Queer Ally Colby Martin Catches Fire… in a Good Way

Image from the Instagram page of Colby Martin @colbymartin.

This week, on Tuesday, 13 October 2020, writer, pastor, and Queer ally Colby Martin started a firestorm with a post-National Coming Out Day Instagram post (embedded in full below) which reaffirmed his position that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Sure, the trolls came out, but it ended in a well-deserved love fest.

Martin, the author of UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality (Westminster John Knox Press, 2016, paid link).* was overwhelmed by the record number (for him) of “likes” and hundreds of new followers. As a result, UnClobber shot up to number five on Amazon’s list of bestsellers in Gender & Sexuality in Religious Studies (lagging, unfortunately behind four Queer-bashing books which he described as… well, it isn’t a pretty description). Also, his very useful (and free) PDF “cheat sheet” summarizing his refutation of Queer-bashing interpretations of scripture was downloaded over 400 times.

I, myself, have not read UnClobber (paid link).* A while ago, I swore off the sometimes futile exercise of trying to justify my Queer sexuality to others via Biblical interpretation, so in 2016 when UnClobber came out, I was glad at another take on the issue but not interested. Recently, however, realizing that the elephant in the room needs to be addressed and… addressed again, I did watch the entire playlist UnClobber: A Lecture Series on the Bible and Homosexuality. which I recommend.

I found that I like Martin’s line of reasoning and no-holds-barred delivery. Also, I think it is important that an ally with a large platform (part of which he lost due to his Queer-affirming stances) continue to speak to non-affirming Christians through a vessel they can understand and respect. I affirm the need for Queer voices to tell Queer stories, but I believe that each person has a responsibility to advocate for the full flourishing of others when and where they can not be heard.

This is how we shift the tide, so send him some love. Vote for what length of beard you like (I don’t know whether he’s actually soliciting opinions, but I favor its current length, myself). You can find links in his bio for downloading the clobber passages cheat sheet @colbymartin. or by signing up on his website colbymartinonline.com.

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DID YOU KNOW? It’s still a common (mis)conception that the #Bible even addresses “homosexuality?” The thing is, it doesn’t. Really. Truly. It doesn’t. Push past what you’ve always thought, assumed, or been told. Recognize it for what it is: merely ideas you’ve been told about the Bible that you haven’t yet updated or challenged with better ones. You see, #homosexuality is really just a term, a label, a category for describing a certain type of sexual orientation. And the Bible… lean in closer, now… truly does not have anything to say about sexual orientations. Homo or hetero or otherwise. Now, of course, you’re not wrong… the Bible does have things to say about sex and sexuality and all that. And that very well may be worth talking about, reflecting on, and considering how/where/what/when it might impact us today. But let’s once and for all put to rest the incorrect notion that Bible has anything to say about homosexuality. Mmkay? Great. “But then why has the church always been so anti-LGBTQ?” Yeah, that’s a great question. Lots of ideas come up for me about that. But I think first and foremost is because of the six #clobberpassages. These are the verses the church has (mis)used to justify discrimination against LGBTQ people. Did you know I wrote a book all about it? It’s called #UnClobber, and if you’ve never challenged what you’ve been told about the Bible and homosexuality, then I suggest you check it out. Oh what’s that, you don’t have time or money for it? I hear ya. No worries. That’s why I created a free PDF “Cheat Sheet” so you can get the gist of it. (there’s a link for that in my profile. Cheers.) Because honestly, everyone needs to hear this stuff. This past Sunday was #NationalComingOutDay and waaaaaay too many people are either 1) Not coming out, or 2) Coming out in the midst of great fear because their friends and family are still convinced the Bible (and by extension, God) is somehow against LGBTQ people. Freaking A, man. That just isn’t true. So do me a favor, if you know someone who needs #UnClobber, would you pass it on? Either the book, or the free PDF (again, links in my profile). My friends, you are loved as you are!

A post shared by Colby Martin (@colbymartin) on

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