Christian author and blogger Sarah Bessey announced today that she and her family are leaving their local church and are no longer connected to Vineyard Canada. She writes on Facebook that they made the decision based on differences with the charismatic network regarding LGBT inclusivity.
"Over the past year, it has become clear that our mutual ability to hold the tension of our disagreements has ended," she writes. "I'll name the elephant in the room: yes, this is mostly related to my inclusive position for LGBTQ+ believers. In our personal life as well as in my public ministry, we have never made a secret of those convictions as I have been openly affirming for many years now. ... Over the past year, it has become clear that LGBTQ+ believers (and those of us who affirm them) are not fully welcome to the life of Christ within our community," she says. "Now that the line is being drawn within the Vineyard Canada and our particular church, we willingly place ourselves with those on the other side of it."
Bessey is known for her vulnerable and progressive approach to faith with books like Jesus Feminist, Out of Sorts and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things.
She openly affirmed same-sex marriage 10 years ago and believes practicing gay Christians should be included in the church, according to her blog.
Bessey says several aspects regarding how the split between her family and the church happened hurt deeply.
"As painful as these months have been for so many reasons, you also need you [sic] to know that we hold no bitterness, judgement, or anger. I believe there is a lot of love between all of us."
Read Bessey's post in its entirety below:
But cultural commentator Michael Brown says the church must go directly to the Scriptures to answer the question "Can someone be gay and Christian?"
"If you claim to be a Christian, then Jesus is your Lord and the Bible is your authority, so the real question is, 'What does Jesus have to say about this?" Brown says. "'God blesses same-sex relationships.' Is this true? To answer this question, we have to go back to the beginning. ... God designed us for heterosexuality."
He then points to Genesis 2, where God designed a suitable helper for Adam: a woman, not another man.
"There's a unique complementarity between [man and woman] biologically, spiritually and emotionally," he says. "That's why man plus man and woman plus woman can never equal man plus woman."
Listen to the podcasts below to hear people share their stories of leaving the LGBT lifestyle to follow Jesus.
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