An Open Love Letter to the Nashville Statement Signatories from a Gay Christian
By Katelyn Jackson
I am an alumna of Biola University, a former employee of Grace Evangelical Free Church of La Mirada, and a gay Christian. Several of the initial signatories of the Nashville Statement were mentors, professors, pastors, and friends. Here is my love letter to them.
I hold you in love today.
I can only imagine the fear and heartache that must have motivated you to sign the Nashville Statement. Our country’s view on same sex relationships, even in Christian circles, is rapidly changing. I sense you feel we are on the precipice of Evangelical Christian persecution. If someday your views on the Bible and homosexuality are labeled as hate speech, you must worry that social pressure and government intervention will try to force you to change what you preach, how you hire, and how you interact with the world.
I have studied under you, prayed for you daily, celebrated the adoption of your children, and considered you some of my heroes of the faith. You sat with me while I cried, offered me a safe place to stay when I needed a break, and supported my dreams in ministry. I’m sorry that the divide between us has made you believe this statement was necessary.
I affirm that you are loved by God and members of my family, deserving love, gentleness, and compassion. I will continue to hold you in high esteem.
I affirm that many of you are deeply kind people, despite your signature on this document – committed to caring for the poor, protecting the fatherless, and loving your neighbors.
I affirm that many of you love the Lord deeply – studying God’s word, praying, and leading churches out of love for Jesus’ work on the cross.
I affirm your declaration that my religion and your religion are radically different. I give you the freedom to consider your faith substantially different than mine.
I pray that we will partner together in an interfaith movement to denounce hate and promote kindness and gentleness. I pray that you will hold me in love, as I hold my Muslim, Mormon, Jewish, Evangelical, Hindi, Buddhist, and Atheist brothers and sisters in love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”
Katelyn Jackson holds an undergraduate degree in Christian Education from Biola University and a graduate degree from Azusa Pacific University. At 28, she came out as gay and was later forced to resign from her role at an Evangelical church. She now lives a happy life in the Bay Area with her four-year-old son Ezra and Hank the Chihuahua.