What if The Reformation Project is a Big Success?
Posted: September 19, 2013 Filed under: Uncategorized
According to their website, The Reformation Project is a Christian organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity, and this includes promoting the idea that gay sexual expression is not inherently sinful. The present strategy is primarily to thoroughly train willing participants in “gay theology” and associated apologetics, so that they go out and spread the message. We have explained previously about how the organisation is not Bible-based. The organisation is new amongst others (EG) who advance gay theologies. They held their first training conference, in Kansas in September, hosting 50 trainees, some of whom came from outside the USA.
Reportedly only 100 people applied for the week of training in 2013, which included airfares, lodging and meals, but Im sure they could drum up more support in future. So what would happen if hundreds or thousands of such trainees eventually come out of this program?
Following their 2013 training, Ive Googled “Reformation Project” to find what is happening out in the webisphere in relation to this. So far I havent found much of substance. One of the attendees has made a blog post with some gay ‘apologetics’ that largely just repeated the assertions that the founder made in his video over a year ago. EG claims that there was no concept of sexual orientation prior to the 19th century – a claim that is still made without substantiation. Comments from others underneath her post indicated that like me, many do not buy the doubtful theories which are presented as though they are fact.
Id say that we know from the experience of the founder of the organization, that overall, the conservative Christian public will not buy the arguments. I think we saw this in the reaction to his infamous 2012 youtube video. But those who are not Bible-literate and who are not in touch with the conservative Christian community may fall victim to the doctrines though, as they may not be aware of refutations. In line with existing trends, the mainstream media may promote the organization a little, but they will tend to be biased in favour of the organisation and will not provide much critical analysis. Critical analysis would likely be found in the Christian press, but only if the organisation is active enough to be deemed newsworthy.
Articles have appeared in the Christian Post for example, and this has included some critical analysis. But even here, spin from the organisation has managed to creep through. The most recent article reads in part;
“Our primary goal is not to make the church pro-LGBT,” said [organiser Matthew] Vines. “Our primary goal is to protect the integrity of the body of Christ as the witness to God’s love on earth.”
This statement is at odds with indications in the rest of the article, and with what is written on the website of the Reformation Project, eg “The mission of The Reformation Project is to train … Christians to … accelerate the acceptance of LGBT people in the church.” However the mission goes further than that. Although not clearly stated, they imply and indicate that the mission includes encouraging acceptance by the church of same-sex relationships.
The movement will likely enthuse gay Christians. It may reduce some of their depression, but as Ive outlined elsewhere
, a level of gay depression and frustration will continue whether there is support from religion or not.Would the organisation lead to increased support for Christianity? Anyone who believes the core doctrines emanating from The Reformation Project, believes that the authors of the Bible lacked insight to address some aspects of the modern world and that most standard Bibles have been shockingly mistranslated. And once you have swallowed that belief, you are not going to be particularly trusting of Bibles in general. So what sort of Christianity does that create? Liberal/mainline style Christianity. So there could be a spark of life generated there. But we already know
that U.S. churches that foster such views, EG the Episcopal Church, tend to be in high states of decline
in attendance. So any blimp of enthusiasm there would soon be wiped out by the continued downward spiral they are experiencing.The organisation may lead to revitalisation of gay-focused
churches such as the Metropolitan Community Churches. But we know
that denominations such as this tend to be very liberal, with many members largely mirroring the lifestyles of non-Christian gays, EG ‘open’ relationships and worldly standards. With such shallow
commitment, it’s questionable whether anything long-lasting would arise.So overall, if the Reformation Project does become big, I think the main outcome will be greater confusion, mainly on the part of those outside of conservative Christendom, because they will be scratching their heads over what Christianity actually stands for in regards to this area, and why there is such disagreement. I doubt the Project would lead non-christian GLBT people becoming real Christians, and I doubt it would encourage Christians who experience same-sex attraction to a deeper Christian commitment, because I think it will discourage trust in existing Bible translations and in broader Christendom. But time, will tell.Meanwhile, widespread misunderstandings continue amongst the general public, EG that God regards homosexuals as abominations (it’s actually the sex that is described this way, not the people) and that homosexuals should be hated (but the Bible teaches to love the sinner and hate the sin). It’s really these misunderstandings that need a reformation.