2020’s Faith series has brought us incredible leaders across decades, generations, denominations, and ideologies. We’ve listened to what makes them excited to be in the faith right now and what’s been challenging. We’ve talked about ways to build a brighter, more beautiful church. As we wrap this series, we’re going to dig in a little deeper to one specific place, and we’ve enlisted three faith leaders to help us navigate through a much-needed discussion. And these faith leaders are members of the LGBTQ+ community—because it is possible to be a part of a church that is passionate about Jesus and affirming to LGBTQ+ groups. Matthew Vines is the founder of the Reformation Project, a nonprofit that educates Christians about the biblical case for LGBTQ+ inclusion. He’s also the author of “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Michael Vazquez is the director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Religion and Faith Program in DC. He leads efforts there to advance equity initiatives in faith communities. B.T. Harman is a content creator and speaker. His blog and podcast “Blue Babies Pink” shed some beautiful light on what it is like to love Jesus, love the church, and be gay. Each of these men has deep commitment to their faith and to the church, and during their formative years, they had to reckon with the truth that they were gay—and they experienced the full spectrum of pain and discovery that so often comes with this particular journey. Today we ask some hard questions: what does it mean to hold one another and our faith leaders accountable? And when it comes to affirmation, what’s public and what’s private? How can we be the best allies for our LGBTQ+ friends? How can we listen and avoid “canceling” one another if we don’t agree, or are there times when it’s called for? Our conversation is fully open, filled with grace and understanding, helping us to view things from different perspectives in the most rewarding way possible.
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