You’ll find this article interesting.
On the one hand, the host church’s pastor affirms, and says that the Revoice conference organizers affirm, “The goal of the conference is to help those who believe in the historic, biblical sexual ethic figure out how to thrive within churches that share those biblical commitments. … Often, our teaching about homosexuality is simply that gay sex is wrong. And that much is true. … Does the Bible really prohibit all homosexual behaviors—when there are scholars who argue otherwise? (Answer: Yes, it does prohibit them. That’s one workshop.) … We believe that the Bible restricts sexual activity to the context of a marriage covenant, which is defined in the Bible as the emotional, spiritual, and physical union of a man and a woman that is ordered toward procreation.”
Okay, I’m willing to take all that at face value.
But on the other hand, the pastor and the organizers speak of LGBT people as “sexual minorities,” state the Mission of Revoice as “To encourage, support, and empower gay, lesbian, and other same-sex-attracted Christians so they can experience the life-giving character of the historic, Christian sexual ethic,” and say they “want to see LGBT people who adhere to the historic, Christian sexual ethic flourish in their local faith communities.”
Now, shall we hold another, new Revoice conference for “TMA Christians”—that is, Christians who just want others to accept them as thieves, murderers, and adulterers? How about if they say, “Look, it’s not that we think acting out theft, murder, and adultery is fine, it’s just that we want people to understand that we have this strong disposition toward theft, murder, and adultery, and we don’t want to have to feel ashamed of it. Can’t you just make us feel welcome in the church despite that disposition?” I suppose some would argue that this request would be properly analogous, since the “gay, lesbian, and other same-sex-attracted Christians” involved in Revoice assert that they believe one shouldn’t act out their same-sex attraction. “Just as some people have strong temptations to steal or murder or commit adultery, we have strong temptations to have sex with people of the same sex as ourselves, but as long as they don’t actually steal, murder, or commit adultery, and as long as we don’t actually have sex with people of the same sex as ourselves, they and we alike should feel no shame.”
Sounds plausible. But now let’s pin one more letter onto this new Revoice conference: It’s not just for “TMA Christians” but for “TMAC Christians”—theft-prone, murderous, adulterous, covetous Christians. Now apply the same reasoning: “Look, it’s not that we think acting out theft, murder, adultery, and coveting is fine, it’s just ….” Ooops! The whole point of coveting is that it’s an entirely internal sin. You don’t have to act it out at all for it to be sin. And Scripture puts coveting on the same level as idolatry (Colossians 3:5)—a pretty serious sin. And along about now we remember that Jesus taught that each of the Ten Commandments addresses not only outward conduct but also inward thoughts, desires, and attitudes. “Whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Whoever is angry with his brother without cause has broken the commandment not to murder.
Either the advocates of removing shame from LGBT (and Q?) dispositions need to come out in favor of removing shame from TMAC dispositions, or we all need to recognize that there’s simply no justifying any sinful disposition—even though people with every sinful disposition can be justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
What continues to disturb me is the strong sense that the real goal of the Revoice conference, its organizers, and other advocates of getting rid of the shame attached to homosexuality/same-sex-attraction/LGBTQ won’t be satisfied until the churches come to affirm that homosexuality/same-sex-attraction-LGBTQ is A-okay so long as it remains only in the mind and isn’t acted out—and that implies that all other sins, too, are okay so long as they’re only in the mind, not acted out—and that implies that the Tenth Commandment means nothing.