Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach of Discovery Church in Simi Valley, California, has gained a great deal of attention for sharing his personal story of growing up emerged in the gay rights movement before later discovering the Christian faith and experiencing an ideological transformation.
Kaltenbach, who first shared the details in an appearance on The Church Boys podcast back in September, recently came back on the show to share additional insight about the ways in which he believes the Christian community can better foster dialogue with gays and lesbians.
"I honestly believe that ... neither side is listening to one another as much as they should," the pastor said, citing the ongoing attacks coming from both sides. "I think that we need to listen. I think that we need to understand where the other person is coming from."
Kaltenbach, author of the new book "Messy Grace," has a unique perspective, as both of his parents came out as gay when he was a child, with his mother wanting him to “experience the LGBT community,” bringing him to gay-themed parades and events at a young age.
Listen to Kaltenbach explain how Christians should handle these issues below:
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In his earlier interview with The Church Boys, he recalled hating Christians as a young man, holding disdain for their treatment of the gay community.
But one day after Kaltenbach decided to "attack Christianity" by going into a Bible study and trying to challenge Christians' beliefs, something surprising happened: he embraced the Bible and became a believer himself. Read more about that here.
Years later, the pastor — who does not believe that same-sex relations are biblically sound — is hoping to inspire people on both sides of the debate to speak openly and fairly with one another.
"I grew up in this community. I marched in gay pride parades," Kaltenbach said. "I witnessed not only the aggression of the extreme Christians, but the aggression of the extreme LGBT people."
He believes that what's happening in culture today is a rejection of the values that extended from the 1940s into the 1980s, dubbing the response a "rebellion" of sorts that has resulted in a "huge identity issue."
While Kaltenbach believes in open dialogue and respect, he said that for Christians "there are going to be boundaries and one of those boundaries is same-sex intimacy."
He also encouraged Christians not to simply say "homosexuality is a sin" when it comes to addressing the contentious subject, as he said that this framing simply has "so much baggage."
Instead, he encourages a focus on discussing his belief that same-sex intimacy is what the Bible condemns.
"The more we love people, the more influence we'll have in their lives to be able to speak truth when God gives us margin to," Kaltenbach said.
We'll leave you with his earlier interview, during which the pastor described finding Jesus, below:
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