Monday, March 26, 2012

What does the Bible say about LGBTQ people?

Free and open to the public
Thursday, March 29, 2012, 4:00-5:15PM
Room 142 in Copeland Hall
University of Nebraska at Kearney

Important Questions to Consider

  • Why am I so sure that my beliefs are correct?
  • Are things more complicated than I had previously thought?
  • Could I have been wrong all this time?
  • Could my faith tradition have gotten it wrong?
  • Could God be leading me in this very moment to change my outlook?
  • Could God be leading me in this very moment to take some kind of action?
  • Could God be leading me in this very moment to turn to him in a way that I have not done previously?

Content/Notes from Presentation

Erica Chu and T Nowacki Bios

Information about the presenters' education and experience

LGBTQs and Bible Presentation Slides 

A PDF version of the Power Point Presentation

LGBTQs and Bible Presentation Notes Version 

A notes version of the above.

Notes from Erica's Journey

A written narrative and notes about Erica's journey

Other Resources 

Keep in mind that none of these resources are perfectly in line with Erica's or T's beliefs, but they are useful for getting us thinking about what we believe and why, and how we might go about working out our faith even further.


The post you are reading is a part of this blog, and it also contains brief articles written by Erica Chu over the past few years.  Use the search tool in the upper right corner, or click on one of the labels in the tag cloud.  Be sure to look over this overview about LGBTQ-related terminology and explore tips on being an ally.  If interested, see also an essay on the joy of unknowing and this open letter to former friends/classmates from my conservative Bible college.

 - The Bible and Homosexuality 
 - Homosexuality and the Christian Scriptures
 - A brief description of the anti-gay clobber passages in the Hebrew Scriptures

The Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches

A little encouragement for you (like Erica when she lived in Kearney) who can't fathom a place where you would be welcomed and accepted into church as a believer and assumed to be just as good of a Christian as a straight person.  They do exist, and remember that the world is so much bigger than what you have seen and heard of!



Save Me (Available on Netflix)

If you haven't seen this, you really have to!  Judith Light and Chad Allen star in this 2007 film that compassionately portrays multiple sides of the debate over reparative ("ex-gay") therapy.  The main character hits rock bottom while living a rough "gay lifestyle," and  a Christian leader attempts to help him and others find a better path.



For the Bible Tells Me So (Available on Netflix)

A documentary focusing on passages in the Bible and featuring interviews with various biblical experts and commentators

Fish Out of Water (available on Netflix)

Another documentary focusing on passages in the Bible, but featuring more interviews with LGBTQ people.  See also the film's takeaway handout, a simplified guide to the "clobber passages."


"I'm Christian, unless you're gay"

A blogger addresses the attitude fostered among Christians that excludes and judges rather than loves.  This post is not just about LGBTQ people.  Be sure to read a letter he received from a mother and her 15 year-old son months after the original post went viral.

The 'biblical view' that's younger than the Happy Meal

As much as Christians want to believe that their values are the same values that the apostles had, the cultures we create and build up over time affect our values and yes, even our tolerance of others who might also claim the titles Christian, Bible-believing, Spirit-led, reborn, Evangelical, or hopelessly devoted to Jesus.

Jennifer Knapp in Christianity Today

Jennifer Knapp, a popular Christian music artist known for her albums Kansas, Lay It Down, and The Way I Am, comes out through an interview in Christianity Today in 2010.

Video Clips

Desmond Tutu tells us about God's vision 

View starting at 16:19

A former recipient of reparative therapy offers encouragement

A transguy in seminary speaks out


Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age

From 1987, but still worth the read.  From Amazon: "In this award-winning text, theologian Sallie McFague challenges Christians' usual speech about God as a kind of monarch. She probes instead three other possible metaphors for God—as mother, lover, and friend."

Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up

From Google Books: "Goss compiles a decade of his writing as a queer Christian theologian and shares his queering of four areas: sexuality, the Christ, the Bible, and theology, which form the quadrants of his own spirituality that aim at the queer reconstruction of Christianity and reflect a life that aims to integrate the depths of spirituality and sexuality with a practice of justice."

Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Spiritual Memoir

A memoir of a bisexual person exploring her identities.

Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics

From Amazon: "Sex and the Church is a groundbreaking book that brings lesbian and gay theory and experience to bear on questions of sexuality and its relationship to Christian life. Ethicist Kathy Rudy begins by showing how the Christian right's campaign for "family values" has profoundly shaped American debates about gender and sexuality, and how mainline Protestant denominations have responded by focusing narrowly on questions of inclusion and exclusion..."

Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology 

From the back cover: "Cheng provides a historical survey of how queer theology has developed from the 1950s to today and then explicates the themes of queer theology using the ecumenical creeds as a general framework."

Omnigender: A Trans-Religious Approach

From Amazon: "This book bridges traditional religious doctrine and secular postmodern theory regarding gender. Through an examination of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and church history as well as the exploration of other religious traditions and cultures, Mollenkott honors the experience of people who do not fit within the traditional binary concept of gender: intersexual, trans-sexual, or otherwise-gendered individuals."

Trans-gendered: Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith

From "Justin Tanis, a transgendered ordained minister in the Metropolitan Community Churches, seeks to explore the spiritual nature of transgendered persons, to listen to the stories of others like himself, and to provide theological reflection on the ministries of, by and for this particular community. The book includes an introduction to trans issues, an overview of gender variance and the Bible, reflections on the intersection of transgendered people and faith communities and how to create a genuine welcome for trans people in those communities, as well as a theological analysis of gender as a calling and transgendered body theology"

In From the Wilderness

A brief autobiography of a transgendered pastor in ordained ministry.

What does the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality

A Catholic priest utilizes draws on scholarship of a variety of theologians.

Love is an Orientation

Published by Zondervan, and becoming popular among many Evangelical churches, this book takes a middle-ground view, advocating for Christians to neither condemn LGBTQs nor condone their choices. 

Contact Info

Erica Chu -
T Nowacki -

Short Link to this page:

See notes from other presentations at UNK in March 2012. 

Press Coverage

March 28, 2012 - Kearney Hub Announcement
March 30, 2012 - Kearney Hub Story (page 1)
April 5, 2012 - Kearney Hub Opinion Piece

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