The upcoming Revoice conference has caused quite a stir in the conservative evangelical world. It includes speakers who call themselves gay, Catholics, “Spiritual Friendship” proponents, and language about “sexual minorities” that begs a lot of questions. So we decided to invite the founder of the conference, Nate Collins, a writer and former teacher at Southern Seminary, to come and answer some questions for us and talk about the conference. We might have more questions now than we did before, but we appreciate Nate taking the time to talk with us, and we hope this conversation encourages you to dive deeper in how we think and talk about this topic. It is not one that the church will be able to get on with without thinking more intensely about. Soli Deo Gloria!

 

Episode Navigation

 

2:00 Who is Nate Collins and what has he been working on?

5:56 What is the Revoice conference and why did Nate start it?

10:50 Why doesn’t Nate use the phrase, “gay Christianity” and can a Christian call themselves “gay”?

13:30 Joy asks if Nate can explain the way he uses the words “orientation”.

17:10 Given Genesis 1:27, and that we are told homosexual desires are unnatural in Romans 1, how can homosexuality be an ontological possibility?

19:28 When Paul says in 1 Corinthians, “such were some of you”, he can’t be divorcing desire from action, right?

24:30 Are sexual desires that are not morally neutral necessarily sinful?

25:26 Should we adopt our sin patterns as an identity?

34:40 If sex is the most intimate physical expression of the most intimate union, which is marriage, what purpose would a sexual orientation that cannot be fulfilled have?

45:40 Why would we have a hopeless outlook on marriage for those who are struggling?

47:40 The Spiritual Friendship proponents speaking at Revoice seem to be advocating that they should reject marriage because it couldn’t fulfill them in the same way that a celibate friendship with another man could. How does this differ from the classical definition proposed by Calvin and the like of the sin of effeminacy?

54:24 For a person to be attracted to the same sex, is to essentially say that their desires do not line up with their physical body. In order for something in your soul to desire the opposite of the purpose and structure of your body, wouldn’t we have to embrace a mind body dualism? And how is that logic not the same logic used to support transgenderism?

1:01:44 Joy asks Nate to describe for us the most perfect sandwich.

1:05:10 Final thoughts on the interview.

 

Recommended Reading

 

A Critical Review of Spiritual Friendship

Homosexuality as an Ontological Impossibility 

Rosaria Butterfield on the end of sexual sin

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18 Comments

  1. Chris Priestley

    Thanks for graciously and respectfully engaging Nate to clarify purpose, theology, and intent of Revoice!

    Reply
  2. Debbie Stafford

    I’d love to know Butterfields response to this conversation or his book.

    Reply
  3. Royce

    One’s sexuality is much like a compass. A compass has a Creator. Just like a human does. The Creator of a compass has “oriented” the compass to always point to the north. So any compass will point north as it is supposed to do UNLESS someone brings it near a magnet. Then one can make the compass point any direction it wants to or spin wildly outta control.

    God is the Creator and He has created Man to be oriented to Woman and vice versa. SIN is the magnet that draws one’s sexuality away from its true direction and “orientation”.

    Here’s a question I’d have for Nate: Since he rejects the word “Homosexuality” because there is no Hebrew or Greek word for it, does he also reject the word “Bestiality”, “Pedophile”, “Rapture”, “Trinity”, and dozens of others or is it because it is self-defining and according to God’s Word self-condemning?

    Personally, when I hear Nate try to draw a distinction between being “attracted” to someone & being “sexually attracted” is Deception. I’d saying that’s playing with fire & fooling oneself by denying the reality of what is really going on. Nobody looks at another person, same or opposite sex, the first time from afar and says, “I’m attracted to that person as a friend,”

    Bottom Line: Nate is firmly clinging to a concept the Bible rejects and that is holding onto an “identity” that God says IS sin & an abomination. That is NOT confessing (agreeing with God) & repenting (letting go & turning away from their sin). He continues to say “letting them be themselves”. NO! Help them to be what God calls then to be IN CHRIST. This is the whole idea of the old passing away & becoming a new creation. Being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Surrendering as a slave to the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s NEW Master. Dying to self, etc. Jesus says it best:

    “And this is the condemnation: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” (John 3:19-20)

    Reply
  4. Jay R.

    I guess I need to listen to the podcast now, but my gut reaction is that I’m unsure about Sheologians giving Collins this opportunity to “revoice” his position. I will be interested to hear how he answers those pointed questions though.

    Reply
  5. Cyd Weeks

    He is confused. He is trying so hard. But no. Perversion is a thing wrought by the fall. Hope should be found in male to male relationships? No. Hope is found in Christ alone. There is no gatherings for any other group listed in 1st Cor 6. I’m sad because we do need to be loving and gracious to our LGBT friends, but this is not it.

    Reply
  6. Kari W

    Thank you for the interview. It is good to hear what it is about from someone involved. It still makes my brain hurt with all of the language involved to work around what is explicitly spelled out in Scripture.

    Reply
  7. Crystal Vera

    I’m confused through this whole podcast.

    Reply
  8. Aaron

    I listened to this in full and Collin’s answers felt eerily like the same kind of argumentation The Emergent Church was using early on in it’s existence to defend it’s orthodoxy. Having thought it over some it seems like at best what the most Orthodox Protestant voices in the Revoice Conference want is a Protestant version of Courage International.

    Also of note is this collection of past statements that Colin Smothers collected (https://colinsmothers.wordpress.com/2018/06/18/revoice-in-their-own-voice/). By those in the Revoice Conference. It honestly all kind of strikes me as a moving of the goal posts or a “ platonized” understanding of sexual and emotional sin.

    Reply
  9. Lianne Simon

    The creation order isn’t an infallible indication of God’s will in a fallen world. Animals were not given to mankind to eat until after the flood. In Matthew 19, which people are quick to use when talking about God’s intent for marriage, Jesus contrasts marriage with three types of eunuchs who were definitely not in the Garden. Yet one of them is a eunuch–is going against the creation order–for the sake of the Kingdom.

    Reply
  10. Sean

    Thank you for your podcast. This is the most concerning episodes that I’ve heard. It gave a lot of opportunity for confusion.

    Although you are not anyone’s pastors, you do have a platform that helps inform a number of people within the church on very important topics. Perhaps this would be a good opportunity for you to remind your listeners that the questions they have from this conversation should be directed to their elders.

    I’ve struggled with same-sex sexual attractions for my entire adult life. This conversation with Nate Collins was personally very difficult for me to hear. The ideas he’s presenting are ideas that are very alluring, but ultimately I believe firmly that they are false and will cause great harm. He claims that there is some ontological category of “gay” which has to do with aesthetic desires, not only sexual desires. I wonder if he’s considered that all men have same-sex aesthetic sensibilities, not just men like me who also have sexual desires? Why am I ontologically different from my brothers? My brothers see and appreciate male beauty. The only differences between how they see male beauty and how I see male beauty is in degree and in sexual desire.

    I appreciate you linking to the very good article from Steven Wedgeworth on this topic. His article really helped me clear things up after listening to the interview with Nate Collins.

    You have a great podcast. I look forward to a follow-up on this episode soon.

    Reply
  11. Ryan

    I think it’s key that he defines his “orientation” as a “perception of beauty” that he believes needs to be stewared. Thus implying that when he looks at another man and is attracted to him, that God gave him that attraction. This is a lie straight from the lips of Satan.

    Reply
  12. Bruce Mayhew

    It’s confusing because he is redefining the words, “gay” and “orientation,” because he wants to maintain the idea of a gay identity for Christians. I don’t believe that the LGBTQ community or those who adhere to biblical Christianity will affirm his new definitions of these two words.

    Reply
  13. J Cilliers

    It would be interesting to know why dr. Rosaria Butterfield was not invited as a speaker to this Revoice conference?

    Reply
    • Rebecca Nugent

      Because she has already made it clear that “gay” and “Christian” are incompatible terms. They know this.

      Reply
  14. John

    Thanks for doing this interview. I appreciate your courage to conduct it and Nate’s openness and willingness to answers so openly.

    Having parents who openly identify as lgbt I’m thankful for a church culture which is now seeing people “under the rainbow” as fellow humans and (dare I say) sinners. It’s nice we can talk about these topics civially without all the craziness.

    I’m obviously concerned by the confusion and trust God will use this occasion (mainly the conference) as a catalyst to help us identify our terms, affirm an anthropology which is truly grounded in Scripture, and figure out how we can be offee real compassion to the LGBT.

    Let’s not be naive and not realize there is a massive budget and a huge agenda to get the church to capitulate on these matters. One of the best ways is to confuse through a kind of “deconstruction” of language and terms. Nate did this expertly.

    Praying the church will hold fast to its confession of who we are as “man”, so the God -man continues to be proclaimed as the glorious Savior that he is!

    Reply
  15. Rebecca Nugent

    I’m sorry. I couldn’t get past “I have a wife and three wonderful boys. And I’m gay.” …..crickets…..

    Reply
    • Kimberly

      This was my thought exactly! Why is he identifying as Gay? Did he not put off the old man when he was regenerated? I’m thinking he is not truly saved.

      Reply

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