“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines have remained virtually silent about the controversy that emerged after BuzzFeed published a Nov. 29, article about the couple’s church and their pastor’s biblical views on homosexuality.
Sure, there were some tweets sent by Chip Gaines in the wake of the controversy, though they didn’t say anything substantive or definitive about what had unfolded. But now, more than a month after the original controversy raged, Chip Gaines published a blog entry that seems to more deeply address the furor that briefly surrounded the reality TV stars.
In the text, Chip wrote that he and his wife wouldn’t be baited, encouraged people to extend love to their ideological opponents and implored readers to reject the “lie” that disagreement is “the same thing as hate.”
Titled “Chip’s New Year’s Revelation,” the piece opened by noting how Chip and Joanna — like any married couple — sometimes “don’t see eye to eye on stuff.” Then, Chip used that example to explain that people in our ever-diverse world won’t always be on the same page with one another, either — something he said he’s “okay” with.
“This past year has been tough. In my lifetime, I can’t recall humanity being more divided,” Chip wrote. “Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred.”
And then he continued, seemingly referencing the debate that raged over his pastor’s views on homosexuality.
“Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home,” he wrote. “A house divided cannot stand. If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love.”
He said he and Joanna have “personal convictions” and that one of them is that they have love for other human beings, regardless of the differences that exist and persist in the world.
“It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith,” Chip wrote. “That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.”
In the end, Chip said he and his wife are all about trying to help people come together, even those who disagree. In fact, he said he and Joanna feel called to be “bridge builders” and that they want to inspire others to “lovingly disagree.” He also urged people not to buy into a popular “lie” that is oft-times perpetuated in culture.
“Listen to me, we do not all have to agree with each other,” he continued. “Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don’t believe that lie.”
Read the post in its entirety here.
As Faithwire previously reported, BuzzFeed was under fire after the outlet published an article about the couple, using the Gaineses’ Christian church’s views on homosexuality to question the couple’s own beliefs. The author of the piece specifically asked whether the reality TV stars also oppose same-sex nuptials — and whether they would ever be willing to allow a gay couple on their show, basing these questions on the church’s stance against gay nuptials.
Reaction was swift, with many gays and lesbians coming to the Gaineses’ defense. And the couple’s pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, appeared on Tony Perkins’ radio show “Washington Watch,” to defend his biblical views and call for Christians to be loving and compassionate in their approach to tough issues.
Seibert said the bright side of the debate centered on the fact that people were suddenly learning about what the Bible says on these sometimes difficult issues.
“Thousands and maybe hundreds of thousands of people are now getting some scriptures, getting some clarity and getting some truth and some thought on this issue of marriage and life and sexual identity,” he said. “In a weird way, we’re grateful that that message is getting out.”
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