Revoice 2021 Together met in October 2021 in Dallas to encourage what they call “sexual minorities” within the church to obedience, to reach out evangelistically to LGBTQ people, and to minister to “sexual majority” Christians. The conference featured Eve Tushnet, Preston Sprinkle, Greg Johnson, Misty Irons, Greg Coles, and many other speakers, as well as panels on gender minorities, racial minorities, and women. With an emphasis on community support (reflected in the theme “together”), the speakers called the gathered assembly to be obedient to a biblical sexual ethic, as well as acknowledging the pain that the church has caused to those who identify as LGBTQ.
Revoice 2021 positions itself in the theological mainstream, as if the controversies surrounding the conference and movement are purely semantic. The wider evangelical church, for example, by policing the language of people who identify as LGBTQ, are said to erect artificial barriers for entrance into the kingdom of God, akin to those of New Testament era Judaizers. Revoice, as a movement, is prepared to forgive and reach out to those in the church who are complicit in this grave sin, but the church should repent and move on from these kinds of debates for the sake of mission and the witness of the gospel.
Rather than a purely semantic disagreement over whether or not to use the word “gay,” the language applied to self-hood and identity by Revoice points to underlying philosophical and theological assumptions that Christians should identify themselves by sexual behavior and inclinations, grounding this identification in a secular gender ideology rather than the Scriptures. Furthermore, by framing the semantic issues as Side A and Side B — referring to “Side A brothers and sisters” — they make the question of sexuality, both behavior and identity, to be adiaphora, a non-essential issue that Christians are free to disagree about. Rather than a “slippery slope,” both the ideology and language that Revoice is embracing will eventually take them over a spiritual cliff.
*Note this description has been updated along with the article below on February 8th, 2022. *
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