Updated: ‘Revoice’ and Spiritual Friendship

Jul 28, 2018 by

If a bible-believing Christian is same-sex attracted and celibate, should he or she identify as ‘gay’? How deep can friendships be with people of the same sex? Should the church’s concern in this area be essentially pastoral and evangelistic (caring for LGBT people and bringing them to Christ), doctrinal (being clear on biblical teachings on sex and marriage), or apostolic and prophetic (pointing out the world’s false philosophies, and giving leadership towards a better way)? Recent articles on the debate around the recent ‘Revoice’ conference: (newest at the top)

Robert Gagnon suspended from Facebook AGAIN for critique of Revoice advocate [PDF here Gagnon Facebook ban]

Revoice and a Vocation of “Yes” by Wesley Hill, First Things

Revoice: Sliding into Heresy by Dr Peter Jones, Truth Xchange

Torn Between Two Cultures? Revoice, LGBT Identity, and Biblical Christianity by Albert Mohler

Revoice Speakers ‘Lament’ Treatment of Gay Christians in Church, Share Stories of Rejection by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

A Tenacious Witness: Reflections on the ReVoice Conference by Ethan McCarthy, Patheos

Revoice: LGBT Christian Conference Speaker Rejects Idea That Jesus Supports Gay Marriage by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post

The Revoice Conference and the Danger of a Big Theological Tent by Michael Brown, Christian Post

A critical review of ‘Spiritual Friendship’, by Stephen Wedgeworth, Mere Orthodoxy: “When Wesley Hill writes about one of his “spiritual friendships,” it has the quality of a romance, and when it ends, he refers to it as a breakup… when Ron Belgau describes one of his desired friendships, it sounds like a marriage: a man who understands him, who he can love more than any other, who he can introduce to mom & dad, who he can dance with, buy a house with, adopt kids with… Again, this really doesn’t sound like philia, not even a very intense form of it. It sounds … like a helpmeet.”

Learning to hate our sin without hating ourselves, by Denny Burk and Rosaria Butterfield, Public Discourse. [The ‘Spiritual Friendship’ movement holds that homosexual desire itself is not sinful, only sexual acts. According to Burk and Butterfield, this view has inherent dangers, and does not align with historic views on the inherent sinfulness of some of our desires and the need for transformation rather than celebration of them.]

Lust and Augustine, by Dale Coulter, First Things. [More on what the great theologian said about desire.]

Thinking deeply about Christian love, same-sex attraction, sin and Spiritual Friendship, by Ron Belgau, Public Discourse. [Belgau responds on behalf of ‘Spiritual Friendship’.]

More critique of the Spiritual Friendship movement by Robert Gagnon [this Facebook post by the renowned scholar was taken down by moderators and has been re-posted elsewhere.]

Surprise! A conference for gay Christians has sparked controversy, from Christianity Today

Speakers for LGBT Christian Conference ‘Revoice’ defend event, from Christian Post

The controversy behind the Revoice conference, by Tim Challies

The website Thirty Pieces of Silver catalogues evidence [the authors believe] of the systematic infiltration of LGBT ideology into respected evangelical institutions.


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