Heavy Burdens
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Heavy Burdens : Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church

4.53 (269 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

Religious faith reduces the risk of suicide for virtually every American demographic except one: LGBTQ people. Generations of LGBTQ people have been alienated or condemned by Christian communities. It's past time that Christians confronted the ongoing and devastating effects of this legacy.

Many LGBTQ people face overwhelming challenges in navigating faith, gender, and sexuality. Christian communities that uphold the traditional sexual ethic often unwittingly make the path more difficult through unexamined attitudes and practices. Drawing on her sociological training and her leadership in the Side B/Revoice conversation, Bridget Eileen Rivera, who founded the popular website Meditations of a Traveling Nun, speaks to the pain of LGBTQ Christians and helps churches develop a better pastoral approach.

Rivera calls to mind Jesus's woe to religious leaders: "They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matt. 23:4). Heavy Burdens provides an honest account of seven ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the church, helping Christians grapple with hard realities and empowering churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.78mm | 297g
  • Brazos Press, Div of Baker Publishing Group
  • Ada, MI, United States
  • English
  • 1587434830
  • 9781587434839
  • 38,673

Back cover copy

"For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger."--Matthew 23:3-4

Religious faith reduces the risk of suicide for virtually every American demographic except one: LGBTQ people. Generations of LGBTQ people have been alienated or condemned by Christian communities.

Heavy Burdens helps Christians confront the ongoing effects of this legacy and empowers churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.

"This is an essential book, one I wish we'd had forty years ago, as I believe it would have greatly reduced much unnecessary spiritual and physical destruction. I suspect it will be a game changer for the church."
--Kristyn Komarnicki, director, Oriented to Love dialogue program, Christians for Social Action

"We've needed a book like Heavy Burdens for a long time. Rivera shows us how Christians have wounded the LGBTQ children of our churches. This is a book that can begin to bind up some of those wounds and guide us, in humble love, to build churches in which the next generation of queer Christians can truly flourish."
--Eve Tushnet, author of Gay and Catholic

"In spite of--or just as often because of--my position as a 'conservative' on marriage and sexuality, I have seen firsthand the ways the evangelical movement has devastated the faith of many of its LGBTQ members. Not everyone will agree with every argument in this account of that devastation (I don't), but every Christian who reads this book will no longer be able to ignore the real harm that has been done in the name of the gospel--or to avoid grappling with the repentance and justice-seeking that the gospel continues to ask of us all."
--Wesley Hill, associate professor, Western Theological Seminary; author of Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian
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Table of contents

Contents

Introduction
Burden 1: Sex . . . err . . . Celibacy Is Great!
1. The Protestant Sexual Revolution
2. The New Sexual Order
Burden 2: Sinners Saved by Grace
3. Perverted Identity
4. Freud's Lasting Influence
Burden 3: Folk Devils
5. Political Christianity
6. Hellfire and Judgment
Burden 4: The Bible Is "Clear"
7. Culture and Context
8. Double Standards
Burden 5: "Real" Men, "Good" Ladies
9. Effeminacy
10. Emasculation
Burden 6: Made in the Image of God Sex
11. Gender Essentialism
12. More Than Just Monkeys?
Burden 7: Jesus Saves Damns
13. Vessels of Wrath
14. Grace for Me but Not for Thee
A Better Way
15. Recentering the Gospel
16. Setting Down the Burdens
17. Weights of Glory
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About Bridget Eileen Rivera

Bridget Eileen Rivera is a sociologist completing her PhD at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A homeschool graduate and alum of Patrick Henry College, Rivera has become a leading voice on gay celibacy in the church, helping Christians better grapple with gender and sexuality in a divided culture. She has worked with a number of faith-based organizations, including Revoice, Christians for Social Action, and Preston Sprinkle's Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, where she contributed to the Digital Leaders Forum. You can follow her on social media at @travelingnun.
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Rating details

269 ratings
4.53 out of 5 stars
5 65% (175)
4 26% (69)
3 7% (19)
2 2% (5)
1 0% (1)
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