DOXOLOGY: Finding Lutheran ‘voice’ on same-sex issues

With the Supreme Court set to rule on the legality of same-sex marriage in June, the “Finding Our Voice” National Insight conference, hosted by DOXOLOGY, couldn’t be more timely.

Scheduled for Aug. 12-13 at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, the conference invites Christians to find their voices, speaking up on the topic of sexual morality in general and same-sex attraction and marriage in particular.

DOXOLOGY’s primary purpose is to provide “continuing education for pastors in advanced skills for counseling and the care of souls.” But the “Finding Our Voice” conference isn’t just for clergy; it’s for every Christian seeking honest ways to speak the truth in love.

“When biblically-rooted Lutherans speak with one another about marriage, there is little hesitation or reluctance to share God’s truth and to speak confidently about our beliefs,” notes Dr. Beverly Yahnke, DOXOLOGY’S executive director for Christian Counsel.

But, she asks, “Have you noticed how easy it is to remain silent when you’re in a group where gay marriage is being advocated and applauded?”

“It’s funny how otherwise outgoing and articulate people clam up when it comes to speaking their convictions on sex and marriage,” adds the Rev. Dr. Harold Senkbeil, DOXOLOGY’s executive director for Spiritual Care. “This summer’s DOXOLOGY National Insight conference is designed to help us all — parents, grandparents, pastors and other church workers — find our voice and speak up on these topics so essential for the well-being of the family and social tranquility.”

DOXOLOGY is an LCMS Recognized Service Organization.

Conference details

Conference presenters have been hand-picked to provide attendees with “essential understandings and a verbal tool kit so that we can speak confidently about one-man and one-woman marriage in any setting,” Yahnke explains.

Among those scheduled to speak at the conference are Senkbeil and Yahnke — who recently accepted DOXOLOGY’s appointment to serve as full-time executive director for Christian Counsel beginning July 1, leaving her current position as chair and professor of Psychology at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon.

Also on the speakers list is Sherif Girgis who, along with Ryan Anderson and Robert George, co-authored the book What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, cited by Justice Alito in the landmark 2013 United States v. Windsor case.

Other scheduled conference presenters include Tim Goeglein, who speaks on behalf of marriage regularly in his role as vice-president for External Relations at Focus on the Family; LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison; Adriane Heins, managing editor of The Lutheran Witness; the Rev. Dr. Alvin Schmidt, author of The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America; and the Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford, a parish pastor and a Fellow in the DOXOLOGY Collegium.

“Some of our conference speakers have appeared in hotly contested public debates and have spoken eloquently and logically against gay marriage,” Yahnke notes. “We will have an opportunity to learn from them what strategies are helpful as well as learning how to respond in a controlled, confident and Christian fashion, even in highly charged conversations. We will all benefit from acquiring some wisdom and some skills in this area, whether we are moms and dads, educators, pastors or university students. Every single one of us needs to find our voice and begin using it.”

Speaking for sexual purity

“It’s vital that we speak Christianly and positively about these things. We often come across as bigots and haters because we stridently emphasize what we’re against. The ‘Finding Our Voice’ conference provides the larger picture. Together we’ll see how Christians in the earliest centuries stood for sexual purity and marital faithfulness in a moral climate very similar to ours,” Senkbeil explains.

“We’ll come to a clearer understanding of what the Bible teaches regarding chastity and marriage. We’ll acquire skills in the fine art of clear, winsome communication on sensitive issues. Most importantly, we’ll learn how to teach and model sexual fidelity rooted and grounded in the love and union of the Lord Jesus with His earthly bride, the Church.”

The registration fee of $145 covers instructional materials, an evening reception and three meals. Lodging is not included.

For more information or to register for the conference, go to or find DOXOLOGY on Facebook.

Posted May 15, 2015

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