AFFIRMING CHRISTIAN INFO
A Collection of Resources that offer an Affirming Christian Perspective on Homosexuality
The collection is organized into the following sections:
HOW THIS COLLECTION CAME TO BE
I am an evangelical Christian, serious about my faith and committed to following Jesus. I grew up in a conservative family in the Midwest, and I taught for over a decade at a Midwest Christian college, which is known for being rather conservative while still making room for differing viewpoints on matters of faith (such as creation, evolution, and intelligent design or egalitarianism and complementarianism). It was during my student years at a very similar conservative Christian college that I discovered there are various valid viewpoints among Christians (on politics or feminism, for example)—some I grew up believing were wrong or misguided but, upon careful examination, decided they lined up with the teachings of Jesus better than some of the things I was taught.
In my work, I had the privilege of helping Christian young adults (re)consider what it means to love, respect, and relate as Jesus did to diverse people—especially those whom others dislike or reject. At one point, I had a student tell me that she was questioning her sexual orientation. I told her that I thought homosexual behavior of any kind was wrong according to the Bible, but that I would support her and walk alongside her regardless of the outcome of her quest.
Thus began my own search to explore and understand the views of Christians who believe differently (than the traditional, conservative, judgmental, “evangelical” viewpoint that I absorbed through my upbringing) about what God has to say on the issue of homosexuality. As a result of this journey, I had to reconsider my former, unexamined views after coming across some very thought-provoking, spirit-convicting ideas from other followers of Christ. I underwent a significant transformation in my heart and mind as a result of my efforts to explore and understand the views of affirming, welcoming Christians.
This web site lists the collection of things I found in my search. I began keeping this list for myself and for my student, and I continue to add to it regularly. I share it here because I realize there are no doubt others who are searching for hope and wondering—like my student—whether someone who is gay is destined to go straight to Hell; others who are wondering whether they have to choose between being a Christian and being gay; and those who would like to know how we, as Christians, can relate in a Christ-like loving manner to those who are gay.
There is not just one viewpoint on these complex questions, even among born-again Bible-adhering scholars who are committed to following Jesus Christ and His teachings. The issues are far from clear cut and require thorough examination. For those—like me—who have known nothing but condemning, negative responses from Christians, it is important to know that there is more than one viewpoint out there.
As Christians, we will not all reach the same conclusions on an issue such as homosexuality (see The Great Debate), but it is my prayer that we can all agree on these essential truths that frame our faith:
IF YOU READ ONLY ONE THING, IT SHOULD BE THIS:
|» For those who are LGBTQ+||» For those who are Straight|
Sexual Orientation: It's Not A Sin!
I'm Not Trying to Change My Gay Friends
IMAGES TO CHALLENGE YOUR THINKING:
Open Slideshow in a new window
Letter to Gays & Lesbians (GLBT): I Stand With You http://bit.ly/lRmYu5
A House Divided http://bit.ly/UsINx7
The Church with "a rainbow flag sticker on their sign" http://bit.ly/UtUZt8
Gay Condemning Christians and their House of Mirrors http://huff.to/VR5sBn
How My Mind Has Changed by Rev. Gil Caldwell (retired United Methodist Minister) http://bit.ly/VKiy3p
Coming Out as an Evangelical Supporter of Gay Rights by Rev. Dr. Mark Achtemeier http://huff.to/nXdAv0
Jesus' Missing Words on Homosexuality by Richard Brand (Presbyterian Minister) http://huff.to/KPqSbL
Top Ten Questions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and Gay Pride by Rev. Susan Russell (Episcopal priest) http://huff.to/JMbc8N
What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say about Homosexuality by Rev. Dr. Mel White of Soulforce http://bit.ly/hWL7u1
Homosexuality and Christianity by Rev. Michael S. Piazza (United Church of Christ pastor) http://bit.ly/f2yHae
Biblical Perspectives on Homosexuality by Walter Wink, Th.D. http://bit.ly/JosCs7
The Bible and Homosexuality: Romans 1 http://bit.ly/10zUnWL
How can you think Homosexuality is Biblically Sound? http://bit.ly/VYGdj6
Seeing with New Eyes: Evangelical & Affirming Covenant Homosexuality https://theshift.jux.com/520811
A Mountain I'm Willing to Die On http://huff.to/Ai4Gz
Silence = Death http://bit.ly/XesSDJ
Changing Minds: A Young Seminarian Learning to Love http://bit.ly/YZFx0a
Let's Not "Agree to Disagree" http://bit.ly/Wz125D
I'm An Evangelical Christian and I Think Same-Sex Marriage Should Be Legal http://deeperstory.com/same-sex-marriage/
Abomination (n.) Do you know what it means? http://bit.ly/13fe2OM
The Ten Lies about the GLBT Community Told by Conservative Hate Groups: A Straight Christian Perspective http://bit.ly/MBJVMx
"Traditional Family Values" -- Which Traditions? Whose Families? What Values? http://bit.ly/MFouKv
Homosexuality is not a sin! http://bit.ly/J7LIIk
Excuse Me, Who Is Obsessed with My Sexuality? http://huff.to/N3Vhu1
Six Things Straight People Should Stop Saying About Gay People http://bit.ly/LFmLUU
Posts that Shake the World: I’m Christian Unless You’re Gay http://bit.ly/HeAm3v includes links to numerous responses to the original post, which can be found at http://bit.ly/u413NF
Retiring "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" http://bit.ly/Q39wj5
The Best Case for the Bible NOT Condemning Homosexuality http://bit.ly/H4iW65
How My Church Tried to Make Me Hate Gay People http://bit.ly/NfC3lg
This is a POWERFUL (yet brief) post addressing "the gay community" and how we, as believers, ought to relate to them. http://bit.ly/M4Psdq
"Gay Christian Dialogue" Raises Questions: What if the Christian Church threw open its doors to all people, asking only that they be faithful to the call of Christ in their lives? http://huff.to/sohdsC
The Clobber Passages http://bit.ly/cMkoxd Here is a great study of the so-called “clobber” verses in Scripture—the ones used to bolster the belief that the Bible condemns homosexuality.
Why Being Gay Isn’t Against the Bible http://bit.ly/OVYZjz
Modern Marriage is not Biblical http://huff.to/MsrLwI
An Open Letter to Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, from a Gay Evangelical http://bitly.com/UqwHAL
Straight Christian Pride http://bit.ly/R1RQCb
Why are some Christians so obsessed with homosexuality? http://bit.ly/KluVhZ
Ask A Gay Christian http://bit.ly/nmXQga
Ask A Gay Christian ... Response http://bit.ly/o6qvSL
Ask A Transgender Christian http://bit.ly/UTND8F
Ask A Transgender Christian ... Response http://bit.ly/TODvqM
Lana Wachowski, transgender and other stories we need to hear http://bit.ly/UcQSFX
Sexual Identity: The Cass Model adapted to include additional factors for religious conservatives http://bit.ly/10zXVs3
Becoming Christian Allies for the Gay Community http://bit.ly/R0ihIv
When Jesus Healed a Same-Sex Partner http://huff.to/P4g8Ns
The New Testament: Uninterested in Homosexuality? http://bit.ly/PdOMTY
The Bible mentions homosexuality 12 times. (Jesus mentions it 0 times.) http://bit.ly/QUO27h
The Homosexuality Question, Answered: Not a Sin http://bit.ly/PAfkPG
An Evangelical Support for Same-Sex Marriage http://bit.ly/QfEtLt
Christians can change their minds on homosexuality http://huff.to/M7RzIi
Five Phrases Christians Shouldn't Say http://bit.ly/Mqm9SI
#4: "I love the sinner but hate the sin."
See, the problem that I have with this phrase is that it assumes that “sin” is a specific action that is done/can be undone. If that’s the case, name the specific action that you hate.
“I love you, Tommy, but I don’t like it when you break my glasses.” “I love you, Sarah, but I don’t like it when you kick my shins.”
But really, I haven’t heard this phrase used in those ways. I’ve only heard it used when people are talking about identity.
“I love gay people, I just hate that they act on their homosexual orientation…”
There we go. There’s an honest statement.
And an unhelpful one.
It’s unhelpful because, you can’t love me apart from my sexuality. I really don’t think you can. It’s part of what makes me who I am, even if it’s not the whole of my definition. So, if you were to say to me, “I love you, but I hate that you’re heterosexual…” I would probably stop listening right then and there because, well, I wouldn’t believe you.
You can’t love me and yet hate an essential part of me. This phrase is disingenuous.
Who will protect the little monsters (gay kids)? Who will speak out for them? Who will welcome them? Who will weep for them?
I know Lady Gaga will.
What about the church?
Here’s an excerpt:
I’ve always found that Jesus cared more about the person, than the person’s sin. When I hear a Christian ranting about a behavior, it leads me to believe that their faith in God’s ability is lacking. Jesus never let the issue outweigh the person. He spoke against the tendency to fall into this trap:
“Judge not, that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will also be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when here is the log in your own eye?” Matthew 7:1-4
I’m going to end this with two quotes from two pastors with whom I’ve served and respect very much:
“Everyone knows what Christians are against. Why don’t we tell them what we are for?” ~Mark Wingler (Journey Church)
“We need to tell people that God is for them.” ~Tony Portell (Life Church Indy)
Obedient Slaves, Silent Women, and Understanding Biblical Literalism http://bit.ly/JQ20BF A nice, short piece on the selectivity of literal interpretations of Scripture among Christians
Is the Black church guilty of spiritual hypocrisy? http://bit.ly/KgOvwT
United Methodist bishop affirms loving, committed same-sex relationships http://bit.ly/N5R0EJ
I am a Lesbian and a Christian: An Open Letter to the Southern Baptist Convention http://bit.ly/L4zD7z
How to Win a Culture War and Lose a Generation http://bit.ly/Suad3q
Why I'm a Straight Christian Fighting for Gay Rights http://huff.to/M9N4OB
Restrict Marriage & Go Spit in their Faces http://bitly.com/Sf5sfH
I Hugged a Man in His Underwear. And I Am Proud. (A story that went viral)
Original story: http://bit.ly/avyYCq
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Book Review http://bitly.com/S9qeML
Review of Justin Lee's "Torn" http://bitly.com/SdcSxz
Another Review http://bit.ly/10xogN6
NPR's All Things Considered: Author Interviews Justin Lee talks about his new book "Torn" and about living as an openly gay Christian. http://n.pr/VYs6Iw
Gays and Christians: A Synchroblog for Sanity http://gcnjustin.tumblr.com/sanity
Someone you MUST know: Justin Lee http://bit.ly/YZFx0b
God's Gay Agenda by Sandra Turnbull (Just released 10/01/12) http://amzn.com/B009KUREQE
This is an excellent (award-winning) novel about a Christian woman coming to terms with her brother’s homosexuality. One Amazon reviewer wrote: "Christian readers will appreciate Allen's sensitive handling of the subject matter, and consider for themselves the balance between love and grace and God's truth. Regardless of one's view of homosexuality, this novel is a recommended read to spark thoughtful discussion as we consider our own response to those who identify as David does."
Thinking Straight by Robin Reardon http://amzn.to/L1itqK
Analysis of the Issues & Scripture
What Does the Bible Say about Being Gay? : (Probably not what you've been told), A Work in Progress by The Reverend Paula M. Jackson (Short! Just 31 pages) http://philippians-1-20.us/bstract.pdf
Homosexianity: Letting Truth Win The Devastating War Between Scripture, Faith, and Sexual Orientation by Rev. R.D. Weekly http://amzn.com/B007JNKE7K
The Rebuttal: A Biblical Response Exposing The Deceptive Logic Of Anti-Gay Theology by Rev. R.D. Weekly http://amzn.com/B007JN4M78
Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church (Revised and Expanded Edition) by Jack Rogers http://amzn.to/JQwJmD
Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community by Andrew Marin http://amzn.com/B002Q8HCNM
Gay by God: How to Be Lesbian or Gay and Christian (formerly "Holy Homosexuals") by Rev. Michael S. Piazza http://amzn.com/1887129103
Bullet Proof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians by Candace Chellew-Hodge (UCC Pastor) http://amzn.com/0470279281
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Daniel Helminiak, Ph.D. http://amzn.to/Mg5X5e
From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D. http://amzn.com/B009KMDKQA
God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage by Bishop Gene Robinson (Just released 9/18/12) http://amzn.com/B007QPFF70
Bishop Robinson wants to change hearts and minds http://huff.to/UdTS73
Gay Christian 101: Spiritual Self-Defense for Gay Christians—What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality by Rick Brentlinger http://amzn.to/JVTkxR
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PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE ON CHRISTIAN COLLEGE CAMPUSES:
Brent writes: For those who desire to walk with their LGBT friends and family but don’t know how to make themselves known as available and ready to listen, I describe the qualities I’d look for if I were a closeted gay person seeking safe people. I write this because I’ve talked to closeted LGBT people who feel completely alone at Christian schools, and I’ve also talked to Christians who want to support LGBT individuals but don’t know how to advertise themselves as such, and it breaks my heart to think of the beautiful opportunities we’re missing for connection and sharing between those people.
– First "zine" (Online magazine, 77 pages long) http://voicelesszine.com/
– The Movement http://voicelesszine.com/links/the-movement/
We are not the first group of students and/or alumni of a Christian school to create new conversations about faith and sexuality in our communities, and we will not be the last. See "The Movement" page for examples of what’s going on at other Christian colleges and universities.
Transforming the Conversation, Justin Lee (1:26:34)
Ten Practical Things You Can Do to have more productive & civil conversations related to LGBTQ issues in connection with Christianity
On April 26, 2012, Justin Lee, executive director of the Gay Christian Network, visited Abilene, Texas. He spoke to an audience primarily comprised of students who attend McMurry University and Abilene Christian University who have an interest in LGBTQ issues, many of whom also have a background in and/or ongoing commitments to Christian faith.
Five Tips for Talking to Your Conservative Friends and Family http://bit.ly/Us3Mf9
Changes in Attitude: A new, more civil conversation is emerging with gays and lesbians on evangelical campuses http://sojo.net/magazine/2012/07/changes-attitude
Safe People http://bit.ly/SMMYEX
Heartstrong: Hope & help for gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender students from religious educational institutions www.heartstrong.org
No Longer A Silent Minority: Gay Students Increasingly Vocal at Evangelical Colleges http://bit.ly/Xy52zO
Guiding Gay Evangelicals Out of the Campus Closet (New York Times - December 21, 2012) http://nyti.ms/T7NkGY
On God’s Campus: Voices from the Queer Underground is an education campaign and book project about how LGBTQ and allied students at Christian colleges are changing their campuses. http://ongodscampus.wordpress.com Join us on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/Qrl9BG Follow us on Twitter @OnGodsCampus
Christian colleges aren't just for straight people anymore. The LGBTQ and allied student populations are growing, challenging the status quo and forming communities. On God's Campus brings their voices up from the underground in order to end the isolation, oppression and hostility faced by LGBTQ students and their allies on these campuses.
Voiceless: A space for dialogue between Christians, the LGBTQ community, and all of us who find ourselves standing awkwardly in between
I Didn't Deserve to Lose You: An Open Letter to My Anti-Gay Parents http://huff.to/SX9sNo
What's Happening on Various Christian College Campuses (listed alphabetically)
Baylor University -- Waco, TX
– Gay rights at Christian colleges face suppression (New York Times - April 19, 2011) http://nyti.ms/ghd7xe
– Sexual Identity Forum www.sifembears.com
Biola University -- La Mirada, CA
– Underground gay group emerges, shaking evangelical Christian college (May 24, 2012) http://on.msnbc.com/JFTgfp
– And here is an excellent post from the group’s web site: Response to "Biola University Statement on Human Sexuality" http://biolaunderground.webs.com/
Bob Jones University -- Greenville, SC
– "BJUnity" Offers Support to Gay Alums of Bob Jones University (June 20, 2012) http://bit.ly/PD3wdx
– BJUnity: An affirming alternative for lgbt+ alumni and students of Bob Jones University www.bjunity.org
Calvin College -- Grand Rapids, MI
– SAGA (Sexuality Awareness, Gender Acceptance) is a peer education group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and straight students who support each other and educate the campus http://www.calvin.edu/broene/groups-workshops/saga/index.html
– FAQs about Calvin College and Homosexuality http://www.calvin.edu/student-life/ss/faq.html
Cedarville University -- Cedarville, OH
– Cedarville Out: We are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) alumni of Cedarville University. We are straight alumni who support our GLBT friends. And we are bound together in our belief that everyone's sexuality is a precious gift from God. www.cedarvilleout.org
Eastern University -- Wayne, PA
– OneEastern: An alumni community supporting LGBTQ students and staff at Eastern University www.oneeastern.org
– Here's the first video in OneEastern's "It Needs To Get Better" campaign (September 21, 2012) http://youtu.be/F4FGtAU2E2M
George Fox University -- Newburg, OR
– OneGeorgeFox: LGBTQ and Allied Alumni of George Fox University www.onegeorgefox.org
– Sexuality at George Fox University (30-minute podcast aired March 20, 2012) http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/sexuality-george-fox-university/
– Common Ground is a student-run organization that represents and serves the LGBTQ community at George Fox University. http://www.facebook.com/commongroundgeorgefox
Goshen College -- Goshen, IN
– GC Open Letter: An Open Letter to the Goshen College Community www.gcopenletter.org
– GC Open Letter Blog: This website is part of a student-formed project to address the exclusive hiring policy at Goshen College. www.gcopenletter.org/blog/
Harding University -- Searcy, AR
– War at Harding (March 6, 2011) http://nyr.kr/gGcVy8
– HU Queer Press: The State of the Gay is a self-published zine that aims to give voice to the experiences of gay and lesbian students at Harding. It is part storytelling, part religious and political critique, and partly a manifesto of hope for Harding’s future. www.huqueerpress.com
North Park University -- Chicago, IL
– Retelling the Story: Chicago's North Park University offers a model for honest conversation (July 2012) http://sojo.net/magazine/2012/07/retelling-story
– "Coming Out Covenant" A blog dedicated to telling the stories of LGBT Christians, their friends, and families started by an openly gay man who graduated from North Park in 2005 (see Resource Websites--Faith-Based)
University of Notre Dame -- South Bend, IN
– Professors lobby Notre Dame on sexual orientation with full-page ad (September 26, 2012) http://bit.ly/S7oss2
– Notre Dame announces plans for LGBT student organization after extensive push (December 5, 2012) http://huff.to/11FEBwJ
Point Loma Nazarene University -- San Diego, CA
– Student Chaplain comes out at conservative university (March 29, 2011) http://bit.ly/SURCRi
– Coming Out at a Christian College http://huff.to/z8VQUt
– Dear Evangelical Church, You’re Wrong about the Gays. http://huff.to/H3JBA9
Taylor University -- Upland, IN
– "A Walking Stigma" Same-Gender Attraction Sparks Discussion: Amid social wars, Taylor looks to revise statement on sexuality (November 30, 2012) News article from the TU Echo
– Choros: An Open Space – Choros is a constructive dialogue regarding gender and sexuality, open to all students and faculty. (See news article above)
Westmont College -- Montecito, CA
– Exchanges of support for bullied gay teens draws attention to oppressive atmosphere on Christian campuses (November 16, 2010) http://bit.ly/gr3DEq
– Westmont: In the News http://westmontlgbt.wordpress.com/in-the-news/
Wheaton College -- Wheaton, IL
– Gay at Wheaton: Steve Slagg http://bit.ly/RSi6QR
– From Hostility to Action www.onewheaton.com/untold/from-hostility-to-action
– OneWheaton Homecoming Event Draws Hundreds (October 10, 2011) http://bit.ly/nMNSH3
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THE BIBLE AND HOMOSEXUALITY by Matthew Vines
The Bible and Homosexuality: A transcript of Matthew Vines' message (video below) is available at www.matthewvines.com
(Translations are also available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.)
Matthew Vines' message (1:07:19)
LOVE MAKES A FAMILY by Zach Wahls
"Two Lesbians raised a baby and this is what they got" (A video that went viral) http://youtu.be/A3YSfNKSwFk
January 31, 2011: Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public hearing on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Iowa
Zach Wahls addresses the 2012 Democratic National Convention http://youtu.be/KM7Xxmt06FU
My Two Moms with Zach Wahls: Promotion for his book http://youtu.be/t4tOzTeul8Y
Zach's book My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family http://amzn.com/B0072NWK1K
FULL-LENGTH DVDs you can purchase
Description from Amazon.com: Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats shrimp.
Through the experience of five very normal, very Christian, very American families—including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson—we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. With commentary by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, For The Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.
The church is at war over homosexuality. Will our youth be the casualties?
Through My Eyes provides an unflinchingly honest look at the role of today's young Christians in the gay debate: what they really think, how they perceive the church, and what they wish other Christians knew. Over two dozen young Christians agreed to share their private feelings, struggles, and experiences on camera. All of them have a personal stake in the debate. And all of them hoped that their stories might make a difference. Created for Christians by Christians, Through My Eyes tackles one of the most controversial topics today with compassion and sensitivity, shining new light on the debate for people on both sides. It's unlike anything you've seen before.
It's a powerful, eye-opening experience you won't soon forget.
Bridging the Gap: Conversations on Befriending Our Gay Neighbours (Tony Campolo et al., 2009) http://amzn.com/B002BFLMQS
According to a recent study, only 16% of Evangelicals who are aged 35 or older have a close friend or relative who is gay. Meanwhile, younger evangelicals are twice as likely to know gay people personally. Whatever your age and theological opinion on homosexuality, you'll benefit greatly from watching Bridging the Gap. I and several of my friends appear in the DVD, along with six gay Christians ... all in hopes of helping our fellow Christians better share the love of Christ with gay men and women ... who (whether we know it yet or not) are our relatives, neighbors, friends, and coworkers. There's so much hot rhetoric and cold treatment when it comes to this sensitive subject; this DVD will bring needed light and warmth. ~Brian McLaren, author/speaker/activist
Love is an Orientation: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community (Andrew Marin, 2011) http://amzn.com/031068451X
Much of today's culture defines bridge-building and reconciliation as a one-way street that leads to full theological, political and social agreement. Yet Christ demonstrated a different path of religious and cultural engagement to establish his kingdom here on earth. In light of such countercultural principles, the Christian community needs a new view on the issues that divide conservative believers and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. Using the practical applications Andrew Marin has learned over the last decade of living and working in the LGBT neighborhood of Chicago called Boystown, as well as his international speaking and consulting ministry, this six-session, video-based study offers a variety of practical teachings, insights and life lessons. Rather than avoiding the topic of homosexuality, Love Is an Orientation aims to equip the Christian community to bridge the gap between LGBT and religious communities. This is not a group study about 'fixing' gay people. It's about getting to know them, engaging them, and loving them like Jesus does. After this study, you, your small group and your church will know what it means to peacefully and productively build bridges with the LGBT community.
BRIEF VIDEOS you can view online
Reverend Otis Moss Speaks About Gay Marriage: Intelligent, Compassionate, and Sane http://youtu.be/FbdBTve1Hs0
SEE ALSO: Chicago black preacher's epistle on gay marriage is a must-read http://bit.ly/RWRsbx
The Secret Gay Agenda by LZ Granderson http://bit.ly/L6wmos
Bishop Gene Robinson's Sermon on Gay Pride Day http://vimeo.com/35272053
Being Gay is a Gift from God http://youtu.be/WYOkg-4f-ts
Being Gay is a Gift from God, Part 2 http://youtu.be/V0zwlLxjeRA
Jonah Mowry: “What’s goin' on…” http://youtu.be/TdkNn3Ei-Lg
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Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgment creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from being with the other. ~Henri Nouwen
May our love for politics, ideology, philosophy, or even theology, never supersede our genuine love for God and neighbor. ~Eugene Cho
It is when people are not seen as people that prejudice can grow so strongly. ~Janet Whitlock Roberts
Once you label me, you negate me. ~Søren Kierkegaard
Every human being on this planet is created in the image of God. ~Noel Castellanos
I am a Christian who happens as well to be gay. Those realities, which are irreconcilable to some, are reconciled in me by a loving God. ~Rev. Peter J. Gomes
Salvation is not a country club, and we do not have the right to deny anyone admittance. People and their relationships to God are their own concern, and no good can come from my shoving my theology down someone else's throat. ~Timothy Kurek in The Cross in the Closet (see Books)
The only way for gays and lesbians to believe what Christians profess about love is through tangible, measurable and unconditional behaviors that speak for themselves. What do these tangible, measurable and unconditional behaviors look like? They are a nonjudgmental safe place—an environment that fosters a trustworthy relationship with someone else. Love is a walk, a hug, a dinner, an ear, a fun trip—all free of the condemning and ostracizing that the GLBT person “knows” is coming from Christians. This type of love says that no matter who you are, no matter what you do or no matter what you say I have your back, and I refuse to give up—whether or not there’s “change”—because my Father will never give up on me. ~Andrew Marin in Love is an Orientation (see Books)
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. ~1 John 4:20-21 from The Message
It's God's job to judge, the Spirit's job to convict, and it's my job to love. ~Rev. Billy Graham
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~Mother Teresa
Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. ~President Barack Obama, Inaugural Address, 01/21/13
The fruit of our relationship with God is to be love, joy, peace and more. This new way of looking at the Bible asked me to focus less on correct behavior and to focus more on learning how really to love in a Christ-like way. ~Rev. Sandy Brown in "Changing Minds" (see Blog Posts)
Of course, breaking our silence means committing publicly to those whom many in the church reject. We may even feel like our action constitutes a full endorsement of the values of one side or the other. When we do good on their behalf, many will accuse us of breaking God’s law for simply showing God’s love. But as followers of Jesus, we should care less about the assumptions of our peers if those assumptions keep us from acting like Jesus. Isn’t it better to be misunderstood by Christians for standing up for the oppressed than to be fully understood in our silence by a watching world? ~Brian Gee in "Silence = Death" (see Blog Posts)
RESOURCE WEBSITES -- Faith-Based:
Key LGBT Resources for Christians http://sojo.net/magazine/2012/07/key-lgbt-resources-christians The conversation of Christianity and homosexuality is deepening beyond the culture wars. Check out these resources to develop your understanding.
www.gaychristian.net an online community of over 20,000 LGBT Christians and their allies worldwide.
GCN is a nonprofit ministry supporting Christians worldwide who happen to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Their website contains numerous resources including (but not limited to):
The Great Debate: "Side A" or "Side B" or UncertainWhen it comes to gay Christians, there's one question that causes more debate than any other: Does God bless gay relationships ("Side A")? Or are gay Christians called to lifelong celibacy ("Side B")?
GCN has members on both sides of this "great debate" and some who just aren't sure. But how is it possible for Christians with such differing views to live together in community? Find out here: http://www.gaychristian.net/greatdebate.php?
Gay Christian testimonies http://www.gaychristian.net/audio/testimonies.php?
Stories & Articles by Christian family members of gay people
Online Community Support http://www.gaychristian.net/community/
Talks & Sermons
GCN Radio (podcasts) http://www.gaychristian.net/gcnradio/
Annual Conference http://www.gaychristian.net/conference/
YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/GayChristianNetwork/videos?view=0
Believe Out Loud www.believeoutloud.org is an online network that empowers Christians to work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender equality (also on Facebook).
Check out these videos! www.youtube.com/user/believeoutloud1 Hear from members of the welcoming community in their own words. From clergy on transforming their churches into welcoming environments to congregants reaching out to LGBT individuals, these stories illuminate and inspire.
Kathy Baldock - Rewind from Recycle Your Faith on Vimeo. Kathy is a straight Evangelical Christian, who used to believe there would not be any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people in heaven. Now she knows differently, and she ministers as an advocate to the glbt for equality and inclusion in Christian churches.
Reconciling Ministries Network Mobilizing United Methodists to create full inclusion of all God’s children regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity since 1982 www.rmnetwork.org
The Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) is a growing movement of United Methodist individuals, congregations, campus ministries, and other groups working for the full participation of all people in The United Methodist Church.
SEE ALSO THIS RELATED ARTICLE: The United Methodist Church and Homosexuality - An Overview http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_umc4.htm
Reconciling Journey Ministries Affirming GLBT Christians and seekers in their daily walk www.glbtchristian.org
Heartstrong, Inc. Hope & help for gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender students from religious educational institutions www.heartstrong.org
12 Steps to Becoming an LGBT Ally in 2013 http://bit.ly/VPkgzM
Discussing LGBTQ People: 8 Mistakes You Might Be Making http://bit.ly/O5h174
A Resource Guide to Christianity and Homosexuality http://bit.ly/XyIZIJ
Inside Out Faith Equality for LGBT People of Faith! http://insideoutfaith.org/
IMPACT Magazine: Bold. Authentic. Engaged. The magazine where Faith, the Real World & Gay Life intersect! www.IMPACTmagazine.us covers faith, culture and real life from a gay and progressive faith perspective.
Coming Out Christian: Conversations about being Christian and gay in America www.patheos.com/blogs/comingoutchristian
Soulforce is committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance. www.soulforce.org
Gay People Go to Heaven A Truth Movement www.gaypeoplegotoheaven.com
As the material on this web site makes clear, there are ways to read the Bible -- spiritually, intellectually sound ways -- that are gay-affirming. You can hold to an anti-gay interpretation, but that is your choice. The Scriptures do not compel it. Examine the evidence here. Much of the information on this web site is from the book, The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships. If you’d like a copy of that book for your own study, you can order it from Amazon, or directly from the publisher.
Mary Lou Wallner lost her lesbian Christian daughter to suicide in February of 1997. Being raised in a fundamentalist, legalistic church environment, Mary Lou was taught the untruth that homosexuality is a sin. Her journey from "tragedy to transformation" is nothing short of amazing. She and her husband, Bob, are strong allies for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgender people. They have a sincere desire to see the church accept and welcome GLBT people just the way God made them.
The Marin Foundation works to build bridges between the LGBT community and the Church through scientific research, biblical and social education, and diverse community gatherings. www.themarinfoundation.org
Odd Man Out www.oddmanout.net A blog about being Christian and gay
Our Story by Eva Sullivan-Knoff http://comingoutcovenant.com/?p=42
Straight for Equality in Faith Communities - Resources http://bit.ly/SP77bv Straight For Equality is a neat little project of PFLAG National (see below)
PFLAG has a resource page with links to over a dozen Welcoming Religious & Spiritual Groups http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=655
RESOURCE WEBSITES -- Non-Faith-Based:
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. www.thetrevorproject.org
The IT GETS BETTER Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach--if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project™ wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone--and it WILL get better. www.itgetsbetter.org
The It Gets Better Project™ has become a worldwide movement, inspiring more than 50,000 user-created videos viewed more than 50 million times. To date, the project has received submissions from celebrities, organizations, activists, politicians and media personalities. In March 2011, six months following the launch of the project, the book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living was released. It includes essays and new material from more than 100 contributors, including celebrities, religious leaders, politicians, parents, educators, youth just out of high school, and many more.
The NOH8 Campaign is a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest. www.noh8campaign.com
Campus Pride envisions campuses and a society free of anti-LGBT prejudice, bigotry and hate. It works to develop student leaders, campus networks, and future actions to create such positive change. www.campuspride.org
GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. www.glaad.org
Human Rights Campaign Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights www.hrc.org
The New Civil Rights Movement is dedicated to keeping you informed of all the issues in the gay rights arena, especially gay marriage. http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com
Pew Forum research package—Gay Marriage & Homosexuality www.pewforum.org/Topics/Issues/Gay-Marriage-and-Homosexuality/
The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to defending the rights of the LGBT community. www.splcenter.org/what-we-do/lgbt-rights
Lambda Legal The nation's oldest and largest legal organization working for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS. www.lambdalegal.org
GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. www.glsen.org
IN THE NEWS:
May 5, 2012 – President Obama with Robin Roberts on Faith, Family, and LGBT Equality http://wapo.st/JYOFnX
Video of Roberts' full interview with the President: http://youtu.be/_RT_0z00LFs
May 19, 2012 – My Take: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage http://bit.ly/JXNxVZ
May 21, 2012 – Newsweek cover touts President Obama "The First Gay President"
It’s easy to write off President Obama's announcement of his support for gay marriage as a political ploy during an election year. But don’t believe the cynics. Andrew Sullivan argues that this announcement has been in the making for years. “When you step back a little and assess the record of Obama on gay rights, you see, in fact, that this was not an aberration. It was an inevitable culmination of three years of work.” http://bit.ly/KRVVmZ
On Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, President Barack Obama gave an 18-minute speech at the 15th annual Human Rights Campaign national dinner. In addition to touting the administration's accomplishments -- like passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law -- Obama pushed for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
May 23, 2012 – Opposition to gay marriage drops to new low after Obama’s announcement http://bit.ly/Kh3sho
May 23, 2012 – Changing Views of Gay Marriage: A Deeper Analysis http://bit.ly/Jdzx73
Visual presentation of the data: http://bit.ly/KaPf2m
May 24, 2012 – Maryland gay marriage poll shows marked shift in public opinion http://huff.to/LuJcd8
"57% of likely voters would vote to uphold the law allowing same-sex marriage, while 37% would not, representing a 12-point shift from an identical survey in early March.”
June 15, 2012 – President Obama celebrating Pride Month Full remarks at http://1.usa.gov/OTVzA8
"For every person who lost a loved one at the hand of hate, we ended a decade of delay and finally made the Matthew Shepard Act the law of the land. For every person with HIV who was treated like an outcast, we lifted the HIV entry ban. ... For every partner or spouse denied the chance to comfort a loved one in the hospital, we said, enough. Hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid now have to treat LGBT patients just like any other patient. For every American denied insurance just for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, we passed health insurance reform, which will ban that kind of discrimination. ... [And while] Americans may be able serve openly in the military, many are still growing up alone and afraid; picked on, pushed around for being different. And that’s why my administration has worked to raise awareness about bullying."
July 2, 2012 – Fact Is… Anderson Cooper Thanks God He’s Gay http://huff.to/MQSmkx
August 1, 2012 – Surging Catholic Support for Gay Marriage, Gay Adoption http://bit.ly/MT7c9g
August 9, 2012 – Fifteen States Ask Supreme Court to Review Defense Of Marriage Act http://huff.to/Qk0WHh
August 17, 2012 – Young Conservatives Supporting Marriage Equality http://bit.ly/SwFosL
August 24, 2012 – Head of Exodus: Reparative Therapy (Gay to Straight) Does Not Work http://bit.ly/Pdfklr
September 21, 2012 – Rev. Sharpton, black clergy urge support of Maryland same-sex marriage referendum http://bitly.com/UzJrYQ
September 25, 2012 – Chicago black preacher's epistle on gay marriage is a must-read http://bit.ly/RWRsbx
September 29, 2012 – California bans gay conversion therapy for minors http://bit.ly/PC7ZwP
October 4, 2012 – Bishop Gene Robinson discusses NOM's continued opposition to LGBT equality http://bit.ly/RaqubI
October 18, 2012 – Appeals Court Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) http://read.bi/RJzeck
DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman and says states don't have to recognize same-sex marriage.
November 5, 2012 – Obama Responds to 10-Year-Old's Letter About Her Dads http://bitly.com/VulAfB
November 7, 2012 – A Big Leap for Marriage Equality http://bitly.com/RFVlA7
November 9, 2012 – One pastor’s commentary on the 2012 election regarding the LGBT community http://bit.ly/Ud88aa
November 17, 2012 – To have and to hold: The trend toward giving homosexuals full marriage rights is gaining momentum http://econ.st/ZCl27B
December 3, 2012 – APA Revises Manual: Being Transgender is no longer a mental disorder http://bit.ly/UD84EQ
December 7, 2012 – Supreme Court agrees to hear two cases on gay marriage http://nyti.ms/V3Ztvv
December 7, 2012 – Supreme Court to take up Prop. 8, DOMA http://cbsn.ws/VsUYpU
December 10, 2012 – Liberals in Our Midst: How the Religious Left is Changing America’s Future http://bit.ly/UtUTS8
December 11, 2012 – Fox News: Homosexuality ultimately result of gene regulation, researchers find http://fxn.ws/U42k4f
December 11, 2012 – UN Secretary-General Makes Extraordinary Statement in Support of LGBT People http://bit.ly/126Flvc
December 12, 2012 – The Supreme Court's options on gay marriage http://bit.ly/VLlMbC
December 28, 2012 – 2012's Top Ten Moments in Christian Faith & LGBT Equality http://bit.ly/VJv9Sw
January 3, 2013 – Evangelicals who say being gay is OK http://ind.pn/YZzRy6
January 10, 2013 – UMC Bishop Sally Dyck endorses same-sex marriage proposal in Illinois http://bit.ly/11jZ8Zn
January 14, 2013 – Wendell Berry expounds on gay marriage http://bit.ly/XbOywx
January 15, 2013 – Huge Announcement by Famous UK Pastor Steve Chalke http://bit.ly/W8Nf2q
January 15, 2013 – Landmark Ruling Strikes Down Religion-Based LGBT Discrimination (UK) http://huff.to/VhiMkp
January 18, 2013 – Preacher at Inaugural National Prayer Service Evolving on Gay Issues http://bit.ly/VfFjgt
January 25, 2013 – President Obama's message to the National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change
February 5, 2013 – UK Lawmakers approve same-sex marriage in first vote http://bit.ly/14Yf2ca
CULTURE WARS: The Chick-fil-A Controversy
February 8, 2011 – Chick-fil-A, Sex, Marriage, and "Unprotected Texts" http://bit.ly/gVNAje
August 1, 2012 – Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay Controversy: Gay Employees Speak Out http://huff.to/NUJxXv
August 2, 2012 – Five Reasons Why the Church Failed Yesterday http://bit.ly/NWymxE
August 5, 2012 – Pastor Rev. Dr. Roger L. Ray of Community Christian Church in Springfield, MO gives a 15-minute homily on "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day"
February 8, 2013 – Dan and Me: My Coming Out as a Friend of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A http://bit.ly/NWymxE
February 8, 2013 – Five Simple Lessons from Shane Windmeyer's Friendship with Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy http://wapo.st/TUAN9m
Life Journey is a church that’s passionate about following Jesus, serious about the Bible, genuinely diverse, and theologically open-minded. You will find a warm welcome whoever you are — straight or gay, white or black, Asian or Hispanic, conservative or liberal, old or young, rich or poor, married or single, transgender or any gender identity.
We Won't Be Silent Anymore is an incredible gospel collection crafted by same-gender-loving and transgender persons reclaiming their gifts, calling, and full inclusion into the life of the church. This music is powerful not in spite of being delivered by people on the margin, but expressly because it is from people on the margin.
Ray Boltz has sold more than 4.5 million albums and toured the world as one of Christian music’s top artists. Few know that his most popular songs came from his struggle with his faith and sexuality. In this 32-minute podcast of Faith Matters, Ray talks about his journey to reconciling his faith and sexuality:
Jennifer Knapp: Albums “The Way I Am” (2001) and “Letting Go” (2011) http://bit.ly/RgNLqI
Tonex (The Artist Formerly Known as Tonex)
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Latest update: 02/08/13