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Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley.

Andy Stanley’s church criticized for LGBTQ conference

A prominent evangelical leader is calling an upcoming conference sponsored by Andy Stanley‘s church for ministry leaders and parents of LGBTQ children a “clear and tragic departure from biblical Christianity.”

North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., is holding the event “for parents of LGBTQ+ children and for ministry leaders looking to discover ways to support parents and LGBTQ+ children in their churches,” according to its website Stanley is one of the speakers.

“You will be equipped, refreshed and inspired as you hear from leading communicators on topics that speak to your heart, soul and mind,” the website says. “We deeply desire this time will bring about healing and restoration. No matter what theological stance you hold, we invite you to listen, reflect and learn as we approach this topic from the quieter middle space.”

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said advertising for the conference “indicates clearly that this event is designed as a platform for normalizing the LGBTQ+ revolution” while claiming that the conference represents ‘the quieter middle space.,’” “Christian Headlines” reported.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • David Gushee, a professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University who supports same-sex marriage and has argued for “full LGBTQ inclusion” within the church.
  • Justin Lee, executive director of Nuance Ministries and a “Christian voice for LGBTQ affirmation,” according to his website.
  • Brian Nietzel, a gay man who cofounded Renovus, an “organization that helps LGBTQ+ individuals rediscover Jesus,” according to his website.
  • Greg and Lynn McDonald, the authors of “Embracing the Journey: A Christian Parents’ Blueprint to Loving Your LGBTQ Child” and cofounders of the ministry Embracing the Journey.

“This conference is not really ‘quiet,’ nor is it ‘middle space,'” Mohler said. “It is structured as what most evangelicals would quickly recognize as a departure from historic normative biblical Christianity. Maybe the conference will surprise us, and Stanley will present a resounding affirmation of biblical authority and the Christian church’s longstanding convictions concerning sexuality, marriage and gender. But that would require a reversal of Stanley’s trajectory and a bold correction of his platform guests. To state the obvious , that is not what is advertised. He has been working in this direction for years now. Sadly, it looks like the train is about to leave the station.”

Many others, however, support the outreach to parents who are struggling with children who announce they’re LGBTQ.

But in a statement to The Julie Roys Report,  Anne Paulk, executive director of Restored Hope Network, a ministry that says it seeks to “help individuals overcome relational and sexual issues,” says the conference is full of “revisionist theology.”

“Although they may claim to want to hear a variety of views, I do not believe that the Unconditional Conference offers any other views than affirming a gay identity or even monogamous gay relationships,” Paulk said.

For his part, Justin Lee says he’s been misunderstood.  “I am not giving a talk to advocate for traditional churches to change their theology of sexual morality or marriage,” said told TRR. “I have been speaking to conservative evangelical audiences (and others) for 25 years on the subject of how to show Christian love to someone even if you disagree with them or know them to be sinning in some way.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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