Is there a “quieter middle space” when it comes to gender, sexuality, and marriage? Well, the individuals behind the Unconditional Conference taking place yesterday and today at Pastor Andy Stanley’s North Point Community Church seem to think so. But as Christians, we should always be comparing what anyone says—including a popular, influential pastor such as Andy Stanley (who is presenting at the conference)—against the authority of God’s Word. So when we start with God’s Word, is there a “quieter middle space”?
According to the event website, the Unconditional Conference is designed for:
Parents of LGBTQ+ children and for ministry leaders looking to discover ways to support parents and LGBTQ+ children in their churches. You will be equipped, refreshed, and inspired as you hear from leading communicators on topics that speak to your heart, soul, and mind. 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.
Notice that the event description says this is for those looking for “ways to support parents and LGBTQ+ children” (emphasis added), not “ways to point people toward Christ” or “ways to encourage those struggling with sexual sin or a sinful identity to live according to God’s Word.” While the event page doesn’t explicitly detail what “support” means, the speakers at the event certainly heavily imply that “support” means “affirm and celebrate” LGBTQ identities.
As others have pointed out, the speakers include “two men who are married [so-called] to other men”—one known for arguing for the legitimacy of “monogamous same-sex relationships” and the other for his seminars on “restoring LGBTQ+ faith”—as well as a speaker who wrote a book called Changing Our Mind: Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBT Christians.
This idea of middle ground implies there can be neutrality, but there is no neutrality!
So, yes, we know what the “quieter middle space” looks like to those behind the Unconditional Conference—it means taking what the world says about sexuality, identity, and marriage and trying to dress it up in Christian language. It’s compromising God’s clear Word with the pagan religion (sexual humanism) of our day!
Indeed, it’s not even possible to have a “quieter middle space.” This idea of middle ground implies there can be neutrality, but there is no neutrality! Consider what the Word of God says:
One is either for Christ or against him. One either gathers or scatters (Matthew 12:30).One either walks in light or darkness (Ephesians 5:8).One is either on the broad way or narrow way (Matthew 7:13–14).One either builds their house on the rock or the sand (Matthew 7:24–26).One not for God is hostile to God (Romans 8:7).One who is not righteous is unrighteous and suppresses truth (Romans 1:17–19).
No, there can be no “quieter middle space,” because there is no neutrality. As believers we will either start our thinking with God’s Word or we will listen to the lie of the serpent: “Did God really say?” and try to be our own gods, leaning on our own wisdom and understanding. Those are the only two options!
Yesterday and today, the Unconditional Conference attendees have likely heard session after session about God’s love for everyone, his heart for those who are “outcast,” and his willingness to sit and be with those whom society (or the church, as the presenters likely say) marginalizes. But what they likely won’t hear about is how God defines love in his Word, how God calls all people everywhere to repent of their sin, and how Jesus ate with sinners but never left them in their sin—instead he called them to deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow him. In other words, the attendees won’t be hearing the true, unadulterated, biblical gospel!
Sadly, these LGBTQ-affirming professing believers are not pointing anyone toward Christ (the real Christ, not the cherry-picked version they have invented themselves) but rather are leading others away from Christ, away from repentance, and away from freedom from sin—a freedom that could be theirs in Jesus. How utterly tragic!
Sadly, it doesn’t surprise me that Andy Stanley’s church is hosting a conference like this (and that he is speaking at it). He compromises Genesis with man’s evolutionary ideas, and that produces a domino effect of compromise elsewhere.
What these conference attendees really need to hear is 1 Corinthians 6:9–11:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.We are no longer identified by our former sins and struggles!
Did you catch that? “Such were some of you” (emphasis added)! Apart from Christ, we all are the unrighteous who will not inherit the kingdom of God, but the church is made up of those who were the unrighteous. We are no longer identified by our former sins and struggles! We are new creations in Christ, with freedom by God’s Spirit to say no to sin and to live for holiness! That’s the beautiful truth of the gospel . . . no “quieter middle ground” required.
A Conference with No “Quieter Middle Space”!
If you’d like to attend a conference that will encourage you from God’s Word while affirming biblical truth and the gospel message, consider making plans to attend our upcoming Answers for Women conference, April 1–3, 2024, at the Ark Encounter. The theme this year is Reclaim: Overcoming the War on Women for the Glory of God. It’s such a timely theme, and each presenter will give practical wisdom and insight straight from the Word of God. This is the additional women’s conference we are conducting with the same speakers as the first one (as the first was sold out just a few days after registration opened). This is an extremely popular conference.
You’ll learn from:
Ruth Chou Simons of GraceLaced Co. and its podcastJinger Vuolo, author of Becoming Free IndeedLaura Perry, author of Transgender to TransformedLouisiana congressman Mike Johnson and his wife, KellyMonica Cline, former comprehensive sex educatorMary Kassian, author of many books, including The Feminist MistakePastor and author Costi HinnMusician Michael O’Brien and his wife, HeidiAiG’s Martyn Iles, Dr. Georgia Purdom, and me
And you’ll enjoy a special concert featuring Laura Story.
Our early bird price is available for just a few more days, so register now to ensure your place (and bring your daughters, granddaughters, or a group from your church—we recommend this conference for all women ages 12 and up). Visit AnswersForWomen.org.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.