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HGTV 'Fixer Upper' Stars Under Fire For Anti-Gay Church

Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of the HGTV real estate reality show "Fixer Upper," are under fire because they attend the Antioch Community Church, which preaches against homosexuality, in Waco, Texas.

HGTV said in a statement to BuzzFeed News: "We don’t discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series."

Chip tweeted this snippet on Dec. 1: "U know.. even as all hell 'appears' to be breaking loose. All I have to do is look at my 4 precious babies sleeping, or kiss Jo good morning."

BuzzFeed News notes that the church's pastor, Jimmy Seibert, preached a sermon in June 2015 that was in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage:

This is a clear biblical admonition. So if someone were to say, "Marriage is defined in a different way," let me just say: They are wrong. God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.

Truth No. 1: Homosexuality is a sin. The lie: Homosexuality is not a sin. ...

[T]he statistics say that 90% of people who are in a full-blown homosexual lifestyle were abused in some way. Physically, sexually, mentally.

We have people and young people that never had any intention of a same-sex attraction et cetera, who have seen sexuality up front in pornography and now are trapped in the addiction of it. ...

Truth No. 2: God is able to give us power over every sin, including homosexuality. Lie No. 2: I am a homosexual in thought and action, and I cannot change.

In another part of his sermon, Seibert explained how homosexuals can be converted into heterosexuals:

Can I just tell you you don’t have to wonder? You can lovingly, carefully bring them back to Scripture, be compassionate in the journey. And help them direct their passions rightly to how god created them.

We can change, contrary to what you hear. I’ve worked with people for over 30 years -- I have seen hundreds of people personally change their direction of same-sex attraction from a homosexual lifestyle to a heterosexual lifestyle.

It doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with feelings, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting, it doesn’t mean it’s not challenging. But they have chosen to change. And there has always been grace there for those who choose that.

The Human Rights Campaign, a pro-LGBT advocacy group, notes that all major medical associations have come out against conversion therapy and provided links to those statements.

In response to the BuzzFeed News article, Seibert told Fox News' Todd Starnes that the church is not anti-gay:

We are not only not anti-gay, but we are pro-helping people in their journey to find out who God is and who He has made them to be. ...

For us -- our heart has always been to love Jesus, preach the word of God and help people in their journey.

Our definition is not the definition we made up. It’s straight from the Scripture. One man, one woman for life. That’s how God created us. That’s what he has for us. ... 

The main reason for the sermon is for the confused middle -- the majority of America. People don’t know what the Bible says anymore on issues of sexuality. People don’t know what God says on homosexuality or any other issue. I felt the need to say we are all a mess -- but the fixed points were set by God -- not us.

The church's communications director told BuzzFeed News that the church has held the same position for 17 years and it is written on the church website: "Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime."

Seibert went on to tell Starnes:

Do we believe that God and his word is right and enough? As a believer, I need to do what’s right and trust God with what’s wrong. ... 

So when I have a biblical conviction about my lifestyle choices or how I should run my business or how I should run my home, we should be free to do that -- to lovingly express our views to the world around us. ...

Support one another when people make stands. Don’t leave them out there alone. Let’s get behind them and support them and love them and pray for them.

If we believe God and his Word is the answer to every problem on the planet, then we’ve got to live it out in our own lives.

Sources: BuzzFeed News, Chip Gaines/Twitter, Human Rights / Photo credit: HGTV

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