This piece by Rev. Steven Warhurst is entitled “Responding to Revoice: The Case for Overture 28 at the PCA General Assembly (Part One).” An overture is the request of a presbytery for action by the General Assembly upon a specific matter. According to Rev. Warhurst “The Revoice Conference speakers affirmed homosexual orientation as a legitimate part of their identity; something that should not be condemned or changed. Overture 28 offers a different perspective.” Rev. Steven Warhurst’s overture is published on The Aquila Report:
The Revoice Conference speakers repeatedly affirmed homosexual orientation as a legitimate part of their identity; something that should not be condemned or changed.[i]Ray Low condemned those who recommended counseling to help change his orientation.[ii] Greg Johnson expressed skepticism about whether sexual orientation could change[iii]and rejected the possibility of repenting of attractions.[iv]
What is this ‘sexual orientation’ that the Revoice speakers think is a legitimate part of a person’s identity and needs to be affirmed? Grant Hartley (a speaker who sought to define his terms) adopted the American Psychological Association’s definition of sexual orientation which says: “Sexual orientation refers to an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to men, women or both sexes. Sexual orientation also refers to a person’s sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.” [v]
In order to determine whether homosexual orientation is legitimate, we must determine if homosexual attraction is legitimate, for according to the APA definition, homosexual orientation is an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to the same sex. If we find that God condemns the attraction, then we must conclude that He would also condemn the orientation.
Romans 1:26-27 says, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
Scripture clearly teaches that homosexual attraction is a vile passion. When Paul speaks of God giving men over to vile passions (πάθη ἀτιμίας), the first example of a vile passion is homosexual attractions. The apostle goes on to say that this attraction is ‘against nature’. When men are sexually attracted to men they ‘leave the natural use of a woman,’ and when women pursue women, they do ‘what is against nature.’ Thus homosexual attraction is a dishonorable passion that is not only sinful, but is against nature. If God condemns homosexual attraction as sinful and against nature, then He also condemns homosexual orientation, which is simply the enduring pattern of this degrading passion.