According to WORLD, this year’s conference encouraged attendees to leave churches that do not affirm their orientation/gender identity and to form LGBTQ “affinity” groups in their local setting. Revoice doesn’t aim merely at being a conference. Its organizers aim at being a movement that spreads in churches throughout the country. And if your church doesn’t agree with Revoice teachings about affirming LGBTQ+ identities, then people should leave your church and find one that does.
When organizers announced the program for the first Revoice conference in 2018, the controversy surrounding the meeting was sharp and protracted. It was a conference appealing to so-called Side-B “gay Christians,” and it was founded in part as a repudiation of the Nashville Statement. Indeed, founder Nate Collins told Religion News Service in 2018 that he viewed the Nashville Statement as “pastorally insensitive” and as a form of “spiritual abuse.”
If the organizers of Revoice were trying to repudiate the Nashville Statement, they did a good job of it from the very beginning. The part of the Nashville Statement that seemed to offend so many of them was Article 7, which says, “WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.” Article 7 was trying to communicate that followers of Christ must not construct an identity for themselves that contradicts God’s design in creation. And yet, forging and expressing LGBTQ+ identities seems to be a central focus of Revoice.
A lot has changed in America and even among evangelicals since that first Revoice conference. Since 2018, Bible-believing Christians have been put on notice about the dangers of Critical Theory and its offshoots in queer theory and third wave feminism. In 2020, Carl Trueman published a watershed book explaining how people in the West have come to think of maleness and femaleness as social constructs—malleable concepts that individuals can shape and adjust by an act of the will. We have all been witnessing radical gender theory trickle down from the ivory tower to main street as countless public schools and HR departments are force-feeding this ideology to their charges. There has been as much as a 4,000% increase in adolescent girls identifying as transgender—many of them still minor children and undergoing destructive “medical” interventions, including double mastectomies and puberty suppression.
In this context, one would think that Revoice might retreat from radical gender ideology and its denial of the male-female binary. And yet, WORLD magazine reports that the most recent Revoice conference—held a couple weeks ago in Plano, TX—has launched headlong into this error. The report says that Revoice has changed, but not for the better:
Revoice has changed, too. Speakers have always emphasized homosexuality as an identity, not just a behavior. But this year, such assertions from the dais seemed more insistent, with speakers assiduously using civil-rights language to present radical change as settled truth. That identity rhetoric extended to transgender ideology. Speakers frequently referred to “sexual and gender minorities” and used preferred pronouns, along with terms such as women “assigned female at birth.” The group’s reach and influence are growing, but leaders now emphasize parachurch activities. Speakers frequently referenced ongoing rejection within the church and encouraged attendees to form their own spiritual communities in local Revoice chapters.
This doesn’t sound like a retreat from radical gender theory, but a doubling-down on it. The report goes on:
On the conference’s first night, attendees formed lines at registration tables.