You may think Revoice is a distant concern or that the Nashville Statement is not the best or most robust response to the issues facing the church in the 21st century. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees—there is something sinister at work here that Christians need to see.
On August 29, 2022, Nate Collins, the founder and president of Revoice, decided to attack the Nashville Statement. His Twitter thread, posted on the five-year anniversary of the Statement’s release, called on all evangelical leaders who signed it to repent for having done so. He called the Statement a “form of spiritual abuse” against “sexual and gender minorities who adhere to the historic, biblical sexual ethic.” According to Collins, it was bullying, it was coercive, it robbed people of language, and, ultimately, it harmed “the least of these.”
Here is Nate Collins’ tweet thread in its entirety, posted at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2022:
The Nashville Statement is 5 years old today. Here’s how to repent from signing it.
Today is the 5th anniversary of the release of the joint @CBMW [Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood] and @ERLC [Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention] #NashvilleStatement. Many sexual and gender minorities who adhere to the historic, biblical sexual ethic experienced the NS as a form of spiritual abuse.
We felt bullied into compliance by evangelical leaders who were our spiritual heroes. The NS reduced us to pawns in a culture war and coerced us to fight a battle that we did not believe was biblical.
It also robbed us of language that we believe has enabled us to be faithful to scripture, as well as honest about our experience.
If you signed the Nashville Statement, but now see how it has harmed those whom our Savior has described as “the least of these”, here are some suggested steps you can take to repent:
- Contact CBMW and ask to have your name removed.
- Share with your friends and co-signers your decision and why you chose to remove your name.
- For those you know personally who were negatively impacted by your participation, reach out and apologize.
- For those who were harmed that you do not know personally, share publicly about your change of mind. (Post, tweet, or hey, even reach out to Christianity Today and see if they would be interested to do a piece. I suspect it would rate as newsworthy.)
Making mistakes—even big ones—does not have to be the end of the story, unless you let it be so. Just ask Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Peter, or Paul.
These are quite strong—and striking—accusations to lay at the feet of evangelical leaders. It is expected from the godless world that “does not accept the things of God for they are folly to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14) but from someone who claims to hold to the “historic, biblical sexual ethic,” it is both sad and deeply concerning. After all, the Nashville Statement was intended to be a consensus statement articulating that historic, biblical sexual ethic that Nate Collins claims to believe. Yet he calls those who signed it perpetrators of “spiritual abuse.”
This is why I was compelled to respond to Collins’ tweets with an extensive rebuttal of my own.
Nate Collins represents a position that has been alternately labeled Side B, gay celibate theology, or the Revoice movement (named after the Side B focused conference and organization Collins founded in 2018). It is a more conservative form of “gay Christianity” that believes homosexual behavior is forbidden but that the experience of “sexual minorities” must be recognized by the church. I address the full spectrum of this position in the paper, A Little Leaven: Confronting the Ideology of the Revoice Movement.
So, why should Christians be concerned that the Nashville Statement is under attack by a major Revoice leader? You may think Revoice is a distant concern or that the Nashville Statement is not the best or most robust response to the issues facing the church in the 21st century. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees—there is something sinister at work here that Christians need to see.
Let me give three main reasons why Christians should be concerned by this most recent attack on the Nashville Statement and its signatories:
- The nature of the attack
- The charge of spiritual abuse
- The hidden allegiance with LGBT activists and the “Affirming Church”