Rev Thomas Littleton 4/20/2019
Few in Christian mainstream media want to report on the newest conference by Revoice and founder Nate Collins even though the 2018 event became THE story of last year. With grave concerns still lingering among Biblical conservatives ,Christian media seems poised to all but ignore the even more disturbing revelations of the 2019 Revoice conference line up and focus.
As reported last Summer and into the Fall months , Sam Allberry (the ERLC voice on all things LGBT and an editor at The Gospel Coalition) has been promoting the hiring of LGBT church staff and the “sharing of children”with celibate homosexuals in ERLC’s ministries conferences and in Sam’s Living Out “Inclusive Church Audit .
Now comes the news that one of the Revoice 2019 Workshops is celebrating a Wyoming church whose pastors discuss the Children’s Ministry pastors “coming out” as gay to their congregation and being “embraced” by the church body.( Images from Revoice.us 2019 conference site are provided under fair use provisions to report and provide information to the public). Here are the workshop and biographies for Element Church staffers role in Revoice below .
“What does it look like for a church not only to embrace gay people in their congregation but also to include them on their staff? Jeff and John share from their experience of creating a church culture where John was able to come out to their congregation as a celibate, gay pastor. Together, they reflect on the principles and practical steps that led up to John’s coming out and the spiritual impact this has had on them and their church.”
THIS WORKSHOP IS A TAG TEAM EFFORT OF THE SENIOR /FOUNDING PASTOR OF ELEMENT CHURCH IN CHEYENNE WYOMING .
“Jeff Maness is the founding and Lead Pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY. He received his degree in in Pastoral Ministry from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 1997 and has been in full-time ministry since December of that year, serving as Lead Pastor of Element for the past 12 years. Jeff is committed to standing with LGBT+ people as the church navigates conversations of faith, sexuality, and gender. Jeff and his wife Sabrina have four children. ”
“John Wilson earned his Master of Practical Theology from Indiana Wesleyan University and serves as the Children’s Pastor at Element Church in Cheyenne, WY. In February 2019 he came out as a celibate, gay Christian to his congregation and was graciously and generously received. He hopes his testimony encourages churches to become safe places for LGBT+ people.”
ELEMENT CHURCH AFFILIATIONS
Both of the pastors participating in Revoice 2019 attended Wesleyan Universities however the church website does not list any affiliations for the church. The pastor Jeff Maness social media indicates Andy Stanley is a mentor .
SO WHAT ARE WE MISSING ? LIVING OUT/ SAM ALLBERRY ACTUALLY ALTERED THE LANGUAGE OF THE 2018 “INCLUSION CHURCH AUDIT “WHY?
After a good deal of exposure and expressions of disgust by readers/listeners to the ERLC Family Conference last Fall- the Allberry/ Living Out Audit was changed to read”Church members share family time (in place of sharing children ). This public response clearly served as a reality check for some of the self absorbed leadership scripting the narrative and designing the audit. That is some progress to be reported and celebrated.
Revoice founder and Al Mohler / SBTS disciple Nate Collins has also aimed the radical LGBT Church Inclusion message at youth and the youth department of churches. This was revealed to be part of two Revoice speakers work with “Side A ( fully affirming ) Side B ( claiming adherence to Celibacy or Mixed Orientation Marriages ) and Everything in Between ” ministry called LOVEboldly . Its “Devoted Youth Conference” targeted youth and youth pastors in order to bypass senior staff and parents with the Inclusion message.
REVOICE CORE INSPIRATION ALSO TARGETS YOUTH
Mark Yarhouse whose interfaith work with the American Psychological Association has helped developed the ideology behind both Allberry’s Living Out and Collins Revoice has also worked with LOVEboldly and has targeted youth with his message .Yarhouse promoted Revoice 2018 but is now a keynote speaker at the 2019 Revoice event .
“Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry Paperback – October 14, 2013
“Today’s youth struggle with difficult questions of sexual identity. How can a youth worker offer wise care and counsel on such a controversial and confusing subject? Mark Yarhouse, director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity, equips youth ministers so they can faithfully navigate the topic of sexual identity in a way that is honest, compassionate, and accessible.”
“Reframing the focus away from the culture wars, Yarhouse introduces readers to the developmental considerations in the formation of sexual identity―all of which occurs in the teen years. He offers practical and helpful ways to think about homosexuality along with suggestions for talking with people who experience same-sex attraction. He also helps parents and youth volunteers learn to graciously respond to children and teens who struggle with questions of sexual identity, and discusses how youth ministry can become more relevant in the lives of youth who are navigating these issues.”
FORMER WHEATON LGBT ACTIVIST STAFFER JULIE ROGERS TARGETS YOUTH
Close friend and associate to both Yarhouse and Collins and former Wheaton staffer Julie Rogers has targeted the Christian youth audience with her activist LGBT message as well as she appeared with Yarhouse in a LOVEboldly youth conference several years ago.
“Sexual Identity and the Youth Minister: Walking with LGBT Youth.”
Sexual Identity and the Youth Minister: Walking with LGBT Youth
Deep Dive by Mark Yarhouse and Julie Rogers at NYWC 2014 in Atlanta
REVOICE 2019 GOES DEEPER INTO THE FAMILY LIFE OF THE CHURCH PROMOTING GAY CHILDREN’S MINISTRY PASTOR .
Youth have been targeted with the LGBT+ message directly in our churches . However -not since the Living Out “Inclusion Church Audit” has the overt promotion of Same Sex Attracted /Celibate / LGBT+ Christians into the realm of children in our churches been promoted so boldly.
What are we missing?
Clearly many young parents in progressive “faith communities ” like Element Church feel very comfortable with the normalization of and portrayals by leadership of “LGBT+ Christianity ” in the eyes of their children. Still many more Christians in Biblically faithful churches and denominations like the SBC and PCA do not. It is likely some of the grandparents and older leadership in these progressive churches have been given good reason in their own experience with LGBT in their churches to sound a warning if the pressures of culture compliance were not so great .
Clearly some young progressive parents would feel the idea of not welcoming LGBT people into such pastoral positions to be crude and “victorian principled” snobbishness and self righteousness. Yet the reality of ongoing child sex abuse in Catholic Church exposure /litigation /victimization has left a mark on older Christians as to the potential of harm to the most vulnerable in the churches.The secular media and the culture at large has certainly understood that welcoming homosexuals into the priesthood has not made Catholic institutions a “safe haven ” for children.
Is concern over the idea of placing a single person with suppressed homosexual desires in pastoral positions in the church not simply a matter of common sense? Why isn’t the first and final consideration that the much higher /eternal weight is that it is historically counter to Biblical standards for leadership?
What of the recent and ongoing sexual abuse and decades long cover up in the Southern Baptist Convention reported recently by the Houston Chronicle ? Do we learn from the past or doom ourselves by politically driven policies that will assure more harm?
What can we learn if we look to the secular realm -even in this age of the “Great LGBT+ Inclusion ” global social experiment? We need look no further than the Boy Scouts of America and it’s legal battles following the harmful realities of “Inclusion ” into leadership positions with children .
The cost to BSA financially is exceeded only in the cost of damage done to the most innocent of lives entrusted to the organizations care.For what ? To prove to the world and the media and to the activist organizations that they were inclusive. At what cost? To the lifelong harm of victims who just wanted to enjoy learning about nature and enjoy outdoor experiences with an organization with over a hundred history. Now politics or LGBT inclusion have been driving scouting and are driving another institution into the ground. The church ignores this reality its own peril and that of our children.
“A month after being slapped with a federal trademark lawsuit by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, the Boy Scouts of America is considering bankruptcy as membership plummets and legal costs from defending itself against lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys mount.”
“Sources told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the BSA hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.”
“And reacting to “news reports that will speculate about the BSA’s financial position” Wednesday, the BSA confirmed in a statement that it was “working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.”
“Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh noted in the statement that while there were “no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected” the organization continues to examine the best way to manage a desire to carry out their mission while compensating victims of sexual abuse at the same time.”
“We have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and we also have an obligation to carry out our mission to serve youth, families and local communities through our programs,” Surbaugh said.”
“Throughout our history we have taken proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. I want to stress that at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and we always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations,” he added.”
“The BSA is one of the largest Scouting organizations in the U.S. as well as one of the largest youth organizations in the country with more than 2.4 million youth participants and nearly 1 million adult volunteers.”
“As the organization has shifted toward more inclusive membership policies such as lifting its ban on openly gay members in 2014, allowing openly gay adults to be scout leaders, then allowing trans-identified boys in 2017, they have courted controversy.”
ACTIVISM IS AS ACTIVISM DOES .AVOIDING STUPIDITY SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER !
The Bible speaks of diverse callings and gifts in the Body of Christ but it does not speak of “inclusion” of those who identify by admittedly evil desires and espouse the mere denial of indulging them. The church is allowing itself to be forced to do so by political and cultural winds of social change . These winds are driven by the same activist climate and forces (and likely the same funding) we find in the culture. The church is now faced with the possibility of paying avery high price for its appeasement of the LGBT+ faith agenda . Christians have seen the confusion and contradictions to Biblical holiness and qualifications that this movement embodies but have they considered the ultimate cost ? Are we prepared to surrender our children on the pagan altars of “Inclusion”?
Living Sacrifices to God
“1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Serve God with Spiritual Gifts
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Behave Like a Christian
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. “