In a blog interview with Ed Stetzer, evangelical author Jonathan Merritt discussed an encounter he experienced with another man that “went beyond the bounds of friendship.” After Merritt publicly endorsed Chick-fil-A restaurants and their stance supporting traditional marriage, a “gay, formerly evangelical” blogger accused Merritt of the encounter and claimed he had evidence to support it. Merritt told Stetzer that the blogger had contacted him in 2009, leading to a meeting that ended in the encounter. According to the interview, they never met again and only corresponded for a short season afterward.
Merritt continued, “It’s from my brokenness, that I feel I can now be transparent, honest, and authentic about these accusations. Those close to me know I have actually been planning to share the story of my brokenness for some time. Because it is part of my spiritual journey. And because it underscores the power of the Gospel to transform lives.”
Merritt says he does not call himself “gay” because “I believe there can be a difference between what one experiences and the life that God offers.” He says his home church leadership has been “incredibly supportive” of him in the context of “the Bible’s unambiguous standards for sexuality.”
“[I am] reminded again how important Christian community and accountability can be,” said Merritt in closing. “That’s also why I felt that it was important to tell my story. I’m committed to this journey in Christ, and I’m committed to remaining within the Christian community while maintaining valuable friendships with those who are not Christians. Sometimes this means being vulnerable and transparent when it’s tough. But that’s also when we can lean in and know that the truth is never something to be ashamed of and that in our brokenness we can find strength.
Merritt, a nationally known writer, blogger and news personality, has written two books, writes for several news outlets, and makes television appearances often. Read Merritt’s interview with Ed Stetzer here.