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Andy Stanley Tells Unconditional Conference That Rosaria Butterfield and Christopher Yuan ‘Have Nothing Helpful To Say to Parents’ of LGBTQ Kids

Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley image NPPublishing, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Screengrab of Rosaria Butterfield, Christopher Yuan, and Becket Cook via YouTube @Becket Cook

ChurchLeaders obtained unpublished audio of a Q&A session featuring North Point Community Church pastor Andy Stanley and licensed counselor and ordained pastor Debbie Causey at the controversial Unconditional Conference hosted at North Point last month.

Causey is North Point Community Church’s Director of Care. Her responsibilities include the overseeing church’s Parent Connect ministry, which facilitates “groups and events for parents of LGBTQ+ children.” She is also a mother whose youngest son, according to her website, “came out in high school” and has been “on a journey to discover what God has to say about the topic of homosexuality and gender identity issues and the LGBTQ+ community for the past decade.”

Causey’s website describes her ministry as one that is “for parents of LGBTQ+ children who are desperate to learn how to love their children well and discover God’s purposes for them on this journey.”

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During their conversation, Stanley told pastors in the room that “if your theology limits who you can minister to, you definitely don’t have the theology of Jesus.”

Stanley then explained that Jesus left this world “unfixed” when he ascended to heaven. He reminded parents of LGBTQ+ children who have prayed for God to “heal” their children that their prayer might not be answered: “He doesn’t always.”

“So what’s the church supposed to do with parents who have unanswered prayer?” Stanley asked. “And how’s the church supposed to respond to teenagers and college students with this unanswered prayer?”

Stanley said, “If the church doesn’t know what to do with people with an unanswered prayer, we’re just not much of a church.”

“Every gay man I’ve ever met, regardless of age, once upon a time, was a little boy with a secret and an unanswered prayer. And I say to pastors that if that doesn’t break your heart, you shouldn’t talk about it,” Stanley said, going on to share that he tells pastors, “One of these days you’re gonna love an LGBTQ+ person. And in that moment, you’re gonna change, but you don’t have to wait until then.”

Stanley clarified—after Causey questioned him about Jesus healing LGBTQ+ children—that he didn’t mean that LGBTQ+ people are sick. Rather, Stanley was attempting to describe how “Jesus loves us.” Stanley followed that comment by mentioning that the behaviors the Apostle Paul called “sin then, were sin then. And those are sin now because serial sexual relationships are bad for everybody involved, right?”

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So this isn’t a matter of not taking these verses seriously, he said. “We take them very seriously. But again, this is different. This is different. And we’ve got to make space and create new vocabulary.”