I have argued for some years that the battle of our day is a battle for the control of the dictionary. What shall we call things? More importantly, what shall we not be allowed to call things? And the two great questions of philosophy are involved—why and who says?
And in dealing with this sort of issue, you cannot just change one word—what you do affects other words, and this is because the battle for the dictionary is the battle to define the world.
Put bluntly, there is no way to make perversion normal without at the same time making the normal into a perversion. We are not talking about expanding the boundaries of what is normal. We are talking about preparation to making a switch.
The promotional material for the Revoice conference has adopted the tag “sexual minorities” to describe the people they are seeking to minister to. And who are they? Well, it varies in their material. They lead off with “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.”
LGBT. The first question that should spring to mind is this: where’s the Q? Why the hatred and exclusion, man? Are the Qs not a sexual minority? Whether it refers to queer or questioning, it would seem that any conference that wanted to be welcoming and inclusive would not start their proceedings with a raw act of hurtful exclusion. Why no Q?
But they fix it later in the fine print.
Down in the talk descriptions, the welcome is finally extended. “How can we live in harmony with the historic Christian sexual ethic while also radically embracing the LGBT+ community.” There it is. The warm embrace of the + sign.
But it is a bit late for the poor questioning and queer teen-ager who went to the Revoice web site in the hope of receiving some glimmer of encouragement, and the first thing he ran into was a chain of letters that stopped short of his particular alphabetic identity, a chain that contained only four letters, and thereby left him out. He is now at his mother’s home, gut-sobbing on the couch. What does the PCA owe him now? I merely raise the question.
Why would the Revoice people do this? Maybe it was a relatively innocent mistake—the kind of thing that happens when all you have to work with are cis-gendered copy editors, left over from the old days. Later on down the road, when the world of the PCA is fully inflamed with a truer zeal than they have now, a zeal for letters, pronouns, and being French-kissed by the world, their passion will finally expand to be truly inclusive on the front page, in the intro paragraph.
I just made mention of the “old days,” which would be, in Reformed evangelical circles, about six months ago, and even earlier.
So What Do the Bs, Ts, Qs and +s Not Do?
We are clear that, according to Revoice-world, the Ls and Gs remain within the historic Christian tradition by not actually getting it on. If they get it on, then they are not playing the game. But we are not clear yet on what they are allowed to do, provided they stay out of the sack. Is hand-holding permitted? Cuddling? Taking weekend trips together? I have raised this sort of question before.
But we at least have some defined limit for the Ls and Gs. So what do the Ts not get to do, if they want to flourish within the historic Christian doctrine of sexuality? Is surgery out? And at the other end, is eyeliner out? How does a woman trapped inside a man’s body flourish within the historic Christian doctrine of sexuality?
In other words, is celibacy the only norm that must be respected? As long as the T gents don’t have illicit sex with anybody, they can be as Tish as they want? Dudes can wear dresses? Or not? Please speak into the microphone.
And now I begin to suspect that I might know the reason for why the Revoice material does not haul in the + sign until the workshop descriptions.
Another question. Is the self-identification that a T man has to be respected or contradicted? Is he really a woman trapped in a man’s body? If he is, then why is surgery out? If he is, then why would marriage to a man who is not a woman trapped in a man’s body be prohibited. If he is not really in that condition—he is a confused man, not a woman with a man’s body—then why use the T as a term of identity?
On to the Bs, which is where a different kind of circus starts. The very nature of the B identity requires a minimum of three people, right? A man is bi, which means that he is sexually attracted to both men and woman, which is a minimum of two. So then, Pastor Schwartz, you now have a guy coming to your church, fresh from St. Louis. He shows up, along with his wife, with his celibate male partner in tow, who lives over the garage. He is married to his wife, in all the normal ways, but once a month, he and his celibate guy friend go off on a fishing trip. They promise that nothing ever happens, although they are both powerfully attracted to each other. They channel all that sexual energy into late night conversations about the suppleness of the trout.
What matters, here in Revoice world, is that nobody touches anything in such a way as to make that magic word celibate go away.
And don’t give me any nonsense about relationships having to be limited to two. Being bi necessitates either alternating serial relationships, or a standing relationship that involves three at a minimum. This is not a complicated math problem. If you want to work it out, I’ll wait. Furthermore, in a world gone mad, anyone who thinks that the prevailing winds of lust will be content to settle down with just one other person, and that’s all, needs to get out more. And anyone who believes that there are no polygamists hiding under the + sign ought to write a book. I have a suggested title. Let’s call it Gullible’s Travels.
“Hell and destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.” (Prov. 27:20).
Betting With Real Money
I have had no trouble at all denouncing this Revoice conference as a travesty. It really is an ecclesiastical botch of the highest order—and that is saying something.
The question then arises whether or not the organizers of the event mean well. Are the intentions good? I am prepared to bend so far as to say that some of them might be. But those who are well-intentioned enough to have kept their innocence are way too naïve to be involved in Christian leadership at all. They need to step down, and go learn something about the devil and his tricksy ways. And those who are not naïve, and who know exactly what they are doing, are disqualified from shepherding the flock on account of being wolves. Never appoint wolves to the post of shepherd. Not a good plan.
The fact that the graphic designer who did the Revoice web site did a nice job is nothing to the purpose. All kinds of things look nice that shouldn’t. Some of the wolves in sheep’s clothing look better than some of the sheep do, which is also nothing to the purpose.
So I can say that an idea this bad could not get this far in evangelical circles without some deliberate and malevolent calculation.
“Ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them” (Luke 11:44).
The fact that people are unaware of the corruption should not be used as a premise in an argument to defend this farce of a sham. That lack of awareness is kind of the whole point.
We should remember that we serve a jealous God. We serve the Lord Jesus, and He is capable of taking His servants who abuse the privileges of His house, and who turn His grace into a license for sin, and cut them into little pieces. It must be frankly acknowledged that this is not in keeping with current approaches to inclusivity.
“But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful.” (Luke 12:45–46, ESV).