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Responding to the Leaven of Revoice

Thursday, September 08, 2022 @ 12:38 PM Responding to the Leaven of Revoice M.D. Perkins AFS Director & Producer MORE

On August 29, 2022, Nate Collins, the founder and president of Revoice, decided to attack the Nashville Statement. His Twitter thread, posted on the five-year anniversary of the Statement’s release, called on all evangelical leaders who signed it to repent for having done so. He called the Statement a “form of spiritual abuse” against “sexual and gender minorities who adhere to the historic, biblical sexual ethic.” According to Collins, it was bullying, it was coercive, it robbed people of language, and, ultimately, it harmed “the least of these.”

Here is Nate Collins’ tweet thread in its entirety, posted at 9:27 AM on August 29, 2022:

The Nashville Statement is 5 years old today. Here's how to repent from signing it 🧵

Today is the 5th anniversary of the release of the joint @CBMW [Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood] and @ERLC [Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention] #NashvilleStatement. Many sexual and gender minorities who adhere to the historic, biblical sexual ethic experienced the NS as a form of spiritual abuse.

We felt bullied into compliance by evangelical leaders who were our spiritual heroes. The NS reduced us to pawns in a culture war and coerced us to fight a battle that we did not believe was biblical.

It also robbed us of language that we believe has enabled us to be faithful to scripture, as well as honest about our experience.

If you signed the Nashville Statement, but now see how it has harmed those whom our Savior has described as “the least of these”, here are some suggested steps you can take to repent:

    1. Contact CBMW and ask to have your name removed.
    2. Share with your friends and co-signers your decision and why you chose to remove your name.
    3. For those you know personally who were negatively impacted by your participation, reach out and apologize.
    4. For those who were harmed that you do not know personally, share publicly about your change of mind. (Post, tweet, or hey, even reach out to Christianity Today and see if they would be interested to do a piece. I suspect it would rate as newsworthy.)

Making mistakes—even big ones—does not have to be the end of the story, unless you let it be so. Just ask Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Peter, or Paul.[1]

These are quite strong—and striking—accusations to lay at the feet of evangelical leaders. It is expected from the godless world that “does not accept the things of God for they are folly to him” (1 Corinthians 2:14) but from someone who claims to hold to the “historic, biblical sexual ethic,” it is both sad and deeply concerning. After all, the Nashville Statement was intended to be a consensus statement articulating that historic, biblical sexual ethic that Nate Collins claims to believe. Yet he calls those who signed it perpetrators of “spiritual abuse.”

This is why I was compelled to respond to Collins’ tweets with an extensive rebuttal of my own:

Nate Collins represents a position that has been alternately labeled Side B, gay celibate theology, or the Revoice movement (named after the Side B focused conference and organization Collins founded in 2018). It is a more conservative form of "gay Christianity" that believes homosexual behavior is forbidden but that the experience of "sexual minorities" must be recognized by the church. I address the full spectrum of this position in the paper, A Little Leaven: Confronting the Ideology of the Revoice Movement.

So, why should Christians be concerned that the Nashville Statement is under attack by a major Revoice leader? You may think Revoice is a distant concern or that the Nashville Statement is not the best or most robust response to the issues facing the church in the 21st century. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees—there is something sinister at work here that Christians need to see.

Let me give three main reasons why Christians should be concerned by this most recent attack on the Nashville Statement and its signatories:

  • The nature of the attack
  • The charge of spiritual abuse
  • The hidden allegiance with LGBT activists and the “Affirming Church”

The Nature of the Attack

Nate Collins’ attack on the Nashville Statement may seem innocuous enough on the surface. But the nature of Collins’ attack is concerning because it evidences a deep resistance to the authority of Scripture—especially its sufficiency.

For instance, take note of how Collins speaks of “sexual and gender minorities” in his tweet. This statement assumes not only that homosexuality is innate and immutable, but that there is a unique class of people who—by virtue of their standpoint as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender—are able to give Christians unique insights into the Bible and theology that have been unavailable throughout the centuries. “Sexual minorities” is not a Christian concept but Collins deploys it matter-of-factly as if this secular idea should help clarify our biblical understanding.

But this isn’t new for the Revoice crowd. In fact, Collins states plainly in his book All But Invisible (Zondervan, 2017) that our understanding of “gayness” should be defined more by the experience of gay people rather than the categories and language the Bible uses. He uses gender theory to help make his case, going so far as to say that we need to “develop a theology of orientation that can flesh out our biblical doctrines of sin, temptation, and healing” (p. 190). In other words, the Bible is not fully sufficient to guide us in how we should think about homosexuality. It gives just enough information to tell us not to engage in sodomy—but anything beyond that is open to be clarified by the latest arguments of secular psychology, sociology, and queer theory.

The Charge of Spiritual Abuse

What about the accusation of spiritual abuse? Collins does not define this category but he clearly sees it not only as sinful (thus, the call to repentance) but also as serious enough to render anything good or true said in the Nashville Statement to be basically worthless. He isn’t accusing any particular leader of being personally manipulative or overbearing; rather, it is a charge lobbed out generally at the group because certain Side B proponents like Collins “felt bullied” into complying with the Statement. Notice again the supremacy of feelings. But we also notice that the actual content of the Statement does not matter because of how someone felt when he read it.

The claim of spiritual abuse is a very easy one to make and a very difficult one to prove—especially without defining the term. If there is a true category of spiritual abuse—and I personally believe there could be—then it must be defined by the Bible’s admonition that leaders be “above reproach,” exhibiting the Christlike character of an elder (1 Timothy 3:1–7), while also following the pattern of sound words given by the apostles and prophets (2 Timothy 1:13). In other words, a leader should have godly character and scriptural fidelity. Where he doesn’t, he will lead others astray and cause spiritual harm along the way.

Christians should be aware that the secular world likes to claim to be victims of spiritual abuse too. In fact, WebMD defines spiritual abuse like this: “Any attempt to exert power and control over someone using religion, faith, or beliefs can be spiritual abuse.”[2] One doesn’t have to think very hard to imagine how that kind of loose and open-ended definition could be used against preachers, evangelists, or any Christian trying to faithfully speak any biblical truth. To claim that sin is wrong is spiritual abuse. To claim that the Bible is authoritative is spiritual abuse. And on it goes.

In a therapeutic age such as ours, it is quite easy to claim that any feeling of discomfort or dislike of another person’s words is a form of abuse. Christians should be slow to accept the validity of any charge that isn’t honest or well-defined and can be easily manipulated in order to silence opposition to the wickedness that consumes our society.

The Hidden Allegiance with LGBT Activists and the “Affirming Church”

The accusations of Nate Collins do not sound too far removed from those of the many secular outlets, progressive Christians, and LGBT activists who publicly stated their hatred of the Nashville Statement upon its release in 2017. One commentator viciously attacked the Statement as the “work of preening, pitiable, selfish men, covetous of power and control, who worship no God above themselves.”[3] Former evangelical-turned-progressive Jen Hatmaker tweeted that “The fruit of the ‘Nashville Statement’ is suffering, rejection, shame, and despair.”[4]

We must be fair to Collins here—he has not directly said he rejects the Nashville Statement the way these others do. Nor has he said that homosexual behavior should be affirmed by Christians. Nor has he posited that gay marriage is blessed by God. But if the Nashville Statement represents orthodoxy and these progressive statements represent unorthodoxy, which side does he seem to be closer to? Which group seems to be more in line with his values? If a confused believer were coming to Collins for answers, would she be able to read through the nuance and find the truth? What we find here are hidden allegiances with the “gay-affirming church” and God-hating LGBT activists. They will not receive his rebuke—but the leaders who sign an orthodox statement of Bible teaching will.


So why are the statements of Nate Collins dangerous? Because they diminish the Scripture’s authority to define the way we think about homosexuality. Because they soften the sinfulness of sin and make the deception of sin a thing less fearful. Because they define people inherently by their temptations and desires (LGBT) rather than God’s intention in creation (male and female) and redemption (new creation in Christ). Because they form allegiances with those who hate God and scoff at His truth.

This is the Revoice movement in microcosm.

There should be more said regarding the Bible’s teaching on sexuality than that outlined briefly in the Nashville Statement. After all, it was merely intended to briefly outline the teaching. Nevertheless, it is a statement of biblical faith that is being rejected and instead held up as a mark of disobedience to God. If Christians cannot see the concerns that such a rejection brings with it, then the church is in a very fearful place indeed.


To purchase a copy of M.D. Perkins’ book Dangerous Affirmation: The Threat of “Gay Christianity”, go to:


[1] The entire tweet thread was “unrolled” and can be easily read on a separate page, here:

[2] WebMD Medical Contributors (Medically reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD), “Signs of Spiritual Abuse,” WebMD, December 1, 2020, accessed August 30, 2022,

[3] Sam Thielman, “On the Nashville Statement,” Graphomania (, September 4, 2017,

[4] Jen Hatmaker (@JenHatmaker), “The fruit of the ‘Nashville Statement’ is suffering, rejection, shame, and despair. The timing is callous beyond words.” Tweet. 12:55 PM, August 29, 2017,

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