Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community
Author: Kathy Baldock
Publication Date: October 21st, 2014
|SOC012000||Social Science : Gay Studies|
|SOC017000||Social Science : Lesbian Studies|
|REL012110||Religion : Christian Life – Social Issues|
In 2001, Kathy Baldock, a straight conservative evangelical Christian, met Netto Montoya, a lesbian Native American, on the local hiking trails near her home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Their friendship challenged Baldocks cultural and religious beliefs about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.
In Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach between the Church and the LGBT Community, Baldock uncovers the historical, cultural, medical, and political filters of discrimination through which the LGBT community is seen. With the foundation firmly established, she examines the most controversial filter of all: what the Bible says about same-sex behavior.
Ten years of research, as well as relationships with thousands of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, led to answering important questions:
How did history, culture, science, and politics intertwine to create social discrimination against the gay and transgender community?
When and why did the conservative Christian community turn their focus on the gay and transgender community?
Should Christian fellowship be extended to gay and transgender people? Should civil marriages, or even Christian marriages, be granted to them?
What is happening within the LGBT Christian movement today?
Baldock carefully constructs a timeline as she untangles the details of various influences and influencers. Along the way, she shares fascinating stories and testimonies enriching the historical journey. Finally, for those who are wondering how they might enter into productive and respectful conversations about the intersection of faith and sexual orientation or gender identity, this book offers the resources and tools needed to make informed and wise, Christ-centered choices.
Kathy Baldock is the founder and Executive Director of Canyonwalker Connections, whose mission is to help repair the breach between the Christian church and the LGBT community through education, encouragement, and engagement.
She is one of the most vocal advocates for inclusion within the conservative church and the founder of the str8apology movement, bringing LGBT people and straight Christians together at Gay Pride events to reflect the love of Jesus.
She is the mother of two straight adult children, and is honored to serve as a spiritual mother to hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children. Kathy is an ordained minister who lives in Reno, Nevada.
I spent decades involved in the Christian pro-family movement, first as a policy analyst for Family Research Council and last as the women’s ministry leader for the now-defunct “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International. If Baldock’s meticulously researched and highly readable book had been written twenty years ago, and I had read about the historical, political, psychological and religious underpinnings of the anti-LGBT movement, I would have questioned whether my involvement in such organizations was truly the will of God, or if it served only to advance patriarchal, misogynistic and homophobic views of humanity. For those who care about someone who is gay, the LGBT community, or are truly looking for answers, Walking the Bridgeless Canyon is indispensable.
–Yvette Cantu Schneider, former policy analyst at Family Research Council, former director of women’s ministry at Exodus International, and author of the book Never Not Broken
Kathy Baldock is one of the most tireless, dedicated, and influential advocates for LGBT Christians in the evangelical church. Her work has helped to transform the lives of thousands of people, and her ministry is a model of the kind of effective, conciliatory bridge-building work the church desperately needs. In Walking the Bridgeless Canyon, Baldock guides the reader on a fascinating journey of how the church has responded to the LGBT community–and how we all can and should do better. Brilliantly researched, accessibly written, and lovingly expressed, this book is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the intersection between the conservative church and the LGBT community. I highly recommend it–and its remarkable author.
–Matthew Vines, president of The Reformation Project, author of the book God and the Gay Christian, Random House
There are those who speak eloquently about spiritual abuses levied against the LGBTQ communities, and others who by their life model a different and holy path. Kathy Baldock is a national leader helping to facilitate honoring discussions with the goal of seeing latent prejudice, anger and ignorance dissipate with each handshake and hug. Far from strident this missive lays out a solid foundation for understanding and bridge building. And this manifesto will liberate many hard hearts and invite people to unclench fists. It is a must read.
—-Butch Maltby, domestic and global fundraising consultant, Senior Advisor Newton Media