“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ pastor spoke out in the wake of controversy over a 2015 sermon he delivered about homosexuality, telling Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Thursday that he’s received a mixture of reactions since a BuzzFeed story about his remarks — and the Gaines’ faith — went viral early last week.
Pastor Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, appeared on 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 also revealed what he said has been the “most encouraging” part of the firestorm that resulted, explaining that he and the church are encouraged to see that people are learning a bit more about the Bible’s take on some important issues.
READ: Gays and Lesbians Defend ‘Fixer Upper’ Stars Chip and Joanna Gaines After BuzzFeed ‘Hatchet Job’
“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.”
Seibert also said he firmly believes in embracing both compassion and clarity, calling people to focus in on God’s will rather than their own definitions and proclivities.
“God defined what marriage is, not you or I or anyone. God defined what male and female are,” he said. “As a person of faith, I just decided that God’s going to be right.”
Watch Seibert’s gay marriage sermon below:
The pastor said everyone is on a journey, and that there must be “tremendous compassion for anyone in any sin or any journey and any challenge,” but that the “fixed point” must be “God’s truth and God’s word.”
And when Perkins asked Seibert if he ever assumed he would one day find himself at the center of such a controversy, he said he isn’t surprised by what unfolded.
“Whenever anybody is clear — no matter how loving we are — there’s people that will resist truth,” he said, later adding, though, that “the truth really does set people free” so long as it is uttered and lived out in love.
Watch the Gaineses discuss their faith below:
Overall, Seibert said he’s experienced a mixed array of reactions, though he said positive responses have outweighed everything else, including any of the “vindictive” reactions he’s received.
As for the Gaines family, he had nothing but praise and adoration (you can download Seibert’s comments about the controversy on Perkins’ podcast here).
“These guys are for real. They always have been,” Seibert said. “They’re authentic (in love for Jesus, one another and their family). That’s what people are drawn to.”
READ: ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Chip Gaines Unveils Inspiring Response as ‘All Hell ‘Appears’ to be Breaking Loose’
As Faithwire previously reported, the BuzzFeed article in question about Seibert and the Gainses has been lambasted by media critics who are boisterously dismissing it as “dangerous,” a “hit job” and an attempt to “destroy” the couple; some gays and lesbians have also spoken out against the piece.
The original article, titled, “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage,” opens by dissecting the success of the HGTV show as well as the couple’s other endeavors, before noting that the Gaineses are “devout Christians.”
Then, the article abruptly starts moving into contentious LGBTQ territory, questioning the couple’s views on homosexuality, among other related sentiments. Read our original report here.
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