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August 08, 2016

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Caleb "came out of the closet" and told his parents about himself:

“She shook her head and began by saying, “Do you realize the amazing opportunity you have been given to be raised by two women? Do you know that you are smarter than what you are becoming? Do you also know that you are siding with bigots?!” I put my head down and softly said, “I’m not like that. I will never be like that. I do not agree with your view of sexuality anymore, but that does not impact how much I love you.” “You’ll change, Caleb,” she retorted. “You’ll eventually be like the people you surround yourself with. The church you go to will say a lot about who you will become and how you will treat people.” With that, she turned around and went into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her.”

“Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction.”

Review:

“Caleb Kaltenbach was raised by LGBT parents, marched in gay pride parades as a youngster, and experienced firsthand the hatred and bitterness of some Christians toward his family.

But then Caleb surprised everyone, including himself, by becoming a Christian…..and a pastor.

Very few issues in Christianity are as divisive as the acceptance of the LGBT community in the church. As a pastor and as a person with beloved family members living a gay lifestyle, Caleb had to face this issue with courage and grace.”

The first five chapters are all about Grace. Love all – all the time. And, as one can imagine, he’s heavily weighted towards living that out towards his parents and their community.

Which is of course *true*. It’s the Grace side of being full of Grace and Truth.

A brief quote:

“Even though my personal story will make up a big part of this book, it really isn’t about me at all. It is about you.

I wrote this book for anyone who wants to know how to relate with grace and truth toward members of the LGBT community.

I’ll give you a hint of what I said in my sermon that Sunday in September a few years ago: being unloving to gay people in your life is a sin. Also, it’s a shame because it puts a barrier between people and the gospel. It’s the opposite of being Christlike. I don’t see Jesus acting like that anywhere in the Gospels.

Jesus’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” does not have an exception clause for a gay “neighbor”— or, for that matter, any other “neighbor” we might find it hard to relate to. Followers of Jesus have got to learn how to treat people in the LGBT community with love that has no limits and makes no compromises. We have to love people as Jesus does.”

Chapter 7 is: The Marriage of Grace and Truth

Chapter 8 looks into (just part of the chapter) his “coming out” to his two gay parents that he was a Christian and their reaction to it.

A brief quote:

“She shook her head and began by saying, “Do you realize the amazing opportunity you have been given to be raised by two women? Do you know that you are smarter than what you are becoming? Do you also know that you are siding with bigots?!” I put my head down and softly said, “I’m not like that. I will never be like that. I do not agree with your view of sexuality anymore, but that does not impact how much I love you.” “You’ll change, Caleb,” she retorted. “You’ll eventually be like the people you surround yourself with. The church you go to will say a lot about who you will become and how you will treat people.” With that, she turned around and went into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her.”

It then goes through all sorts of chapters and all sorts of topics. They’re all about Messy Grace.

Then, in “The Final Word”, a brief excerpt:

“While I’m being open with you, I must confess that I’m still journeying with my parents, and our relationships are not easy ones. We are still working out many issues. But I believe God has their hearts. They were both totally in favor of this book, and I’m excited that they see God using this story to help others.

Both of my parents are Christians now, which still amazes me. Do they believe in Jesus? Yes. Are they Christian? Yes. Do they still struggle with same-sex attraction? Yes. (They were both in the gay community for thirty years or more— it doesn’t just turn off.) Do they believe exactly as I do on every theological issue? No. Do some Christians still judge them? Probably. Will they mess up? Yes. Does that mean they are not saved? No. Are they going to church? When they can. Is God with them on the path they are walking? Yes. How do all of these things go together? I don’t know. It’s messy. It’s all part of the tension between grace and truth. I just know that God has called me to live in grace and truth, preaching both. And he understands the tension… completely. That’s enough for me.”

Kaltenbach, Caleb (2015-10-20). Messy Grace: How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others Without Sacrificing Conviction.

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