AFTAH’s LaBarbera Banned from ‘Gay Christian’ Revoice Conference — His Questions For Founder Nate Collins Go Unanswered

Ex-“gay” leader Stephen Black also booted from Revoice conference that affirms celibate homosexuals as “sexual minority” in the Church

Limiting Dissent? Letter from Revoice founder Nate Collins to AFTAH President Peter LaBarbera. Click to enlarge.

Dear AFTAH Readers,

Over the many years I’ve been booted out of various “gay” activist conferences–though I’ve never sought to disrupt them–but never from a self-styled “Christian” conference. Yet that’s what happened June 17 when I received the following email note (see graphic at right) from Nate Collins, founder of “Revoice,” a new movement that seeks to reconcile the recognition of LGBT “identities” with faithful Christianity:

nate@revoice.us

From: nate@revoice.us [Nate Collins, Revoice]

To: me [Peter LaBarbera]

Date: [June 17, 2018]

Dear Mr. LaBarbera,

Based on publicly available information, we believe that your presence at the inaugural Revoice conference would work against the stated mission and purpose of Revoice. We are refunding your registration fee in full, and would be happy to answer any further questions you might have.

Grace and peace,

Nate Collins, PhD

President and Founder of Revoice

Author of All But Invisible

Revoice defines celibate LGBT-identified Christians as a “sexual minority” (more on that later). Its mission for the debut July 26-28 conference is: “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.”

I emailed the following email letter June 18 responding to Collins. At presstime (June 23), I had received no response back, despite Collins’ statement that he would be “happy to answer any further questions you might have.”

From: Americans For Truth [Peter LaBarbera]

To: nate@revoice.us

Date: June 18, 2018

Dear Dr. Collins (is it OK if I call you Nate?),

I am troubled by your decision, although it is not unexpected. Though of course I am on the more “orthodox” (conservative) side of things surrounding this debate, I was deeply interested and intellectually curious about your conference, and was looking forward to attending. I had no plans to disrupt it in any way but wanted to learn more. I think banning a smattering of “dissenting” voices (on the Right) at the outset is a bad idea, hurts your credibility among Christians and the wider public, and encourages the suspicion among critics that yours is an ideological (“pro-gay”), rather than a spiritually faithful, endeavor. So I hope you reconsider, and I would like to keep the lines of communication open. You can call me at [312-324-3787].

For the record, if yours was billed as an explicitly “gay activist” or “gay advocacy” event, I could better understand your expelling conservative critics (it has happened to me at various LGBT events), but that is not how you define Revoice. You say it is a “Christian” enterprise, yet you are keeping Christians who defend age-old biblical teaching against homosexuality out, which seems problematic.

Along those lines, I do have some questions regarding access to Revoice:

1) Will you allow LGBTQ activists to attend Revoice who do NOT share your belief against acting out homosexually (e.g., religious activists with groups like Human Rights Campaign)? Have any registered to attend?

2) To the same point: are all attendees at Revoice committed to honoring the biblical proscription against homosexual practice? Have you researched the histories of other attendees–including those who one might have reason to suspect embrace a full sexual expression of their “gay” identity–as you did mine?

3) If such “fully pro-gay”/affirming-homosexual-practice advocates are indeed allowed to attend, do you see a problem in allowing people who reject biblical teaching on sex and homosexuality to attend Revoice while ejecting people like myself who defend these same biblical teachings? (Again, this is assuming that both types of advocates would be peacefully attending and not disrupting your proceedings in any way.)

4) Does Revoice accept funding from pro-gay groups and advocates who do NOT share your commitment to abstaining from homosexual practice (eg, HRC, GLAAD, etc.)? What will be your policy on this going forward?

5) Would you allow thoughtful “ex-gays” like Robert Oscar Lopez and orthodox Christian scholars like Robert Gagnon to attend Revoice? Here is a video by Bobby based on a conversation he had with Karen Swallow Prior: http://englishmanif.blogspot.com/2018/06/saturday-2-my-response-to-karen-swallow.html

6) Will Revoice be encouraging debates/discussions with Christians (like me and Bobby) who adhere to more orthodox teachings on sexuality?

7) Will all future Revoice conferences be closed to Christians who defend orthodox teachings on sexuality, including those like me who actively oppose LGBT groups in the Public Square. (You will note from my Twitter feed that I routinely engage in dialogue with homosexual and transgender activists, including those on the far-left of the ideological spectrum–with whom I assume we both disagree.)

8) Does or will Revoice take a position on LGBT legislation, such as SOGI (Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity) laws, laws banning “conversion therapy,” “gay marriage,” and laws like that in OK and Texas protecting the right of faith-based adoption agencies not to place children in same-sex households?

9) Will the Revoice sessions be taped so that all Christians and interested observers everywhere can evaluate this conference and address your speakers’ arguments?

Thanks in advance for answering these questions, and again I urge you to reconsider your decision to bar me from Revoice. As I have told countless homosexual and trans activists over the many years, there is always room for civil engagement with opponents, and I hope that holds true going forward for the “gay Christian” debate that is surely going to grow in the culture. All the best. –pl

Peter LaBarbera
Americans For Truth
PO Box 5522
Naperville, IL 60567-5522

www.aftah.org
[312-324-3787]

Several days after I was barred from attending, my friend Stephen Black was similarly told he was unwelcome, after he had registered. Stephen, executive director of First Stone Ministries and Board Chairman of Restored Hope Network–both of which help men and women overcome the pull of homosexuality–spoke at our AFTAH banquet last Fall.

In addition, pastor and Christian singer Steve Camp was told by organizers that he was not welcome at Revoice.

This article was posted on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 at 6:13 pm and is filed under "Sexual Orientation"/"Gender Identity" and the Law, 'Gayness' as identity?, A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, News, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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