Matthew Paul Turner
Author Matthew Paul Turner

Christian Author Matthew Paul Turner Comes Out as Gay, Announces Divorce

By Kathryn Post

Christian author Matthew Paul Turner came out as gay today on Facebook and Instagram and announced that he and his wife, fellow writer Jessica Turner, are divorcing.

Matthew Paul Turner is the former editor of CCM, a magazine covering contemporary Christian music, but he is best known for his rhyming children’s books published through Convergent, an imprint of Penguin Random House. His 2019 book “When I Pray for You” is a Today, Publisher’s Weekly and Wall Street Journal bestseller with more than 100,000 copies in print.

“(A)s someone who spent 30+ years in fundamentalist/evangelical churches, exploring God through conservative theologies, I’ve lived many days overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred,” Turner wrote in a Facebook post. “But for the first time in my life, despite the sadness and grief I’m feeling right now, I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man.”

Jessica Turner also shared a Facebook post this morning. “We are moving forward with ending our marriage, while remaining deeply committed to our family and each other,” she wrote. “We are all adjusting to a new normal, with our home now extended under two rooftops.”

The two were married in 2004 after meeting online and quickly bonding over their interest and involvement in CCM. The couple now has three children.

“I fell in love with her 17 years ago and still love her deeply,” Turner wrote. “Despite her own grief and pain, she has loved and encouraged me to be fully me.” The couple lived in Nashville, Tennessee, with their three children. 

They did not say when their divorce will be finalized. 

In his book, “Fear No Evil,” Turner describes growing up in a conservative Independent Fundamental Baptist Church where he said his belief in God was rooted in fear of damnation — he was taught musical syncopation was sinful and said he didn’t set foot in a movie theater until age 19. He writes that his faith evolved over the years, and eventually Turner launched a blog called “Jesus Needs New PR” and became a part of more progressive Christian circles.

“Though my own faith evolved long ago to become LGBTQ+ affirming, my journey toward recognizing, accepting and embracing myself took much longer,” Turner wrote in his post. 

His now progressive faith is reflected in his children’s books, which emphasize God’s love, as well as his other writings. Turner said he would continue to write children’s books with the support of his publisher. 

Jessica Turner is founder of popular blog The Mom Creative and of the 2018 book Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive. She writes about family, motherhood, DIY hacks and savings tips.

Kathryn Post is a writer living in Washington D.C. She is a graduate of Calvin College and an editorial assistant for Sojourners magazine. 

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90 thoughts on “Christian Author Matthew Paul Turner Comes Out as Gay, Announces Divorce”

  1. Kind of a side note, but what is the standard or criteria for allowing other sources and authors on this blog?

    Am I right that this particular author works for the admittedly Marxist organization Sojourners? [see Jim Wallis]

    Are we not all fully aware that socialism/Marxism is 100% antithetical to biblical Christianity, and to all of mankind?

    1. Hi Mark,
      I sometimes publish pieces from other writers. I evaluate the content and publish only content that meets the standards of The Roys Report. I will take articles from professional writers/journalists with whom I disagree. If they’re good journalists, their reporting should be fair, regardless of their personal convictions. That being said, I always read the articles critically to make sure.

      1. I had the same question about the wolf in sheeps clothing at Sojourners. It seems like an important story to repost. The question I have is why advertise a book called “Recovering FROM biblical manhood and womanhood”? Are biblical manhood and womanhood not good things? I suppose there could be a twist kind of explanation that maybe its about unbiblical ideas of gender. But why call it biblical if it’s not? If it is biblical why reject it? Either way, looks to me like the wrong message is being broadcasted. I am surprised to see something like that.

        1. Eric,

          You’d need to read this article to understand the backstory for the book, “Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.”

          https://julieroys.com/aimee-byrd-cyberbullying-the-battle-over-manhood-womanhood/

          The book challenges the foundation on which the previous “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” was based–mainly that as Jesus is eternally subordinate to the Father so women should be subordinate to men. Though the author is complementarian, she rightly points out that ESS borders on heresy and should not form the basis for our views on gender. It’s a good read, whether one agrees with all of it or not.

          1. Julie
            Not sure I fully understand what you just responded to Eric. “It’s a good read, whether one agrees with all of it or not”, so is 20% poison OK… or 4% poison OK?
            If someone has a problem living under submission, either male or female, then it seems to me that there is a fundamental problem with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. If God’s desire to create mankind in His image resulted in one man and one woman with He at the center…both male and female submitting to His leadership, the focus of the two who might disagree on an issue, both must take that issue to God in prayer and ask Him to change them to see the truth. Sitting around pontificating on alternate solutions and examining expressed opinions of another fallen human being as an alternative to the word of God is in fact poison.

          2. William,
            There’s rarely a book I read that I agree with 100%, especially on debatable issues. But I think Aimee Byrd approaches the topic of manhood and womanhood from a biblical perspective, honestly trying to discern the truth. And she has done her research and reported information I had never realized before, like the foundations of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. I find books like that helpful. For the record, Aimee doesn’t have a problem living under submission. I encourage you to read the book.

        2. Eric,

          the question isn’t ‘Are biblical manhood and womanhood not good things?’, but rather what in the world does these things mean?

          the next question is why are there so many competing ‘biblical’s and which is the right one?

          as to what biblical manhood and womanhood really means, no one can agree. Even in the comp camp alone there is wide disagreement on what it should look like. it ends up as many mini Talmuds, all with different sets of rules claiming to be ‘biblical’, to which the only alternatives are hard patriarchy or egalitarianism.

          as to “what’s the right biblical?”

          “mine”, said the person who invoked with word “biblical’.

          it’s all kind of ridiculous, really.

          1. ** As to “What’s the right biblical?” “Mine,” said the person who invoked with word “biblical.” **

            Obvious responses include, “Says who?!” or “Who died and made you God?”

            You’re so right, Scottie: it is ridiculous. “Many mini Talmuds,” indeed.

    2. Hi Mark – I’d be interested in the biblical sources that lead you to believe that socialism (specifically socialism and not Marxism) is 100% antithetical to biblical christianity. What particular verses or passages have led you to this conclusion? Thanks!

  2. I really think we’re living in the midst of the rebellion mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:3. The great falling away from the faith by so many. Entire denominations have embraced doctrine that is contrary to Scripture, leading many astray.

    1. so tell me, Nick.

      Random Person A loves the triune God, has been baptized, does his/her very best to abide in God and let God abide in him/her. Has a disciplined routine of reading the bible and praying. Is conscientious about his/her own integrity, choosing honesty when it costs him/her. Has a lifestyle that focuses on kindness, generosity, and extending love to his/her neighbor.

      Random Person A is in a committed love relationship with someone of the same gender. They are faithful to each other.

      In the hereafter is God really going to say,

      “My friends…. You’ve lived lives of love and integrity and faith, and we made connection every day through your prayers and my spirit in you. I’m so proud of you. You crossed all the T’s and dotted all the i’s,….but I see you missed one. Sorry folks, It’s eternal torment for you.”

      1. My little take:

        In the end it ain’t what you do or how “good” you are that saves you. God calls our good deeds “filthy rags”.

        It’s, are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Have you got a relationship with Messiah Jesus, and understand His saving work on the Cross is the only way to be saved.

        Are you His? Have you got a relationship or not?

        Saved=going to heaven.

        Foundation—Jesus.
        What you put on it…
        What God will judge.

        “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
        ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭3:9-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
        https://www.bible.com/59/1co.3.9-15.esv

        It doesn’t matter how “cool/good/superb” your works are.

        Only Jesus saves.

        Let us follow the Word.
        Amen.

        1. S,

          from a cursory reading (aside from some christian trade language), it sounds pretty right on to me.

          Question: Does this apply to everyone except LGBTQ who are automatically nixed?

          1. “For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!””
            ‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:13-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
            https://www.bible.com/59/rom.10.13-15.esv

            Plus Jesus said,
            I AM the Way, The Truth, and the Life.

            Does that answer the question?

  3. Resistance is Futile as they say…looks like the progressive christian mob has assimilated another soul. I’m curious as to how long his wife knew or suspected.

  4. If gender is fluid, as we have repeatedly been told, then the honorable thing would be to deny himself, and choose a gender that allows him to respect the dignity of his marriage vows. Instead, he chooses to cast himself as a victim. How very strange and inconsistent.

    1. Good point. Of course, most of what people say on this topic is dishonest, meant to justify whatever their lust of the moment is. Life gets a lot simpler if you just follow the Bible and stay faithful to your wife regardless of what particular type of strange flesh stimulates you.

      It’s funny to see men acting as if perversion justifies divorce rather than repentance, though. I wonder if we will soon see a Christian writers getting divorced because he discovers his true desire is for robot dolls rather than the woman he married, though he still loves her and the children deeply, because he has learned to follow his destiny and not just worry about Hell.

      I wonder if Mr. Turner ever read Luther or any other serious theologian. He doesn’t seem to realize that being overwhelmed by fear, shame, and self-hatred is quite appropriate to the human condition and our sin is the only reason why Jesus dying on the Cross matters.

    2. Agree. Is what he is doing any different from a husband saying I want to have sex with other women so I am divorcing my wife and leaving my family? Why does he have to trash his oath and pledge after realizing he is gay? Are there special rules for gay people?

  5. “After much thought, prayer, and counseling, Jessica and I have made the decision to end our marriage. While we’re best friends and thoroughly love doing life, parenting, and pursuing our dreams together, ending our marriage is necessary because I am gay.”

    I’d be curious to know which passages in Scripture support any of this? Or, perhaps all that matters are Matthew’s and Jessica’s “feelings” about it? And apparently the counselor’s feelings as well?

    Jessica is “brave, strong and showcases love like nobody I know.” Yet, Matthew wants to divorce her. Again, where does Scripture support this?

    “Coming out to my kids was one of the hardest, most beautiful things I’ve ever done. Loving and protecting their stories will always be our first priority.”

    Interesting choice of words. So it’s “beautiful” that he’s breaking up his family? Also, what does “protecting their stories” mean? I can understand protecting their hearts and their lives, but their stories? Is this postmodern psycho-babble — “their stories” — supposed to make us think Matthew is extra caring and sensitive or something?

    “Writing books about wholeness, hope, and God’s love for children is an honor and privilege I do not take for granted.” Yet, Matthew wants to divorce his wife and break up his family, all the while declaring of “God’s love for children.” Hmm, what happens when Matthew starts to bring his gay partners around his children? How will he explain that to them? Will Jessica be supportive then?

    “I can say with confidence that I’m ready to embrace freedom, hope, and God as a gay man.” From where does this confidence derive? Does it derive from the secular, idolatrous culture, or from Scripture?

    1. Excellent observations, Daniel. A whole lot of religious-y sounding words and stock phrases to say, “I want to do sex acts with other men, and nothing else on earth matters.”

      1. Cynthia W – You said the least but you said the most. Well said. Only thing that might be worth adding to your paraphrase is: “…and if you don’t affirm my perversion I will block you on my self-absorbed, self-serving and psychobabble-filled Facebook page.”

        1. Thank you, Steve M. I’m known for my pithy summaries. I agree with your addition; it just didn’t cross my mind because I don’t use Facebook.

          I think many in our culture have fallen into the worship of Priapus, the Roman god of … er … “gettin’ busy.” When they don’t find ultimate fulfillment and perfect happiness in normal husband/wife sexual activity, they don’t conclude that this is because true happiness comes only from selfless service of God and one’s neighbor, not the indulgence of a bodily appetite. Instead, they conclude that it’s because they haven’t tried the “really special” kind of sexual activity in adequate quantities or with a “better” partner.

          It’s similar to the drive to find ultimate fulfillment in food. In some people, this leads to simple gluttony, while others want to eat endangered species or roll the dice eating fugu (poisonous blowfish).

          (I cribbed this theory from G.K. Chesterton.)

        2. Also, it is quite troubling that Matthew’s soon-to-be ex-wife Jessica is going along with this nonsense. And so is their “counselor,” who must be “woke” as well.

          Unfortunately, there are no shortage of woke pastors who will endorse and support both the divorce and Matthew’s self-actualization into the gay lifestyle. After all, nothing is more important than Matthew needing to “live his own truth,” which is the secular, idolatrous mantra of our postmodern age.

          1. So, Daniel and Cynthia W, are you saying Jessica should stay in a marriage to a gay man? Would you advise your daughter or sister to do the same? It’s easy to talk big when you’re not in it.
            My heart is heavy for Jessica. While I cannot fully empathize, I did have a similar experience. I dated a Christian man for years, only to find out he was hesitant to move things forward because he was questioning his sexuality. Under the guidance and discipleship of his church, he tried dating – and became engaged to – another Christian woman, only to end up calling off the wedding when he couldn’t in good conscience go through with it. A direct quote from him: “I loved both of you women – but mostly in a respectful way. Not in the way a man should love his wife, or that a wife deserves of her husband.” Shortly thereafter, he came out in a VERY public way (similar to Matthew).
            I recall feeling such a mix of emotions, both during our breakup, and upon hearing he was engaged to another WOMAN, and then during his public coming out. I questioned my attractiveness, ability to discern, my right to be angry, and even wondered if I should’ve prayed harder (or differently). I was a MESS. There were times I wanted him to feel the same embarrassment, shame, and sadness that I did, and I had to fight and pray hard NOT to lash out in the ways my flesh to. To make matters worse, I was on the receiving end of insensitive questions, judgments, and assumptions from many fellow believers – quite a few sounded similar to the “she must be going along with this nonsense” comment posted above. So I withdrew from the very community that should have been supporting and comforting me, which just exacerbated things.
            I can only imagine the scale of these emotions felt by Jessica when she married and had a family with Matthew. To humbly and graciously endure those emotions and questions – along with the judgments and assumptions about what she did or didn’t know or do that I’m reading on this page is a demonstration of the character Matthew raves about – and he should.
            God bless her and keep her.

          2. We would have to see what his wife says. She may be prudent and not add to the flames. I find it hard to believe she is “good” with him breaking up the family-and embarrassing them publicly.

        1. M H, I am definitely not saying that Jessica should stay in a marriage to Matthew, since he is clearly planning on leaving her to pursue his life as a gay man. My point wasn’t to blame Jessica for not staying with Matthew. My point was in her seeming to go along with all of this and even giving her blessing on it.

          As I wrote in a previous comment, would Jessica give her blessing to Matthew if he left her for another woman? Probably not. Why is this different? While Matthew’s and Jessica’s feelings on the matter are certainly important, so is the authority of Scripture.

          Where in Scripture does it support Matthew leaving his wife and family, whether for another woman or another man? Where in Scripture does it make an exception for someone deciding to leave his wife and family because they’re choosing to pursue a gay lifestyle?

          Again, my focus here isn’t on Jessica needing to stay married to Matthew, since he is clearly leaving. My focus is more on the “reasoning” behind all of this and the disregard for Scriptural authority being brought to bear on this marriage and family.

          1. What do you expect Jessica to do? Demand he stay? Publicly shame or lash out at him until he is guilted into staying? I don’t know what “going along with this” means to you, but Jessica is clearly considering that Matthew is still the father of her children, no matter his choice. Blasting him or demonstrating discord on a public forum would impact the children.
            And some breakups actually are amicable, with couples just agreeing they need to go their separate ways with no ill will.

            As for scriptural basis, if Matthew broke the covenant of their marriage (I’ve usually seen infidelity mentioned as a break in covenant— I have no idea if that happened— and I’ve heard debates on if emotional infidelity also “counts”), that is scriptural grounds for divorce.

          2. Remember, Matthew is speaking for Jessica, not Jessica speaking for Jessica. Men foolishly think they can speak for their wives. As a married man, I would be asking for trouble if I presumed to speak for her. We often don’t get it right in the best of conditions. :)

    2. Exactly. And it doesn’t sound like Jessica is quite as all for this as he makes it seem. There is no other way to describe this other than unbiblical and cowardly.

      1. M H, I know this is a tough situation for Jessica; there’s no denying it. Everyone in this comment thread feels badly for her. And I can understand her trying to keep things amicable for the sake of her children. There are no easy answers. Nonetheless, things may get tricky if Matthew starts bringing his partners around the kids.

        However, I wanted to point out that you provided Scriptural grounds for Jessica divorcing Matthew, but that is not what my comment was asking. My comment was clearly asking what Scriptural grounds Matthew has for divorcing Jessica. And since there are no Scriptural grounds, no pastor should be supporting any of this. But of course there are some pastors who will support it, while disregarding the authority of Scripture.

        1. M H, in my opinion, Jessica has no good choices in this situation. I support her making the best of it in any way that works for her children and herself.

          I’m really thinking of the irresponsible self-indulgence of Mr. Turner and the society that celebrates his irresponsible self-indulgence. This results in a great deal of suffering for innocent people.

  6. I agree with Nick. The mass delusion / apostasy continues to rise along with spirit of antichrist. How sad that anyone who claims to be Christian would equate giving in to detestable sins and disgusting desires with being fully themselves. It’s a clear replacement of identity in Christ with identity in filth.

    1. Curious why others don’t seems to have the same apocalyptic concerns over run-of-the-mill infidelity that’s typically kept hidden, particularly with religious leaders. Seems like selective judgement.

      1. Uwe Könnigsstaddt

        This is the product of the “purpose driven life” instead of the Gospel-driven life. There are 2 types of persons on this planet: those that are 100% against God and those that are 100% with Him. Of course, I am talking about the God of the Bible, the God that revealed His Nature, Character, Holiness in Holy Scripture. The same Holy God that BURNED the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes because of their decadent, “proud” sin of homosexuality, lesbianism, pedophilia, incest, bestiality, etc, etc, etc… God continues to reveal His Holiness in the New Testament book of Jude, “ just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.“ (Jude 1:7). As Christ Himself says “ You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16-20. Obviously the God of the Bible is “intolerant” and “narrow minded” and “judgmental” to this “book writer” or so called Proggressive “christian”. The Scriptures clearly teach that towards the last day there will be the Great Apostasy.

      2. Doo Wop Coke Fan

        Hi, Tony. All sin is bad, and if we’re Biblically informed Christians, we believe what the scripture and the confessions teach: sin is any lack of conformity to God’s moral law. So, it’s all bad. There’s nothing “run-of-the-mill” about infidelity. Certainly not to the spouse who was betrayed, nor to the Lord who calls us to walk in the light. God is just as grieved and offended when “religious leaders” are unfaithful in 2020 as He was in 1920, 1820, etc. And we should be too. It is to our shame that professing Christians take adultery lightly, whether its committed by religious leaders or congregants.
        Tony, you characterize peoples’ concerns as “apocalyptic” when they react to a professing believer leaving his wife and children in order to pursue a lifestyle which God calls perverted and a violation of His created order. Does the strong reaction against homosexual behavior bother you, or is it the {seeming} lack of concern about infidelity? May I suggest that part of the reason for believers’ reactions is their deep concern that within the church, people are attacking God’s revealed will with respect to homosexual conduct? To defend or excuse homosexual behavior in the name of Christ or the church is to fundamentally violate the speech of God. In my judgment, this is a valid reason for strong reactions against tolerating, defending, or participating in homosexual conduct. So while it may seem like “selective judgment,” believers committed to scripture would also strongly react against an attempt to negate the seventh commandment.

        1. I appreciate your sentiment here that sin is sin, and thank you for that.
          My concern is there seems to be incredible vitriol waged against homosexuals in the comments here that I believe wouldn’t be present if he left his wife and family for a younger hottie.
          When others, particularly Christian leaders, betray their marriage it’s often characterized as a ”Bad judgement call” or a “season of struggle”. When someone is gay, they are characterized with terms like “perverted”and “abomination”. It’s (in my opinion) like an effort to understand the struggles and an heterosexual adulterer but that same understanding is not extended towards those with same sex attraction. More often the language used to shame them. Look I’m a straight man, and I’m heartbroken to hear about the breakup of a family under any circumstances. I just see unequal judgement and unusual contempt for those who are different. It (in my opinion) plays into the belief that many Christians are biased towards judgement and less so loving. Your truth may be different, and that’s OK. There is a particularly sensitive topic that brings a lot of strong reactions, and I think there is something more than what’s happening at the surface.

          1. Speaking only for myself, the main problem is his upwhacking the lives of his children, followed by abandoning his wife. From my point of view, it’s not really important whether he did this to have sex with other women, to have sex with men, or to be a yogi on a mountaintop in Tibet. They’re all ways of saying, “Me me me me me and me. Also me. Did I mention me?”

          2. Thank you! Some of us have children struggling and the sentiments are so severe. Looking to Christ for hope and redemption. A Savior who came for sinners.

          3. Tony, you said, “It (in my opinion) plays into the belief that many Christians are biased towards judgement and less so loving.”

            While that may be true in some cases, there are also many Christians who don’t want to submit to the authority of Scripture, but instead seek to go along with the zeitgeist.

            Should we all stay silent about it? Our woke age is rooted in rampant idolatry, yet many Christians would rather go along with it in order to appear tolerant.

            Lastly, I disagree with you that most commenters here would be more understanding if Matthew was leaving his wife and family for a younger hottie (as you put it). Both are horrible. However, I doubt that Jessica in that scenario would be “brave” and go along it, do you? Of course not. Yet in this scenario, she seems to be going along with it.

            This is not normal behavior, Tony. So why on earth would we seek to normalize it?

          4. Doo Wop Coke Fan

            Hi again, Tony. I appreciate your thoughtful interaction. Your point is well taken that there are (and have been) those in the professing church, especially the conservative branch(es), who have been contemptuous of those who deal with same sex attraction and behavior. Sometimes it appears that those who ridicule or heap scorn on homosexuals do so because it makes them feel morally superior. Not a very “Christian” virtue! Believers who know how powerful sin is and have seen the depth of their own depravity will have compassion on those who involved in homosexual activity. As you are probably aware, this sin causes significant self-deception and is particularly enslaving.

            With regard to Christian leaders violating their marriage vows…. again, your point is well taken. There are some believers who would react much more strongly to homosexual sin than adultery. Both are very destructive. People who take adultery lightly are forgetting that under the Mosaic law, adultery was a capital offense. We need to take both sins seriously, and believers ought to extend the same “effort to understand,” as you put it, toward those who struggle with same sex attraction as they do toward those who have been unfaithful to their spouses.

      3. Run of the mill infidelity, whether gay or straight is typically kept hidden out of a sense of shame. This dude has no shame. “This is the way of an adulterous woman: She eats and wipes her mouth and says, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong.’ Proverbs 30:20

    2. Eric,

      When was the last time you said/wrote “detestable sins and disgusting desires” when cheating on taxes was the issue?

      when lying to protect oneself was the issue?

      when treating someone with cruelty because they are different was the issue?

      when exploiting others for the sake of one’s power and money was the issue?

      when people from church go to a pedophile’s sentencing to ask for leniency and ignore the victim and family completely whose lives shattered and forever damaged?

      Eric, Mark, William, Nick, Dan, Erasmuse, Daniel, Cynthia W, Steve M, Ron Marsh,

      Do you make this much fuss about anything else? Why in the world does the entire religion of Christianity hinge on being heterosexual?

      1. Scottie, I have weighed in a lot lately regarding the Ortberg issue (due to his and the elders’ lack of transparency at Menlo Church), and I’ve been weighing in regarding the recent stories of church leaders or pastors who either groom young girls, or have affairs, or both, as is the case with David Hyles. So no, it’s not always about homosexuality.

        Regarding the situation with Matthew and Jessica, if you feel that he’s biblically justified in leaving his wife and family, perhaps you can explain why. If you don’t feel he’s biblically justified, then what is all the fuss about?

        1. Daniel,

          “biblically justified”….

          i promise you i could find a number of things you did and didn’t do this time last Tuesday that were not biblical, and you wouldn’t be able to “biblically justify” why were doing or not doing them.

          but if we’re going to take the “biblically justified” route:

          search google images for “contortionist ravi standing”.

          ‘ravi’ is only part way there to depicting what “biblically justified” looks like. he’ll need to contort his body in many more ways, and even then i don’t think he’ll be fully “biblically justified”. there will still be more requirements that he’ll have to contort-to-conform to.

          at some point joe blow will say “there, that’s biblical”.

          but john doe will say “no, that’s unbiblical” and have ravi contort himself differently.

          ron row will come along and say, “you’re both wrong, “biblical” looks like this”, and then he’ll give instructions for yet a different set of contortions.

          it’s all too ridiculous.

          1. Scottie, is that your view of biblical hermeneutics? If not, then I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. You’re making a lot of rambling, emotional statements.

          2. Scottie,

            Your not making sense. I find it interesting how “prejudiced” you are with those who hold to a different standard then you do. I do not think you are being tolerant. If you want to be heard, please learn to type and explain yourself better.

      2. Because none of the scenarios you just raised are “calling that which is wrong, ‘right’”
        No believes cheating on taxes is right, though they may do it.
        No one says hiding pedophiles is ok, though they may do it.
        No one says exploiting via power is right, though they may do it.

        In contrast:

        Many say homosexuality is indeed, good, true, brave even and certainly “beautiful” as in this case.

        It’s a masterful manipulation of self. And anyone today who holds to a biblical world view is labeled as a hater.
        Truth forever in the scaffold
        Lies for ever on the throne.
        We are a twisted and sick race.

        1. Rose, i think we’re making different points.

          my point is that all kinds of unethical behavior is tolerated in christian culture. Given a pass. A blind eye turned to it.

          I’m truly perplexed by why LGBTQ riles everyone up, yet “they” (not necessarily you) remain complacent about things that are actual crimes (if not against the law of the land, then at least the laws of what is ethical & just and fair and kind)

          to be clear, i’m not commenting on whether or not LGBTQ is inherently wrong. I’d first like to tackle what i see as double standards in christian culture, and the surprising lack of awareness of it.

      3. Hi Scottie. When was the last time a Christian public persona went public about doing any of those things you mention and denied there was anything wrong with it and said doing those things made them fully themselves? That is the question you should be asking. That is the true point of distinction. Your response is a common fallacious response from the world to Christians who respect God’s commandments about homosexuality. I hope you can see the double standard, discrepancy and hypocrisy is with your statement. By the way, I’ve called a number of sins detestable and disgusting, including pedophilia, which I’ve said worse about, and others…Actually in the next story over I’m pretty sure I used one of those words about a Christian leader having inappropriate interactions with women he’s not married to…but it becomes more relevant to use those words when it’s not already acknowledged by all parties how awful the behavior is.

        1. the degree to which you uphold accountability for wrong doing in the christian community, well, that’s a good thing. certainly pedophilia and abuse of all kinds are worthy of your confrontation.

          however, i observe fellow christians enabling, tolerating, and giving a pass to all kinds of dishonest, foolish, dangerous, corrupt and criminal things. that’s something of a short list.

          meanwhile, no righteous indignation & vitriol are spared for the gay community.

          it is a case of gross uneven scales and balances.

          i fail to see any fallacy or hypocrisy in pointing this out.

          frankly, in my observation, “the world” has higher integrity standards than does christian culture.

  7. Sometimes you read stuff like this and you just shake your head thinking either he hid this really well or whatever Christian Ministry he worked at neglected accountability of its writers. But, in the end you have to pray that the guy comes to his senses and accepts that he is simply a sexual prevert.

  8. The title ““Christian Author Matthew Paul Turner Comes Out as Gay, Announces Divorce” is incorrect.

    Jesus says in Matt.7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them”

    Jesus also says in 1 Cor.6:9-10 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    The Bible is the authority on how we are to judge what people do and what they are. Mr. Turner is not and never was a Christian. See also Luke 8:4-15

  9. sad day to see another person choose the path that leads to hell, though a good day to know that their deception is brought to light . sad for the children that will have to suffer for his choices and all the others that will also.

    1. so, Matthew Paul Turner is consigned to hell and the pastor who lies, cheats, & manipulates goes to heaven.

  10. Frankly his comments on his blog in the late 00s and early 10s contained slut-shaming of conservative women and enough hate and snark that I was long turned off of his shtick. That he tried to reinvent himself as a nice kids author was…a choice.

    He was good at addressing issues with Mark Driscoll and Steve Furtick, but when asked to address abuse accusations against left-wing Christians like Tony Jones he got defensive, engaged in name-calling, blocked people on his Twitter page and wanted to play the tone police.

    The gay thing was a twist, but otherwise this should not be that surprising for those following along.

  11. Daniel,

    You said, “there are also many Christians who don’t want to submit to the authority of Scripture”

    I think you mean ‘my interpretation of scripture’, don’t you?

    1. Scottie, I mean the authority of Scripture, and applying the traditional methods of biblical hermeneutics, as opposed to the secular, postmodern method of ascribing meaning to the text based on the subjective experience of the reader, thus making Scripture say what the reader wants it to say.

  12. i think you mean “my interpretation after having applied the traditional methods of biblical hermeneutics”

    1. Scottie, this is getting nowhere. This is no longer a serious discussion. You seem quite angry and perhaps a bit hostile, so I will not engage with you further.

      1. Simply, it could be put like this.

        Genesis 1-3
        shows marriage, sex, family (the bearing) of children is a package deal. It is about family, the other, the community, the future, eternity.

        1960s sexual revolution comes along and says:

        Sex…and ok, marriage, and having kids—if you want!—are for for adult happiness and fulfillment only!

        People believe it.

        Sadly, the kids get the $&@# end of it. And the spouse. But especially kids.

        This guy seems to be saying “I want my happiness!”

        And yet there are Christian men with same sex desires who stay married to their wives since they believe God is big enough to help them there and to honor and stay faithful to the wives they married..

        This goes the same for any sex desires you got.

        Is God big enough to help you or do you believe He isn’t?

        Are you willing to submit everything to Abba Father or would you rather follow some other god that pleases you more?

        That’s idolatry.

        And I have worshipped idols. Maybe you too.

        I am saved by Grace alone.

        And I do not want to worship idols. They leave me wanting.

        Only the True God and Father and Lover of my soul satisfies, completely.

        May this guy stop drinking from his broken cistern and drink from The Living Water.

        May God protect his wife and family too.
        Amen.

  13. Daniel,

    oh, how i love to be dismissed and discredited with words like “emotional”. And a “rambling” for good measure, too.
    i think you can do better than that.

    i’ll explain what you either miss, or choose not to engage with and resort to insults instead.

    Regardless of what anyone’s biblical hermeneutics are, even people using the same biblical hermeneutic, they come to different conclusions on some things. the variance is both small and great.

    the point is there is no one “biblical”, but rather many different interpretations. they can’t all be right.

    furthermore, it seems to me that for the word “biblical” to have its power it must be measured by greater and greater levels of prescription. rules and mandates and do’s and don’t’s. it is impossible for any human being to adhere to all of these rules all the time, partly because they end up being contradictory anyway.

    the fact of the matter is that everyone picks and chooses their ‘biblical’ — which includes the information they emphasize, as well as the information they ignore.

    the word ‘biblical’ ends up being a weapon, used rather carelessly and with out a lot of thought.

    1. Christopher Yuan, in his book Out of A Far Country said “God didn’t call us to be heterosexual but to be HOLY.” That means holy in all things.

      I think Homosexuality publicly calls out a response from Christians more than the other sins you have listed, because of the PRIDE issue and the push for public acceptance and not only acceptance, but involvement (or you’re intolerant.’). Cheating on taxes, lying etc. is all done “uncover.” No-one announces “I cheated on my taxes and I’m proud of it…and I want you to publicly approve of tax cheaters…or liars…”I’m a liar and I’m proud of it and I came out as a liar to my children and it was really beautiful…” If this were so, I think you would see equal admonition Christians for these behaviors as you do for the public push to accept homosexuality as natural.

      I have gay neighbors and friends and I love them with the love of Christ and pray for their ability to overcome (as I pray for the Holy Spirit to help me in overcoming my own sins). They know what I believe and they also know my great love for them (that led me to volunteer bone marrow for one’s cancer).

      I think what people posting here find the most difficult is his PRIDE in, and justification of, his sin, not necessarily the sin itself. I just said harsh words to my teenager and I am not PROUD of it, nor will I justify it, but I am filled with remorse for my tone and delivery and I have repented to her of my harshness.

      Can one receive grace offered, without repentance?

      1. CLRIFY, you stated it well. Good point about the “pride” issue and the push for public acceptance, and not only acceptance but involvement. In addition, even the push to “celebrate” it.

        It seems clear in this situation that Matthew is not repenting of anything, and him merely feeling bad about leaving his wife and family is NOT repentance. He is choosing to leave his wife and family and pursue the gay lifestyle in order to be “true to himself” and “live his own truth” (two common mantras of our secular, postmodern age). However, none of this is “truth” in reality or in a biblical worldview.

      2. i don’t think what you describe is an apples to apples comparison.

        no one announces “I cheated on my taxes!” or “I lied!” because they are cheating and lying. Healthy and normal human beings understand that cheating and lying are wrong because they are dishonest & unfair to other human beings (although sometimes its easy to justify).

        I am not gay, but have gay friends & relatives, and have read much in an effort to understand. I also pay attention to my common sense and intuition.

        Same sex attraction is unfair to no one. it harms no one. It’s sort of like being left-handed as opposed to being right-handed (or vice versa)

        Imagine the only thing you hear all your life, whether directly or indirectly, is “SHAME! SHAME ON YOU! YOU’RE A PERVERT! YOU’RE DISGUSTING! YOU DESERVE TO BE DENIGRATED AND HUMILIATED!”

        The kinder version of this is “YOU ARE SO DISGUSTING THAT I’LL PRETEND YOU DON’T EXIST. YOU ARE INVISIBLE.”

        These people simply want to live fully human lives like everyone else. To be visible instead of invisible. If you were treated cruelly and as invisible your entire life for being left- or right- handed, you would want the same. To be acknowledged as human. To be treated fairly and equally. It is not too much to ask.

        You love your gay neighbors, with action, and it’s a beautiful thing.

        Matthew Paul Turner is far from alone in his perspective that homosexuality is not a sin. As a public figure of sorts, he is simply explaining why his life will look puzzling different.

        1. “Matthew Paul Turner is far from alone in his perspective that homosexuality is not a sin.”

          No doubt this is the case in our idolatrous, postmodern age. But the question is, does Scripture say it is not a sin? This matters more than your common sense and intuition.

          Your analogy of Right-handed vs. Left-handed is not a sin issue, thus it’s a poor analogy. I see the point you were trying to make, but it’s a poor analogy nonetheless.

          “Same sex attraction is unfair to no one. it harms no one.”

          It is obviously harmful now to Jessica and their kids. Or did you forget that part?

          Apparently, Matthew’s desire to fulfill his life as a gay man is much more important than his commitments and responsibilities to his wife and family. Is this the type of “fully human life” you’re referring to?

          Lastly, does it even matter at all what Scriprure has to say about any of this? Or is the only thing that matters is your secular-progressive view of “equality”?

          1. thank you for the interaction, Daniel.

            “does Scripture say it is not a sin?”

            –This probably goes with saying, but it depends on one’s perspective, among other things on prescriptive versus descriptive.
            ——————-

            “…a poor analogy nonetheless.”

            –as i see it, it’s a decent analogy — i was thinking of a character and integrity issue. sexual attraction is neutral — most human beings simply have it. handedness is wired in to a human being’s make-up. there is evidence that sexual attraction is biologically driven, which we could debate if really wanted to.
            ——————-

            “(Same sex) is obviously harmful now to Jessica and their kids. Or did you forget that part?”

            –you know, Daniel, i could very well dismiss your comment above with “emotional”.

            the whole situation has a lot of hurt and sadness. I’m sad for all of them. there is something to be said for living honestly, though, instead of pretending. to the degree this is the case for them, i am happy for them.

            i imagine the marriage itself was harmful. if there’s any kind of modern-day idolatry in evangelicalism it’s marriage and family. single people everywhere in evangelical world can attest to the prejudice they feel, the ostracism. like they aren’t quite legitimate christians, if not subpar human beings.

            evangelical powerbrokers who control the messaging bear much responsibility for this.

            i reckon MPT felt it was foregone conclusion to have a hetero marriage. I expect he felt a good deal of pressure. that was harmful.

            the whole situation has been harmful to all of them. it’s intensely personal, and we can only speculate, but i can see how there could be healing for all in this new direction.

            marital tension can only be masked for so long, and is toxic for a home and kids, leaving them with scars.
            ——————-

            –what do i mean by “fully human”… — i could define this as “having the same freedoms which you, Daniel, enjoy.”
            ———————

            “Lastly, does it even matter at all what Scriprure has to say about any of this? Or is the only thing that matters is your secular-progressive view of “equality”?”
            ———————

            your emotions are showing, Daniel. and you’re dismissing my point of view with name-calling.
            “secular” and “progressive” are standard christian insult-fare.

            again, this probably goes without saying, but it all comes down to different perspectives on scripture. i promise you, i love scripture and get strength and wisdom from it.

            a final question: why is it ok for you to get emotional in topical communication but not anyone else?

  14. Jesus was clear about what God called good. In the beginning was male and female and the two will become one flesh. Now, you either accept it or you do not. If we are just evolutionary animals, them we can decide to do what we want. Putting aside that we live in a society that has granted gay marriage and it is a legal right, Christians seem to want to adjust the Scriptures to what is more tolerable and acceptable. The same way as serial adulterers and spiritual abusers think God gives them “grace” and they can return to ministry after a few months. Or ministers think it is OK to slap the hand of pedophiles and let them go on to other churches without warning. Or pastors allowing their offspring to commit horrible acts of abuse-which is why I am no big fan of nepotism in the church.

    We all have to choose our own path. But when a christian leader says bad is good, and good is bad, we have a problem with that. And we always have to keep of utmost consideration the well being of the “least of these.”

    1. no one thinks they can decide to do whatever they want (regardless of their faith or no faith).

      at the very least, i would hope you can see the difference between a faithful love commitment and adultery, abuse, pedophilia.

      1. Scottie, stating that you’re evidencing a secular-progressive view of “equality” is hardly emotional. In fact, there’s nothing emotional about it.

        You said, “again, this probably goes without saying, but it all comes down to different perspectives on scripture.”

        I’m not sure how you would interpret Romans 1:24-28 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 (and 6:12-13), but I take them literally. This of course doesn’t mean that no one can be forgiven for these sins — that is not the point here. The main point here is your persistent desire to claim that homosexuality is NOT a sin, whereas Scripture clearly disagrees with you.

        Therefore, me (and others) who make this point are in strong disagreement with you. And it has nothing to do with how you or I “feel” about it. It’s simply what Scripture says. You may not like that Scripture clearly says that, and you may even dismiss it. Or perhaps you believe that Paul’s warnings about this issue are not relevant for us today.

        Historically speaking, homosexuality seemed to be far more prevalent in ancient society (both Greek and Roman) than it is today, so I don’t see how we can readily dismiss Paul’s warnings about it for us today.

        At the end of the day, each of us must decide how we understand Scripture (e.g. its authority, infallibility, inerrancy) as well as which interpretive methods we apply in order to discern it correctly (to the best of our ability and guided by the Holy Spirit).

        Scottie, if we ultimately disagree on everything I just stated, that is okay with me, and I have no hard feelings (since I don’t even know you). I have no reason to hold hard feelings. We just simply disagree, and it’s okay that we disagree. Peace be with you.

  15. Vinnierants,

    You said I’m not making sense, and that i need to explain myself better.

    I’m sort of surprised that more than one commenter here can’t see the figurative illustration i’ve tried to convey. Is it not black & white enough? Is it that i’m not using christianese terminology?

    There’s a more straightforward explanation at July 19, at 2:24am. (if you’re truly interested)

    i’ll try another angle. the only point i’m trying to make is that it is illogical that any one commenter here (including me) has the monopoly on the one true ‘biblical’. the most anyone of us can say is ‘my interpretation of information in the bible’.

    it is implausible that only one interpretation of a collection of ancient writings (the original manuscripts for which no one has) by many writers across many hundreds of years and cultures and languages is the only right one.

    here’s an example of the illogic: only those who agree with my particular set of conclusions go to heaven.

    it will be a lonely heaven, indeed.

    there’s a huge umbrella of people who love God (Father-Son-&-Holy Spirit) and do their very best to live honorable, honest lives according to godly principles.

    i would hope that where we disagree we can still work / live / pull together based on our common ground. And respect each other as dignified human beings made in the image of God enough to join hands in the process.

    As it stands now, christian culture is one of out-groups and exclusive in-groups, and everyone seems eager to make their group smaller by finding more people who don’t measure up.

    sort of like really snotty, stuck-up sororities and fraternities.

    no, it’s exactly like these.

  16. Daniel….you basically nailed it. If you can justify leaving your wife for another man then…adultery ok..fornication ok…swinging ok…pretty much i can do what i want with my body. OR i can strive to be holy and faithful. I personally think he wants the respectability to still make Christian childrens books even though he is denying his cross and refusing to take the hard road,get counseling, work it out even if seperated. So …..we are all supposed to clap him on the back and buy his books. Go figure.

    1. Thanks Abigail. Yeah, it’s troubling that such behavior, instead of shocking us, finds many defenders, including from many professing Christians.

      Matthew should not be abandoning his family, and there are no biblical grounds for it. And he shouldn’t be writing for any Christian publisher either. Why can’t he write for a secular publisher instead?

      Clearly, there are many culturally liberal Christians who want to normalize the perversions of the secular culture, as well as seek to remake Christianity to conform to the image of the culture. This way, almost everything in the culture can be considered acceptable. And if traditional Christians don’t go along with this program, they are naturally called “intolerant”.

      It’s hard to believe that many Christians would rather support (and even prop up) the idolatrous culture, instead of pushing back against some of its excesses. This seems to be what Paul is describing in Romans 1:18-32.

  17. Watch out ladies.There are many closeted gay men in the churches and Christian circles. You don’t get as old as this guy and discover you’re suddenly gay. It seems he’s orchestrated this whole affair including the narrative surrounding the divorce. I pray for Jessica Turner and her children find strength and peace in the days ahead.

    1. So, let’s think through the implications of what you’ve just said, Rose.

      Christians tell men who are gay that it is a choice. That they have a choice. Perhaps this is the position you hold.

      Christian man A who is attracted to his gender believes the christians. The christians are pleased because they want to be believed on this.

      Christian man A makes the choice his fellow christians are advising him to take. On penalty of the fires of hell, of being shunned & rejected by them, and probably some other bad things that didn’t get articulated.

      Christian man A marries a christian woman.

      He did what christians advised him to do, and now Rose comes along and faults him and reprimands him for it. He can’t win.

      You have created an impossible situation for Christian man A. He’s rejected if he doesn’t, he’s rejected of he does.

      1. What does God tell gay men, Scottie? He said do not practice homosexuality. He also said don’t deceive others. If you choose to practice homosexuality then that is your choice and right but don’t deceive women about it. Nothing anyone else says matters. He told the drunkard to stop drinking and be of sober mind. He told the thief to stop stealing and going to work. Homosexuals are not special. God said stop sexually sinning with your body by having sex with other men. This isn’t rocket science. I understand you don’t like it. I also understand that you feel this isn’t something you can control or change or even care to. I really do understand that. However, you have to reconcile your feelings, thoughts, and objections with God’s word. Not other humans who choose accept and agree that what God says is right.

        I stand on what I said: Christian women should be aware of closeted gay men in the Christian community. I’m so glad you posted what you did. Yours is the mindset many gay men adopt. Lying and deception is a choice, Scottie. No one forces you to do those things.

  18. Carla,

    i’m not gay. But you miss my point. You make the message of christian culture that homosexuality is a choice an untenable position.

    As long as christian culture tells homosexuals that they have a choice and that God is big enough and powerful enough to change them, then when they take their fellow christians at their word it is sickly and cruel to castigate them for doing so.

    this is not rocket science.

    1. Scottie, God would not tell us not to do something if it isn’t in our power to obey. So if God tells us don’t commit sexual sin (fornication, adultery, homosexuality) because it is a sin against him and against our own bodies we must have the ability, through God, not to commit those sins.

      Your issue is really with God and his word. Instead of dealing with that you choose to place blame on Christians who echo God’s word.

      Mr. Turn perpetrated a fraud by lying and deceiving the Christian community, including his wife and children, for 30+ years (by his own admission). To say so is not castigating Mr. Turner. I agree none of this is rocket science. Be really who you seem, speak the truth, do not deceive others.

  19. He knew the talk but was not one of the Elect, he was only fooling himself and tried to fool others unsuccesfully. He always knew he was lost.

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