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March 14, 2017

When Christian Celebrities Go Gay

There seems to be a new kind of “coming out of the closet” occurring at the intersection of faith and sexuality. One in which renowned Christian authors and musicians are moving beyond public support of revisionist sexual ethics and themselves professing an openly gay lifestyle. Something novel to mainstream contemporary Christian culture.

Several Christian celebrities and their recent declarations as members of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) community sent shockwaves adding to the theological dissentions surrounding traditional Christian teaching. Even as the Church navigates delicate conversations around sexual orientation and gender identity, these celebrities’ wide influence could perpetuate misconceptions and confusion among Christians, especially many within the millennial generation, who wish to “reconcile” same-sex relationships and Scripture.

Below are brief biographies of five Christian celebrities who have come out as practicing gay lifestyles.

Glennon Doyle Melton

Popular Christian author and “Momastery” blogger Glennon Doyle Melton (pictured above) saw her 2016 memoir rise to the #1 New York Times Bestseller spot and was featured as an Oprah’s Bookclub selection. The book focused on Melton’s marriage in the wake of her husband’s infidelity and moving forward. Sadly, her marriage was not redeemed.

On November 13, 2016 Melton announced in a Facebook post that she was dating retired U.S. female soccer star Abby Wambach. Just three months later, Melton announced again on Facebook her engagement to Wambach. “Abby and I have decided to hold hands forever. Love Wins,” Melton posted.

Although Melton is a member of the notoriously liberal and declining United Church of Christ, her blog and bestselling book influence a considerably broad audience. According to her official website, Melton’s blog is “reaching millions of people each week.”

Trey Pearson

The Christian rock band Everyday Sunday composed popular Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) songs like popular “Wake up! Wake up!” and their bubbly melodies were hard to escape during the late 2000s. But last spring the band’s lead vocalist Trey Pearson sent shockwaves after declaring he is gay in an open letter fans.

In 2008, Pearson married his wife, Lauren, with whom he has two children. But Pearson claimed in his letter that his marriage was masking who he truly was. “I am never going to be able to change how I am, and no matter how healthy our relationship becomes, it’s never going to change what I know deep down: that I am gay,” he wrote.

“There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” Pearson told Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt. “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.”

Vicky Beeching

Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) star and worship songwriter Vicky Beeching’s lyrics to “Glory to God Forever” are sung by millions of Christians in the United States, where she lived for nearly a decade writing and recording worship music. In August 2014, Beeching, then 35 years old, came out as gay during an interview with The Independent, a British newspaper.

Beeching grew up in the United Kingdom attending first a conservative Pentecostal church before switching to an evangelical branch of the Church of England. “I still consider myself an Evangelical. I love the Evangelical Church,” Beeching said during her keynote address at the 2015 Gay Christian Network conference. “And yet many people in that tradition say that I can’t belong. But I point them to Jesus. The storyteller. The man who answered questions with questions.”

According to her official website, Beeching was named “arguably the most influential Christian in her generation” by The Guardian and her vision is to “help change the Church from the inside out until it affirms and blesses LGBT sexuality and equal marriage.” Beeching is currently working on a memoir focusing on her Christian faith and story of coming out as gay to be published by HarperCollins in 2017.

Jennifer Knapp

In 2003 Jennifer Knapp, a popular Christian music artist, suddenly stepped away from the CCM scene. A surprising decision for a young Dove award-winning artist and Grammy nominee whose debut album sold over 500,000 records. Even more surprising: Knapp made headlines seven years later with a new album and new sexual orientation.

When asked in 2010 by a Christianity Today reporter if she attended a church, Knapp replied “No.”

However, Knapp continues to perform in liberal Christian circles, having sung at a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship event in 2012 and the annual Wild Goose Festival in 2013, as the Institute on Religion and Democracy previously reported.

Ray Boltz

What 90’s Evangelical kid doesn’t remember singing along to “The Anchor Holds” or “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” in church? That’s because Christian singer and songwriter Ray Boltz sold nearly 4.5 million albums by the time he retired from the music business in the late 1990s.

During his retirement in 2004, Boltz came out as gay to his family. In 2008, Boltz had agreed to perform at Washington D.C.’s Metropolitan Community Church, a reconciling congregation, as Christianity Today reported at the time.­­­­ When The Washington Blade, an LGBTQ newspaper, found out Boltz performed at the church they reached out. That’s when Boltz said he decided to publically declare he was gay.

“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid,” Boltz told The Washington Blade. “I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore — when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”

Today Boltz tries to stay out of the limelight for the most part. The last interview I could find was between Boltz and Watermark Online in 2015 where he discussed his journey and plans to perform at Venice’s Metropolitan Community Church in Florida. “I think faith is a journey,” Boltz told the outlet. “It goes back to the concept ‘honest doubt leads to great faith.’ I came to the realization that God loves me just the way I am.”

 

 


10 Responses to When Christian Celebrities Go Gay

  1. Nutstuyu says:

    “I’d denied it ever since I was a kid,” Boltz told The Washington Blade. “I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still into sex with little kids. I know I am.”

    Might as well ‘cuz all love wins right?

  2. thushjz says:

    This Pastor with same sex attraction is doing it the right way…those in the uh, church that say they are christian leaders and homosexual are trying to bring God down to their perverse humanistic level…as if that were possible…http://www.faithwire.com/2017/03/10/same-sex-attracted-pastor-breaks-down-his-now-viral-traditional-marriage-defense-to-redefine-it-will-distort-the-gospel/

  3. On the contrary, FAR too many Christian celebrities are remaining silent on the most important moral issues of our time. For example, there are very few things in the world today that deserve more attention of the followers of Jesus than does marriage. It is under attack as never before. Our witness to the eternal truth on marriage is more important now than ever. (See: The Marriage Commitment Challenge.) We must be very deliberate and opportunistic in our defense of marriage. Whenever we have the opportunity, we must speak out in defense of marriage. This is especially true of pastors, politicians, teachers, authors, and apologists.

    Christian artists should produce music, movies, and other forms of entertainment that defend and glorify marriage, and whenever given a stage, Christian entertainers should vigorously defend what God gave us when it comes to marriage. Those of us who are policemen, firemen, work in an office, work in a warehouse, work on a farm, mow lawns, work in the home, and the like, must also take every opportunity to model and speak the truth on marriage.

    See: Where Are the Christian Celebrities on Marriage?

  4. JuliaMarks says:

    We are looking at these people’s desire to turn us into voyeurs. We now get to look through their curtains so we can see how they prefer to have their genitalia stimulated.

    And somehow, in its absolute insanity, for these people this becomes a religious issue.

    Yeah, homosexuality is a religious issue. I think the New Testament speaks only about 25 times (as opposed to never) on the matter of sexual immorality. That, even in those days, included homosexuality. Along with incest. And bestiality.

    So if these people believe that God has changed his mind on this matter, or that he was good with it all along, then these people are not Christian. Or have any familiarity or respect for the Bible.

    It’s as simple as that.

  5. Skipper says:

    Jesus strongly condemned the Pharisees for making the bible say what they wanted it to. Are these any different? Perhaps they have not even read the bible though.
    What would they do with Jude 1:7, which says of Sodom and Gomorrah “These cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.” In II Timothy 4:2-3 we are instructed to correct people. It says “They will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear. They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories.”
    Have they placed their faith in God and His Word? Is their faith in something other than God? If so, how can they claim to be a follower?

    • ExpertExpat says:

      What would they say about Jude 1:7? Perhaps they would answer with Ezekiel 16: 48-50
      “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you (Israel) and your daughters. Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.”

  6. jyearsley says:

    Okay, allow me to begin here: I do not recognize any of these five names. They are not what registers in my world view as either celebrity or Christian example.

    Reading this article, the common theme here is NOT Christian faith. It is how these agents of the Adversary have cynically and commercially exploited the faith for profit.

    To suddenly declare yourself to intentionally, impenitently and happily embrace behavior that the Word clearly calls sin is (IMHO) a prima facie case that one was never really among the elect of God.

    Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’

  7. Tim Roof says:

    I don’t know (have heard of) any of these people. If you are heavily invested in Reformed theology, you’re more likely not to have as much knowledge of the broader general evangelical church “personalities,” though you may be aware of what’s going on there in general.

  8. Pudentiana says:

    Decades ago, Paris Reidhead preached a sermon called Ten Shekels and A Shirt wherein he referenced these types of celebrities and others saying, “What can we call this and how will it apply to our day’s generation. Would I be out of line if I were to talk to you for a little while about utilitarian religion and expedient Christianity? And a useful God? I would like to call attention to the fact that our day is a day which the ruling philosophy is pragmatism. You understand what I mean by pragmatism? Pragmatism means if it works it’s true. If it succeeds it’s good. And the test of all practices, all principles, all truth, so called all teaching, is do they work? Do they work? Now, according to pragmatism, the greatest failures of the ages have been some of the men God has honored most.” Classic.

  9. Ken says:

    Sorry but there can be NO such thing as a gay Christian! Jesus said to repent and sin no more. How can a person be a Christian if they continue to live and flaunt their sin?

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