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Pieter Valk, Revoice, and Side B Christianity Debunked

This article is part of the Evangelical Dark Web’s series on Revoice. One of the most prominent ideologs of the Revoice Movement is Pieter Valk, a frequent speaker at the annual conference and the movement. The Revoice Movement teaches that there are three positions that churches can have on homosexuality. Pieter Valk puts it like this.

A person who has a "Side A” perspective on Christian sexual ethics typically believes the following: God makes people gay. God blesses same-sex marriages in the same ways He blesses opposite-sex marriages. Holding these beliefs typically requires some theological maneuvering around the six “clobber passages” that people claim refers to same-sex sexual activity, but most Side A gay Christians I know believe that the Bible is not binding or prescriptive for a modern context. Now let’s talk about the "Side B” perspective: Same-sex attraction is not what God intended and is a result of the Fall. But, we do not choose who we are attracted to and there is no formula for changing one’s attractions. There is no context for same-sex sexual or romantic activity that God blesses, so they are sins. God calls all Christians to a vocation of celibacy or marriage with someone of the opposite sex. Side B gay Christians may identify as “gay” in a limited way, finding it helpful to identify with those of a shared heritage and similar life experiences. (Oh, and in case it’s not been obvious, EQUIP is proudly and decidedly Side B.) And finally, there is the “Side X” perspective: Same-sex attracted Christians must reject their attractions and work toward changing their attractions. Continuing to experience SSA is a sign of willful disobedience and/or lukewarm sanctification. Homosexuality in any form is sinful. God intends for all people to marry someone of the opposite sex.

Like so many other heterodox approaches, “side b” Christianity represents a “third way” between two extremes, believing them to be a false dichotomy. Pieter Valk makes it obvious he supports a middle ground, compromised position on the issue of homosexuality. The issue is that this middle ground is unsustainable with Scripture. The “clobber passages” minimize the presence of homosexuality in the Bible and then conjure an alternative hermeneutic to justify sin.

Pieter Valk founded EQUIP, a consultant firm that seeks to make more churches “side b.” EQUIP’s mission is to “help churches become places where LGBT+ Christians could belong and thrive according to a traditional sexual ethic.” Valk is also a writer and advisor for the Center for Faith, Sexuality, & Gender, Preston Sprinkle’s organization.

Pieter Valk gave a lecture called “How to Become Churches That Cultivate Celibacy and Mixed-Orientation Marriages” at Revoice Conference in 2019. He argues that “side b” is following a traditional Christian ethic. He argues that “gay Christians” carry their crosses more profoundly than Christians. He rhetorically asked why not go full Matthew Vines, to which he answered that it does not work. He said that many “gay Christians” that adopted a progressive sexual ethic and were no longer Christians. This seems to be a more practical objection than a theological one. This understanding that he is crafting an ideology to keep people in the church by instructing them that they do not have to mortify sinful desires.

Pieter Valk argues that everyone is called to a period of singleness for them to choose whether or not celibacy is for them. This is anthropologically asinine and requires prolonged adolescence. Pieter Valk pushes the narrative that those who struggle with sexual sin should consider celibacy as a lifestyle. This is debunked by 1 Corinthians 1-9 in which Paul makes it clear that those with passion need to be married to not fall into sinful temptation. Those who lack the self-control required to be celibate should therefore pursue biblical marriage. On this the Bible is clear.

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