In an effort to make everyone feel free to celebrate their spiritual and religious beliefs, Crystal Cheatham, a lesbian from Philadelphia, has created a new Bible app for the LGBT community. Cheatham said she is frustrated with the lack of homosexual-friendly Christian resources available today, and wanted to offer a choice for the gay community so that they feel included.
Cheatham came up with the idea for the new “Our Bible” app when the ministers in her Seventh Day Adventist Church advised her that her lesbian lifestyle and her belief in Christianity were a conflict.
A self-described ‘lesbian Christian,’ Cheatham said that she too once believed that her homosexuality was in stark contrast with her belief in God. However, she has finally decided to embrace her belief of both.
“I’m black, I’m a lesbian, and I’m tired of feeling like my faith doesn’t matter,” Cheatham said in a recent press release. “Some think it’s an anomaly that a black lesbian can be a Christian, but there are many out there like me.”
The New App for the ‘Spiritual but Not Religious’
The new “Our Bible” app was made especially for those who identify themselves as being ‘spiritual but not religious.’ This includes people who consider themselves to be progressive Christians and believe in God, yet don’t hold to the strict purity culture and biblical ways – at least in the same way such traditions have been upheld in the past.
Cheatham’s hope is that her app will help Christians understand and accept homosexuality and realize that they too, believe in God.
The “Our Bible” app features resources that are meant to support homosexuality, and it does not condemn the lifestyle as a sin. The webpage for the app indicates they are “Creating devotionals for progressive Christians, we uplift believers of ALL stripes.”
In addition, Cheatham indicates that the new app is meant to support the belief that ‘spirituality is a spectrum and that faith is a journey.’ It is her view that the Bible was meant to be inclusive of all of God’s people – including those people on the margins.
What to Expect on “Our Bible”
The new app, geared towards the LGBT community and supporters, includes a collection of 20 Bible verses in which God is referred to in gender-neutral terms as well as over 300 devotionals that highlights a pro-LGBT standpoint.
In addition, the app includes articles, meditation practices, and podcasts. The goal is to offer a tool to create healthy prayer and meditation habits to help more Christians accept homosexuality.
“There are so many Christians out there that want to be accepting of LGBT people, but don’t know how because they haven’t received the resources,” she explained.
Religious Views on the “Our Bible” App
As expected, many religious leaders do not offer much support to the new app. Ken Ham, President of the Answers in Genesis, a ministry dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith, thinks the app is “biblically wrong.”
In fact, Ham points out that Cheatham is absolutely ignoring the heart of the message of Christianity, which according to John and Corinthians versus, indicates that we become born again and become new creatures and gain a brand-new identity when we turn to Christ.
Ham has strong convictions about the new app and the creator saying, “These professing believers are trying to find their identity in their sexuality and gender rather than submitting totally to Jesus Christ, but we are no longer defined by our sin when we are Christians. We are defined by Christ who lives in us.”
He goes on to say, “There should be no such thing as an LGBTQ Christian any more than there should be a drunkard Christian, liar Christian, or adulterer Christian. We are simply Christians, and our identity is not in the sinful desires that we all still have (though Christians are given strength to restrain ourselves [1 Corinthians 10:13]), but in the One who died for our sin and gave us new life (1 Corinthians 6:9–20).”
While there is much controversy surrounding the new app, it is being released for beta testing now and is scheduled for a full release in September of this year. Religious leaders expect the app to be greeted with even more contention when it becomes available to the public.
~ 1776 Christian