Christian LGBT Conference Concerns Southern Baptist Leaders

Lauren Sanchez | Editor | Monday, July 30, 2018
Christian LGBT Conference Concerns Southern Baptist Leaders

Southern Baptist leaders have spoken out about this past weekend’s Revoice Conference for LGBT Christians. Many are concerned and ‘troubled’ by the conference, while others think it may bring about important conversation.

The Revoice Conference, which met this past weekend in St. Louis, defines itself as “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.”

Referring to their beliefs, founder Nate Collins told Christianity Today, “We all believe that the Bible teaches a traditional, historic understanding of sexuality in marriage, and so we are not attempting in any way to redefine any of those doctrines. We’re trying to live within the bounds of historic Christian teaching about sexuality and gender. But we find difficulty doing that for a lot of reasons.”

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said of Revoice:

“It is encouraging that they state their intention to hold to a biblical understanding of sexual behavior and to define the only appropriate expression of sexual behavior to be marriage as the union of a man and a woman,” the Baptist Press quotes, “‘But that said, it appears they’re trying to create a halfway house” between cultural norms and biblical morality “that is inherently unstable. There is no way that faithful Christians can celebrate an unbiblical sexual orientation and claim to be faithful to Scripture… The moment you begin identifying as an LGBTQ+ Christian, you’ve created an unstable identity.” Humans “have a pattern of sexual attraction, but for Christians, our ultimate identity must be in Christ.’”

Russell Moore, President of the ERLC, holds a similar view to Mohler. “Our identity is to be found in Jesus Christ, not in the sum of our temptations,” Moore commented, “on the appropriateness of the terms “gay Christian” and “sexual minorities,” Baptist Press reports.

One leader who has stood in support of the conference is Karen Swallow Prior, an instructor at Liberty University and ERLC fellow. Prior says:

“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.”

The conference concluded on Saturday evening with a final session.


San Francisco Bans Official Travel to Pro-Life States

Michael Foust | Contributor | Wednesday, July 24, 2019
San Francisco Bans Official Travel to Pro-Life States

San Francisco employees on official business won’t be permitted to travel to states with restrictive abortion laws under a new law passed Tuesday.

The city’s 11-member board of supervisors voted to ban city-funded travel to states with such laws, Courthouse News reported. It also prohibits the city from contracting with companies headquartered in states with restrictive abortion laws.

“It will expand the existing ordinance to states that have waged war on our constitutionally protected right to an abortion,” San Francisco Supervisor Vallie Brown said.

It passed unanimously.

“Let’s put our money where our mouth is,” Brown said.

Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Ohio are among the states that have passed strong pro-life laws this year. 

“As we’re seeing this moving forward, I’ve felt like we should be pushing something that makes a difference,” Brown previously told San Francisco Weekly. “We feel protected, but when the health of women across the country are in jeopardy, us women in San Francisco need to stand up and say, ‘No.’”

The city already had a law prohibiting official travel to states it says discriminate against LGBT individuals. Ten states are currently on that list: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, according to Courthouse News.

“States that are having these horrific bans, I’d like to see them hurt financially,” Brown said. “That is a universal language of economic health. If they’re going to put women in a situation that could hurt their economic health – like having children when they’re not ready – then we should hurt their economic health as a state.”

Planned Parenthood of Northern California supported the new law, according to San Francisco Weekly.

“It’s a really tough battle, and until the next election in 2020, it’ll continue to be,” Brown told the publication. “It’s terrifying and I’m worried we’re going to keep going back. Are we going to have our right to vote taken away next? I see them just tearing apart our rights in the next year. We need to stop them now, before they completely shred them.”


A Prayer for Loved Ones Who Are Far from God

Debbie McDaniel 2019  July

A Prayer for Loved Ones Who Are Far from God

As believers, we know where true hope is found. We’re incredibly grateful for the love and forgiveness of Christ. We’ve been set free; redeemed for His purposes.

And yet, as most all of us know so very well, not everyone shares our desire to walk close and stay connected to God. Which often leaves us with an ache deep inside. The truth is: many are lost. Still wandering, searching, or drifting farther away from God.

God reminds us again and again that prayer is powerful. Praying God’s Word over those we love is speaking His truth over their lives as it builds our own faith.

A Prayer for Friends and Loved Ones Who Are Far from God:

Dear God,

We’re thankful that you know our hearts, you hear our prayers, and you care about all that concerns us. Thank you that you understand these burdens we carry and how we want, more than anything, to see our loved ones come to you. Help us to remember that you love them more than we ever could. And that you desire to extend your great love and forgiveness to the deepest part of their soul. We are forever grateful for your healing power, for your gift of mercy, and your message of hope.

Thank you, Lord, that nothing is too difficult for you. Thank you that your power is unlimited, and you came to set the captives free. Thank you that you wait, arms open, for the prodigal to return, that you look for his arrival to lavishly celebrate that he’s come home.

We praise you for you are Redeemer and Rescuer, Savior and Lord. We know and believe that there’s no pit so deep that your love can’t reach us still. We understand that your mercies are new every morning, and your faithfulness is great.

Dear God, we ask that you would stop every plan of the enemy over those we love as we bring them before you right now. We pray that you demolish his schemes and that your plans for good, for a future and hope, would prevail. Please open up blind eyes that they might see your truth. We believe in you to rescue those walking in darkness and to heal the deep wounds of all who have been hurt. We pray for the miraculous intervention of your Spirit to draw them to yourself, to work strongly on behalf of our loved ones who are lost and wandering.

For you came with good news, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release for the prisoners. Though we deserved a penalty for our wrong, you stood in our place and took the blows on our behalf.  You chose to die so that we can live forever, and we could be free.

Lord, forgive our unbelief. Please forgive the times we’ve doubted that you could ever change a distant heart. Forgive our hard-heartedness, our weariness, or forgetfulness to pray continually. And thank you, God, that you never give up on us. Remind us again of how you���’ve changed our own hearts; how your miracle of life and hope has sprung up deep within our souls.

We love you Lord; we need you today and every day. We thank you that you hear our prayers and believe that you are at work even now. Powerfully. Faithfully. And miraculously. Doing what only You can do.

Thank you again for the most wonderful gift of our Savior, God with us. Thank you for your great goodness and love.

In Jesus’ Name,


15 Verses of Hope to Remind Us, God Is at Work to Seek and Save Those Who Are Lost:

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1)

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

…With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

“Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.” (Psalm 40:2)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” (John 6:44)

“I will feed my flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick…” (Ezekiel 34:15-16)

What If I Want to Ask God to End My Life?

Dr. Roger BarrierPreach It, Teach 2019 July

What If I Want to Ask God to End My Life?

Editor’s Note: Pastor Roger Barrier’s “Ask Roger” column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Roger will respond in as timely a manner as possible. Due to the large volume of questions, patience is requested. When questions involve mental health issues, no part of any response to an “Ask Roger” question should be interpreted as a substitute for professional counseling from a licensed mental health professional. Email him your questions at

Dear Roger,

I have been more miserable as a devout Christian. I do not enjoy life following the things I am taught at church. I mostly feel judged and pressured to be what I am not. I do not want to disappoint God so I have come to realize that I would rather die soon and skip to living in heaven. How do I pray for God to end my life on this earth?

No part of this response should be interpreted as being a substitute for professional counseling from a licensed mental health professional.  Most counties in the United States have many licensed Christian-based counselors with whom you can contract. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Dear Geraldine,

I am so sorry that you are going through such a hard season of heartache and discouragement. We know we live in a fallen world, or in a world of “tribulation,” as Jesus said. And it’s so hard to anticipate or comprehend the impact of this fallen world on the lives of the very people He loves the most: those who are devoted to Him, as you must be, because you are a devout Christian.

I have several thoughts and suggestions I think will increase your hope until God changes the season you’re in. One thing that strikes me about your inquiry is that what you are being taught at church is making you feel judged and pressured.   

Following Jesus offers the freedom of conviction, not the lie of condemnation.

I don’t know what kind of a church you are in. I hope its pastors are accurately teaching the word of God. Perhaps, they are not, as your email seems to imply. Without attending there myself, I cannot be sure.

Fortunately, although we know that church attendance at a church with loving pastors who preach the word of God is valuable for many reasons, we can and should follow Jesus Himself. We follow Jesus first.  Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto me all you that labor and our heavy laden.” (KJV)

When I preach, I ask the Lord to take my words and fashion them through the Spirit to speak to people in individual ways that are helpful to them. If anyone is in sin, as you probably know, God’s word will convict that person of the wrongness of any particular sin.

This conviction leads to repentance and to a sense of freedom! The opposite is true of condemnation. 

It’s a hard lesson to learn (or habit to acquire) to look to Jesus, personally, rather than to look to a human being who may mean well but is binding people up with do’s and don’ts. 

I don’t know if the pastors are doing this to you by twisting the word of God (or by taking scriptures out of context or by some other means), or if your interpretations of what they’re saying are inaccurate (your email is too short to know). 

You can be assured that God’s love is unconditional, and He would never lead you into condemnation. 

You are probably familiar with Romans 8:1 that says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. There’s no condemnation to you, Geraldine! God has clothed you with a robe of righteousness and a garment of salvation and some day you will see it, feel it, and you will wear it proudly.

But God would want you to wait for his timing to don the robe and the garment in a tangible way in the heavenly realm. If, indeed, the pastors are preaching condemnation, that’s not a healthy church to attend.

I must remind myself many times throughout the day to get my eyes off myself, my faults, my many problems – even from the negativity of others – and, instead, get my eyes on God! How do I do this? By meditating on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, anything that is excellent and anything that is worthy of praise. You probably know that this is Paul’s strong advice in Philippians 4:8.

Geraldine, you have said that you are a devout Christian. Therefore, you are a sheep, a bought and paid for member of the body of Christ. Jesus paid an incredible price to purchase your salvation.  Jesus says that His sheep hear his voice and follow Him.

God wants you to hear His voice.

God doesn’t want you to hear the voice of the enemy of your soul, or even the voice of a well-meaning person who judges and puts pressure on you.

When I pray for people throughout the week, I pray that God will speak to them often – that He will give them gentle nudges, that He will help them to think His thoughts and speak His words. Jesus is the embodiment of grace and truth, and so are His words!

When I counsel with folks, I pray with them that they will hear more than my words and that God will use the counseling session to speak to them, personally. 

I don’t know a better way to become continually open to hearing God’s voice than to meditate on His word.  When Jesus, our role model, was tempted in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting, He answered Satan’s deceptive words with passages of scripture. 

Similarly, we must speak truth to lies.

For example, we must tell Satan that God won’t let us be tempted beyond our strength but will provide a way of escape from present difficulties.  We must confess the truth that though we fall, He will not let us be “utterly cast down.”

We must confess that the eternal God is our refuge and that underneath us, His everlasting arms go much deeper than our hurt.