A mixed bag of straight and gay pastors, celibate and non-celibate gays, parents and children—450 in all—have just met in a church (PCA) in St Louis. The conference attempted to integrate into the church and its ministry homosexuals who accept the biblical view of sex and marriage as limited to heterosexual people, but who see their same-sex orientation as unchangeable, even as a normative part of creation. This frees them to have a non-sexual “gay” attraction to their same-gender friends. According to the organizer, Nate Collins, this conference (one of many to come) is a time of dialogue to determine acceptable biblical and Christian practice. Can a gay man who rejects homosexual practice still be proud of his “gay identity” and his “gay” way of doing things as pleasing to God? Can he engage in deep friendship, even life-long commitment with another same-sex attracted celibate male friend—even adopt children? Can the church accept this as a valid option?
I did not attend the Revoice conference and cannot directly address the issues studied and affirmed there. I hope I am wrong in thinking that it will have serious implications for biblical orthodoxy, as the following three issues suggest.
- The definition of non-sexual gayness emerging at Revoice is theologically problematic since (with a great deal of theological ignorance) it creates a third category of human sexuality, denying the biblical, ontological principle of distinctions (what I call Twoism). God is separate from his creation and has placed distinctions in his creation, one of which is the male/female distinction. Whenever we lose sight of distinctions, liberalism quickly follows.
In hyper-orthodox language, the convener, Nate Collins, says he wants to be biblical: “What we’re talking about is how to develop the historic Christian teaching about marriage, gender, and sexuality in ways that are faithful to Scripture, faithful to our only final authority.” But he wants the “evangelical perspective on marriage, gender, and sexuality…to be more filled out and rounded out.”