- Does LOVEboldly have a straight or LGBTQ agenda?
The LOVEboldly team is not a bunch of straight people pushing a “straight agenda” on LGBTQ folks. A few of us are opposite-sex attracted, but most of us are not. Our board and our closest advisers/supporters include LGBTQ folks, some out and proud, and some in marriages or relationships with a same-sex partner, as well as some who personally subscribe to the traditional Christian perspective on sexual relationships and adhere either to celibacy or to heterosexual marriage.
The LOVEboldly team is also not simply a bunch of LGBTQ folks pushing a “gay agenda” on the church. Some of us are straight and subscribe to the traditional Christian perspective on proper sexual expression. Some of us are not. Regardless of our perspective, however, all of us are active, growing Christians and many of us are seminary and Bible school students or graduates, involved in our home churches, and taking great personal risks in our spiritual communities and our closest relationships to try to bring a message that is balanced, rooted in a robust Christology, and challenging stereotypes.
- What are the beliefs of the leadership team at LOVEboldly?
The leadership team at LOVEboldly is comprised of individuals with a variety of positions on the theology and politics regarding faith and sexuality. All of us are fundamentally dedicated to honoring the dignity and humanity of all people. This has fostered an environment for us which has served well to facilitate conversation around sexuality and faith, inviting to a variety of perspectives. Regardless of our orientations, we all have very close friends or family members, both in the LGBTQ community and in the church, who are deeply affected by the way we chart forward.
We hold personal beliefs on LGBTQ political issues and sexual morality personally, not as an organization. As such, some of us have opted to speak openly and publicly about our personal convictions on divisive issues. Others of us have opted not to, either out of deference for people we love, or out of our own desire to have the same time and space to work through our own internal conflicts which we offer to all who enter our community.
- What does LOVEboldly think about reparative therapy or other sexual orientation change efforts?
LOVEboldly does not promote SOCE’s because we do not believe they are necessary or usually helpful (more on that here). Further, we are very concerned and disturbed by the results we most often see from SOCE’s in our friends and fellow believers. We do, however, support a person’s right to choose to reconcile faith and sexual orientation in the way that seems best to them, while considering carefully all of the possible physical, emotional, and spiritual risks and benefits. This includes affirming the right of a person to pursue SOCE’s if one chooses to do so. We encourage folks to make careful and thoughtful decisions about how to honor God, themselves, and others as they navigate tough decisions in their spiritual and sexual lives. As an organization, LOVEboldly endeavors to be a friend, supporter, and encourager to each person, no matter where they may be in their journey or how they have chosen to reconcile religious beliefs and sexuality. Many folks have been shamed and harmed through organizations which identify as members and affiliates of Exodus International. We are sorry that this has been the over-arching witness of the church to the LGBT community. We have failed. We want to do better.
- How is LOVEboldly funded?
We are a small organization run completely by volunteers at this time. The money we raise goes towards supporting our programs and services. Most of our donors are personal friends who support our work because they see the impact it has made in their lives and in the lives of those they love. If you would like to support our ministry, you can make a donation here.
- Does LOVEboldly evangelize?
We strive to share the good news of God’s love through operating into our mission and vision statements. You can check out our full mission and vision statement here. Our primary goal is simply to allow space and room for people to experience redemptive relationships with one another, to come to peace internally, and to deepen their spiritual lives (if they so wish). This is what we mean when we say we desire people to reconcile to self, others, and God, and to encourage dialogue that restores dignity, decency, and civility.
- Does LOVEboldly try to change sexual orientations or gender identities of LGBTQ or SSA individuals?
No. We have spoken openly regarding our misgivings about reparative therapy, as well as our unwillingness to ask Christians to give up convictions about sexual standards which may seem offensive to the LGBT community. (See FAQ #3) We don’t have the power to change someone’s orientation, nor do we want to. We befriend people because we want to be friends, and we want to provide a safe and encouraging community for folks who have felt disenfranchised by Christians. There is no other agenda at play.
- Does LOVEboldly believe LGBTQ sexual orientations are sinful? What about same-sex relationships?
Sexual orientation (how a person is inclined sexually) is amoral – it is neither immoral or moral, because it is not chosen. We believe we are held morally culpable for what we reach towards, not for what reaches towards us. Sexual attraction is something that reaches towards us, outside of one’s own volition. Sexual behaviors are things that we reach towards (whether mentally or physically), as an act of volition. Christians have varying perspectives on how to interpret what Scripture says about standards for sexual behavior. We leave room for people to disagree about these standards and we do not take an organizational stance on this. Each of us must personally seek God’s perspective on these issues with spiritual and intellectual faithfulness. We encourage folks who are undecided to wrestle through the confusion and to make it a matter of prayer. The board members of LOVEboldly have reached varying conclusions about this and some of us are still in the process of trying to reconcile what we think and believe about living sexually in a way that honors God and others. However, no matter our diversity on faithful Christian standards for sexual behavior, we maintain that sexual orientation is not inherently sinful.
- What is LOVEboldly’s policy regarding comments? How does LOVEboldly monitor comments on the Facebook page or on the blog?
Our comment policy is:
At LOVEboldly we embrace controversy, dissenting opinions and even a good debate now and then. However, we also value civility, kindness, and respect. Therefore, please feel free to share your opinion, but keep it constructive, considerate, and civilized. If you choose to be rude we will delete your comment. Do so consistently and we will ban you. And yes, we do get to define the terms.How do we monitor comments? We never allow name-calling or attempting to be divisive by character attack and/or making false/baseless accusations about LOVEboldly, members of the leadership team, or people associated with the LOVEboldly community.
If you ever have a concern about our work, we invite you to contact us.