Woman who identifies as a lesbian creates gay friendly Bible app
By Kevin Payne
A woman who identifies as a lesbian will launch a Bible app later this month that is aimed at making gay people feel more included in the Christian community.
Crystal Cheatham, a 23-year-old gay Christian activist came up with the idea for the app after her Seventh Day Adventist church told her that homosexuality and Christianity were not compatible and that she could not be gay and be a Christian.
“When I came out, I was told by ministers so far above me that I couldn’t be an out lesbian and also be on stage as a leader, and it crushed me so hard, “Cheatham said. “I felt like I was at an impasse at the road in my life and I had to decide between this love for my God and my personal identity.”
She said that she was driven to create the app after feeling like her faith was being erased.
“The Bible should be accessible to everyone,” Cheatham said. “At its core, the holy text was written to be inclusive of all of God’s creation, especially those on the margins. With all of the traditional versions of the Bible, our Bible App will include translations that refer to God in gender neutral terms, and a library of progressive devotionals and other resources.”
According to a 2014 Religious Landscape Study by the Pew Research Center, more than 35,000 people who identify as LGBT also identify as Christians, with the largest portion identifying as Protestant. But, their identities are often controversial among Christian faith leaders who point to passages that they say condemn homosexuality, such as: Romans 1:26-28 and 1 Timothy 1:8-11.
But, Christian views on homosexuality may be changing. Between 2014 and 2016, the religious Landscape Study found an increase of 10 percentage points among Christians who believe that LBGTQ people should be accepted. This increase may be attributed to younger Cristian who come of age of growing visibility for LGTQ people.
John McArthur, a prominent evangelical and Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley CA., has a different view on the hotly debated issue of homosexuality.
“As a Christian, you must not compromise what the Bible says about homosexuality, ever. No matter how much you desire to be compassionate to the homosexual,” says John MacArthur, Senior Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. “Your first sympathies belong to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness. Homosexuals stand in defiant rebellion against the will of God.”
We often have ideas of what certain people look like or believe in, but the truth is, people don’t fit into neat little categories,” Cheatham said. “Being religious and believing in social justice, or being pro-choice aren’t mutually exclusive.”
She went on to say, “I’m tired of feeling like my faith doesn’t matter. Some think it’s an anomaly that a lesbian can be a Christian, but there are many out there like me.
Our Bible App is scheduled to launch sometime this month. It will take the Bible back to its roots by helping people of all colors, creeds, and genders worship in a way that makes them feel best.”