Thursday, June 28, 2018

THURSDAY (2) TIP: CALLING GIRLS BACK AFTER THE 1ST DATE

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Here is a tough dating question--when should you call a girl after you've gone on the first date?

THURSDAY TIP: THE ESSAY DEBUNKING THE "FRIENDSHIP" CARD, WHICH I WOULD'VE LIKED TO SEE IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE


Public Discourse, published by the Witherspoon Institute, is one of the most respected journals among Christian intellectuals. It ranks alongside First Things. My amicable ties to both publications go back to 2012, when I had the positive experience of first working with a young editor named Ryan T. Anderson. Along with Sherif Gergis, Ryan T. Anderson came along under the tutelage of Robert George, a Princeton professor with a prestigious profile on issues of liberty and religion. 

My respect for the people involved with Public Discourse and the publication itself remains strong. I wish that the essay below, which I co-wrote with Rev. Thomas Littleton and submitted to Public Discourse, had run in the journal. As in past pieces I would have been happy to work with Public Discourse editors to make any necessary changes. As you will see as you read the essay, it provides information and perspective that Public Discourse needs, and which its readers deserve.

The note I received from Ryan T. Anderson this afternoon stated that the editors passed on this submission. I see this as unfortunate because Public Discourse holds itself to a high standard and would never want itself to become a partisan propaganda outlet. On the issue of recent conflicts about "born this way," denominational politics, and the Revoice conference, I consider that Ryan T. Anderson and Robert George have fallen short of their usual level of objectivity and fairness. I cannot escape the conclusion that they are protecting their friends from necessary and salubrious scrutiny. Both Anderson and George remain highly respected among the circles around me and I pray, sincerely, that they not allow their close associations and friendly interactions with people such as James Martin and/or SBC power players to interfere with the pursuit of truth.

The essay is included below.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

TUESDAY (2): HOW AUSTIN MARRIED A DREAM WIFE

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Austin Ruse can be quite fascinating--here he talks about how, in his mid-forties, he met a dream wife and got her to marry him.

TUESDAY: INTERVIEW WITH AUSTIN RUSE

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Apparently Revoice's speakers include people who already pulled this same routine in the Catholic world some 4-5 years ago. Listen in.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

SUNDAY TIP: PRAY FOR PEOPLE LIKE THIS

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A friend of mine forwarded this tweet to me and wanted me to express a reaction about it:




I feel uncomfortable reading Merritt's tweet. Not because I feel hate toward him. If anything, as I explain in the video below, I can see a reverse image of my own experience in his anger and bitterness. He grew up in a culture and came to realize it suffocated him. That's something I know a great deal about.

We ended up journeying in opposite directions. As the son of a president of the Southern Baptist Convention, he epitomized privilege and prestige much like the gay Getty children recently profiled in the New York Times. But he migrated from the "good ol' boys" of the Baptist South to a different old boys network of New York liberals, winning a platform at the Atlantic Monthly and Religion News Service. He uses his platform quite often to attack the evangelical world, including people I admire and like.

I migrated in the opposite direction. When I packed my bags and moved out of New York City in 1998, at the age of twenty-seven, I said goodbye not only to the Bronx but also to the cosmopolitan liberal pro-gay world that had cradled me since my birth. In the heart of the LGBT world Merritt romanticizes, I experienced abuse, trauma, and exploitation that it would take decades to heal from. Unlike Merritt, I didn't have the comfortable option of setting myself up in an established elite of privilege and influence. Ironically, I migrated to the evangelical conservative world just as Merritt's newfound friends in the liberal world I left behind were dancing on the graves of evangelical conservatives. Jonathan is one of the star dancers in that act.

If I were forced to guess which is harder--growing up gay in a white aristocratic home in the South or growing up straight in the home of a divorced Puerto Rican lesbian in New York state--I would say the latter. But maybe I am totally wrong. There might be aspects of Merritt's experience that far overshadow anything I suffered. And in the end I think I arrived at a healthier place than he did. I know the evangelical world and I know New York City. I'd rather be in Texas with my wife and kids.

The person who forwarded me Merritt's tweet may have expected a sarcastic response from me, but I do not want to react that way. Underneath his social exterior there is a person there. Jonathan Merritt seems full of pain and loneliness. His bitterness is no greater than my own sinful propensity to hold grudges and stay angry too long. 

I pray that he finds some peace in his heart and meets a woman who can bring him back to the Lord and give him children. I pray that all the evangelical world can feel the blessing of happiness in Jonathan Merritt's heart, and the resulting decline in his attacks on our world. 

I pray for hurting people everywhere. I sincerely do and ask you to, also.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

SATURDAY POLITICS: BEWARE THE HIRELINGS WHO OPPOSE GAY MARRIAGE BUT SUPPORT THE "BORN THIS WAY" IDEOLOGY

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Today I made this video discussing the problem of LGBT politics and the "hirelings" mentioned in John 10:12--hirelings who gain leadership over the flock and appear to defend Biblical sexuality while they are actually delivering the flock to the "wolf" that will scatter the sheep.

Two secular texts to consider are the film Manchurian Candidate and the novel Scarlet Letter. In both these secular narratives, a character who claims most loudly to oppose an evil force in society is actually the guiltiest of spreading that evil. Hence the "Manchurian candidate" claims to be anti-Communist while actually spreading Communism. And the Puritan who rails against the scarlet-letter adulteress is actually the one who fathered her illegitimate child.

This week in the Christian world we saw the war between hirelings and shepherds explode. Most specifically, J.D. Greear, the recently elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, came under attack for 2014 comments that sound like concessions to the LGBT movement. In a speech at an event organized by Russell Moore's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Greear stated that Christians should apologize to LGBTs and become "advocates" against discrimination or abuse of LGBTs. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association expressed alarm that these comments and others point to the likelihood that J.D. Greear will surrender ground to the LGBT movement at the precise moment that the church is under siege from that movement.

Defenders of J.D. Greear struck swiftly on Twitter, attacking Fischer and accusing him of slandering Greear. See this thread. Many of these defenders on Twitter defend Greear by stating that he has been strong on LGBT issues. This defense is half-true but half-false, and in a way, more dangerous than someone who might outright endorse gay-affirming politics. Greear, like many others in the Christian world has gone on the record defending Biblical sexuality in part, by defining marriage as only between one man and one woman, and by stating that homosexuality is a sin that people should not engage in.

But we must be clear: at this point in time it is not enough to defend the definition of marriage or to state that homosexuality is a sin. As I explain in the video below, both of these statements can be phrased in a Manchurian Candidate fashion, such that they convince followers that the person making the statement is defending against homosexuality when actually the person is helping homosexuality spread. Here is how this works:

Marriage has already been decided by the Supreme Court 3 years ago, in Obergefell v. Hodges. The gay movement knows it stands little chance of losing marriage rights in the near future. So Christians who defend the definition of marriage are engaging in a theoretical exercise--lip service--that they kn0w, and the gay lobby knows, will have no impact on anyone. If people try to cite their own public position against gay marriage as proof that they are "strong" on LGBT issues, it can be highly misleading, depending on what else they say. If they are not defending the following ideas strongly in the public square, then they are failing to defend the flock against the wolf of LGBT activism:

1. God made people heterosexual.
2. Heterosexuality is God's design.
3. God never made anyone homosexual.
4. Christians can and should repent of homosexuality and turn to God's design, which is heterosexuality.
5. While heterosexuals can commit other sins, heterosexuality is itself not a sin but God's design, a blessing, and a gift. 
6. Homosexuality must be rooted out from one's mind, heart, soul, and strength (body), and replaced in all these places with a God-given heterosexual mindset.

The six points above represent the strong Christian viewpoint at this stage, since these points stand for the thing that the LGBT lobby is fighting against. The LGBT lobby's main efforts now focus on forcing people to remain stuck in homosexuality by convincing the country homosexuals cannot become heterosexual, they were born that way, God loves them as they are, and it would do more harm to try to make them change when they cannot change anyway.

My resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention sought to gain denominational support for the points above. It got killed in committee. J.D. Greear, as president of the SBC, will have to declare the points above if he is going to be a true shepherd rather than a hireling. 

I pray that Greear realizes that the old platitudes that may have been helpful in past years are no longer the statements of a true shepherd. He must defend God's design for heterosexuality, and he must repudiate the LGBT community for attempting to force people in our churches to stay in their community's state of depravity. Asking Christians to apologize to the LGBTs and advocate for them, in context, is horrible. And at the conference Greear attended in 2014, Russell Moore denounced reparative therapy. 

See my video for more detail:

Friday, June 22, 2018

FRIDAY (2): BY WAY OF EXAMPLES, DATES THAT MADE ME AND MRS. LOPEZ FALL IN LOVE

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I can give you lots of general rules, but I figured my advice on dating might be best if I just tell you about some dating choices that my wife and I made during our courtship, that really made us fall in love. In the video below, I discuss:

The trip to California

My wife was really out of my league when we met. I was definitely aiming high. There were several other men who were lingering around, interested in her. The classiest way to get rid of the competition, I thought, would be to take a huge risk and take her on a trip out of state. So that's what I did.

FRIDAY TIP: WHEN I ASK WOMEN OUT, WHAT SHOULD I INVITE THEM TO?

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We're deep into Phase 4 of our journey now--the dating phase! One thing that often makes ex-gays at this stage nervous is, what kind of activities should they invite women to?
In some ways, when you were gay, the claustrophobia of the gay scene made everything cozy. When you went on "dates" with guys, often this was a brief formality before you went to your or his place to have sex. The date was either a trip to a gay place where you knew a lot of people (and one or both of you had slept with many of the people there too), or a trip to a non-gay place where you tried to be invisible while you ate or did whatever, and made generic small talk until you could rush to somewhere private for quick sex.

None of that is like what happens when you date women. Especially given where you are right now, you have to shift mental gears and accept that the dates in Phase 4 do not involve a grand finale of sex. You will start the date, finish the date, go home, and go to sleep without having had full sexual release. You will often have no idea what she thought of the date or where the situation is going, until you decide whether or not to call her back and see how her voice sounds. That is just how it goes with women.

The whole world is a straight playground, so you may feel overwhelmed with the choices you have of where to take a woman. In this post I will try to throw out some ideas--take them or leave them since they are mere suggestions--to decide what you will invite women to do.

What do you like to do?

Sometimes we neglect basic questions like this one. Because in your Phase 4 the point of a "date" is not to throw out a thin pretext for having quick sex later in the night, you must focus your mind on the date itself, not what it might lead to later. The purpose of a date with a woman is the date, the stuff you do when you are with her in some public or semi-public capacity.

You will never get out of Phase 4 if you do not make it fun. Your goal on each date is to see how she and you react to each other in the most enjoyable possible circumstance. If you are feeling cold or unaffected even when you are on a date that is supposed to be fun, the future will hold few prospects. 

Part of the burden falls on you to be a fun guy. Part of the burden falls on her. But make her job easier. Do something that you enjoy. If you hate opera, do not take her to the opera. If you hate speedway races, do not take her to the speedway. If you have horrible allergies, do not take her hiking when the pollen count is high.

Figure out what you enjoy doing, and invite her to that. The first requirement is that the activity matches something that will put you in a good mood and relaxed enough to fall in love.

What are her favorite things to do?

Here's where the "little black book" I told you about in my 10 Tips for Dating comes in handy. If you have been jotting down things she said in previous conversations, this gives you a clue as to what types of things she likes. Does she have esoteric things she talks about a lot, like quilting or old movies or Irish dancing? Go over the notes you wrote in your little black book and see if you can figure out a way to connect little things she's mentioned to activities in your area. 

But be mindful of the first point, what you enjoy. If she really enjoys fashion but you hate fashion shows, don't invite her to a fashion show. Maybe invite her to some kind of gala or party where there will be a chance to dress up. Remember that her job is to arouse you and your job is to arouse her. You pick a fun activity so her job is easier. Pick an activity that matches her interests to make your job easier.

What can you do on your budget?

Dating does not have to be incredibly expensive. Public parks have romantic gazebos and areas to hang out. You can do outdoors activities during the day. Churches have social events that do not cost a great deal. And in any town or city there are usually local arts organizations that arrange free public events. If you go to something like a county fair that usually costs a mild amount to get in.

Whatever you invite her to do, let it be a real sacrifice given your budget. If you are making a lot of money, then take her somewhere nice and make her feel like a million dollars. Bring her to a high-end restaurant and a live performance show. If you are working at an entry-level job, then invite her to meet for coffee and hear spoken word or a live band, then use your conversational powers to get her to light up where you are.

You shouldn't be spending beyond your means, which will make you nervous and uneasy (bad bad bad for dating). Nor should you be doing something a lot cheaper than you could afford, which will come to her attention in ways you might not predict, and which will make you feel like the date is not all that serious. You want to feel like the date is somewhat of an investment, and that does boil down to money, in part.

Remember your style, and play to it.

The single greatest help on a date is your confidence. You want to feel at ease, comfortable, and in your element. You want to be in an environment that is familiar to you so you can focus your curiosity on her rather than on your surroundings. So just ask yourself, what is your style? If you were to ask a friend to write a blurb about you, what would your friend likely say to play up your strong suits?

If your friend is likely to say you're athletic and robust, then your still is, you are an outdoorsy sporty type. Maybe invite her to go hiking or something physical in a park, like canoing or tandem biking. (I remember one of the most romantic things I did with my soon-to-be-wife girlfriend was in Los Angeles, when we rode a tandem bike from Venice Beach to Santa Monica. I could feel us falling deeply in love, and I have to admit, I liked impressing her with my skill pedaling both of us.)

If your friend is likely to say you are hilarious and a great talker, then invite her to something simple where you will be having great conversation. Don't talk too much, but let your conversational charm shine through. Go to a coffee house or some kind of cocktail place where you can chat. You can go to some kind of exhibition or show where there is not a lot of loud music and you are free to walk around talking. 

If your friend is likely to say you are suave and debonair, then take her somewhere where you can dress up and be elegant. Go to a banquet or fundraising dinner with a high dress code. Unleash your fashion skills and go to a place immersed in finer things.

If your friend is likely to mention that you are smart and artistically astute, then take her to a gallery or museum, an art show or concert. Let the fine art on display fill the silences if you are not a constant talker. When I was dating my wife, I knew she loved galleries and museums. To be honest, I adored the beautiful way she looked when she admired sculpture and paintings. It was a big part of how I fell in love.

Remember your goal is to fall in love

You can't force yourself to become straight. You have to fall in love with a specific woman. A date is partly a boost toward that goal, and partly a test to see if the attempt has failed. You want to place yourself in a situation where you are comfortable, curious, confident, and easily aroused. You want her to feel safe, at ease, curious about you, and easily impressed. Beyond that, let the chemistries do their magic. If you feel nothing at all, then she is probably not the one. If you feel yourself moved by her, then there are possibilities. 

Part of falling in love does involve physical contact. So when you are trying to figure out what to invite her to, there is something to be said for activities that allow you to "make a move." Films are always the classic event that allow you to do the old-fashioned move of lifting your arm and setting it around her, moving in closer, then drifting toward her until you can kiss. But even if you don't make out with her on the date, you can still see if there is a chance to hold her hand, put your arm around her shoulder, or have little points of physical contact. Obviously for your first date you will do almost no physical contact. If you have made it to second, third dates, and so on, you start trying to establish more and more. 

Your reaction to the physical contact matters. So does hers. If you feel as though you like it when you touch each other, that is a good sign. 

Much of a date's fate lies in the follow-up

If you find women scary, imagine how hard a date is for her. She has to wait to see if you call her back. I made the mistake, when I dated, of always calling back the next day so a woman would know I liked her. This signals over-eagerness to many women. I cannot provide a simple guide of when to call back, because there is so much contradictory advice you hear about that. Generally, as the guy you are expected to call her back after the date, unless she tells you at the end of the night she is not interested.

You should never allow fear to stop you from calling her back after the date is over. My philosophy remains that whenever you do call her back, you should call her back even if you are not interested in going out with her again. You should thank her for the enjoyment you had. If you want to see her again, tell her that you'd like to see her again. If you don't want to see her again, find a polite way to let her know so she isn't waiting around in mystery. Something like, "I'm not really in a situation where I can go out again" or something similar, no matter how weaselly and predictable it sounds, is better than being a complete coward and telling her nothing. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

THURSDAY (2): DELIBERATE WEIGHT GAIN

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I mentioned earlier that I know almost nothing about how to gain weight intentionally. I've never had to struggle to put on weight in my life! But I know many people in the ex-gay community actually face a struggle putting weight on. This becomes difficult because gay men value extreme thinness while women generally do not. 

I found a friend who is very well versed in how to gain weight, since he had to go from 140 to 215. He points out the following bullet points, which play out in the video below:

THURSDAY: 10 DATING TIPS

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Women are politely asked not to read this post.

So now, in Part 4, we have to go over what an ex-gay man might do during the period of "dating," which is basically an intense hunting period where he is looking for the one woman he is going to have as a lifelong companion. This period is full of uncertainty, since it might last only a few months, years, or more than a decade, depending on luck and the ex-gay man's own patience and perseverance. 

What follows below the break is the full extent of everything I know about dating. I am just one guy and much of what I say should be taken as possible ideas, but taken with a grain of salt. Please watch the two-minute video below before clicking to continue. Thanks!




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WEDNESDAY TIP: INTRO TO THE DATING PHASE

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As promised, Phase 4 now starts! We will be covering dating, when you go out and finally meet girls.

In this intro video I explain the challenges I face in trying to help guys with this. I am old school and unfamiliar with online dating, for instance.

But three things to keep in mind: plan, purpose, style.

Monday, June 18, 2018

MONDAY TIP: GOODBYE TO THE CLEARANCE LIST!!

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Remember the Clearance List that allows you to get past Phase 3! It is important not to jump into dating too soon. So this hiding period in Phase 3 is not to be taken lightly! Here is your checklist to be "cleared for dating":

1. Is your living arrangement safe and well-kept?


Check this off if you have a good living arrangement as discussed in this post


2. Are you off social media?


Check this off if you have followed the guidelines about social media in this post.


3. Are your physique and grooming right for dating women?


Check this off if you are no more than 5-10 pounds below your ideal body mass or you are no more than 30-35 pounds above your ideal body mass. To check this off you should also have gone through your grooming standards as discussed in this post.


4. Is your job stable?


Check this off if you have held down a job, course of study, charitable pursuit, or creative art for at least two years straight. Consult this post.


5. Are you ready to become a father if you and a woman you are dating lose your caution and move too fast?


Check this off if you have prayed or meditated on accidental fatherhood as discussed in this post


6. How is your concentration? Are you able to pay attention to what people say and listen without your mind drifting off?


Check this off if you have passed two bimonthly checks on listening in a row, as discussed in this post.


7. Do you have a track record of sticking with your game plan for life?


Check this off if you have at least $1000 in the bank as discussed in this post and you can honestly say you have not had much backsliding during Phase 3.


8. How is your overall confidence and ability to handle rejection or hostility?


Check this off if you can say you feel confident and you are able to deal with rejection. The video below provides one self-testing exercise, which involves purposefully submitting applications for things and forcing yourself to read rejection letters, etc. 


9. Is your car in good shape?


Check this off if you have a car and it looks decent. Watch the video below for more details!


10. Have you been able to go without watching any porn and with near-abstinence of masturbation (at least 90-180 days between times you masturbate) for a healthy period of time?


If you have made it through the last 180 days masturbating no more than twice and you have not watched any pornography at all, you can check this off.


If you can check off all ten, then congratulations, scout! You are cleared for dating. Tune in this week as we embark on Phase 4, DATING!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

SUNDAY TIP: FATHER'S DAY IS THE DAY TO REMEMBER WHY THIS JOURNEY IS SO IMPORTANT

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Father's Day is a fraught day for many men with gay pasts. Many of us had difficult relationships with our own fathers. And many of us felt turmoil because our own sexual desires, at one point, vexed our inner urge to become a father.

On this Father's Day, no matter which phase you are in, in your journey, remember you are doing the right thing. The urge to become a father is a natural urge, far more God-given and innate than any sexual orientation. If you embarked on the journey from gay to straight because you felt a powerful call to fatherhood, remind yourself that this is good. This is often how God works on us. 

If you want to be a father, you must also feel called to be a good father. As a father you must follow the cue of our father in Heaven, after all. It is crucial that you set aside the propaganda in our society that justifies gay male couples raising children.

Be humane to children raised by gay men, because they did not choose to be placed in such a dilemma. But understand with clarity that it is wrong to separate a child unnecessarily from his mother. It is wrong to deny a child the experience of having a mother. It is wrong to force a child to respect a second male who is not a biological parent as a "second father," because the child's love and obedience to such a person are unnatural burdens and cause the child confusion and distress.


Lastly, it is wrong to deny a child the chance to grow up seeing a man and woman love each other.

So if you are in Phase 1, reflect upon Father's Day and consider the heavy weight that fatherhood bears in your calculations as to whether you want to go straight.

If you are in Phase 2, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you cannot build yourself up to court women, until you have cut ties with the gay community and your old gay self has withered away.

If you are in Phase 3, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you have to be marriageable and worthy as a mate to find a wife, so you must go through this period of self-improvement. Otherwise you will not become a father.

If you are in Phase 4, remember that you want to be a father, but in the right way. You need to find a good woman to be mother to your children, so the dating period is a period that matters a great deal. Go about courtship with purpose and anticipation.

If you are in Phase 5, love your wife so your children see that their father and mother love each other.

And watch this video for more tips:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

SATURDAY (2): MY RESPONSE TO KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR

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I thank Dr. Prior for agreeing to the interview and providing thoughtful responses to the questions I posed to her (see post preceding this one).

Certainly in weeks to come her answers to the 8 questions will receive close scrutiny from both critics and supporters of the Revoice conference.

In private communication with her, I sense that we have improved our ability to engage in discourse on many of these difficult social questions. Our common mentors tended to instruct me, some twenty years ago, by telling me that the greatest honor you can pay to someone is an honest and engaged reply to their ideas. So I have recorded this response to Dr. Prior's interview:




I just talked through it instead of writing it because I wanted the inflection of voice. I would like to thank Dr. Prior once more for agreeing to the interview.

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Post-script: In this interview I was asked by Urban Family Talk show hosts about this video response to Dr. Prior.

SATURDAY IN SOCIETY: FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR ON REVOICE

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In a past post I provided readers with the full, unedited interview I had with Tim Bayly, editor of Warhorn Media. Below is the full, unedited interview I had with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Dr. Prior teaches English at Liberty University and serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. She agreed to speak with me on the record regarding Revoice, a conference to take place July 26-28 in St. Louis.

Interview in full follows:


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1.    Please tell me your understanding of the Revoice conference's purpose. Is the organization and staging of this conference making an argument, in your understanding? If so, what is the argument that the organizers are making?

Conferences exist to bring people together around a common interest or purpose. I do not know that any, including this one, make an argument. The purpose of the conference, as its stated mission puts it 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.” The implicit argument of the conference is that Christians who experience same-sex attraction can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching, and benefit from the support of the church in doing so.


2.    Given your response to #1, do you agree with the argument that Revoice is making? Is it an argument you feel called to make to the public at large?

The reason I endorse the conference is that I believe Christians who are attracted to those of the same sex can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching. I think that is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s culture to do so because of so many who say, wrongly, that homosexual behavior is not a sin. If the church does not support those in the midst of this struggle who are trying to live biblically faithful lives, they are at greater risk of giving up and embracing the false teaching purporting that homosexual behavior and Christianity are compatible. They are not.

3.    Did you consent to have your photograph and endorsement posted on the Revoice website? Did you intend this to signal to the public that you agreed with the conference?

Yes. I believe strongly that the church needs to support those who struggle with homosexual attractions yet want to live lives in obedience to scripture whether through celibacy or biblical marriage between a man and a woman. The power of Christ is sufficient to remove such desires, but for whatever reason, God does not choose to remove struggles and ailments for some of us on this side of heaven.

4.    Did you anticipate the resistance to Revoice that has arisen?

Of course. We live in a cultural climate defined, unfortunately, by the suspicious, hostile spirit of the “culture wars.” This spirit of the age makes it harder for Christians to think less within modernist, culturally constructed categories and more within biblical ones that transcend these. If there were not such resistance to helping our brothers and sisters in this struggle more effectively, there would not be a need for such a conference.

5.    You are listed as a "research fellow" for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is funded by Cooperative Program funds taken from Baptist church members. Do you feel that public stances on issues such as the theme of Revoice require you to answer to Southern Baptists who take exception to them? Who holds you accountable as someone speaking with authority to Southern Baptists?

Yes, of course, I must answer to them. You are the first to take the time to question me directly and candidly about it. So, I thank you. I answer directly to the head of the ERLC, who answers to the trustees of the ERLC, who answer to Southern Baptists.

6.    What is your understanding of the criticisms of Revoice from some Southern Baptists and from some Presbyterians? Have you read through or listened to the essays and interviews in which these critics express their reservations? Whose? Do you see any truth in their concerns?

Yes, even some of my colleagues in the ERLC have written in opposition to the conference. I share some concerns about the language and terms used by some of the conference speakers. I think some terms are unclear, ill defined, and perhaps unfortunate. However, the need to understand what people mean by these terms and how they are used within the context of their endeavors to honor God and the scriptures through sexuality that is in submission to scripture points to the very need for such a conference. The aim of the conference is biblical faithfulness even amidst the struggle, and that is why I endorse it. That does not mean I endorse every speaker, every panel, every presentation. Again, I want to support those who are attracted to the same sex but choose obedience to God rather than indulgence to self.

7.    On June 13, Russell Moore stated to a messenger at the convention's annual meeting that he did not know about Revoice. Can you state that you never spoke with Dr. Moore about your involvement with the conference and your open endorsement of it? Have you spoken with him about Revoice at all since that event? Has he asked you to withdraw your endorsement?

I have not spoken at all with Dr. Moore about ReVoice, either before or after the convention’s annual meeting.

8.    If the Southern Baptist denomination determined that same-sex-attracted identity of any kind corresponds to "homosexuality" as defined in its past positions, and that the identity is itself is a sin rather than, in your words, something that needs to be "supported" as a manifestation of Biblical principles, which of your positions would you choose? Would you renounce publicly the arguments of Revoice figures such as Wesley Hill, Nate Collins, Eve Tushnet, and Greg Coles? Or would you vacate your post at the ERLC?

I suspect that a definition of “identity” is too modern and too fluid a philosophical and ontological category for Southern Baptists to agree on in a resolution. If they did, I would have to consider how they define the concept before making such a decision.

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