As I wrote about before, there is a surreal micro-hullabaloo between legalistic RHN (Restored Hope Network) leaders verbally tearing into the Revoice .Us organization and conference. Since then I have been increasingly concerned because not only are the hardline RHN leaders still openly verbally abusing LGBT+ people without any sense of personal responsibility for harm or humility, I am also concerned that some may fall for the ruse that somehow Revoice is actually inclusive of LGBT+ people for who we really are and not what they think we should be.
In my informed by 23 years of experience opinion, Revoice is yet another manifestation of exgay/conversion ministry ideology. They are what Exodus wanted to be after we closed it five years ago. Meaning we intended to start an organization exactly like what they are doing but couldn’t pull it together in the midst of all that happened during and after the shutdown of Exodus. The Revoice packaging looks shinier, the marketing is much more clever, but the program within it is the exact same unhealthy views of LGBT+ people.
I know many of the RHN and Revoice leaders from my past work with them. Now that my eyes are open to the truth, that you can be LGBT+ and loved by God for how he created us as such, it is bewildering to me that RHN and Revoice don’t seem to realize they are cut from the same cloth. Revoice is exactly like RHN in all the ways that ultimately matter to LGBT+ people trying to live out who we are and what that means in the context of being a Christ follower.
- RHN believes in a strict “Biblical” sexual ethic that does not include LGBT+ people celebrating romantic and erotic love, so does Revoice.
- Revoice believes sex is reserved within the bond of marriage and marriage is reserved for one man and one woman (clearly anti-gay marriage), so does RHN.
- RHN believes that LGBT+ sexual and romantic (eros) behavior, or even the thought of it, is sinful and a result of relational “brokenness”, Revoice does, too (scroll down page to preconference “learning to desire love” description” and read the paragraph that starts out with “In our fallen state, our desires do not accurately point us to what is good and will bring true happiness.”
- Revoice believes that LGBT+ desires are in need of educating and redirecting to not be “led astray” and as they believe not able to find “true happiness.” (again under preconference in the last paragraph), so does RHN.
- RHN believes that LGBT+ people should not be allowed anything other than lifelong celibacy or opposite gender marriage, and guess what? So does Revoice.
I could go on with links and quotes for days but you get the point.
Neither affirm that LGBT+ sexual and romantic relationships are honoring to our partners, life-giving to our families, and blessed by our Creator. Neither will ever affirm that a LGBT+ marriage is just as healthy, and holy, of a covenant as opposite sex marriage and celibacy. Neither organization will fully accept the fact that “historic Christianity” is replete with error and abuse toward LGBT+ people to the point that the beliefs that underlie that terrible history must be abandoned, not rebranded with misleading use of LGBT+ affirming language.
LGBT+ people are deserving of the same resources and opportunities as straight people and couples, not cloistered away in some never-ending theological isolation chamber of “other than” status in the conservative church. Those of us who are LGBT+ people of faith will continue to go about our daily lives in personal observance or our faith. We will continue to be about genuinely loving our neighbors, and seeking to serve the greater good while seeking the best for our lives and families.
It is my hope that the tide will continue to shift as more and more people avoid both RHN and Revoice’s efforts to redefine our lives and experience to force fit us into their brand of exgay ideology.