No Tent Big Enough

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”

The week before Easter, I received a text on our church’s Google Voice line:

“Hi. I am looking for a church to attend. We are a same sex family.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d received a text like that, and I had the same response both times: absolute paralysis. I wanted to reply, “No worries. You’re welcome at our church” or, “We’d be honored to have you as our guests,” or even, “We’re a safe place.” But I couldn’t, because while those statements are true to a certain extent, they’re true… to a certain extent. I couldn’t figure out how to approach the text honestly without sounding horribly judgmental:

“We’d love to have you as our guests! But you should know a few things before you visit. You’ll never be able to hold a leadership position, you won’t be permitted to become an actual member, and our church’s doctrine would say your relationship is ‘incompatible with Christian teaching.’ But, you’re welcome at our church.”

Ugh.

To soften the blow, I considered adding, “By the way, I don’t personally agree with any of that.” But then I imagined the person asking, “Well, then why do you work there?”

Oh.

That’s a fair question—one I’ve asked myself 100 times over the last several months. I’ve had many rounds of difficult conversations with Jimmy, my boss/pastor:

  • Even if homosexuality is a sin, why does it seem as though some denominations are elevating it to The Worst Sin Ever?
  • Why does it seem like the Church at large is okay with interpreting some scripture through a cultural and historic lens (e.g., women in leadership and divorce), but won’t apply that same interpretive logic to the passages about same-sex relationships?
  • Why do I see angry, greedy people in leadership positions in all sorts of churches, but they won’t ordain people who are gay?
  • Doesn’t the Church at large see that we’re saying, “You’re welcome here” and “You’re not good enough” in the same breath?

The outcome of these conversations with Pastor Jimmy was always the same. I’d feel grateful he was willing to have them–over and over again. I’d go home and write a rant about the Church and homosexuality, and Pastor Jimmy would allow me to publish it on my blog–something I suspect many Lead Pastors would forbid. I’d feel nauseous and helpless. I’d cry. I’d lament to my husband. I’d consider quitting my job. I’d justify not quitting by convincing myself I could be influential somehow. I’d do some reading on both “sides” of the debate. Meanwhile, I could feel my integrity slipping away as I continued to invest significant time, energy, and resources into a denomination that’s systematically marginalizing an entire group of people.

Then the Supreme Court went and legalized same-sex marriage, and Facebook exploded.

I have gay friends for whom the SCOTUS decision was life-changing, and I wanted to celebrate with them. I have straight friends who’ve been tirelessly advocating for the LGBT community, and I wanted to high-five them. But our church has social media guidelines (that I wrote) calling for “appropriate caution” from our leaders when it comes to controversial topics. Typically, “appropriate caution” has translated to “complete silence,” and I’ve honestly been (mostly) okay with that.

But on that Friday morning, I began to wonder what “appropriate caution” really means. Is it “appropriate” to keep my mouth shut about injustice? Is it “appropriate” to let people assume they know my opinion, by virtue of my position on a church staff? Is it “appropriate” to say nothing when other people are running off at the mouth, spewing “us v. them” language instead of extending grace and mercy and love?

No. It’s not.

It’s at that point I decided I was willing to get fired for celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision, and I “liked” a variety of status updates that morning—gay friends who were thrilled to have their relationships recognized by the Court, straight friends who felt justice had been served, and friends who disagreed with the decision but who did so with a posture of humility.

In the end, Pastor Jimmy didn’t fire me or even call for my resignation. But last Monday morning, I submitted my notice.

I’m not mad at him. And I’m not really even mad at the institutional Church. I’m just… sad. Pastor Jimmy has frequently remarked that he wants to build a church whose tent is big enough for all sorts of opinions and perspectives, and I fell in love with that vision. The problem is, there’s no tent big enough for them all. At some point, his perspective—as a Lead Pastor who is rightly honoring the vows he took at ordination—prevails, and that’s going to leave some people standing outside. I get it. My tent will only stretch so far, too; after all, I’m leaving a staff position and a church I love because my tent requires full inclusion of people in the LGBT community.

Let me say it again: I’m sad. Sadder than I thought I’d be. I’ve found meaningful friendships at The Way, and I’m afraid they’ll disintegrate–either because we disagree about homosexuality or simply because we won’t be around one another as often. I’ve been proud of how The Way is trying to push beyond our walls and truly love our neighbors. I’ve seen people in our church community becoming more generous and more compassionate. In other words, they’re looking more and more like Jesus, and that has been incredible to witness.

Please know I’ve not made this decision easily or carelessly. I’ve prayed. I’ve cried. (I do that a lot lately.) I’ve talked. I’ve listened. And the outcome is always the same: I want to be an advocate and ally for marginalized people—not only those in the LGBT community, but anyone who’s looked upon as less-than: people of color, people without homes, people with mental illness… and I can’t do that, authentically, without saying some hard things. Some controversial things. Some decidedly non-cautious things.

So, heartsick and poured out, I’ve resigned from my position at The Way. I’ve only just begun to experience the fall-out of my decision—or rather, the fall-out for the reason for my decision—and I’m sure there will be some ugly stuff down the line. I’m a people-pleaser, so that’ll be painful. But the pain of staying has become greater than the pain of changing.

And it’s time for me to go.

37 Comments

  1. Pamela Hunter   •  

    Dear sweet Kelley,

    While hearing that you have had to come to this crossroads breaks my heart for you, I get it.

    I too, have a hard time sitting back and watching anyone be marginalized. As you know, the LGBT community is near and dear to my heart as my best friend is gay and my son identifies himself as bi.

    Thank you for joining me in taking a stand for their inclusion as basic human beings in need of God’s love.

    I love you and am standing beside you!

    Pamela

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Love you, too, sweet friend.

  2. Jay Moore   •  

    RIGHT ON. You are welcome in my church, my home, and my life anytime. Now let’s find you a job that doesn’t compromise your values.

    I can’t tell the future, but I will make a prediction anyway. You are going to look back on this as one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Jay, we’ll see. And don’t be surprised if I just show up on your doorstep one of these days.

  3. Mike Orenstein   •  

    Many churches are going through the same thought process and it is a very difficult subject to really know the right thing to do. You stood by your convictions and you are living out what you believe!

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Yes, it’s tough. Truly thoughtful, educated, faithful people call on both sides of this issue. So, I’m going with the people, rather than the issue.

  4. Traci   •  

    Thanks Kelley for sharing! We were trained for helping, supporting, and valuing others in the LGBT community. I am sure that was hard to step away from your church position. If you ever need to talk, let me know!! Traci

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Yes, it’s incredibly difficult. I was just thinking earlier today about our grand-school conversations about the LGBT community. They rocked my world and broadened my perspective in a huge way! And I STILL want to get together. Soon.

  5. Tina Timm   •  

    Best. Blog. Ever. Thank you for struggling. Thank you for writing about it. Thank you for REALLY living God’s word, not just saying you do. Everyone is good enough and the tent indeed needs to be bigger. (And of course if is OK to feel sad because change is hard.)

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thanks, Tina. Your words mean more than you know. And thanks for affirming my sadness. I think some people want me to be angrier than I am–and I don’t want that.

  6. Chad Groharing   •  

    Kelley,

    What an amazing blog post. Like you, I was excited for the SCOTUS decision. For me, I wanted the LGBT community to be looked at as equals in the eyes of the law. If marriage gets them that equality then ok! I feel Jesus loves all of us regardless of who we are. Is there any way I can respect you any more than I already do? Your thoughts are spot on to how I think many times. I hope you will always stay in touch.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thanks, Chad. I appreciate your encouragement, and YES let’s stay in touch!

  7. Becky Lancia   •  

    Oh, Kelley! I am so proud of you. After the first Way meeting I told Paul on the ride home, “I think I want to be Kelley Hartnett when I grow up.” I think I still want to be you when I grow up. The church moves so slowly, thank you for making me question that. We have been so lucky to have you, you are truly irreplaceable. Lucky for all the organizations you work with and all the individuals you stand up for and love who will get more of your time, you are truly irreplaceable. May we all see people the way you do, Kelley. May we see them as people first, remember they are children, brothers, sisters, parents, that we are all broken, that we all crave human contact, that we all deserve basic human rights and compassion. Thank you, Kelley.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Oh, Becky. You absolutely do NOT want to be me when you grow up. Have you seen me? I’m pretty much a mess. Thanks for your encouragement, friend.

      • Sarah Moore   •  

        I like your hot mess Kelley. I want your conviction.

  8. Ginny Hannen   •  

    There, you go. Challenging my thinking. Thank you. (from #CertLab)

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Hi, Ginny! Yeah–I’m challenging my own thinking, too, if that helps you feel any better. Haha!

  9. SWJenn   •  

    I don’t know you, but I relate. I left a job I loved rather than go “in the closet” about my gay child. It pains me so that it is the church pushing people away, a church that wants to think of itself as loving. I know you will find a better place for you, and I am proud of you for doing what had to be done. I know it’s painful, but I pray you are at peace with the decision.

      • SWJenn   •  

        yes, I have read that! I’m in Liz’s group for moms of gay kids, and we consider John P our pastor. His has been a voice of reason and love all along. We often say that people don’t truly understand until they have “skin in the game” – it is true that having a loved one who you know hasn’t made a choice, who you’ve raised in a Christian home, who you know was made just as God wants them, changes the whole equation.

        • Kelley   •     Author

          Absolutely.

  10. Tammy   •  

    Kelley,
    This post ignited in me this overwhelming passion that I am feeling for the LGBT community.
    The time has come for the church leaders and the pastors to be heard! We need people like you to stop being silent. The loudest voices right now that are representing all Christians are not showing the love of Christ and the world is watching. The children are watching. The LGBT community is watching and they are turning away from Jesus as a result. And who can blame them???
    I am a straight, married, Christian that is a huge supporter of LGBT. I have spent years crying out to God for answers on this issue. So many times as I sat in church I prayed, “God please show me. If I am wrong, please show me. Guide me Lord”
    But the conservative Christians won’t listen to people like me because they think we are being deceived. Maybe I am but I am staying close to Jesus and praying for His leading.
    We need more people like you to be loud.
    Thank you.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Staying close to Jesus is the best we can do. Thank you, Tammy.

  11. Jess Townes   •  

    I think that the tent is already big enough, it is our imaginations that need to grow.

    I’m praying for a day when when we’ll all wake up, look up, and recognize that we’ve been under the same tent the whole time. That we are intrinsically bound to one another. That we belong to each other.

    To borrow the words of Glennon Melton, “it will be grace anarchy, and we will all be free.”

    I love you friend.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Love you too, Jess. I’d really just sorta like to take the stupid tent down. Ha!

  12. Sean Ward   •  

    Kelly,

    I found your piece moving and informative. I thank you for writing it. I agree with you on the point of ‘elevation of sin’. Sadly the church has done a lot of wrong in overlooking some sin and elevating others. This is wrong to a great degree, but not completely. The Word says: Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:15-20)

    You can see it makes a distinction that sexual sin is against the body. Does that make sexual sin greater than the others, yes and no. All sin is just that, sin. We all know it only takes one sin to doom us. Yet sexual sin is a sin within the body, causing more ‘damage’ to the person. In some cases physically, but mainly emotionally and spiritually. That is why the Word says to FLEE immorality. The damage is far greater to one’s self, even if the sin is not the ‘greatest’ of sins. Surely that is when Jesus spoke of in Mark: Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin. (Mark 3:28-29)

    If I may be so bold to say, I believe the problem may be in what you called, ‘interpretation’ of the Word of God. May I ask, do you believe that the Word of God is the inspired Word? (Meaning that the Holy Spirit worked through man to write down the Word of God.) The reason I ask, is this; if the Bible is the inerrant, inspired word of God, then there is no need for interpretation. What the Word says is what the Word says. If, however, you do not believe that the Word of God is the inspired, inerrant Word, then interpretation DOES come into play. If that is the case, then there is no need for God or His Bible, because a new god has been created, the god of convenience.

    This is the god most widely expressed today. “My god would not send people to hell.” “God is a loving god and does not condemn people for loving others.” “God knows my heart and that I mean well. He won’t judge me for, __ __ __ __ __ __.” (fill in the blank.) When people come up against the Truth of the Word of God, they seek to ‘interpret’ it when it does not meet their needs, desires, or expectations. Truth is painful, because it exposes the wrong that is in our lives. We are presented with a choice of accepting the truth and changing if change is required. Or we can interpret the Word different and change it to meet our needs, thus turning our back on truth. Sadly there is only one truth. While Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” it can be simply stated, truth is the Word of God.

    If you believe that the Word of God IS the inspired, inerrant word, then what the Word says is what it means. Is homosexuality wrong and a sin, yes. Yet so are many other things. Homosexuality boils down to a violation of the first commandment; “You shall have no other god’s before me.” ALL sexual encounters outside the marriage bed of a man and a woman, are sin and in effect creating the ‘god of me.’ When we ignore the law and presume to know better, then we are telling God, He is not god and we are our own. ANYTIME we make a decision to do ANYTHING outside the will of God, we have created a new god to replace Him. Whether it be a god of sex, drugs, anger, hate, money, or ‘me’. The list goes on and on, but in the end, it is all sin by creating a god to set above God.

    When asked, Jesus said the greatest commandments were: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40) When you break down the ‘10 Commandments’, they are covered in these two that Jesus spoke of. When we love God more than anything else we keep the first four without realizing it. When we love our neighbor as ourselves, we keep the last six.

    The reason I bring this up is because a base must be established first. If we truly have no other god besides God, then it is easy to follow all the commandments. The last six we are love. Love is the key. The Word says: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)

    I am sure you know the chapter. There are not many that do not who profess Christ. Yet how many live it? TRULY live it. Verses one through three clearly talk about ‘religious’ things. Sadly many among the church are caught up in the works part of Christianity. It is so easy to fall back into the world mentality of earning your way. These verses show that the works mean nothing if not done because of love, through love. Sadly the focus in many a church is the works and the love has been lost in the process.

    Verses four through eight, show us what love truly is towards man. This love has to be walked out on a daily basis. EVERY aspect of it. Allow me to cover verses four through eight in consideration of the homosexual, considering this is the focus of your post and the world right now. However. I believe you will find that what is written here, can be used towards ALL people, since all people are sinners.

    Love is patient: When dealing the homosexual, love is patient because the homosexual believes they are not wrong and have the ‘right’ to their choice.

    Love is kind: To stand on a street corner and shout and wave a sign will do no good. It will raise the defenses of the homosexual and turn them away in disgust. Love is kind because love knows the truth and seeks to share it, not wield it like a weapon. Love is kind because love has been there before and knows the hurt the other is feeling.

    Love is not jealous, arrogant, does not brag or act unbecomingly: Jealousy, arrogance, and bragging sets itself up as better or deserving which is easily seen in the lives of those who ARE jealous. This is not love because love does not set itself above the homosexual or their circumstances. Love views and treats them as equals as the Word says that God loved the whole world, not just this person or that person.

    Love does not seek its own: When love is expressed to a homosexual it is not about gaining one over or to do one better. It is about loving the person as God loves us. Love is not looking to lower the homosexual and raise itself.

    Love is not provoked: Love is not angry because of the choice a homosexual or anyone has made. Love is kind to all regardless of the background or circumstances.

    Love does not into account a wrong suffered: Love looks past the hate and anger directed at it by some homosexuals because love knows the Truth and is speaking because of love. Love ignores the wrong because we have been forgiven so much ourselves.

    Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth: Truth is the key. Love will not walk alongside unrighteousness as a show of support. Love does what love must, and that is speak the Truth. For it is only the Truth that is going to set the homosexual free. To water down, deny, or remain silent about the truth is the ultimate form of hate. That is tantamount to walking a blind man off a cliff because you do not want to offend them by telling them there is a cliff. Love speaks up to warn because love does not want to see anyone die.

    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things: Love comes alongside and bears the burden of the truth with the homosexual and does not abandon them to self. It believes that the homosexual CAN make the right choice because love has seen it done and made the choice itself. Love hopes with the homosexual to walk free in Jesus Christ and place all hope on Him. Love also endures with the homosexual so they know they are not alone and that Christ has called us to walk it out together. (Ecc. 4:12)

    Love never fails: The love of Christ will never fail the homosexual because Christ IS love. If Christ died for the world, do you honestly think that His love would fail after going through all that?! It is a constant we can count on and the homosexual can come to know. Without Christ there is no love and no hope.

    I see in your post the sad condition to may in the Church today and those of the world, including homosexuals. Jesus Christ said: “Follow Me.” He did not say follow the pastor, the deacon, or even Billy Graham. Jesus said over and over, follow Him. There is a reason for that. People do and WILL continue to make mistakes. We are a fallen people and sadly we don’t always get it right. Unfortunately, people look to people instead of looking to God, even in the Church. That is why we see so much pain and anguish at times. People have created a god out of big named preachers and everything comes crashing down when they act like everyone else. The world, looking for the Truth, get disillusioned when those professing to be Christians fail. They will also use it to point a finger and rant and rave. Desiring to distance themselves from the Truth that convicts them, the rage against Christians and everything they stand for.

    It saddened me to read your post as it shows the confusion that is going on in the Church as well as the world. If a Christian does not even think the Word of God is true, what is the point? The Word of God either is right 100% of the time or there is no God. Jesus either IS who he said He was, or there is no Christianity. This truly is a black and white issue. It is God’s way or we are wrong. I have friends that are homosexuals, and they know where I stand. I have told them that I pray for them and will continue to do so. When I have talked to them about the Good News, I have never mentioned or spoke about their sexuality unless THEY addressed it. There is enough in our lives to talk about without having to get right to the divisive topic of the day.

    The Good News is just that, good news. I will tell them of what Christ has done for me and MY sin. I will also show them the way out, through Jesus Christ. Jesus did the same. He showed the people their sin and showed them the way out, through Him. He did NOT water down their sin or even agree with them, but showed them the ultimate salvation, Himself. The woman caught in adultery was told to sin no more, because the sin was obvious. He said he did not condemn her, but also explained that it could not continue when he said, “sin no more.” The woman at the well had her sexual sin exposed, but Jesus did not leave her there and told her of salvation through Him.

    He did this because of LOVE. Love does not leave a person where they are. Love does not sugar coat things, but is plain as day, because the result is life and death. Love didn’t win with the SCOTUS ruling, love cried because the Truth is being corrupted. You can love the homosexual or any sinner, but you CANNOT remain silent while they walk in sin. We are to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Commanded does not mean suggestion. Commanded doesn’t mean water down.

    I do not know if any of this made sense, but please understand that Love desires the heart of all men, but sadly most will not accept it. That hurts. I have seen many a friend and even family that did not know Christ and the Word is clear on the result of that. Love your friends gay or straight, but love them enough to speak the Truth of the Word of God into their life.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Wow! Thank you for taking the time to share your perspective. I agree with so much of what you wrote, and you’ve clearly spent a lot of time researching and thinking through this topic. I didn’t intend for this particular post to begin a “is it or isn’t it a sin” discussion, but I do want to answer your question and mention a couple of other perspectives. Yes, I believe Scripture is the inspired Word of God. No question. I also believe that we have to look at not only what Scripture says, but also what it *means*. To say there’s no interpretation involved seems intellectually dishonest; if Scripture were 100% black and white, we’d all be walking around with one hand and one eye.

      • Sean Ward   •  

        Thank you for the response. I am heartened to see that you believe the Word of God. You say that if were to take the Scripture as a black and white issue, that we would be living with one hand and one eye. That is an unfortunate view, as the Word of God, from the beginning, has always been about love. Jesus confirmed the morality of the Old Testament and did away with the ceremony. As I am sure you have read from Old to New Testament God said love your neighbor. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:18) Which is on of the verses Jesus quoted along with Deut. 6:5 Interpretation I believe is the problem with the Church today. People desiring the Word to say what they want. That of course has lead to denominations and even more disagreements. Sadly I just wish people would believe that God has said what He wanted us to know and that to ‘attempt’ to dissect to find a hidden meaning has created more problems than not. The Word also says: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2) The glory comes to man when they dive into the FULL counsel of God and see what He has hidden in plain sight. It is hidden only because man will not take the time to seek God’s Word. A teacher once said: “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” There is so much in that statement that is to the glory of man to search it out. Jesus said nothing changed from the Law and that He was here to fulfill the Law. He showed us love was the fulfillment of the law.

        I truly dislike the anger and hate that has come from both sides on this. It was never supposed to be so from the Church. Sadly we can see it is not the case. The only thing that is going to redeem this situation is the UNCOMPROMISING love of Christ. In the end, that is the ONLY thing that will work and in the end it is the only thing that will be left.

        • Kelley   •     Author

          Hey, Sean. I was talking about Matthew 5:29-30.

  13. Liz   •  

    Kelley,

    Thank you for getting it! You can’t imagine what your words mean to me.

    I am a Christian and have a son who is gay.

    I have a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of lgbt kids and the group presently has more than 500 members and the moms in that group have been very moved by your post. We wanted you to know and we wanted to say thank you!!!!

    Our group is focused on developing and maintaining healthy, loving, authentic relationships with our kids and making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for them to live. The group is a place where we share information, tell our stories to one another, and encourage and support each other.

    Only members of the group can find the group or see what is posted there but if anyone reading this wants to join the private facebook group please email me at lizdyer55@gmail.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.

    Here is a link that has a little more info about the group:

    http://serendipitydodah.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/serendipitydodah-for-moms/

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Liz, thank you for your response and for sharing my post. And yes, please, I’d love to be added to your group… If only to listen. I need to do a lot of that. I’ll shoot you an email. Thank you so much!

  14. Jeanne Moses   •  

    This breaks my heart in many ways…
    1) Kelley Hartnett, a true Christian in every form of the word, had to make a choice to stay with a church that is not fully inclusive of all people or leave because her beliefs are inclusive of all. Not only did she leave the church, she left her job with the church, and possibly lost long standing friendships.
    2) That some Christian churches throughout the world are selective in what they take from the Bible and do not truly follow the word of God to love and accept all people, no matter who they are or where they are in life.
    3) My wife, Daronda Hoffman and I, have been looking for a spirit filled and spirit led church that is accepting and affirming but have faced the “No Tent Big Enough” syndrome in the process. We are Christians, baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit, but are not free to join all inclusively, fellow Christians in a church body.
    To all of the Kelley’s, thank you for taking your convictions and standing strong in Christ, no matter how difficult. It is because of these steps, all people will eventually be fully included in the church body.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Jeanne, thanks for your response. I just can’t imagine the heartache you and Daronda have experienced. I’m so sorry.

  15. Todd   •  

    That’s a tough decision. If Jay’s house is too far away, our door is always open to the Hartnets for tears, laughs, and cheers.

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Thanks, Todd. 🙂

  16. Sherry Boyd   •  

    You don’t know me but I have a gay nephew whose mom (my sister) is deceased and I ABSOLUTELY will not give up on him or his partner. They are wonderful men. I pray for the bashing of Christians to cease. God made us ALL… Thanks for the blog….. You will soar with the attitude you exhibit. Praying for a better job for you!

    • Kelley   •     Author

      Hi, Sherry – I’m sure your nephew and his partner are grateful for your love and support. Thank you for your prayers.

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