One of the many questions I’ve received in the pre-launch of Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is quite simply: why? Why are you writing this?
First let’s talk about the title.
In Christianity, breaking bread is an expression used to convey fellowship. Bread was the main staple of the first-century authors of the Bible. It was often shared at dinners and get-togethers when believers and disciples met for fellowship. Being immersed in church culture and having grown up in a hyper-religious household, I have experienced many a “bread-breaking” and ultimately fed from the knowledge and wisdom of Scriptures that the Church had to offer. Similarly, spilling the tea is an expression often used in the LGBT+ community that signifies exposing or sharing the truth of a matter.
My world has always consisted of both cultures, though I would only accept the bisexual part of my identity in my mid-20s. In that struggle for acceptance, I faced internal turmoil as I had never experienced before. This turmoil would be the primary source for my spiral into dangerous bouts of depression — the reason for my multiple attempted suicides. As someone who has always held the holy scriptures as essential to my very existence, I had a tough time identifying who I was in God’s eyes. On the one hand, His word says that I am equally loved under Christ as anyone else, and likewise, all our sins are on seen by God on equal planes (Galatians 3:28, Romans 10:28, 1 John 2:2, Romans 3:23). On the other hand, the Church has continuously taught that those who practice any form of homosexuality would not inherit the kingdom of God — So which one is it?
The topic of homosexuality, as taught by the Church, is filled with contradictions. Most importantly, contradictions that put in question the primary pillar of our faith — salvation. First, let’s take a look at what the Bible says about salvation:
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 10:9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of GodEphesians 2:8
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known [through Jesus], to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Romans 3:21-24
In multiple verses in the Bible, the consensus is clear — salvation is through the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and it is a gift given by grace and received by faith. How can a concept as powerful as salvation, guaranteed by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, be made so fragile as to bar people from heaven for simply loving who they love? In fact, wasn’t it Jesus himself who said that there would be no marital ties in heaven?
24 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for him. 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh. 27 Finally, the woman died. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?” 29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heavenMatthew 22:24-30
So why does the Church makes such a big deal of who we choose to love and marry?
You can see how teachings of a very contradictory nature arise when analyzing the definitions of salvation and what is required to achieve it. The more I thought about it, the more I came to a conclusion — one of these is wrong: either God’s word or the Church’s doctrine. As human beings are the ones responsible for the latter, and since humans are intrinsically flawed by nature, I concluded that the error might be in what the Church has decreed as law for all these centuries.
The more that I studied the Bible, the more I found discrepancies in translation from the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew in which the books of the Bible were written. As I pored over the notes and histories of the different contemporary translations we have today, I saw glaring mistakes done in the name of profit and a rush to beat capitalistic competition among the different publishing houses.
It was when I took to a deep analysis of the six instances in the Bible that makes mention of alleged homosexuality that the lightbulb came on. These verses were grossly misinterpreted and taken out of context. Few Christian authors have dared to stand and speak out with similar discoveries — Colby Martin, a heterosexual pastor who identified the same discrepancies, and Matthew Vines, a gay Christian who took on the same challenging research, are two of the more prominent examples that come to mind. As our political atmosphere becomes more and more driven by bigotry with a façade of religious zealotry, I knew I couldn’t keep all I had learned to myself. It felt selfish.
One day after Christmas of 2020, my aunt called me in tears saying she received a vision and revelation from God. He spoke to her of the ministry I had been promised. I grew up receiving prophecies many times in the past about how I was to be a minister, a pastor, someone who would help guide souls to God. For years I had given up on that calling, I didn’t see it plausible that any congregation would be willing to accept a bisexual pastor or leader.
Honestly, I saw more disgusting behaviors in the Church disguised as passive-aggressive holiness than I did “out in the world.” There was more of a reflection of God in the outside world than I had seen in the church itself. Ultimately, I had faced enough religious trauma to cause a strong enough repulsion to ever revisit the subject of ministering to people. In my mind, church people were highly flawed, highly judgmental, and I didn’t want anything to do with it.
At first, my aunt’s revelation scared me. I didn’t want to go back into that atmosphere of toxicity found in churches, but as time went on, God started speaking to me in ways I couldn’t ignore. It began when my professional life in the real estate sector took a major hit. In a market where everyone was selling and buying homes in a mad rush, I felt as though my pipeline had completely dried out regardless of the thousands of dollars of investment I made with hopes of attracting business. It didn’t make sense why my success suddenly stopped. I decided to pursue another career path instead. Even then, I faced struggles. The more I applied for jobs with a seemingly strong resume, the more I received rejections (I went as far as to apply for entry-level positions and was still being denied). Something was wrong here.
During this era of frustrated job-searching, I would find myself bombarded with news articles pertaining to discrimination against the LGBT+ community, and out of nowhere, stories would suddenly pop up on my radar from people who were extremely hurt by the Church. In both instances, I kept hearing God speak to me.“Write the book,” He would constantly repeat. I listened. Throughout the year’s+ process of researching credible sources and writing the book itself, I faced many moments of the dreaded imposter syndrome.
Sure, I was well versed in ancient history and had almost an obsessive approach to the study of the ancient past and religious texts, but who was I to challenge a centuries-old doctrine? Who was I to stand against generations of pastors and priests across thousands of churches and denominations? With my mental health, was I really ready to face the tremendous opposition and hate that was to come? The answer, I realized, was yes. As someone who constantly struggled with finding a reason to live, the least I could do was to step out into dangerous waters if it meant helping someone else coming up on the same path.
Funnily enough, a mere days after completing the manuscript, I received a phone call with news that I was accepted into my current job with the exact benefits and salary I had hoped for. Was it a coincidence? It seemed more like a consecutive line of coincidences; either way, Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea was born.
I’m excited and anxious about the book’s release. I don’t expect it will receive the warmest welcome, in fact, I’ve already started attracting some hate comments online, but at this point in the game it’s no longer my “problem” — It’s God’s problem. I have faith that He directed me to write this book, and that same faith applies to the direction He will take with the book. I just hope that within its pages are the healing words that thousands upon thousands need to hear. I encourage all readers to take a look at the contents of the book before making any sound judgments. I also encourage the practice that the book may become something that is passed on and on again to friends, families, and acquaintances who need it.
Preorder Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea