Southern Baptist Preacher Affirms Polyamory (Interview with Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood)

As part of the conversation on polyamory and the church, I want to bring some voices other than my own onto this blog. So you’ll be seeing a few guest posts and interviews from other poly folks and poly-affirming Christian leaders. If you have something you’d like to contribute, let me know.

Today, I’m interviewing Baptist pastor Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood.


CM: From your Southern Baptist background, I’m sure you haven’t always affirmed polyamory. Could you share how your views have shifted on this matter? What led to your change of mind?

Jeff Hood
Image credit: Jeff Hood’s public profile image.

JH: The old wooden doors were intimidating. Pushing hard, I got one of them open. Since everything had already started, I sat on the back pew. I heard a message of love that pulled at me stronger than anything I’d ever felt. Before I knew it, I was out in the aisle. Along the way, I heard the voices of the polyamorous repeatedly whispering, “Why are you persecuting us?” Unable to contain myself, I shouted out, “Forgive me!” At that moment, I collapsed. Before I perished, I felt the pull. Divine polyamory found me a sinner and lifted me up by grace. The Holy Trinity ushered me to love. Looking around, I saw a great cloud of polyamorous witnesses shouting, “Holy! Holy! Holy, is the polyamorous love of God!” The waters of a wild grace washed away all my sin; I was forever changed. In the midst of a great resistance, polyamory saved my soul.

CM: That’s a very poetic way of putting it. Let me see if I’m understanding you in plainer language. Would you say that your intellectual objections were overcome by actually getting to know polyamorous individuals?

JH: I’m saying that the polyamorous God saved my soul. I once was blind…but now I see.

CM: Could you elaborate on how you understand God as polyamorous?
[Update: See how I (Chuck) would address this question.]

JH: There is no more intimate love than the love we share with God. In the beginning, God created us in God’s image…we exist to share intimacy with God. The relationship encompasses all types of intimacy. The fact that God seeks such passionate intimacy with all of us…certainly makes God a lover of more than one person at the same time. I have often pondered that polyamorous individuals might be more like God than all the rest us…because they are living out the wildly multidirectional intimacy of God.

The Holy Trinity is a polyamorous relationship. You can’t talk about the level of intimacy and ecstacy that these three beings are constantly experiencing without defining their relationship in such a way. Their love has always been and will always be a shared phenomenon. In the Holy Trinity, love is never denied. We should spend our lives making sure that the love of polyamorous individuals is never denied and always protected. The Holy Trinity demands it.

God is with us. The more we love…the more God loves. We are called to follow God. We are called to keep making love. Polyamorous folks are doing it. How can we deny such holiness?

While there could be many explanations of the polyamorous God, the one that matters the most is this…God dwells within the oppressed and marginalized (Matthew 25)…polyamorous folks are constantly oppressed and marginalized…God is polyamorous…and if we want to get saved than we have to figure out a way to become connected to polyamory.

Behold, I saw God…on one side of the divine, stood the polyamorous and their allies…and on the other side, stood the oppressors of the polyamorous. I heard a voice loudly declare, “They will go first!” The oppressors began to shout, “Why?” God quickly snapped back and said, “When I tried to love my family…you got in the way. When I tried to get married…you forbid it. When I just wanted to be a part of the community…you shunned me.” Then, God said, “What you have done to the polyamorous amongst you…you have done to me.” Without the polyamorous, we cannot know God.

Love is always Bigger.

Love is Wider.

Salvation is Love.

Polyamory is Love.

Love is Salvation.

Polyamory is Salvation.

How have you Loved the Oppressed?

Hod have you Loved the Polyamorous?

How have you Loved?

How have you?

God.

Love.

CM: As a pastor, what kind of responses have you received for your affirmation of polyamory?

JH: The only people who have responded negatively are church assholes that have no knowledge of God. Let me tell you though…there have been some nasty ones. People have stalked me. People have called me a heretic. People have called me disgusting. People have threatened my life. I could go on and on. Do these people sound like they know anything about love? Hell no. I ain’t listening to a damn word they say. I know who I’m listening to. I hear the voice of God, “I am the way, the truth and the life…no one can can love me and condemn polyamory…for I am polyamorous.”

CM: Any more-positive responses from the church world?

JH: No.

CM: What do you think it will take to see polyamory more accepted in the church?

JH: Sacrificing everything. We are called to give our lives to the marginalized. We are called to give our lives to the oppressed. We are called to give our lives to our neighbors. We are called to give our lives. How could I follow God and sacrifice anything less? If it is my fate to be crucified with the polyamorous, then so be it. There is no worthier aim than to give one’s life for love.


Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood is a Baptist pastor, theologian, and activist living and working in Texas. In addition to two bachelor and four graduate degrees, Dr. Hood holds a doctorate with a focus in Queer Theology from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. In addition to his studies, Dr. Hood was ordained to the ministry in 2006, at a church within the Southern Baptist Convention. In 2009, Dr. Hood graduated with an MDiv from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2009. The author of 19 books, Dr. Hood is particularly proud of his recent book The Execution of God from Chalice Press. In 2016, Dr. Hood’s book The Courage to Be Queer was named the third best religion book of the year at the Independent Publishers Book Awards. In addition to writing books, Dr. Hood’s work has appeared extensively in the media, including in the Dallas Morning News, Huffington Post, Fort Worth Star Telegram, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Los Angeles Times, WIRED magazine and on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR amongst a whole host of other outlets. Dr. Hood is a husband to Emily and the father of five young children. With deep soul and a belief that God is “calling us to something queerer,” Dr. Hood is a radical mystic and prophetic voice to a closed society.

You can message Dr. Hood through his public Facebook page.


Posts on polyamory

"Oh is that your plan? Or do you think it's already categorized as a mental ..."

It’s Time for the Church to ..."
"Fred - you are not the only one reporting heavy-duty antagonism on the atheist side ..."

Thoughts on the Eucharist: Mystical not ..."
"at the end of the day, it's the atheists on Patheos that are driving me ..."

Thoughts on the Eucharist: Mystical not ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • https://littlegreenleafinthewoods.wordpress.com charlesburchfield

    What is polyamory?
    https://youtu.be/cDGlN6mluGA

  • Big Giant Head

    OK, wtf? He heard voices alright…..

  • Joseph Porter

    Real loving stuff here:
    JH: “The only people who have responded negatively are church assholes that have no knowledge of God.”
    #thenewfundamentalists

    • Schaarfell

      a little ironic after all his blathering on about what he calls “love”!

  • Hojo Hominygrits

    1 Timothy 3:2 “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,”

    • ChrisDACase95

      It’s talking about bishops. That’s the only people is the Bible that monogamy is peers iner to. God explicitly condones polygamy and the whole Bride of Christ is polygamous.

  • https://littlegreenleafinthewoods.wordpress.com charlesburchfield

    Jeff Hood when I see the pain in your eyes I think of someone who is walking wounded.

  • Melissa Sanderson-Brown

    This dude needs to be removed before he does any more damage. This is blasphemy!
    And it makes me sad that he is letting his emotions lead him and have to wonder what kind of life has he been leading?
    But this is NOT okay.

    • David

      Amen.

    • ChrisDACase95

      Where in the Bible is polygamy considered a sin; God credits himself with giving David his many wives, so he clealry condones it. Historically monogamy was adopted from the pagans.

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/627459376/ Robert B Matheson

    Dr. Jeff Hood is clearly biblically ignorant, his so-called knowledge of God comes from Satan.

    • Sophotroph

      Said the Reverend Nobody.

      • David

        Without any doubt.

  • Mike Landsman

    Is this satire?

    • Palamas

      It sounds like it should be, but I’m guessing that he’s perfectly serious.

  • curtis sheidler

    BREAKING: MAN WHO IS NOT A PRACTICING SOUTHERN BAPTIST AND HATES THOSE WHO ARE BELIEVES THINGS WILDLY OUT OF STEP WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST THEOLOGY.

    • Greg Wixted

      Big if true.

  • Palamas

    This is the Holy Trinity as putty nose. Using this kind of “reasoning,” Hood can justify virtually anything (incest, for instance–after all, the Trinity does encompass Father AND Son, and we all know what that means, right?). That’s not theology, it’s high-toned blasphemy.

  • jo

    I’m sure the church has hurt you deeply Dr. Hood and I’m sorry for that. At the same time, I’m deeply saddened by your generalization that all Christians who respond negatively to your acceptance of polyamory are merely ‘a**holes.’ This does not strike me as very Christ-like and I’m not trying to be self-righteous here. If by polyamory you mean simply an agape, other-oriented, trinitarian relationship with more than one person, such as our brothers and sisters in the Church, then I am on board. But that is not what I think you mean by polyamory. If you mean to include anything sexual in your conception of polyamory, than this is outside the God’s prescription for marriage of which passages you are certainly aware of. Sex was designed as a covenantal expression of mutual love in the context of monogamous marriage.

  • B_Cody

    I commend the first article from the Nashville Statement to you as a concise, clear summary of the biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality, Chuck. You should read it, repent and affirm the Scriptures.
    “WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church.
    WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.”

    • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

      You do know that the Nashville Statement is not scripture, right?

      • David

        You do know that the Nashville statement is a totally accurate description of what Holy Scripture testifies – right?

        • http://hippieheretic.com/ Chuck McKnight

          Hahaha! That gave me a really good belly laugh. Oh, man. Thank you for that. Ha!

        • ChrisDACase95

          No it is not. Polygamy is all over the Bible, and no where is monogamy mentioned with approval.

          • B_Cody

            Sin is also mentioned “all over the Bible,” but that doesn’t mean it is good or even acceptable. Marriage is a covenant made by God. See Matthew 19:4-5.

          • ChrisDACase95

            Expect God explicitly made and arranged polygamous marriage. And mentions it with approval.

            “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.”
            2 Samuel 12:8.

            “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. ”
            1 Kings 15:5.

      • B_Cody

        You’ve already rejected the Scriptures. I was thinking a clear doctrinal line in the sand would help, but you’re right…if you jettison the Word of God, you’ll abandon anything that holds to them.

        • ChrisDACase95

          Again, the Bible advocates clearly polygamy. The Nashville Statment is wholly inaccurate.

          • B_Cody

            Again, Matthew 19:4-5-He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

          • ChrisDACase95

            Notice tha he isn’t asked to define marriage, but uses this verse to condmene divorce. The Nashville Statment is written by and for folks who want to continue pretending they don’t hate gay people, when it was Westboro Baptist approved and it was signed by the same people who passed the “Kill the gays laws” in Uganda. Jesus did not define marriage. Nor was it God who made the covenant, it was Adam, a man who never existed.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-mike-huckabee-jesus-didnt-define-marriage/

            Also…

            1 Samuel 18-“And it came to pass, when he (David) had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”

    • David

      Thank you! Thank you! And AMEN. The really sad thing is that this man believes his own unbelief as true knowledge of and love of God.

    • ChrisDACase95

      Except no where in the Bible does it say marriage is only one man one woman. Polygamy is throughout thr Bible and is condoned by God. The only people monogamy is perscribed to is with bishops. Monogamy is a pagan ptactics that was adopted by the Jewish community, which was historically polygamous.

      • B_Cody

        Matthew 19:4-5-He [Jesus] answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

        • ChrisDACase95

          1 Samuel 18-“And it came to pass, when he (David) had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”

          “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.”
          2 Samuel 12:8.

          1 Samuel 21-“And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.”

          “I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” 2 Samuel 1:19-27.

          “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. ”
          1 Kings 15:5.

          If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.” Exodus 21:10.

          “If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated: Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn: But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.” Deuteronomy 21:15-17.

  • Nicola M. Costello

    Human beings can only love one person totally at a time because we are finite. God is infinite and can love more than one person at a time totally.

  • wisdumb

    It’s obvious that this fellow is mixing up sex with love. The words are not synonyms!

  • the trump of god
  • Jim West

    Hood is what happens when theological ignorance meets cultural subservience. The result is a bastardized pseudo-theology and pseudo-Christianity not fit for a dog. Indeed, a dog has better moral grounding than Hood.

  • Kelly Keith Dunn

    I left the SBC 7 years ago, Too much fighting over things that should have been settled. Belief among SBC ministers are all over the map, this is but one example of many. I’m pleased to be among Evangelical Presbyterians. Sound doctrine no in fighting.

  • iHateDiscrimination

    https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.gotquestions.org/amp/polygamy.html

    Prayers for this guy and the people twisting the scripture !

    • ChrisDACase95

      If Got Questions is your go to source of information, you may need help; I can’t take anyone seriously who denies scientific realities or evolution and climate change.

  • Mo

    “The Holy Trinity is a polyamorous relationship. ”

    Nonsense. Where does the Bible remotely hint at the idea that the members of the Trinity are sexually involved? How truly sick and twisted such an idea is.

    “JH: The only people who have responded negatively are church assholes that have no knowledge of God. ”

    Oh, you mean like Jesus, who affirmed the exclusivity of man/woman marriage?

    That’s as far as I read of this blasphemous article.

    I am just going to assume this is satire. It cannot be for real.