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The Merritts: Maintaining family bonds across theological divides

Jonathan Merritt, a prominent author and progressive gay Christian, shared on social media how he maintains a close relationship with his father, Dr. James Merritt, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) known for opposing same-sex marriage. Despite their stark theological differences, Jonathan emphasized their commitment to staying connected. They have worked on setting healthy boundaries and focusing on building bridges rather than erecting barriers between them. Jonathan acknowledged that it hasn’t been easy, given their substantial political and theological disagreements, but they have learned valuable lessons about loving across differences and fighting for each other in public.

“These days, you can score a lot of likes on social media by posting about the people you’ve bravely severed from your life—problematic parents, snarky siblings, catty childhood friends,” Jonathan explained. “But in this age of ‘going no contact,’ my dad and I have chosen another, harder path. We’ve chosen to stay and stick it out and learn to love across difference.”

“If more people were willing to learn the spiritual practice of ‘loving across difference,’ I think our coarse-edged world might become a gentler, kinder, more hospitable place for all of us,” Jonathan concluded.

In 2021, the elder Merritt resigned as a visiting professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary over controversy sparked by his decision to share a sermon online by his son, The Roys Report (TRR) previously reported .

Read more here.

Photo by Anthony Intraversato on Unsplash

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