REVOICE RECAP: Cliff Notes for Busy Believers on the Movement Promoting Sexual Minority, LGBT+, Queer Christianity in the Conservative Churches in America!
Rev. Thomas Littleton 7/22/2018
(Note, the issues involving the conservative Evangelical church and the Revoice conference are all the more pointed given the Human Rights Campaign renewed efforts to infiltrate Evangelical churches announced just last week. Those HRC efforts have particular focus on the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the US and historically conservative on family, marriage and sexual ethics. HRC’s special emphasis is seen here and even quotes SBTS head, Albert Mohler. Last week the ERLC finally acknowledged such efforts by the HRC to Infiltrate the SBC while also for the first time publicly addressing the presence of the largest LGBT activist organization after years of meeting WITH HRC and others in private.
A movie attacking Reparative Therapy and Ex Gay ministries, titled “Boy Erased,” is due for release this Fall. It stars Russell Crow as a Baptist preacher who forces his son into a sort of boot camp for families wanting to “pray away the gay,” which is a very distorted view of ministries who help those who want freedom from such desires. These issues are ramping up in the culture as efforts to criminalize opposition to homosexuality go hand in hand with those advocating to promote and normalize it, especially to youth and to Christian youth in particular. Leaders of conservative churches who are getting it wrong, repeating false narratives and facilitating such events and the greater movement behind Revoice, have done and are doing a great disservice to the Body of Christ and to their own families. The SBC annual meeting in Dallas saw a timely and great opportunity to address the important issue of preserving ministry to people wanting out of the LGBT lifestyle by passing a RESOLUTION proposed by Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez of SWBTS. The Resolution never made its way out of committee for the Dallas SBC annual meeting. If Russell Moore of the ERLC had stood behind this resolution like he has done with others, such as the 2017 Alt-Right condemnation, this all-important issue of meaningful ministry to the LGBT community by Southern Baptist churches and ministries would not have been ignored.)
The Revoice Conference, scheduled to take place in St Louis on July 26th and 27th, is being held to “Promote LGBT+ Flourishing in historic Christian tradition.” Revoice represents a rapid advancement of new language on the issues of LGBTQ movement into the Church. In its vision, beliefs statements, workshops and biographies of the speakers, the conference openly discusses and promotes the normalization of very radical pro homosexual terms and ideology. Examples of the new language include: “LGBT+ Christian,” “Queer Christian,” “Queer Visibility” (coming out as gay) in the Church,” “Gleaning the Virtues of Queer Culture, Literature, and Theory for the Church and the New Jerusalem at the End of Time,” “Sexual Minorities in the Church and in Ministry in the Church,” and “Making the Church Open to and a Safe Haven for the LGBT+ Community.”
This author first broke this story with the help of WorldView Radio and The Janet Mefferd programs in early May 2018. Since that time the Revoice website has altered some of its more progressive language but by no means attempted to still the controversy. The author and others have reached out to the founder of Revoice, Nate Collins from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Those efforts have been turned away with little or no response to the concerns expressed.
The author has researched and written extensively on Revoice and WHY this July event represents a movement to normalize and promote acceptance of “LGBT+ Christianity” into mainstream Christian churches and denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the conservative Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). If this and other extensions of this subversive and well-funded effort are not met and turned away from the gates of orthodox Christianity, the days of Institutionalized Christian denominations and churches are numbered in America and those believers who remain faithful to God’s Word will have no choice but to leave churches and denominations who embrace and allow it. Significant infiltration has already occurred in our Seminaries – of the SBC and PCA and other denominations. (the issues in bullet points below are researched, documented and explained in detail in the linked articles at the conclusion of this Recap.
PROBLEMS WITH THE REVOICE CONFERENCE
IN THE SBC
The Founder of Revoice is Nate Collins who self identifies as a homosexual in a mixed orientation marriage, which means that he is married to a woman who is heterosexual, but he identifies as a homosexual. Collins holds a Degree from Moody Bible Institute, and a Master’s and Doctorate from Dr Albert Mohler’s very conservative (in reputation at least) Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) in Louisville KY. Collins was a New Testament Instructor at SBTS and a Garrett Fellow (grading papers and counseling SBTS students on academics) and is currently an Adjunct Online Teaching partner for SBTS. He has traveled and represented SBTS as a scholar to the Evangelical Theological Society on his researched topics of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Theory. Collins’ work of planning and incorporating REVOICE began as far back in, (at least) the Fall of 2017, while he was still teaching at Dr. Mohler’s SBTS. According to his bio, Collins spent at least 14 ½ years as a student and later as a teacher and self-identified homosexual (Side B) Christian. His father, Chip Collins, was Associate Dean at the undergraduate Boyce College, which is a feeder school for SBTS. In 2013, the father and son team – of son Nate (Student and NT instructor at SBTS) and father Chip (Boyce faculty at the time) – had a partnership ministry called “Aligned Grace” where they lectured as an “out” homosexual Christian Son and Father who represented the family who have chosen to affirm the son’s stand as a “Side B” homosexual. “Side B” is LGBT terminology for “Same Sex Attracted Christianity” which means espousing “Celibacy” or having a “Mixed Orientation Marriage” as “adherence to historic Christian Ethic.”
The Collins’ Father and Son Aligned Grace team also partnered with Exodus International’s final President, Alan Chambers, as the organization was abandoning ex gay therapy. The closing of Exodus International was used to vilify all ex gay ministries and led to the broader vilification of Reparative or Conversion Therapy.
LOVEboldly was founded in 2011 in Kentucky and Nate Collins joined its board in 2013 while still working at SBTS for at least another 4 ½ – 5 years. LOVEboldly is endorsed by Emergent leader, Brian McLaren, Alan Chambers and Julie Rodgers, the former Wheaton Chaplains office counselor who flipped from Side B to Side A – Fully Affirming homosexual behavior and marriage as a Christian – shortly after the SCOTUS / Obergefell decision. LOVEboldly has both side A and Side B members and events and espouses an alliance for all LGBT+ Christians beyond the issues of Theology, Morality, Politics, or personal views on any similar, possibly divisive issues. The work of Regent University Psychologist, Mark Yarhouse, has played a key role in the development of the LGBT ideology of LOVEboldly / Revoice and even The Gospel Coalition (TGC) members, D. A. Carson, Tim Keller and Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, and the institutions and organizations which these leaders oversee.
“DEVOTED FOR YOUTH PASTORS” CONFERENCE
In the Fall of 2018, LOVEboldly will host a “Devoted for Youth Pastors” Conference on “LGBT+ Christianity” with two key leaders of the Revoice Conference, Nate Collins (also a LOVEboldly board member) and Gregory Coles, a Student and Instructor in the English Department of Penn State University. Coles’ area of study, similar to Collins, is in Theory and Rhetoric focused on gender, feminine, race and sexual minority theory and rhetoric toward social change. Coles’ book, Single Gay Christian, is heavily endorsed by TGC. The “Devoted for Youth Pastors” Conference seeks to come alongside YOUTH PASTORS to help them affirm and minister to LGBT teens in churches, thus bypassing senior church staff and parents by taking the Revoice / LOVEboldly ideology directly to teens and preteens in their churches. A 2016 LOVEboldly conference called “Restore” featured “Side A” lesbian Christian, Julie Rodgers, and Regent University’s Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who collaborate on focusing to bring their Side A and Side B message to Christian youth. LOVEboldly has close ties to the Human Rights Campaign through a board member, Christy Messick, and Julie Rodgers, the bride-to-be of a radical lesbian LGBTQ Equality activist who heads a lobby group and serves on Leadership Committees of the HRC. HRC’s funding ties to the $50 million dollar PLUS per year budget with special emphasis on conservative evangelical (SBC churches) are suspected, to be confirmed soon.
ERLC / RUSSELL MOORE TIES TO REVOICE
The Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is the policy, and lobbying arm of the denomination. Its leader is the brazenly controversial Russell Moore who is an SBTS graduate and former Instructor and Dean. Moore took the reins of ERLC in March 2013 and by October made waves by announcing that “The Culture War is over and we (the Church) lost” and, therefore, we need to make nice and “love our gay and lesbian neighbors.” Moore then led the ERLC to host a 2014 conference on Homosexuality and the Future of Marriage to which he invited and secretly met behind closed doors with many LGBTQ activist groups including the Human Rights Campaign. This issue has now come to the attention of many who question the following connections of Revoice to the ERLC. In Moore’s 2014 conference, he and Dr Albert Mohler of SBTS capitulated and professed their belief in Homosexual Orientation and denounced all efforts to help people change or be transformed from unwanted homosexual desires through ministries that provide Reparative or Conversion Ex Gay therapy.
Karen Swallow Prior is a professor at Liberty University, an ERLC Research Fellow and a close friend of Russell Moore. Swallow Prior appears to enjoy the spotlight of being progressively controversial in the SBC. Prior also promotes the Revoice Conference on the Revoice website and has a history of appearing at LGBT+ events.
ERLC contractor, Brandon Polk, will be a Speaker at Revoice. His company, Arrowhead Advisors, worked very closely with Russell Moore in the ERLC 2017 “Christ Centered Parenting Conference” and on the controversial, racially charged MLK/50 conference last April. Polk has most recently worked with Moore’s ERLC legislative research on Prison Reform. Polk does not speak in his biography about his personal place in the Side A Side B discussion. He does boast (on both personal and Arrowhead social media) of his close friendship with Todrick Hall, a judge on RuPaul’s Drag (Queen) Race television program. Russell Moore considers Brandon Polk’ company to be an advisor to him on Christ Centered Parenting for Southern Baptists. That should have time to settle in on Southern Baptists about their ERLC leadership.
Nate Collins advocates for his Side A and Side B followers when he says “Give to a charitable organization that either helps LGBT people in crisis, offers Christ-focused support services, or promotes awareness, dialogue, and peace as genuine Christian values. LoveBoldly, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and the Gay Christian Network are all good options, as well as the GoFundMe site for the victims and their families.”
None of the articles written in response or the broadcast by SBC or TGC leaders speak to their own connections to those involved,founding,promoting ,or speaking at Revoice. All responses carefully avoid going anywhere near Nate Collins ties to SBTS/ ERLC the endorsement of Karen Swallow Prior , the ERLC contractor speaking, Mark Yarhouse ideology, or Covenant Seminaries many links to the conference. Such coordinated avoidance is not possible without intention .
PCA DENOMINATIONAL TIES ARE EVEN WORSE
The Presbyterian Church of America has been one of the most trusted Reformed conservative and active denominations in the US for around 40 years. It produced such outspoken leaders as D. James Kennedy and Frank Barker on theological, convictional, moral, social issues like the gay agenda (now called LGBT+ or LGBTQ). Both were among the PCA’s founding leadership, however, Revoice represents very disturbing infiltration into the denomination. St Louis, Missouri is the location of the PCA’s flagship, Covenant Theological Seminary. Seven Revoice speakers are recent graduates of Covenant Seminary as well as three Covenant professors who are either endorsing, like Scott Sauls (Nashville Extension for Covenant), or speaking at Revoice. The President of Covenant Seminary is Mark Dalbey, whose wife Beth works in the leadership of one of the Revoice mentor organizations, First Light, which maintains offices at Memorial PCA Church which is hosting Revoice.
The PCA Pastor of Revoice is Greg Johnson. Both he and Mark Dalbey were asked to answer concerns during the PCA’s General Assembly annual meetings in Atlanta in June 2018. Dalbey pointed out that Covenant is not hosting or connected to Revoice but fails to mention his wife’s involvement with First Light at Memorial PCA which mentors Revoice and whose director, a Covenant Seminary graduate, is ALSO a Revoice speaker.
Greg Johnson has made a case for the Side B “faithfulness to Christian sexual ethic” and is one of the few involved who espouse that this “Ethic” is Biblically based. In fact, it is not, as Collins and Mark Yarhouse confirm that if their conclusions about the validity of a homosexual or LGBT sexual orientation are true, then it is not addressed in Scripture and the espoused Christian Sexual Ethic is based on extrabiblical /psychologically based terminology. On July 15th Greg Johnson affirmed in an interview podcast that he “would also consider hosting a conference similar to Revoice, if asked, for “Pedophile Christians, those attracted sexually to children.” To date, he and his church have received no warnings or actions of discipline from the PCA and they appear to remain in good standing with their Biblical conservative denomination.
Scott Sauls, who endorses Revoice on its website and helped organize the event in the Spring of 2018, is the long time protege’ of PCA golden boy, Timothy Keller. Sauls was on the preaching staff and later became a church planter for Keller’s Redeemer City PCA church in New York City. Keller had planted over 400 churches globally and is now working through his Redeemer City to City to plant thousands more by 2025. Sauls is also part of Keller’s Gospel Coalition and contributes to the ERLC and Russell Moore. Sauls appears to be following his mentor into the fringes on LGBTQ issues as Keller has already shown an inability to say clearly that homosexuality is a sin, in a 2015 Veritas Forum, and, in 2013, said that Christians can support gay marriage in the culture just not in the church. No such imaginary lines as Keller pretends to define exist now in the reality of legal same sex marriage. SCOTUS opinions on Obergefell have made it clear that redefining marriage is a threat and sets up a future class struggle between Gay Rights and Religious Freedom. Does Keller think he knows something that SCOTUS legal minds do not about these dangers? Doubtful.
REVOICE AND LIVING OUT: PROMOTED IN UNISON BY SAM ALLBERRY & TIM KELLER
Tim Keller was in London to be the keynote speaker at the June “Living Out” conference promoted by Sam Allberry, a Same Sex Attracted Priest who, along with other self-identified gay priests in the Church of England, are migrating LGBT language since the 2013 vote of parliament to legalize same sex marriage in the UK. Keller’s TGC and Russell Moore of ERLC have heavily promoted Allberry and his SSA ministry for over 4 years to the US Evangelical Church. Allberry’s Living Out eagerly promoted the Revoice Conference for their “US audience” along with their marketing and Promotion of the Keller/ Allberry Event in London for June 2018.
CONSERVATIVE MASTERS COLLEGE (NOW UNIVERSITY) AND SEMINARY GRADUATE INVOLVED.
One of the speakers at Revoice and “key straight allies” of the Revoice and the broader LGBT+ “Christian Community” is Preston Sprinkle and his Center for Faith Sexuality and Gender. Sprinkle is relatively unknown outside these circles but his presence at Revoice and mentor role to the “Sexual Minority” LGBT+ camp represented in Revoice and beyond proves disturbing to devoted followers of John Macarthur since Sprinkle carries two degrees (and perhaps ordination to ministry/credentials) from Macarthur’s conservative Masters College and Seminary. Many hope that John Macarthur will be the first among the mainstream ministers, whose disciples are attempting to Revoice the Church, to respond and openly denounce this movement.
NO BIBLICAL BASIS FOR REVOICE CLAIMS / ITS SOURCE IS MARK YARHOUSE AND THE APA
In the extensive research provided in the links below, one common influence becomes apparent. Mark Yarhouse of Regent University has impacted seminaries like Covenant and SBTS, institutions and parachurch ministries like the ERLC and TGC, and manifestations of this radical, new, migratory and gateway language of “LGBT+, Sexual Minority and Queer Christianity.” Yarhouse is a psychologist who works with interfaith, gay and Christian psychologists to reconcile conflicted LGBT people of faith based on the presumptions of the pro homosexual policies of the American Psychological Association (APA).
In 1973, the APA departed from its position that homosexuality is a mental illness and declared it to be a healthy lifestyle. Since that time the psychological community has operated on this assumption. Christian psychologists have had sharp divisions over the issue of homosexuality and Christian Counseling for decades. Mark Yarhouse has worked with the APA, Gay and Christian psychologists to bridge that gap and provide common ground for these diverse and antithetical points of view. In the Yarhouse Whitepaper, which was developed in 2010 for The Gospel Coalition at the request of D.A. Carson for use in their College Campus ministries, the concept of Sexual Orientation as fixed was stated as a principle. Using the APA and his own very limited Research (around 98 selected people with SSA), Yarhouse’s Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity concluded that since (as asserted ) Sexual Orientation is real and fixed or “seldom changes,” then a person who has a ”homosexual Identity,” which in the case of a Christian (or a follower of a particular faith historically opposed to homosexuality), has a conflicted “Faith Identity.” These two must be merged for the wellbeing of the patient or person with conflicted identities. Therefore, “LGBT+ or particular (sexual) Identity” + “Faith Identity” = “LGBT+ Christian” or “Sexual Minority Christian.”
Since 2010, TGC leadership and its devotees and affiliates have been steeped in this view as the gold standard for all things LGBT in the Church, its literature and its seminaries, training and ministry practice. This leadership included Russell Moore, while at SBTS and then as head of ERLC from 2013, as he and Albert Mohler influenced the SBC leadership (including the new SBC President J D Greear according to his lecture at ERLC and his pastoral care policy) and their underlings through Moore’s policy shift and the 2014 conference of the ERLC in Nashville. TGC along with D.A. Carson and Tim Keller were able to use the influence of their co-founded organization TGC to promote the Yarhouse Whitepaper/ideology in the conservative PCA and to the Seminaries and as outlined in the document, to the Campus ministries like Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), CRU and InterVarsity. Ironically, a supposed pragmatic reason for reaching the Millennials has driven much of the public discussion as these leaders and others advise us that conservative Evangelicals are in the minority position culturally. If true, this culture shift would be due to false narratives which they themselves have helped to propagate.
For further research and documentation of the facts presented you can search the following articles.