. . . Recently, after Jonathan, in a piece written for The Atlantic, defended Chick-fil-A against a potential boycott by gay activists, a "gay evangelical" blogger claimed he had evidence Jonathan himself was gay. In the parlance the effort was to "out him." Merritt's defense of Chick-fil-A had already exploded in the LGBT blogosphere, but this inflamed the issue as many sought to discredit Jonathan after he dared to defend Chick-fil-A.
Jonathan's views have been clear--he considers homosexual practice as sin and is not in favor of redefining marriage (about half of America agrees, btw). Such views make you a target today, regardless of your personal situation.
"Outing," in case you do not know, is the practice of revealing that a certain person is gay without his or her consent, is not an unheard of occurrence though it is not always looked on favorably within the LGBT community. My heart grieves to see such low integrity, particularly when done by a person who claims the title "Christian"--and I am deeply disappointed with a few "Christians" in the blogosphere, who, since they disagreed with Jonathan in the past, seized the moment. Sad.
Yes, Jonathan Merritt is a public figure who lives in the intersection of church and culture, and is accustomed to cars coming from both directions--which appears to be the case now. In the past I have used my blog as a way for leaders to address blogosphere issues (see this interview with Rick Warren, for example) I want to do the same today.
So, I asked Jonathan if he would take a few questions and respond to this situation for himself. He has agreed, and I welcome him to the blog today.
You can read the whole interview here.
Living in a broken world as we are, I'm sure that we will see more of this in the days to come: Christian leaders struggling with same-sex attraction. Some will succumb, and some will fight for purity and obedience by grace through faith. I commend Jonathan for his honesty, and Ed for seeking to provide a forum to do this in the right way, just as I lament the utterly unconscionable actions of professing believers who seek to take political-theological advantage of rumors and pain.