Conversations with Kimeron

One of the things I regularly do is to check my Google Analytics and see info about my blog. Back in March, I realized that I was getting traffic from a site that I’d never heard of before. I checked it out and found a blog from Dr. Kimeron Hardin, a “clinical psychologist specializing in improving health, wellness and self-esteem.” He’s also the author of several books called, “Loving Ourselves: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to Self-Esteem, Queer Blues: The Lesbian and Gay Guide to Overcoming Depression, and The Chronic Pain Control Workbook, Second Edition.” As his profile states, “his passion is helping the LGBTQ community learn to overcome the effects of living in a homophobic and heterocentrist society so that they can live happier and healthier lives.”

Obviously, Kimeron is an openly gay man and has devoted much of his time to writing about this. He linked one of my blog posts in an article as a Christian perspective to a topic he was addressing. At first, I was a little surprised by the randomness of this. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was a great opportunity here.

I believe that when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, the Church collectively has done a very poor job in responding like Christ. I also believe that it will be even more important for the Church to respond appropriately in the future as this becomes more and more of a topic in the mainstream. As a result, I decided to email Kimeron and see if he’d be willing to establish a dialogue so that we can openly talk and learn from each other even if we see things differently. Like Central teaches, you can belong before you believe. With that said, here are parts of our first emails and I hope that this creates a healthy environment for the Church to learn how to respond better in love. As I’ve always thought, it’s pretty hard to intelligently speak about an issue like homosexuality when you don’t even know anyone who is gay.

Dr. Hardin,

My name is Jeremy and I’m a teaching pastor at Central Christian Church in Arizona. I’m also the author of the blog, tomorrowsreflection.com, which you referenced in your post called “The Dark Side” on March 15. I’m not sure how you found my blog, but as a result of your link I found yours. All of this to say that I would be interested in beginning a dialogue with you about the issues that you are passionate about. I’ll admit that we probably approach the topic of homosexuality from very different viewpoints. However, I don’t personally know many openly gay people and I would like to know more about your perspective and better understand how you see things. I believe that this is a topic that the Church (collectively) hasn’t handled well and I believe will be an even greater issue in the future.

You may be interested in hearing a pastor’s perspective or at least sharing your thoughts with one. I have no desire to preach to you or try and get you to think differently, I’m simply offering the chance to learn from each other. I realize this email is probably catching you totally off guard and for that I apologize. If you have no desire to talk with me about this, then no worries. If you do, then I’d be glad to learn more and try and understand a different perspective than mine.

Jeremy

Here is (part of) his response:

Hi Jeremy!

Wow! I am so impressed with your email! I really appreciate that kind of honesty.

I found your blog by searching for anything on Jesus and the money changers so that I could more accurately reference that part of Christian teaching in my blog. I try not to misrepresent the church’s perspectives when I talk about it in my blogs, even if I vehemently disagree sometimes with a point of view. My goal has never been to eliminate the church, but to expose what I find are inherent contradictions between what it says at times and how it practices what it preaches, something I believe your particular church appears to support.

I found a lot of wonderful messages in the Bible and the church as I was growing up immersed in Sunday School, general services and my time as a “Christian Youth Crusader” as we called it. But, my budding sexuality as a gay man created much conflict in my relationship to organized religion since I found in my own experiences, my personal relationship with God, and within the scripture itself that some of the mainstream teachings about homosexuality were anything but Christ-like.

I have spent much of my adult life doing my own personal thinking, reflection and studying about how I can personally resolve the contradictions within the Bible itself, various forms of organized religion, and my own personal experiences and beliefs. Obviously, I tend to favor Christian theology that is more progressive and less literal, and in my own opinion, more true to the example of Jesus Christ himself rather than the layers of interpretation that humans have added throughout the years.

And, I have met some wonderful Christians who I believe embody the essence of Christ as a loving, peaceful and compassionate person which makes me hopeful. I would be happy to be a gay friend to you and have a dialogue if it would be helpful to you or someone else who might be struggling.

Let me know where to go from here. Thank you so much for your message!

Kimeron

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan