I Got Smashed Live On Air by Conservative Christians

Yesterday, Monday, I was live on air on Moody Radio’s Morning Ride with Mark Elfstrand.

This interview came about as I was alerted by a friend about two weeks ago that the Morning Ride was talking some heavy trash about me, my organization and our I’m Sorry Campaign at the Gay Pride Parade. Not only did I go to Moody Theological Seminary for my Masters, but I’ve been on all of their programs at least 20-30 times over the past few years (though I have only been on the Morning Ride once – and that was quite the experience in real-time perseverance). So I called the producer and said:

“You know me. You know how to get a hold of me. I’ve been on your program before. And yet you still decide to talk negatively behind my back instead of talking to me personally. That doesn’t sound like a very Christian thing to do, now does it?”

They then retrospectively invited me on after I called them out behind the scenes. And yesterday was quite the experience. I was prepared for a not-so-welcome welcome because of what happened last time I was on their program. But you’re just going to have to listen to it to get the full effect!

Here are a few highlights:

The host, Mark Elfstrand, for the entire first segment asked me six or seven different times if I believed homosexuality is a sin. He kept asking because I kept giving him an answer he didn’t like. As you all know, I don’t answer yes/no questions. Boy that didn’t make him happy (and yes, it was quite awkward during the breaks).

Then he went on to start arguing with me that Jesus, when asked yes/no questions by well-intentioned friends, answered with a yes/no answer. Unfortunately for Mark, that is not true. And I quoted Scripture to make sure he knew that. He was quite embarrassed – that was not my intention, I just want him to get his facts correct instead of continuing to publicly speak falsities about parts of the Bible he obviously does not know to be true or false.

He made it quite clear throughout the whole interview that it’s not my right to apologize for any of the Church.

Then the callers came the last 10 minutes or so! What they said to me was unreal. Almost amusing (and for me, being as sensitive as I am with being lied about/made fun of/directly insulted, that is a big accomplishment).

I won’t do any of their constant insults justice, you’re just going to have to listen to them for yourself.

And for those of you who just think that I get raked through the coals by some LGBT outlets, just listen to these conservative Christians go off on me. As I have always said, when you work to build a bridge you make yourself vulnerable to both ‘sides’. Here’s a great example of that. I just try to continue to stay humble and live like Jesus as best as I can.

To listen to the interview, click here, then next to my picture click the Listen button

Since yesterday I’ve gotten quite a few emails/Facebooks/etc asking me why I would keep doing this work and continue to get pounded on by both communities? Here are two quick answers written to me yesterday after the interview that remind me why…

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Jill Williams

    We love you.

    Nate and Jill

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    I don’t appreciate you apologizing for me, Marin! :P j/k

    Thanks for putting your neck out there, Andrew.

  • Ben

    Very interesting interview and it makes me even happier to know that I will get to meet you in Las Vegas for the Idea Camp. I look forward to it.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Can’t wait to meet you as well.

  • Mike

    Hey Andrew,

    You said in the interview that we must earn the right to speak into others lives. I don’t know you, you don’t know me but I wanted to share with you this: Thanks for speaking with such grace. Your answers were not “double speak” as caller #1 and #3 mentioned. Also, I felt the host spoke with a peaceable tone and wasn’t attacking you (there was a statement at the end that I felt was a bit of a low blow). Obviously I wasn’t there and don’t know how it made you feel BUT thank you to the both of you for having this convo and handling it with grace. I’m sure you hear this often (at least I hope you do) but your work IS important and has helped change my heart and see things with a “Jesus perspective”. Thanks dude!

  • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

    “Faithfulness is the original evangelism.” Wow….tough, true words, Andrew. I just finished listening and it was great! You are, I believe, a prophet.

  • Mrs T

    I will repeat what I have said before: Christians supposedly are all about reaching groups that abuse others. Their technique is not to go in hitting them with the Gospel, but loving & helping. They are careful not to say much about Christianity, but they go into these closed countries LIVING it – and TaDa! – building bridges!!!!!
    But try to do it in our neighborhood, only a few miles from the Institute, & you/we get all kinds of criticism & doubt! I love MBI, too, but they have something confused. This group(GLBT) has been super-alienated by the church & we have to build bridges, not shove anything down their throat!
    BTW, I don’t think it is a sin to be gay. Behaviors are another issue, but I’m not qualified to judge each case. I am very comfortable to be among my neighbors. I wish I had gotten to know more at a younger age, but here I am, supporting you & what you do!!!!!
    ((HUGS))
    PS Don’t answer those questions! It’s also OK to say “I don’t know!”
    I surely don’t know all the answers, either, but I do know that God loves everyone. Christians can start there!

  • http://www.jesusneedsnewpr.net mpt

    Wow. The hardest part for me to listen to were the callers–their words, their tone, their implications. Such entitlement.

    You handled that dialogue amazingly. I’m not sure you could have done it any better, Andrew–especially the “caller section”–you were polite and yet you stood your ground.

    Thank you for what you do, friend. I still want to tour together some day! :)

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Dude, seriously, it’s going to happen!

  • http://www.sarahmarkley.com Sarah Markley

    I’m listening to your interview right now…halfway thru. I’ve heard of you before, but i’m seriously impressed with your eloquence and your humility and the way you handle Mark’s questions .

    thank you for your bravery and passion for a difficult subject.

  • Andy D

    Hi Andrew I love what you’re doing and pray God continues to bless your ministry. Unfortunately, I feel you grossly misrepresented the tone and exaggerated the content of the interview at least on the host’s part. Why you chose to do so I don’t know, but your title is pretty telling.

    “The host, Mark Elfstrand, for the entire first segment asked me six or seven different times if I believed homosexuality is a sin. He kept asking because I kept giving him an answer he didn’t like.”

    It seemed more like 3-4 times.

    “He was quite embarrassed – that was not my intention, I just want him to get his facts correct instead of continuing to publicly speak falsities about parts of the Bible he obviously does not know to be true or false.”

    He didn’t seem embarrassed, at least in what was played. His point seemed to be that different contexts call for different answers, and I think your refusal to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is not qualified in the sense that Jesus was. He refused when the answers were obvious—his disciples and friends should have recognized him as the Messiah. However, Elfstrand’s question was a valid one and in the context of the types of friendships you are pursuing I hope you are ready to lead people to the truth. Your responses were evasive, and in the context of many church denominations condoning LGBT lifestyles especially by ordaining people openly practicing sin as ministers there’s no room for ambiguity in this discussion.

    I don’t understand why you would paint such an interview in such a hostile light. If that is the worst you’ve seen—getting ‘smashed’—I’m thankful to God. Keep up the good work but remember to be charitable towards all people, especially when the host closes with “God is using you in a wonderful way.”

    • Lyndsey

      Thank you Andy D for your comment. those were my thoughts exactly. Andrew, you are doing great work and I do believe in the way you are witnessing for Christ. Just remember we are all broken in need of a Savior. I didn’t hear any bashing from the host. What I heard was more concern from a loving father.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      I totally get where you and Lyndsey are coming from. Much of what I said regarding Mark was coming from the facial expressions and “conversations” during the breaks. Mark did use a very gentile tone throughout and was very gracious at the end, as you pointed out. I am definitely very grateful that they allowed me to be on their airwaves to get this message across! Most of what I wanted to let people hear was not about Mark, but about the callers, to show how far we still have to go in this work.

      Also, some in the LGBT community recently feel that I get ‘a pass’ with conservative folks just because I’m a straight Christian. I wanted to post this to let everyone know just because I’m straight and evangelical, I don’t get a pass with anyone.

      Thanks for your engaging Andy and Lyndsey!

  • Dora

    Just imagine having to work for a living and having to deal with people like that every day Andrew. In fact, imagine the guy across the cubicle from you being one of the Prop 8 supporting right wing christians? Welcome to my world. Just imagine those people controlling the legal system and using millions of dollars and right wing airwaves to attack gays and lesbians night and day. They’re not going to be nice.

  • Nate

    Hey man,

    Just listened to the interview and wanted to at the very least let you know that I’m glad you represented me. If the church is “the body” and not many bodies, the church has been sinful in it’s priority to judge before loving and for that, we need apologize. Thanks for what you do and I join you in apologizing for our slowness to love.

    Nate

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Thanks Nate.

  • Jason

    Andrew,
    I am inspired after listening to your interview. You speak from a position of love and authenticity. It is easier to live a life where all the issues are “settled”. It takes courage to live in the tension. Keep up your Kingdom work.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Living in the tension, indeed! :)

  • Debbie Thurman

    During the interview, Mark offered that Christians are called in either a “prophetic” or “priestly” direction, with the one emphasizing biblical truth and the other reconciliation, and you seemed to agree, Andrew. Then you went on to discuss your perspective of the cultural view of reconciliation, i.e., man to man. But one who is in the prophetic role is primarily concerned about reconciliation of man to God. I believe one who is seeking to evangelically draw others to Christ (in order that they can be reconciled to him) speaks the truth as an act of love, but also stands ready to be reconciled to their brother or sister, remembering that (as you said) they can only control their side and human reconciliation is also two-way street.

    In the example from Matthew where the Pharisees were asking Jesus if it were “lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all,” Jesus clearly was answering “no.” You say he wasn’t. He used it as a teachable moment, which is why he said as much as he did.

    I think you imply that, as an evangelical, you believe choosing to follow a life that includes homosexual behavior is sinful. I hear that — barely. I have to listen very, very closely to hear it. Many people will not hear that.

    I’m glad the one caller asked you about Bible studies, since you talk so much about those in your book. I have wondered if you were continuing those.

    My conclusion, after listening closely to the entire interview, is that you were not at all “smashed” and that the interviewer was most respectful, even conceding that your call to serve in the way you do is authentic. The first two callers did have a rather combative undertone, but that was a very small part of the program.

    • Lyndsey

      Debbie – I’m glad to see you commenting on various sites. I had started to follow your blog when you had decided to take a rest. Your writings have helped my husband and I greatly in understanding our son more. Bless You! I hope you are doing well.

      • Debbie Thurman

        Thank you, Lyndsey. I hope you are well, too.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Debbie: You have interacted on this blog long enough in the past to know that Andrew doesn’t do yeses or nos for the big 5 questions. On the other hand, he has been pretty consistent with his belief that we’re all sinners in God’s eyes, whether that sin manifests through random gay hook-ups, adulterous affairs, stealing pends from work, or aiding and abetting parental kidnapping. It’s all sin.

      • Debbie Thurman

        You left out bearing false witness against your neighbor, Jon. :)

        • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

          Yeah, that one too. I was just throwing out different examples.

          • Debbie Thurman

            My addition was in reference to your last one.

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Debbie – Your interpretation of Jesus not answering yes/no to the Pharisees about divorce cannot be stated as fact.

      All we can go on is what the Bible says, and the Bible shows us the following to be without-a-doubt Scripturally, and factually true:

      1) Jesus did not answer in that passage with a one word yes/no

      2) The Bible does not tell us “Jesus thought this was a teachable moment and therefore he is going to use it as a teachable moment and such, will not give a one word yes/no answer but rather a more in-depth answer”. That was not said in Scripture. Any explanation as to why Jesus spoke more instead of yes/no is just speculation. I’m just basing my thoughts off of Biblical fact.

      3) Jesus did not answer with a one word yes/no to any of the close ended questions during his public ministry. That is a varifyable trend; facts. I stick with the facts of my Savior.

      And yes, our Bible studies, Living in the Tension groups and educational classes all continue. I was glad that caller asked as well.

      • Debbie Thurman

        Andrew, surely you must believe something about why Jesus said what he said. You cannot dismiss his very meaningful and clear (to my thinking) discourse because he did not answer with a clear yes or no. If he was not teaching, then what, pray tell, was he doing?

        How would you interpret his statement about Moses acquiescing to the Israelites’ demands to be able to divorce because of their “hard hearts”? His stance is pretty clear, I’d say. Likewise, for him to be adamant on God creating male and female and for them to cleave to each other and not allow any man to “put (this marriage) asunder” is clear.

        • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

          I’m not dismissing anything Jesus said – just as I am not dismissing the main points of what I am trying to say. It seems to me that your issue is with the medium of how I engage. To that end, I am just using Jesus’ structure of engagment as my example of how I engage. Your issue with my structure of engagement has nothing to do with me, it’s Jesus’ structure (Chapter 11 of my book). I don’t know how you can argue with that.

          • Debbie Thurman

            Just reread it. In your section about how to answer (or not) the tough questions, of which the toughest is whether or not homosexuality is sin, you say (on page 183):

            “The good news is that the final determining factor of a person’s eternal security is not the achievement of sinlessness but the establishment of a one-on-one relationship with God. It’s a matter of faith and integrity. I honestly believe that everyone is trying to figure out how to live with understanding and meaning and purpose.” You then suggest reframing the question several ways, one of which is, “How do you relate to a God whose standards are so unachievable?”

            I agree with you that we ought to avoid circular reasoning or the us-vs.-them paradigm. But we can’t sidestep the tough stuff. If we have Jesus — all of him — we won’t be struggling to figure out life. We’ll have his life. Our will will mesh with his will.

            In answer to your reframed question, I would say we receive the grace that Christ extends to us that allows us to be perfected in our weakness. Then we follow him on the road to sanctification or being made holy, as he is. Christ in us does that.

            Frankly, I have wondered if God allows some of us to bear the homosexuality burden as a special door through which He can manifest Himself to those who are especially gifted. There is so much giftedness in the gay community. But those gifts can easily lead to pride. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was God’s way of stemming that pride. Satan also can tap into pride, of course, for his purposes.

            There is a certain risk in immersion experiments, I think. In seeking to become one of the gang, you may actually succeed. Not saying you should not do it. But it takes an extra measure of reliance on God and being bathed by His Word and Spirit.

  • stephen

    thanks for your stand and for this effort (heard about your work/ similar work here in atlanta and intrigued by it!) be strong and continue unhindered!

  • Dan Mathews

    Interesting how that one person wanted to know how many people had become Christians through your work. As if it was her way of disqualifying what you do. I wonder how many people have become Christians by protesting the parade and condemning the gay community? She probably wouldn’t have an issue with you if you did that though.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/06/iowa-city-pride-parade-and-festival.html Jon Trouten

      These guys that came to protest at Iowa City’s Pride celebration this past January with their “God AIDS Yet?” (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Sodomy/got_aids_yet.htm) came prepared to answer how many gay people they saved through their protests. They brought video cameras to document the conversions. (http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/2010/06/iowa-city-pride-parade-and-festival.html)

    • Drew

      Spot on, Dan!

      • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

        Funny you say that, because I actually asked protesters this past year how many people they got “saved” through their protesting, and the response was:

        “That’s not the point. Someone has to tell them (LGBT) that the whole world doesn’t agree with them!”

        Oh, ok…. {{awkward}}

        • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

          Debbie…you said…
          “There is a certain risk in immersion experiments, I think. In seeking to become one of the gang, you may actually succeed. Not saying you should not do it. But it takes an extra measure of reliance on God and being bathed by His Word and Spirit.”

          “In seeking to become one of the gang, you may actually succeed.”

          Please, oh please, please, please tell me I’m reading that incorrectly and you’re NOT suggesting that by immersing himself in the community Andrew might be……turned……???

          Surely, I’ve misunderstood!

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            Forgive me for speaking for Debbie and she can correct me if I’m wrong, but she’s not implying that he’s gay, but too simpathetic to a pro-gay theology and mindset. That was my take, anyway.

          • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com Sans

            Oh, I know, Jon…I was really kidding. I just thought it sounded funny. Maybe I should have included a :) at the end of my comment.

            Forgive me…I’m feeling a little “snarky” today! lol

          • Debbie Thurman

            Yes, Jon is correct.

  • Noah

    Don’t be discouraged, Andy. I’m reminded of the words of James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

    From one Moody grad to another — keep pushing on with your eyes fixed on Jesus. Much love.

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    “I just try to continue to stay humble and live like Jesus as best as I can.”

    Jesus would answer a yes or no question regarding whether the practice of homosexuality is sin.

    He would say, “Yes, it is.”

    • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

      Ken, it must be so nice to be able to speak for the Son of God. I’d like to know where I get my Junior Jesus Badge?? And, before you answer “The Bible”….well, don’t. I know the book and it’s pretty clear on a lot of things, but what it’s clearest on is that there is but one God and, you sir, are not him.

      • http://apprising,org Ken Silva

        Sans,

        Never said I was God. You’re welcome to believe whatever you want to. However, the Bible teaches Jesus is God in human flesh.

        As such, whatever God says in Scripture, Jesus says. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what His position is concerning homosexual practice.

        • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

          You seem to be very adept at deductive reasoning, ie what Jesus would and wouldn’t say, so I’m curious…what is it exactly you think I believe. I’m truly all a twitter to find out.

          You see, being a recovering ordained Baptist minister, myself, I have (and still do) spend an awful lot of time reading The Bible. I’ve read it front to back, cover to cover and the one overarching theme I find, especially in the New Testament, is that our job as believers is to love people into the arms of Jesus and let the Holy Spirit convict them out of the fires of Hell.

          When asked a very specific question once upon a time, Jesus gave a very specific answer. He said, “LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and LOVE your neighbor as yourself.” What that tells me is that the best tool I have to “go into the world” is to ACT like Jesus and let Him do the speaking for Himself. Something makes me think He can do a far better job of it than can I!

          • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

            Sans,

            I made no comment concerning what I’d feel your beliefs are, or aren’t. It has no bearing upon what I said. You do have a snarky streak though, that’s apparent enough.

            The minister of the Gospel is to follow e.g. 2 Timothy 4:2, and Titus 1:9, which quite obviously involves speaking what God has said.

            And loving God and neighbor involves loving them enough to tell them the truth, even when that’s unpleasant. Example: If someone with a brain tumor were to come to me as a doctor, and all I do is simply say what nice teeth they have, I’m not loving them; I’m actually condemning them.

        • brian

          Hello Mr. Silva what is your stance on Vaccines? Do you think they are wrong? How about demon possession in such areas like Africa? Do you think Ken Hamm’s view of Genesis are credible and presents a valid alternative to what science says? What century do you live in, want to live in?

          • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

            Hey brian,

            Could you explain what your questions have to do with Andrew supposedly being “bashed” and with the issue of homosexuality?

            Thanks. O, and by the way, I’m neither an evangelical or a fundamentalist.

          • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

            Snarky. I like that.

            If you were a doctor, Ken, and one of your patients had a brain tumor, would you tell them it was there and then ask them why the CHOSE to get the tumor?

            Thanks for the references, by the way, I would have never known the purpose of a Minister of the Gospel was without them!

            You’re not evangelical? So you’ve CHOSEN not to follow a Biblical mandate to share the gospel??

            …just curious…

  • Chris

    Andrew,
    I’ve recently finished reading your book. As a gay Christian, I was and often am frustrated because I just want someone to tell me what the right answer is. Maybe growing up in the contexts I did, I’ve become conditioned to simply needing to know a black and white.

    That said, I’m ever so thankful you don’t provide those answers in your book, and that you didn’t again in the interview. It forces me to take them up with God rather then settling for the answers of man and therefore the respect and approval of man.

    You remind me of Wendy Gritter, from New Directions, and for yours and her voice in the Christan and GLBT communities, I’m grateful for your continued passion to see people reconciled to Christ without the constraints of the legalism that is so prevalent in our church circles.

    I respect you immensely for the work you do, for the calmness and yet unapologetic responses you provide and for continuing even in the face of opposition from both sides!

    Perhaps you don’t represent the views and voices of the majority of the church, but frankly, a lot of the voices that have been heard so far, have had enough volume and prevalence that they are no longer needed. Instead, be encouraged to continue to project the still soft voice that says, “I love you!”

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Thank you so much Chris…your words mean a lot to me, and are so encouraging. And I respect Wendy Gritter a ton. Much love brother!

  • lyndsay

    Andrew,
    I read your book when it first came out, and it definitely gave my husband and I some understanding about what our son was going through. I have even passed it on to young friends of ours. But what I haven’t heard as much on this blog is that “God accepts us where we are but with the expectation for us to grow”. I know that we don’t need to earn grace but we do need to make the effort to receive it.

    I’m not sure I understood your message on your t-shirts for the Pride Parade. I think maybe a better message might have been; I forgive you, will you forgive me?

    I have heard many great messages lately from the evangelical pulpit pertaining to this issue. One has been from friendswoodcommunitychurch.org The series was called “Elephant in the Room” It is worth listening to.

    Andrew, I do understand the purpose of your mission. You are one guy bringing the love of Jesus to people who have never known such love. I’m thankful that our son has known this love. At the moment he doesn’t feel it, but not because of any “gay bashing” from our church or other Christians. But from a culture who tells him to forsake his God to lead a narcissistic and promiscuous life.

    I agree that “love is an orientation” but if people do not read your words carefully, they make accept where they are and not seek to learn and grow.

    I thought the interview you did was excellent bridge building. I wished you had not taken the host comments so personally. Don’t undo what you are trying so hard to do. I too understand the frustration of being misunderstood. I am frustrated that this generation so easily accepts so many lifestyles that were are not of God’s design.

    But patience, yes patience, and this too shall pass, and at least I know for my family we will all be the better for it. Our God is a great God!

    Thanks!

    • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

      Thanks for your words, I take them very seriously, and I take them to God as well. I never want to be above constructive criticism!

      I am not trying to undo anything, and all I want is to be as honest as I can at all moments. I wasn’t trying to point a finger at the host (ok, maybe I did want people to hear those callers!), but give folks my persepctive of what was going on in my head in real time. If there is one thing the readers of this blog know, it’s that I am a guy trying to learn how to live and love in real time – it doesn’t always work out, and often it gets messy, but they know at the end of the day I’m doing my best and keeping it real as I go along. Thanks for commenting!

      • Debbie Thurman

        The thing is, Andrew, you are not “just a guy.” You are representing yourself as a Christian leader, and you have the responsibilities of one. That means you can’t be wishy-washy about what you believe and say in public. It makes you appear to be trying to have it both ways. Some might say this is what Christ was referring to when he admonished the “lukewarm” church.

        • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

          Debbie – I have mentioned this before, but I’ll mention it again:

          I am not “representing” myself as a Christian leader. I have never once sought out any speaking/teachiing/preaching engagement. I have never written one book proposal. I have never sought out any media coverage. All of these things have been brought to me. I am a guy who is trying to learn how to live and love in real time – whether anyone cares about it or pays attention to it or not! If not one more speaking engagement came along, if not one more book came along, if not one more media thing came along, that is just fine with me. I’ll keep doing what I do no matter who is watching or not.

          Just because this role has been given to me in response to how I live my life, doesn’t mean I actively seek out power/influence. I will never change who I am because people dub me a national leader/voice to this topic. Too many others change with influence, and I fight everyday to not change who I am and how I live, and I surround myself with people who keep it real with me.

          And the lukewarm stuff you said, give me a break. It feels like the bigger issues you have with me have to do with the fact that I don’t fit what a ‘self-represented traditional Christian leader’ has always been perceived as…and that’s just fine by me.

          I don’t live my life how I do for anything but to fulfill what God places before me.

          • Debbie Thurman

            Andrew, you have a blog, you have written a book, you grant media interviews and accept speaking engagements, and you have a foundation that has commissioned a major study. You are a leader in the Christian community, whether you sought to be one or not. You need to own that.

            Excessive humility is just another form of pride.

            ***Note to Debbie from Andrew (sorry, there was no more room to reply): I am not being excessively humble. You missed the point. The point is that no matter who is watching what, I’m not changing me, my approach or my life. I would live it the same whether the world watched or if God were the only one watching. I very clearly understand my role as a leader, but that doesn’t mean I become, say or do things that are not from what I feel is modeled by Jesus.

          • Debbie Thurman

            Thank you for clarifying that.

  • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

    Andrew’s pretty clear about what he’s about: 1. Forging and demonstrating loving relationships; 2. Building up relationships between the evangelical Christian community and the GLBT communities and 3. Introducing Christ to people in the GLBT communities. He’s also been pretty consistent about how he’s answered those five questions, much to the chagrin of both the GLBT folks and the evangelicals.

    He’s trying to do something different. Maybe it makes more sense to maintain the never-ending culture war, but that’s not what TMF is about. If people want someone who will publicly condemn gay people, there are tons of Christians out there willing to do it.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      And how’s that approach been working out for the Church?

    • Debbie Thurman

      Jon, your assumption that I or others who have asked Andrew to be more clear wish to continue the culture wars or condemn gay people is unfounded. Why must gays automatically leap to that conclusion?

      I know Andrew is doing something radically different. I get radical love. That’s not the point. His lack of clarity is not helping him to win over the very people who might want to join him.

      When Christ is introduced to those people in gay communities, he is going to make some demands of them. He is not going to be inviting them to sit down for a nice little chat. They are going to see his soft side and his hard side as he says, “Come!” Who is preparing them for that?

      • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

        My apologies, Debbie. How could Andrew do things differently with the GLBT communities? This is a question for you or for any of the other evangelical Christians?

        • Drew

          Excellent question. I think you’ve cut to the heart of the matter.

          I don’t know if I can think of any other outreach where one is required to lead with a declaration of their position on the other’s sin. Can you imagine initiating a relationship with your neighbor or colleague this way. “Oh, hi. Nice to meet you. I see that you’re fat and struggling with the sin of gluttony. May I introduce you to Jesus?”

        • Debbie Thurman

          I can only judge what he is giving them by what I hear him say. If he gives them all of Christ, then he will be doing all he can. If he gives only part of Christ, he does them a disservice.

          • Drew

            Hi Debbie,

            I hear what you’re saying, but I really do think that most gay people know where most Christians (including Andrew Marin) stand wrt homosexual behaviour. Mission already accomplished. Waaaaaay accomplished.

            And I’d wager that for most Christians that is where is starts and that is where it ends. Is the Christian who says no to homosexual behaviour also willing to come along side a gay person and be his/her family…for a lifetime? “Keep your pants on or get married (heterosexually). See ya on Sunday!” just doesn’t cut it.

            This is the tough stuff. Easy to say no. Harder to fill in the gaps. (“Easy to Say No.” Isn’t that a song from Hair? I digress.)

          • Debbie Thurman

            Drew, I do have gay friends I will love for life, no matter what. That is tough for most Christians to do. Very uncomfortable for most. Yes, we ought to be willing to do that kind of tough stuff, also. I have a harder time loving hypocritical or difficult Christian neighbors.

            “Easy To Say No” — wasn’t that Three Dog Night? I ought to know since that was my era. But I can’t remember for sure. :)

          • Drew

            You’re right! We’re both right! Originally from Hair. Subsequently performed by Three Dog Night. Our age (and fabulous good taste) is showing. LOL.

          • Debbie Thurman

            However can the world handle all this talent? :)

  • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

    I find it curious that every time evenagelical Christians talk about Jesus’ “hard side” they conveniently forget that in Scripture, the people who saw Jesus’ “hard side” most often were the pharisees! The blinding light of self-righteousness and piety still shines brightly 2,000 years later!!

    • Debbie Thurman

      Was the rich young ruler a Pharisee? He claims to have kept the commandments from his youth. When Jesus told him to sell all he had and follow him, Scripture tells us he went away sorrowful because he had a lot of wealth. We never are told if that light finally penetrated him and he returned. What Jesus asked him to do was exceedingly hard. That is what I am talking about.

      Are we not selfishly holding onto something we consider to be a valued possession in our sexuality, if we refuse to let Jesus penetrate us to our core and make us holy there?

      • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

        I don’t know if the rich young ruler was a pharisee or not, Debbie…Scripture doesn’t tell us. What it does tell us, however, is that he was a pious man and indirectly he reveals his self-righteousness in his own words. So, while he may or may not have been a pharisee by name, the spirit is the same.

        I don’t think Andrew or anyone else is holding on to anything and certainly we are not REFUSING to let Jesus penetrate us to our core. What Andrew is doing is new and outside the box of what “traditional” churches do and that makes you (and many) uncomfortable and that’s understandbale. But, don’t then turn around and accuse him of somehow doing a disservice to the very people he is trying to reach!

        • Debbie Thurman

          I am not uncomfortable with new concepts. Out-of-the-box is fine. I am uncomfortable with a reconciler who does not take that the whole way.

          A person who loves God with all his heart, mind and strength will be reconciled to Him. Then reconciliation to his neighbor will naturally follow. We can’t have one without the other. If we are to love as Christ would, we have to get around some time to calling sin sin and to calling our brothers and sisters to repentance. That’s one box we don’t get to climb out of.

          In order to have the convicting of the Holy Spirit, we must come to Christ, confess that we are sinners and be willing to repent of specific sins, not just some “oh, we’re all sinners and we can’t escape that” Christo-babble.

          • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

            OK, fine…but, as Drew said earlier, don’t you think the VAST majority of homosexuals know where the VAST majority of evangelical Christians stand on the issue of homosexuality being a sin? Seriously? I think it’s been made abundantly clear! Andrew has been “called” (I hate that term by the way) to a very specific ministry, that being to reach out to a community that has been assailed by the church like NO OTHER in history and say, “We’re going to love them. We’re going to listen to them. We’re going to reach out to them.” He hasn’t condoned anything. He hasn’t promoted anything…other than love. Why, then do you REQUIRE him to answer your question the way you want it answered. He doesn’t owe that to you or anyone else for that matter!

          • Debbie Thurman

            More and more evangelicals are willing to accept that homosexual behavior is not sin, but is a natural response to one’s being made that way by God.

            I don’t require anything of Andrew. I can’t. That’s God’s place. I already know He holds leaders to a very high level of accountability.

          • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

            But, that’s not what Andrew is doing. OK, fair enough, you’re not demanding (I’ve a pinchant for hyperbole sometimes), but you want him to say it the way you want to hear it.

    • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

      “If you were a doctor, Ken, and one of your patients had a brain tumor, would you tell them it was there and then ask them why the CHOSE to get the tumor?”

      Would you tell someone with an over active libido that it’s okay to sleep around because he didn’t choose to be lustful?

      “You’re not evangelical?”

      Ve curious no more. Correct, I am not an evangelical; I’m a Bible-believing Christian preacher of the Gospel.

      • http://gayhomophobe.wordpress.com/ Sans

        “Would you tell someone with an over active libido that it’s okay to sleep around because he didn’t choose to be lustful?”

        Circular logic is sorta annoying isn’t it?

        “Ve curious no more. Correct, I am not an evangelical; I’m a Bible-believing Christian preacher of the Gospel.”

        Oh, OK…well, that clears that up then. Hang on, though, isn’t evangelism one of the things required of a “Bible-believing Christian preacher of the Gospel”?? Oh, right…you already gave me the Scriptures detailing what those requirements are…sorry…forgot…

  • LV Anonymous

    Guide to Witnessing–

    Muslim Evangelism(missionary to Afghanistan): Did you know that you shouldn’t cover up your wife or treat women like chattel?
    You don’t own your kids-God does. The Bible is God’s Word, not the Koran. Mohammed was a false prophet – Jesus is the real thing.
    How about meeting for coffee sometime? I’d like to get to know you.

    Hindu Evangelism: Whaddya mean there are 330 million gods? There is only one. That Ganges River is sure a dirty place; Jesus wants you clean inside. Those Hindu writings are false; read the Bible!
    Let’s meet for tea soon to get to know each other…..

    Buddhist Evangelism: Hey, you guys don’t believe in a God. How do you expect to find enlightenment without a deity? There is only one path, not the 8-fold path. Just what do Buddhist monks do, anyway?
    I’d love to do something with you sometime. Maybe we could go for a nice walk & observe nature.

    Jewish Evangelism: Now, if you really studied the Bible, you would see that Jesus is the Messiah. We’re not under the law anymore; you can eat pork!
    Why do some of you guys wear those funny hats?
    You’re a nice guy. Let’s do lunch sometime.

    Gay Evangelism: The Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. These verses say so:[..........]. AIDS is God’s curse on being gay. But we do love you.
    How about coming to my church sometime? See ya!

    Andrew: See what you are doing wrong! Mercy! You need to take a course in Missions 105… “How to offend people so they can run away!!!!!”

    • Drew

      LV…you’re killing me. LOL. Is this your own material?

      • LV – for Lakeview

        Yes!
        I know Andrew & am so supportive of him. It is amazing that so many Christians don’t ‘get it’ when what he does is so plain to understand. But we must remember than so many more do support him! It just hurts so bad when those few don’t.

        I also took a course in world religions many moons ago!!!!

  • Dora

    LV– LOL

    Just heard the tape of the radio program. Didn’t really seem all that “smashed’ to me, just the usual evangelical stuff. I thought the radio host seemed rather polite and reasonable, clueless about gay issues, but that’s about par for the course at Moody I would imagine. People on the call in part were just their usual evangelical selves— hate the sin, gays are sinners, you’re bad because you won’t say either way.
    I wouldn’t sweat it. You’re young.

  • Ivan Gonzalez

    Andrew,
    I can’t tell you how affirming your book and interviews are to my own personal journey as a Christ follower.

    Thanks for your faithful service!


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