For usually a sin, when it is concealed, is shunned; because, when a soul blushes to be seen to be what nevertheless it does not fear to be, it comes in time to blush to be what it shuns being seen to be. But, when any bad man shamelessly courts notice, then the more freely he perpetrates every wickedness, the more does he come even to think it lawful; and in what he imagines to be lawful he is without doubt sunk ever more and more. Hence it is written, They have declared their sin as Sodom, neither have they hidden it (Isai. iii. 9).
For, had Sodom hidden her sin, she would still have sinned, but, in fear. But she had utterly lost the curb of fear, in that she did not even seek darkness for her sin. 1
Before we conclude this series of posts opposing Revoice, several pastoral matters need to be addressed. What of Revoice’s pastors and their care for their sheep they label “sexual minorities?”
We’ve examined this long and closely enough that we are no longer able to avoid certain judgments concerning the failure of their pastoral care. We begin this series with the observation that Revoice refuses to teach or apply the shame Scripture teaches and applies to the LGBTQ perversions. Rather, Revoice repudiates the shame Scripture sews onto sodomy and lesbianism with an iron thread.
Revoice exists to talk and talk and talk about things that should not be spoken of in public except to reinforce their shamefulness and to call men to repentance. Tragically, Revoice is entirely opposed to shame. The men of Revoice demonstrate they have no faith in shame being a gift of God given from His grace to save us from our sin. There’s no statement in their philosophy nor a single workshop in their lineup that promises to explain the theology of shame and shame’s helpfulness in Gospel preaching, conversion, and sanctification.
To the men of Revoice, it’s simply taken for granted that shame is precisely the thing that has been wrong about the church’s witness to “sexual minorities” the past two-thousand years. Revoice tells us they have arrived in the nick of time to save the Church from continuing to oppress sexual minorities of the LGBTQ sort by teaching the grace of shame. The narrative Revoice spins is that sexual minorities have not chosen their particular desires or identities, so shame ought never to be attached to them.
Still, it remains true that sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, transsexuality, and effeminacy have always been terribly shameful among the people of God. Shame is God’s good gift to protect us from these horrors. This is what Calvin and other Reformed fathers mean by speaking of the grace of shame.
Is not every Christian thankful to God for the shame he has felt over his sins, sexual and otherwise? Does not the preaching of God’s law always bear this glorious fruit? And is this gift of shame not gloriously helpful to our sanctification?
So then why are Covenant Seminary and Revoice so zealous to remove shame from the pastoral care of LGBTQ souls?
Shall we now repudiate shame for incest, also? Are the incestuous one of the sexual minorities that need affirmative action in the church and an end of shaming? If so, has anyone sent the memo to the Apostle Paul so he can issue a retroactive edit for his first letter to the Corinthians in which he oppresses that sexual minority he singles out and condemns for having his father’s wife?
No one is repudiating the grace of shame in the church today concerning a whole host of serious and petty sins including child abuse and rape, but also smoking cigarettes and littering. So actually, it’s apparent we haven’t lost our faith in the grace of shame as long as the shame is attached inside the Church to the same sins that shame is attached to outside the Church. Shame is seen as useful and employed everywhere all the time. The problem is the world has taken sodomy, lesbianism, and effeminacy out of the closet and the church hasn’t been able to figure out why they were in the closet in the first place?
Revoice men are firmly opposed to helping the LGBTQ sexual minorities recognize their shame and flee from it. Rather, they want everyone to talk and talk and talk about certain sexual perversions currently in vogue until not one single soul in the church old or young, male or female remains able to blush at these sins Scripture names “abominations” and “degrading passions.”
Revoice is not built on the grace of shame. It’s built on the repudiation of shame. That’s the first thing to notice about the pastoral care Covenant Theological Seminary has taught (and teaches) its students to provide the souls in our congregations who struggle with the gay, lesbian, effeminate, and butch temptations.
|Saint Gregory the Great. The Book of Pastoral Rule (Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 2385-2390). Aeterna Press. Kindle Edition.