Understand the New TGC Orthodoxy on Gay Christians

Today Founders Ministries began a 5-part series entitled Revisiting Revoice. It assesses a political and theological battle dividing the PCA and now affecting the Southern Baptist Convention. Churches and denominations continue to divide on how to handle the topic of Same-Sex-Attraction. In recent months, Pulpit & Pen writers have contributed to the discussion by bringing TGC author Rosaria Butterfield’s views under scrutiny. For this work, we have received censure, even from those who once seemed to share our viewpoint, such as James White. We hope the Founders Ministries series will bring clarity.

But in case that doesn’t happen, here is a primer on how The Gospel Coalition, the ERLC, and other enemies within the church are now leading people away from biblical truth.

Revoice Is So 2018

Sam Allberry has distanced himself from at least some of the ungodly teaching promoted by the reprehensible Living Out website he helped create to support and indoctrinate “gay Christians.” ERLC lackeys are not normally to be found praising the Revoice conference (Karen Swallow Prior being a notable exception.) The newest TGC orthodoxy on SSA Christians is not the “Side B – I’m celibate but I’m a gay Christian” category invented by the Revoice coven. TGC has found a way to distinguish itself from Revoice, but nevertheless to fail to meet biblical standards.

What is the newest TGC orthodoxy? It is the view of Sam Allberry, Rosaria Butterfield, Rebecca McLaughlin, Rachel Gilson, Russell Moore, and JD Greear. It is homosexuality as a “born this way” status, a result of the fall of mankind, never to be acted upon, perhaps sinful in some way (even at the level of desire) but not sinful in a way that sets it apart from other sins, a desire people do not choose, more like a disability or deformity or brokenness than something to feel morally ashamed of. It’s something the Bible just “whispers of.”

Each person in the above group seems to hold that the church has been unjust toward gay people historically and to this day, and that reparative therapy or conversion therapy or anything like it is wrong and barbaric. While they may accept that God sometimes (perhaps infrequently) changes people from gay to straight, their vision is mostly for either an unfulfilled celibacy or a “straight marriage anyway” situation lacking in sexual fulfillment because the person still experiences SSA with a longing that never goes away or changes. The newest TGC orthodoxy turns same sex attraction into a cross to bear that makes it so one can be extra righteous and God-pleasing by bearing it. 

We often speak of Same Sex Attraction, but for perspective let’s consider using the Bible’s own words for a moment, lest we lose sight of what is being discussed. By SSA, we refer to the desire for sodomy or for what the Bible calls unnatural, shameful sexual acts. These are the things TGC coyly prefers we refer to as “SSA.” It is much nicer (and easier to imagine) to speak of “SSA Christians” than to speak of “Christians who long for sodomy.” But that is what it is.

SSA as a Disability Status

The newest TGC orthodoxy is that of the SSA theologianettes: Rosaria Butterfield (former lesbian, now married), Rebecca McLaughlin (still SSA, yet married), and Rachel Gilson (still SSA, yet married). It paints the desire for sodomy or unnatural, shameful acts and unions as being essentially similar to being born with a physical deformity and disability, treating homosexuals as a special community, a victim class. It does this by downplaying the role that individual choices and environmental factors (such as exposure to perversity at a young age) have in corrupting sexual desires.

In this world of their imagination, your desire for unnatural and shameful acts is simply something God allowed you to be born with. You desire these abominations because God allows you to—certainly not as a result of your past or current choices or of corrupting influences of other people. This “disability status” or “diverse-ability status” is both a challenge and a blessing, in this fantasy world of their creation. I call it a “diverse-ability status” because of how Butterfield lovingly describes it: “Christian brothers and sisters who struggle with unchosen homosexual desires and longings, sensibilities and affections, temptations and capacities… some people have more to lose than others…. people who live with unanswered questions and unfulfilled life dreams.”

In their imagined world, these desires become a blessing in the way physical trials such as disabilities can become a blessing, because they are a chance to show the church an outstanding model of cross-bearing. But these desires are also a challenge because, as a citizen of Sodom, your heart will most likely always turn back to gaze at the life you left behind. This is a challenge that must be lived with, not solved. 

That is the key point: Just as it would be cruel to tell a person born with a crippled hand that God wasn’t healing it due to their lack of faith (this is a strong version of the “prosperity gospel” heresy), so the newest TGC orthodoxy finds it cruel (even another “prosperity gospel”) to tell a person with SSA that they are in some degree responsible for their feelings or that they are able to do something to improve their own situation, or that they should continue feeling ashamed of their (shameful) desires until those desires are gone, or that they should be working and praying to improve themselves so that they will not desire these shameful things.

“Brokenness” without Shame

The newest TGC orthodoxy proclaims (or suggests) that a desire for shameful, abominable sexual experiences and unions (never in those words) is not a strike against someone’s character. It is not a moral fault, or certainly not a special one. They seek to level this sin by comparing it to what they think are far worse sins such as pride or unbelief (an impossible comparison). Same Sex Attraction is not a thing to be ashamed of or repented of, they imply.

But TGC is wrong. Desires can be wicked. There is grace in shame. Though TGC would seek to hide the reality of shame, we do not live in the fantasy world of their creation. We live in God’s world, where some desires are natural but others are shameful.

Though the matriarchs of this newest orthodoxy will acknowledge no personal shame, they do live in God’s world, and they do feel shame. And so, fighting against it, they seek one thing: To cast that shame back upon any person who would make them feel inferior or any who would put them face to face with the God who calls them shameful. 

Instead, they tell a new story: of gays being persecuted by the church and of the need for Christians to elevate gay voices and to take back the power narrative of the oppressed.

Why is the newest TGC orthodoxy wrong? Because it rejects or strongly downplays the idea that people with homosexual desires should seek change by working to replace those desires with the kind that God considers good.

Friends, it is time to get off the elevator. The name of the elevator is TGC, and the direction is hellbound. As you revisit Revoice, do not forget that (whatever the individual motivations of the people involved) you are dealing with the doctrines of demons, one new TGC book at a time.