What you’ll find here is a collection of resources that is a starting point for thinking about Christianity and LGBTQ Christians. It is by no means exhaustive, but will hopefully be a helpful way to begin fostering thinking and discussion. The questions we are currently exploring as a church (can the building be rented for LGBTQ weddings, and do the pastors have individual autonomy to perform LGBTQ weddings) are ultimately grasping for a ubc that can accommodate a variety of theological positions on this topic, acknowledging that Christians might disagree on these matters, but still be Christians and part of the same family. So, this list of resources is not intended to present you with two camps to choose between. It is intended to acquaint you with a familial dialogue about LGBTQ folks and Christianity, as well as to offer you the opportunity to hear some stories about how people have navigated this. Below, you’ll find a few books, a few online resources, a couple of sermons, and a couple of blogs (There are more where those came from, but hopefully this is a sampling to help you get started). And below those resources, you’ll find the dates and times of the three Wednesday evening educational moments we will be hosting.
Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill (Wesley is a Gay Christian who believes celibacy is the path in life by which he can be most faithful to God)
God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines (Matthew is a Gay Christian who believes God blesses monogamous same-sex marriages)
People to Be Loved by Preston Sprinkle (Preston believes that celibacy is the call of Gay Christians, though believes the Church has caused serious undue pain to LGBTQ folks, and has a deep responsibility for coming alongside this difficult path)
Changing Our Mind by David Gushee (David, for much of his career, was celibacy affirming, but has experienced a shift in his thinking and is now affirming of monogamous same-sex marriages)
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate by Justin Lee (Justin is a Gay Christian who lays out a path toward enduring fellowship amongst Christians who disagree about what the Bible is asking of Gay Christians)
A Letter To My Congregation by Ken Wilson (This book is primarily about trying to hold space for a diversity of opinion about these matters in church)
Respectful LGBT Conversations by Harold Heie (This book is a collection of conversations between people who disagree about a long list of lgbtq issues, and who seek common ground amidst disagreement)
It can be difficult to find the time to commit reading an entire book, so we want to offer you some blog resources.
-Respectful Conversation Site (This collection of posts would eventually be processed into Respectful LGBT Conversations)
-Preston Sprinkle’s (celibacy affirming) biblical argument.
-Justin Lee, a Gay Christian who is affirming of same-sex monogamous marriages) unfolds his Scriptural case in these two blogs (he has a link at the end of the first one to a book you can buy on the subject, and you should, but I found that the addresses most of the Scripture on some level in the other blog I’m linking.)
- A Brief Summary of the Primary Biblical Points of Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian (Note: This is a VERY SHORT, undeveloped, summary of the ground Vines covers in his book--I’m linking it here just because it was the only thing I found for either conviction that was really short, and I know that might be enticing for some people)
The Q Christian Fellowship is comprised of Side A (same-gender sex affirming) and Side B (celibacy affirming) Christians, and have historically held space with one another despite these disagreements. Their recent conference took up unity as its theme. Here is a devotional written by a Side A member (Isaac Archuleta) to prepare for this gathering, and a response from a Side B member (Anthony Trent). These posts have found their way on this list because of the insights they offer us into our own attempts to grasp for unity amidst carrying differing convictions:
If you click around their site a bit, you can find a number of stories from people of various theological convictions. Here are a few:
Here are two sermons that ultimately come to different practical conclusions about the church’s relationship with lgbtq folks. The first is by Patrick Adair, the second by Kyndall Rothaus.
The Liturgists (This episode is pretty lengthy, but it is worth the time--it’s a collection of interviews about personal engagements between Christianity and LGBTQ Christians.)
Wesley Hill on the Park Church Podcast (the content is similar to his book--talking about his journey as a Gay Celibate Christian)
Justin Lee on the Spark Podcast--This isn’t explicitly about LGBTQ matters, but it’s about talking across differing viewpoints. It’s mainly on this list for what he says in the last two minutes, but we would do well to hear the whole thing.
Wednesday Night Educational Moments
We’re hosting several educational moments over the next couple of months. Each of these gatherings will occur from 5:30-7pm.
February 13th: Conversation Tools workshop.
February 27th: Exploring biblical and theological perspectives.
March 6th: Hearing from two guests (one Side A, one Side B) about their beliefs (it’s also Ash Wednesday).