Pastor Resigns over SDA Understanding of Sexuality
On Sabbath, April 22, the producers of the movie “Seventh-Gay Adventists” shared the following message about Pastor Alicia Johnston, an Adventist Today columnist:
Dear friends, This morning Pastor Alicia Johnston, who has been a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Arizona Conference until a few days ago, posted a video and came out publicly as queer. She let her church and conf officials know earlier this week, both about her personal identity and about how her theology about same-sex relationships has complete shifted after intense study and prayer.
Alicia is a self-described “theology nerd” who loves, loves Greek, so she wasn’t going to be satisfied in her study of same-sex relationships unless she fully examined the topic from all perspectives. Her candor is remarkable, as is her joy in owning her truth and feeling God’s immense blessing and call to ministry still in her life. She’s being public about this because she knows the silence in the church around this topic is deeply harmful and literally killing people, and she’s in a position to be public. She is starting a website to share insights, connect with others, and be a resource for LGBTQ people and potential allies.
Right now is the time she would normally be preaching a sermon at her church, and this is one fantastic sermon that not only tells her story of realizing she’s bisexual (and she explains bisexuality in a way that helped me understand it even better, including why she decided not to just “pass” as heterosexual and date men), but this sermon also expresses the good news of the Gospel that is about liberation for everyone. It’s not just a personal ticket to heaven. Her courage, authenticity, and joy is inspiring and encouraging. She clearly is called to this message. Give it a listen–it’s a great Sabbath sermon. We’re filming a bit more with her for a future “Outspoken” segment, but right now we’re just celebrating with her and cheering her on.
It’s been a true pleasure getting to know her, and we’re incredibly grateful to this community for helping support our work so that we can collaborate with someone as amazing and inspirational as Alicia to help share her story and powerful message.
With love and especially good cheer today,
Stephen Eyer & Daneen Akers
Image taken as screenshot from Alicia Johnston’s video announcement.