I try not to give much attention to the media. When your name is involved, that’s a bit trickier.

In October 2023, I spoke at the Unconditional Conference, put on by Embracing The Journey, a ministry serving parents and leaders wanting to restore relationships between LGBTQ+ individuals, their families, and the church.

Whereas others have taken most of the heat, much controversy centered around myself and Justin Lee (@geekyjustinlee), two gay married men presenting. Many called us “unrepentant”, and thus disqualified from speaking, and being a true Christian.

None of the critics inquired on what I believe or would speak of at the conference. I’d imagine they believe my intent and mere presence represented “affirming” theologies and agendas. Easily accessible information about Justin or myself would show otherwise.

Unrepentant can be defined as “not feeling or exhibiting shame or remorse for wrong-doing, showing no inclination to change.”

For me, matters of repentance are between me and God, as I seek God’s best. I rely on his grace to cover me, nudge me, and correct me when needed – like a good Father. I don’t claim certainty in many areas, and live by faith and dependence on God and my conscience, as I serve others. That is the history and fruit of my life.

For us all, I propose another matter of repentance to consider. Many Christians (me included) have spent our energy defending positions on sexuality, gender and marriage. All the while, countless stories of LGBTQ+ people having wounding experiences in the church go unresolved and unaccounted for.

One of my favorite, trusted voices is Danny Cortez (@dannyccortez). In a beautiful guide he constructed for church leaders, he says:

“I’ve come to realize that LGBTQ+ people are the ones who are going after the sheep that lost their way. [As a pastor] I’m the sheep that needed saving. Consider that [LGBTQ+ people] may be our rescuers, that they are the ones who can help us back to God’s love by showing us where we have gone wrong.”

As a part of the Christian church, I repent of this. Thankfully, many of you do as well, as we rise above the debates, and set our hearts and hands to making things right.

To learn more, visit makingthingsright.org

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