A BuzzFeed article published in November appeared to be the latest attempt to lure another high-profile Christian business into losing a lot of followers. The target of the article was Chip and Joanna Gaines, the husband and wife team behind a home-renovating business and popular television show Fixer Upper. After remaining silent for over a month, they have now addressed the article in a surprising way.
Instead of taking the bait and making their stance on homosexuality known, the Gaineses wisely decided to stay quiet on the issue and only just now (over a month after the Buzzfeed article was published) responded by way of a blog post. “Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world,” Chip writes in the post titled “Chip’s New Years Revelation.”
The BuzzFeed article posed the question of whether the Gaines hold the same view on homosexuality as the pastor of their church, Jimmy Siebert. Siebert’s position is that homosexuality is a sin and that people who struggle with same-sex attraction should be converted. The article almost demanded a response from the Gaines, which was not given.
On January 2, 2017, Chip Gaines offered his blog post, which did not take either of the directions that could be expected: to come out as either for or against homosexuality. Instead, Gaines offers a third view, a high road, so to speak. The post starts out by using the couple’s unique relationship as an example. Anyone who watches their show on HGTV would say they have a good relationship, yet Chip says, “Jo and I sometimes don’t see eye to eye on stuff. She looks at something one way and in her gut she thinks she’s right and I look at it an entirely different way.” Yet these differing views of opinion don’t keep them from being best friends and, as evidenced by their booming business, working really well together.
So instead of choosing to drive a wedge between themselves and people who may think differently than they do, Chip explains, “Jo and I feel called to be bridge builders. We want to help initiate conversations between people that don’t think alike.”
Chip and Joanna attend a church where the traditional view of marriage is upheld and affirmed. By choosing not to comment on their own views, the Gaineses communicate that they are home renovators by trade; not preachers. They are not called, in their line of work, to bring people around to their views on homosexuality, therefore there is no need to state their views on that topic.
Chip highlights the increasing division a lot of us have felt this past year over issues such as homosexuality. It’s caused a lot of us to try to insulate against the outside world in an effort to protect ourselves from the unknown. But instead of building walls, Chip proposes another idea: “operating with a love so real and true that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you.”