frank Page, former president of the SBC Executive Committee, for his passion to lay the foundation and carry forward the recommendations adopted by the SBC in 2011, which concluded the Ethnic Study Committee Report. The report called for greater participation of ethnic churches and church leaders at all levels of Southern Baptist life. As a response to this 2011 report, and in an effort to seek greater involvement from the ethnic/racial groups participating in SBC life, the SBC Executive Committee was instrumental in appointing numerous advisory councils representing African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, multi-ethnic, and bi-vocational church leaders. The Executive Committee also appointed a Women’s Advisory Council and a Young Leaders Advisory Council.4 In order to provide leadership and coordination among these groups, I was appointed vice president of convention advancement for the SBC Executive Committee. In turn, I enlisted Paul Kim to serve as Asian relations consultant and Bobby Sena to serve as Hispanic relations consultant in the Office of Convention Advancement. This collective work contains a number of essays written by representatives from many of these advisory councils. The introduction was written by Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, SBC Executive Committee vice president for convention communications and relations, who was instrumental in crafting the Ethnic Study Committee report and worked closely with each advisory council in its work.”

EXCERPTS REFLECT SECULAR THINKING AND POLITICAL MOTIVATION

On page 11

Sing Oldham of the Executive Committee recounts the history of efforts dating back between 1961 to 1995. His language is very biblically sounding as were the resulting efforts to plant churches and engage outreach in ethnic regions.

By the time the 2011 report/ effort is launched that language reflects a far more affirmative action narrative of advancing participation of diverse leaders in SBC elected roles. How this has been accomplished is disturbing.

“Steps Toward Partnership “

“Despite these small steps, by 2009 it was apparent that full participation of ethnic minorities in elected and appointed roles in SBC life lagged behind the growth in the number of ethnic congregations and church members that cooperated with the Convention. That year, Korean pastor Paul Kim asked the Convention to study ways to increase participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the total fabric of Convention life. His motion resulted in a two-year SBC Executive Committee study that called for intentional, measurable steps toward greater inclusion of all Southern Baptists in Convention processes. In 2011, twelve recommendations contained in the report were adopted by the SBC. That same year the first of numerous ethnic minority advisory councils was appointed by Frank Page, elected in 2010 as president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 14 Reports of these advisory councils consistently revealed a glaring void in the life of the SBC. Though SBC entity ministries and ministries at state convention and local levels engaged in numerous ministries to people of various racial and ethnic minority groups, these ministries frequently failed to yield full partnership from the targeted groups. A common refrain across the Convention’s ethnic minority churches— and echoed during the councils’ deliberations—was that ethnic minority church leaders want to be viewed as more than a mission field of the SBC (the objects of mission and ministry); they want to be part of the Convention’s mission force, valued and respected for their contributions as equal partners in reaching the peoples of our nation and the world with the Gospel. Southern Baptists of every ethnicity embrace the doctrinal positions espoused by the Convention: personal conversion from sin through faith in Jesus Christ alone; the inerrancy of Scripture; baptism as an external sign of the inner working of God’s grace; regenerate church membership; fidelity to a biblical worldview in matters of ethics and morality; and commitment to the Great Commission—to proclaim the Gospel, making disciples of all the people and peoples of the world (mathēteusate panta ta ethnē, Matthew 28:19). And yet . . . too often these brothers and sisters in Christ feel marginalized from Convention processes. For generations, white Southern Baptists have largely shaped the culture of the Convention. They have made the decisions about how Cooperative Program funds are distributed through state Baptist convention and SBC ministries. They have stood before SBC messengers as the visible leaders of the Convention. They have filled the vast majority of executive and administrative leadership positions. They have promoted the ministries they believe best represent the biblical mandates outlined in Scripture.”

Page 26

“Biblical” case for the effort transitions into the numbers / demographics driven narrative.

“Population Trends Table 1 shows the change in the ethnic and racial makeup of the population during the past fifteen years. White non-Hispanic (also referred to as Anglo) population had modest growth of less than 2 percent. Hispanics experienced the greatest numeric growth (21.3 million persons), while Asians had the fastest rate of growth, 76 percent.”

(Graphs of Table 1 and 2 can be seen on page 27 and 28 of the report linked along with other graphs)

“Further evidence of demographic shifting is found in Table 2. During the 15 years between 2000 and 2015, the Anglo percentage of the US population decreased from 69.1 to 61.6 percent. Each of the other ethnic and racial groups increased its share of the population, led by Hispanics with 17.6 percent in 2015, compared to only 12.5 percent in 2000. Also, the numeric growth of 21.3 million Hispanics accounted for more than half (53.2 percent) of the total growth of 40 million during the period. The growth of 8.1 million Asians resulted in a substantial increase of their proportion of the population, from 3.8 to 5.8 percent. And although the numeric growth of African Americans was also about 8 million, their share of the population remained relatively constant, increasing from 12.3 to 13.3 percent.”

SBC leaders then measure Asian, African American and Hispanic demographics and SBC emphasis  among those ethnic groups .

Disparity between SBC numbers and demographics are causing alarm for SBC leaders

“It is a concern, however, that the increase in African American congregations since 2010 has become stagnant, with a net gain of only 213. Future projections for growth in the African American population are given in the bottom portion of Table 6. For the ratio of population per congregation to reach the levels suggested, a new emphasis on planting and conserving African American congregations is needed. Because African American population growth is less rapid than some minorities, projecting just modest net growth of 686 congregations from 2015 to 2030, 991 from 2030 to 2045, and 1,208 from 2045 to 2060 would result in lowering the ratio to 9,000 by 2060. More robust growth of churches would lower the ratio even more.”

DID RACIAL RECONCILIATION LEAD TO TODAY’S CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN THE SBC?

“At the 1995 annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, the Resolutions Committee voted unanimously to present a resolution, “On Racial Reconciliation,” for consideration by the Convention. The Resolutions Committee felt that on the historic occasion of the Southern Baptist Convention’s 150th anniversary, it was appropriate for the Convention to address aspects of its past that needed to be acknowledged. The resolution acknowledged that relations with African Americans had been damaged by the role slavery played in the formation of the SBC, lamenting and repudiating “historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest.” It repented of racism past and present, saying, “We apologize to all African Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime; and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously.” The resolution concluded by committing to pursue “racial reconciliation in all our relationships” for the glory of God.1 Gary Frost, then the second vice president of the Convention, spoke in favor of the resolution, calling on messengers from the churches to lead the reconciliation process based on the unifying power of Christ. After the resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by the messengers, Frost, on behalf of African American Christians, accepted the apology and extended forgiveness. He closed by praying for forgiveness for racism in all forms and thanking God for the grace He extends to all people.2 Nineteen years later, at the 2014 SBC annual meeting, Alan Cross moved that, in light of the resolution’s twentieth anniversary at the 2015 SBC annual meeting, the SBC president assign a task force to assess the progress Southern Baptists have made in racial reconciliation since 1995 and offer recommendations to the 2015 SBC annual meeting regarding “how Southern Baptists, facilitated by the A Demographics Review 37 Convention’s entities and seminaries, may better reach, make disciples, and raise up leadership from and among diverse racial and ethnic groups in North America.” Upon recommendation by the Convention’s Committee on Order of Business, messengers referred the motion to the Executive Committee.3”

CRT AND INTERSECTIONALITY ARE NOW APPROVED ANALYTICAL TOOLS

“Measuring Reconciliation”

“ The Executive Committee determined that the Alan Cross motion largely paralleled a motion made by Paul Kim at the 2009 SBC annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, asking the Executive Committee to examine ways in which ethnic churches and church leaders could be more involved in SBC life and leadership.4 Following a twoyear review, the report, A Review of Ethnic Church and Ethnic Church Leader Participation in SBC Life, was presented to the messengers at the 2011 annual meeting.5 The 2011 report included ten recommendations to the SBC and offered two suggestions to outside groups—ethnic and racial church leaders and the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference leadership—about ways to expand intercultural diversity in Convention life (see APPENDIX at the conclusion of this report). The recommendations sought to provide a consistent mechanism for enlisting racial and ethnic church leaders for elected leadership positions in Southern Baptist life, including service on SBC committees and boards; to encourage SBC entities to give special attention to employment and involvement of ethnic church leaders through their ministries; and to increase visibility of diverse Southern Baptists through Convention communications and selection of platform personalities at the SBC’s annual meetings. The recommendations were adopted by the messengers, with the requests forwarded to the groups specified in the report.6”

“AN UPDATE ON THE 2011 REPORT

“In the four years since the adoption of the ten SBC-focused recommendations contained in the SBC-adopted “Directing the Executive Committee to Study Greater SBC Involvement for Ethnic Churches and Leaders,” the following action steps have been taken by various SBC entities, committees, and leaders. • In tandem with the adoption of the Ethnic Study Report in 2011, EC president and CEO Frank S. Page, during his inaugural Executive Committee report, invited leaders of each SBC entity, the cooperating state Baptist convention executive directors, and presidents of more than twenty ethnic fellowships that participate in Southern Baptist life and ministry to join him in signing an “Affirmation of Unity and Cooperation,” pledging trust and cooperation between all ethnicities and races in order to “engage all people groups with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”45 • The Executive Committee, as part of its annual “data call” from the Southern Baptist Convention entities, has requested a descriptive report of participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the life and ministry of the respective SBC entity for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.46 • The Executive Committee amended the SBC President’s Notebook given to each newly-elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention to include a section encouraging the president to give special attention to appointing individuals The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 44 who represent the diversity within the Convention, and particularly ethnic diversity, among his appointees to the various committees under his purview (Committee on Committees, Credentials Committee, Resolutions Committee, and Tellers) and encouraging the president to encourage the selection of annual meeting program personalities by the Committee on Order of Business that represent the ethnic diversity within the Southern Baptist Convention.47 • The SBC president reported the ethnic and racial diversity of appointees he selects for the committees under his purview in 2012, 2013, and 2015, with the descriptive information printed in the respective SBC Daily Bulletins, SBC Annual, or the SBC President’s Page on SBC.net.48 • The Executive Committee has requested the seven-member SBC Committee on Order of Business (six elected members and the SBC President) to give due consideration to the ethnic identity of program personalities it enlists for each Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, chronicling each year’s program personalities.49 • In 2011, the Executive Committee amended the nomination form used by the Committee on Nominations to provide a place where a nominee may indicate his or her ethnic identity, should he or she so choose.50 During the 2014 SBC annual meeting, the Executive Committee observed that the nomination form used by the Committee on Committees lacked a place where a nominee may indicate his or her ethnic identity. The Executive Committee has since amended the nomination form used by that committee.51 • The SBC entities continue to give due consideration to the recruitment of students, production of resources, offering of services, and employment of qualified individuals to serve in the various professional staff positions, on seminary faculty, and as appointed missionaries in order to reflect the intercultural diversity within Southern Baptist life as reported in the annual “data call” report contained in the Ministry Reports submitted to the Cooperative Program committee of the Executive Committee each winter and posted online at SBC.net/CP/Ministry Reports. The Executive Committee Communications Workgroup has reviewed the intercultural component of the Ministry Reports at its February meeting each year since 2011.52 • The Executive Committee, through its various publications and news outlets, continues to provide news coverage of interest to individuals of all ethnicities and to carry stories that demonstrate the wonderful works the Lord is accomplishing through the vital ministries of Baptists of “every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” A search of Baptist Press and SBC LIFE, using search terms relative to specific ethnic and racial groups or fellowships such as, for example, A Demographics Review 45 NAAF, Chinese churches, Korean churches, Native American, Deaf ministry, messianic, and a myriad of other terms, will yield scores of returns. Historical articles such as those written on the fiftieth anniversary in 2013 of the Birmingham church bombing53 and an historical review of ethnic participation in the Convention at the time Fred Luter was elected SBC president in 201254 are also routinely sprinkled throughout these two news outlets for Southern Baptists.55 • Other Executive Committee-produced publications, such as the Forged by Faith film series, Meet Southern Baptists, and The Southern Baptist Convention: A Closer Look, include images that reflect the diversity of the Convention.56 • In concert with the North American Mission Board, the president of the Executive Committee has appointed four ethnic advisory councils (Hispanic, 2011; African American 2012; Asian American, 2013; and Multi-Ethnic, 2014), requesting reports from each advisory council designed to assist the EC, NAMB, and the other SBC entities in understanding and appreciating the perspectives the various racial and ethnic churches and church leaders bring to the common task of reaching the nation and the world with the Gospel, and to provide information, insight, and counsel to NAMB and EC staff relative to the special needs and concerns of the many ethnic churches and church leaders in the Southern Baptist network of churches.57 The first two have completed their three-year assignments and have submitted their reports to Executive Committee President Frank S. Page. They are posted under the “Ethnic Participation” tab at www. sbc.net/cp/ministry reports/2014/sbcec.asp. • In concert with the six seminaries and Union University, the Executive Committee hosted an Intercultural Educational Summit to further discussions with numerous racial and ethnic leaders about how best to deliver educational opportunities for God-called pastors from non-Anglo Southern Baptist churches.58 • Working in concert, the North American Mission Board and the Executive Committee have hosted the “Many Faces of the SBC” booth in the exhibit hall at the SBC annual meeting in 2012, 2013, 2014, and will again in 2015,59 and has conducted numerous interviews with ethnic church leaders at the Cooperative Program booth in the exhibit area.60 The high visibility of the many faces of the SBC in the exhibit hall and in the SBC annual meeting sessions of the SBC has raised the visibility of ethnic church leaders in Convention life and provided numerous opportunities for networking and ministry throughout the Convention. • The SBC Executive Committee employed its first two non-Anglo professional employees, Diana Chandler, general feature writer/editor,61 and Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement,62 and has subsequently enlisted its first Hispanic and Asian ministry consultants. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 46 • As noted above, the Southern Baptist Convention elected its first African American president in 2012, one of only five presidents over the past forty years who was elected by acclamation in two successive years,63 and had a Korean presidential nominee in 2014 who received more than 40 percent of the vote.64 • In response to the killings of unarmed African Americans in 2014, ERLC hosted a Racial Reconciliation Summit in Nashville in late March 2015.65 • In light of the continuing “globalization” of the American population, NAMB hosted a two-day summit in April 2015 of more than twenty Southern Baptist leaders representing numerous ethnic and racial groups to discuss “current outreach efforts” and to “explore how NAMB can effectively help plant churches for diverse populations in cooperation with” the ethnic and racial fellowships that cooperate with the SBC.”

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES SUMMARY AND FINDINGS

“The hundreds of pages of information referenced in this brief report demonstrate that much has been accomplished over the past twenty years in regard to increased racial and ethnic diversity in the life of the Convention, both in terms of awareness and participation. The data indicate that many potential barriers to participation have been identified and are being systematically addressed. There are also numerous sign-posts indicating a higher degree of inclusion of individuals of every race and tribe and tongue in the total fabric of Convention life. And, clearly the conversation has changed: increased participation of individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds is a topic of intense interest and frequent discussion at all levels of Southern Baptist life. We rejoice that individuals of many races and ethnicities are routinely nominated and elected to key leadership roles in state Baptist convention and SBC life. We celebrate the tremendous growth in the number of churches and church members from every kindred and tongue and tribe and nation that we have experienced since 1995. We applaud the numerous proactive steps our SBC ministry entities have taken to enlist qualified individuals of all races and ethnicities for senior staff positions; to serve on faculty; to be appointed as missionaries and church planters; to write, edit, and produce Christian resources; to service the retirement needs of pastors and church staff; to raise awareness of the moral issues confronting our nation; to equip leaders; and to otherwise serve our churches in a variety of ways. A Demographics Review 47 We affirm efforts taken by our ethnic fellowships and advisory councils to promote increased Cooperative Program support in their respective churches, encourage enrollment in all levels of Bible college and seminary training (including Ph.D. programs), challenge church members to respond to God’s call for overseas and domestic missions and church planting, and serve as salt and light in their communities. We humbly acknowledge the appropriateness of having repented of our Convention’s past complicity with the systemic racism that marked our country, rather than having challenged our churches and our country to tear down entrenched social structures of inequality, hostility, and prejudice. We further acknowledge the propriety of clearly stating in our confessional statement that racism is a sin against Almighty God and against our brothers and sisters in Christ. Indeed, we give thanks that, as a network of autonomous churches, we seek to reflect the intercultural diversity that reflects what the gathered church will look like in heaven and should look like on earth as a display of God’s glory. However, the materials referenced in this report also reveal that more can and needs to be done. This is especially true in regard to proportional representation on SBC committees and boards. To that end, the Executive Committee formally and humbly suggests the following action steps be undertaken for at least the next five years so that they become ingrained in our normal way of doing business. 1. That the president of the SBC report the racial and ethnic composition of the committees and group he appoints each year—the Committee on Committees, the Resolutions Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Tellers— through Baptist Press; that the SBC Executive Committee include this report in the Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, Part 1; and that the SBC Recording Secretary include this report in the proceedings of the Convention when the president announces his appointments. 2. That each state/regional member of the Committee on Committees have a sufficient number of potential nominees to the Committee on Nominations to recommend to the full Committee on Committees so that the Committee on Committees will be able to propose a Committee on Nominations that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the Convention; and that the chairman of the Committee on Committees give special attention that, as much as possible, the final report reflects this intercultural diversity. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 48 3. That each member of the Committee on Nominations solicit a sufficient number of potential nominees for the vacancies on the boards and committees of the Convention for which he or she is responsible so that the full Committee will be able to present to the Convention a list of nominees that builds or sustains equitable racial and ethnic diversity on each SBC board and committee; and that the chairman of the Committee on Nominations give special attention that, as much as possible, the final report reflects this intercultural diversity. 4. That the chairmen of the Committee on Committees and Committee on Nominations report the racial and ethnic composition of the committees and boards they nominate each year (along with other information such as representative church sizes, average CP giving of nominees’ churches, baptism ratios, representative ages, and gender considerations) when their reports are released through Baptist Press; that the SBC Executive Committee include these reports in the Daily Bulletin, Tuesday, Part 2; and that the SBC Recording Secretary include these reports in the proceedings of the Convention when the chairmen move the adoption of their respective reports. 5. That the editors of Baptist Press, SBC LIFE, and the state Baptist publications make use of the information contained in the annual Ministry Reports submitted by the SBC entities to the SBC Executive Committee each February and the entity reports printed in the SBC Book of Reports each June to tell the good news of what God continues to do through the life and ministry of our SBC entities, giving particular attention to the participation of ethnic churches and church leaders in the ministries of the respective entities. 6. That our cooperating state Baptist conventions, local associations, and racial and ethnic fellowships encourage all cooperating Southern Baptist churches to submit an annual church profile for these prevailing reasons: (1) the information contained in the ACP routinely serves as the basis for determining whether a church, regardless of its racial or ethnic identity, fully cooperates with the Convention, and is used by the SBC President, Committee on Committees, and Committee on Nominations to determine if an appointee or a proposed nominee is “qualified” as representing a fully supportive, cooperating church; (2) it is unlikely that someone from churches that fail to submit an ACP will be selected to serve the Convention, with the result that the diversity their church brings to the Convention remains unknown, uncelebrated, and unrepresented; and (3) the information contained in the ACP becomes part of an aggregated total that serves as a report card to ourselves to inform us on how we are doing as a network of churches to impact the lostness across our nation through evangelism, discipleship, missions, church planting, attendance, and stewardship and to spur us to address areas of apparent weakness in these key areas of Christian responsibility. A Demographics Review 49 7. That the Executive Committee, each SBC entity, each cooperating state Baptist convention, and each racial and ethnic fellowship seek to educate all Southern Baptist churches, especially those that do not have a history with the SBC, that Cooperative Program giving serves as the primary means of measuring a church’s support for its state Baptist convention and SBC missions and ministries. While the Convention celebrates the generous support of Southern Baptists as they channel giving to Great Commission causes through their churches, the Convention voted in 2010 to “continue to honor and affirm the Cooperative Program as the most effective means of mobilizing our churches and extending our outreach,” affirming that “designated gifts to special causes are to be given as a supplement to the Cooperative Program and not as a substitute for Cooperative Program giving.” (emphasis supplied) The Executive Committee observes that none of these steps answers the fundamental question about whether reconciliation has occurred in individual Baptists’ lives. Reconciliation is, at its core, a spiritual concept. True reconciliation is a condition of the heart. It is a restoring of right relationships between formerly estranged individuals or groups. It begins with fallen individuals being reconciled with God through Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18–21; Colossians 1:21–23). When separated from its redemptive roots, racial reconciliation, while laudable, is merely a humanistic achievement; but when grounded in the Gospel, it demonstrates the majesty and goodness of God’s grace. Once an individual has been reconciled with God through Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit begins a sanctification process in his/her redeemed spirit, targeting such destructive emotions as prejudice, anger, malice, and bitterness (John 4:9–42; Ephesians 4:30–32), replacing them with divine qualities such as love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23). Such a radical transformation provides the fertile soil for reconciliation between both individuals and groups. In Christ, the “dividing wall of hostility” between brothers and sisters is torn down (Ephesians 2:14). The Lord creates “in Himself one new man from the two” and reconciles “both to God in one body through the cross,” putting the former “hostility to death” (Ephesians 2:15–16). The resultant peace cannot be given by the world (John 14:27). It is a transforming peace that “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). The referred motion raised the question about how Southern Baptists, facilitated by the Convention’s entities and seminaries, can “better reach, make disciples, and raise up leadership from and among diverse racial and ethnic groups in North America.” The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 50 Simply stated, the answer is to stay the course that is currently in place and intentionally implement the proactive steps enumerated above. Heightened awareness of the need to be more broadly inclusive leads to greater sensitivity to where we are and where we need to be. Greater sensitivity leads to intentional accountability, both in monitoring specific accomplishments and in celebrating continued progress through routine news reports and day-to-day conversations. We pray God will use and bless this report for His Kingdom purposes. Respectfully submitted, The Executive Committee, June 15, 2015”

Part 2 recounts Ethnic Groups History in the SBC

“• African American — Robert Wilson

  • Asian American — Peter Yanes, Paul Kim, Minh Ha Nguyen
  • Hispanic — Daniel Sanchez and Bob Sena
  • Native American — Gary Hawkins
  • Multi-Ethnic — Lennox Zamore
  • Anglo Church Planting and Ministry — Rodney Webb
  • Bivocational and Smaller Church Ministry — Ray Gilder

 

PAGE 171 – WOMEN IN THE SBC

“Southern Baptists determined one of the best ways to increase the involvement of women in the SBC was to start a conversation. In January 2016, Frank Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, appointed a Women’s Advisory Council to gather information concerning the involvement of women’s ministry leaders and ministry wives in their churches. The task force is comprised of eighteen ladies from fourteen states representing different age groups, stages of life, ethnic backgrounds, and ministry positions. The task force was hosted on three on occasions (January 7–8, 2016, August 11–12, 2016, and March 30–31, 2017) by officers of the Executive Committee of the SBC including: Frank Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee; Ken Weathersby, vice president for Convention advancement; and Roger S. (Sing) Oldham, vice president for Convention communications and relations. During the meetings, the purposes of the task force were defined:

  • To determine if and how women are involved in the SBC; • To discuss how the SBC can serve women as they minister to other women in and through the local church; and • To recommend a variety of ways for Southern Baptist women to be involved at all levels in Convention life according to biblical guidelines. Rhonda Kelley, president’s wife at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a leader in women’s ministry, served as chairwoman of the Women’s Ministry Advisory Council and facilitated the discussion of the following: • What ministries, training, and resources are provided at this time for women in the SBC? The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 172 • What evangelistic methods and resources are effective in reaching women with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? • What additional support is needed by the women of the SBC? • What recommendations should be made to the SBC Executive Committee for consideration to increase involvement of women in Southern Baptist life, according to biblical guidelines?”

“Historical Findings”

“The Bible teaches that women are created in God’s image, equal in worth and value, and have unique roles in ministry based on their gender (Genesis 1:26–28, 2:8–25; 1 Corinthians 11:2–16, 12:7–11; 1 Timothy 2:11–15; Titus 2:3–5). Southern Baptists follow a complementarian perspective of gender roles in the local church and across denominational entities. (See Baptist Faith and Message, Article VI on The Church and Article XVIII on The Family for additional information.) Throughout history and in the Southern Baptist Convention, women have played important roles in the local church and denominational life. For more than one hundred years, Southern Baptist women have been involved in mission education through the capable leadership of the Woman’s Missionary Union. This mission organization was begun in 1888 with a three-fold purpose: to learn about missions, to do missions, and to support missions. Southern Baptist churches have organized missions for women in different ways. During the 20th century, women within many local churches recognized the need for more than missions and began to organize a variety of other ministries. At several times in more recent years, SBC leadership has considered how to involve and support women more effectively. In 1992, SBC President Ed Young appointed a task force to consider how the denomination could support women’s ministry. Then, in 1993, the Baptist Sunday School Board (now LifeWay Christian Resources) created Women in the SBC 173 the Women’s Enrichment Ministry to provide resources, leadership, and field services specifically for women’s ministry. In 1996, a research proposal summarized the historical, biblical, philosophical, and ministry perspectives in order to recommend increased involvement and support of women in the SBC. Other entities of the SBC have also appointed staff to specifically serve women of the SBC. Current Findings National – Several entities of the Southern Baptist Convention provide specialists in women’s missions and ministry. • International Mission Board – Global Mission Catalyst, Women, and Non-Traditional Churches. • LifeWay Christian Resources – Women’s Ministry Specialist. • North American Mission Board – Consultant for Pastors’/Ministers’ Wives. • Woman’s Missionary Union – Consultants for myMISSION, Women on Mission, and Adults on Mission. Regional – The six Southern Baptist seminaries are located in different geographic areas of the country to focus on ministry training in their areas. Women are enrolled in all Southern Baptist seminaries for training in ministry. All six Southern Baptist seminaries have programs for student wives and several have academic training for women’s ministry students. • Gateway Seminary of the SBC (Ontario, CA) – http://www.gs.edu. • Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO) – http://www.mbts.edu. • New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (New Orleans, LA) – http://www.nobts.edu. • Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) – http://www.sebts.edu. • The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY) – http://www.sbts.edu. • Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX) – http://www.swbts.edu. State – Most Southern Baptist state conventions have a staff position for women’s missions and ministries and/or ministry wives, often requiring seminary training. Several states have consultants working with specific ethnic groups, such as Hispanic women in Arizona and Texas and Asian women in North Carolina. Associational – Many associations of Southern Baptist churches have lay leaders serving in women’s ministry as mission leaders, and as ministry wives. The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 174 Local Church – An increasing number of Southern Baptist churches have organized women’s ministry and missions programs, each varying according to the local church context.”

 

Part 3 CONCLUSION

Among the Conclusion of the Executive Committee

3 “We must continue to celebrate our ethnic leaders’ participation and to encourage more participation from all the churches in our Convention. The Lord has blessed Southern Baptists to become the largest and most diverse protestant denomination of congregations in the United States. Therefore, we recognize that we can do more together than what we can do alone. We must invite all congregations, whether they are Anglo, Black, ethnic, large, Deaf, small, or bivocational to be on mission for and with Jesus Christ.

4 We must intentionally build relationships with people who are different and value their opinions. Frank Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, appointed advisory councils to assist him in the work of the Convention. These council members were comprised of leaders from various groups within the Southern Baptist family. It is important for us to consider the recommendations resulting from their efforts and work hard to implement the ideas that they believe will help us to reach more people with the Gospel.

5.We must identify and embrace passing the baton to the next generation to give leadership in making disciples of all the nations. God has raised and is raising young leaders who are committed and who are making disciples in the United States and around the world. We must give them a platform The Many Faces of the Southern Baptist Convention 216 and opportunity to carry out the vision that God has given them. They may have some ideas and strategies that we may not fully identify with or understand, but that is not a reason to prevent them from carrying out the vision and values God has given to them.”

SING OLDHAM OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFERS A SUMMARY

“Though the 2009 SBC annual meeting exposed numerous flash points of acrimony and debate,34 the meeting proved catalytic for a pivotal transition of the Convention. Over the next twenty-four months, the Convention adopted the Great Commission Task Force report authorized at the 2009 meeting (June 2010); adopted sweeping recommendations flowing out of the GCTF report (June 2011); saw changes in presidential leadership at its two missions entities and its Executive Committee (all in 2010); adopted twelve recommendations of a report designed to increase participation of ethnic church leaders in response to a referred motion at the 2009 meeting (June 2011); and reduced the percentage of Cooperative Program funds going to the SBC Executive Committee, shifting the difference to the International Mission Board (June 2011).”

“With so many dramatic changes in such a short time, new SBC Executive Committee (EC) President Frank S. Page set out to “rebuild trust by reducing bureaucracy” in preparation for the 2011 SBC annual meeting.35 He reduced EC staff by 19 percent, cut the EC budget by 14 percent, and presented SBC messengers a Cooperative Program allocation budget that directed “95 percent of Cooperative Program dollars to international missions, North American church planting and evangelism, and seminary education.”36 Page invited the SBC president, the eleven SBC entity presidents, the executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, executive directors of the forty-two state Baptist conventions that cooperate with the SBC, and leaders of numerous Southern Baptist ethnic and racial fellowships to join him in signing a historic document Synergy, Cooperation, and Autonomy 223 called “Affirmation of Unity and Cooperation.”

“More than sixty Southern Baptist leaders joined him on the platform at the 2011 SBC annual meeting to demonstrate unity among and between these key Southern Baptist leaders.37 Two of the Affirmation’s pledges addressed the fragile nature of cooperative relationships—“We pledge to maintain a relationship of mutual trust, behaving ourselves trustworthily before one another and trusting one another as brothers and sisters indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God (Philippians 4:8; Ephesians 4:20–32; 2 Peter 1:3–8),” and “We pledge to attribute the highest motives to those engaged in local church ministries and those engaged in denominational service in any level of Convention life— motives that originate within hearts truly desiring to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we also serve (1 Samuel 2:3; 1 Corinthians 4:1–5; Matthew 7:1–5).”

“Page has since appointed a Calvinism Advisory Group, whose 2013 report helped calm rising theological tensions,39 four ethnic and racial advisory councils, a mental health advisory group, a smaller church/bivocational ministry advisory council, a women’s advisory council, and a young leaders advisory council, all with the goal of building bridges and rebuilding trust across the Southern Baptist landscape.40”

Conclusion

“ In 1973, Elmer Towns predicted that collaborative ministries of denominations would be replaced by what he called “super-aggressive churches” with no need of a denominational apparatus to accomplish bold Kingdom purposes.54 While there will always be a certain number of strong churches that can do mighty ministries on their own, there is still a place for a network of churches of every size and economic status to impact the world with the Gospel. Despite current challenges of declining evangelistic effectiveness and church membership at the local church level, SBC ministries continue to flourish. At the end of the most recent reporting year, the six SBC seminaries reported more than twenty thousand students enrolled for at least one course through their various degree programs, with a full-time equivalency of 7,976 Southern Baptist students in training for ministry.55 The North American Mission Board (NAMB) reported 926 new church plants, bringing the five-year total of new churches to more than 4,700.56 NAMB reported more than one-half of these new churches have been planted in some of the most culturally-diverse areas of America’s major cities.57 Following a year-long financial reset, the International Mission Board (IMB) reported in November 2016 that its trustees celebrated a balanced budget for the first time in two decades. The mission agency also reported the appointment of fifty new fully funded missionaries, stating its goal to appoint an additional 451 field personnel in 2017 to replace the estimated 350 missionaries who will retire from service or otherwise transition to other ministries. The agency projects a net increase of 3 percent to its overseas missions force.58 The Southern Baptist Convention is not a perfect organization. It has experienced many times of testing and will be tested in the future. Trust will be strained. A group of churches will believe it has a better plan for reaching the nations with the Gospel. Voluntary cooperation will seem a poor investment. Some churches will deviate from their founding orthodoxy. The beauty of denominational synergy is that the long-term vitality and sustainability of the Convention’s ministries, supported by a network of churches, are not dependent on the continued viability of any single church. By pooling their resources to “establish and advance Great Commission work,” the SBC provides an opportunity to “create a synergy in which the impact of the whole can be greater than the sum of the individual parts, giving churches a way collectively to express their convictions and realize their vision.”

THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

Commentary

It is far more likely that the willingness to engage Affirmative Action / Critical Race Theory / Intersectionality and Feminine / Gender/ Queer theory (see multiple revelations of SBTS ties to these theories and the Revoice conference which the Resolutions Committee refused to condemn) by the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention is driven by desire for participation than desire for inclusion.

NO accounting is being given to SBC members of the amount of funding / grants / global activist dollars going into SBC entities and institutions. Few Baptist even know it is happening. No one knows where or if it will end.

True to progressive forms- once adopted – the narratives promising equality/ inclusion/ diversity/ non discrimination / choice / and ending bullying and abuse- dilute the eternal TRUTH  and totally blunt command to “forgive as we have been forgiven” . These are lost to the corruption, greed, poor planning, bad partners and politics of the very ideology that espouses care for them.

Like Judas, our leadership have chosen to attempt to provoke the Lord to social action instead of joining in as He is receiving the worship due to Him alone . They have been willing sell out the Master for “thirty pieces of silver”. The Gospel is always proven to be the great casualty as it becomes buried somewhere in the POTTERS FIELD of progressive good intentions like “ ending poverty” or “protecting” minority populations. In a Word the SBC leadership and others in the broader Christian church leadership have failed to recognize and heed the most simple of warnings from the lips of the Savior Himself “You cannot serve God and Mammon “ .

Matthew 6: 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”