Evangelical author Jonathan Merritt reveals he had homosexual encounter

Prominent evangelical author Jonathan Merritt has revealed in an online interview that he had an encounter with another man that … Continued

Prominent evangelical author Jonathan Merritt has revealed in an online interview that he had an encounter with another man that “went beyond the bounds of friendship.”

Merritt talked about his past in an interview on “The LifeWay Research Blog” of Ed Stetzer, a researcher with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The revelation came after a “gay, former evangelical blogger,” according to Stetzer, claimed he had evidence that Merritt was gay after he publicly supported Chick-fil-A restaurants. The president of the fast-food chain public opposes gay marriage, leading to a public debate over the controversial issue. Merritt has said he believes that homosexuality is a sin and favors traditional marriage.

Merritt said the blogger contacted him in 2009 after he wrote an article saying “Christians must love people who experience sexual brokenness.” He met the blogger for dinner when he was traveling nearby.

“As we were saying goodbye, we had physical contact that went beyond the bounds of friendship,” Merritt said. The two never met again and stopped corresponding “after a period of time,” Merritt added.

Merritt said in the interview that he had plans to reveal his past, but the blogger prompted him to disclose it sooner. He also said that he does not consider himself gay.

“I don’t identify as ‘gay’ because I believe there can be a difference between what one experiences and the life that God offers,” Merritt said in the interview posted Thursday (July 26).

Merritt also told Stetzer that an older man who lived in his neighborhood sexually abused him when he was a child.

“The experience was followed with a tidal wave of shame and guilt so great that I never told anyone for many years,” Merritt said.

Merritt, who recently authored “A Faith of Our Own” and has written for USA Today and Religion News Service, where he sits on the advisory board. He told RNS that Stetzer’s blog “has my full comment on the matter.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.


Adelle M. Banks | Religion News Service Adelle M. Banks is a production editor and national correspondent at RNS.
  • aschwab1

    Usually the ones most against something are the ones who are afraid that they are that. How many times do we read articles where an anti-gay writer/blogger/preacher had an “experience” like this? Too many damn hypocrites….

  • Phil6

    Sure, so if I am against racism, I am a racist? If I am anti-drugs, I really promote and use drugs? Your logic is amazing…..

Read More Articles

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

Why I Want to Be Culturally Evangelical

I’ve lost my faith. Do I have to lose my heritage, too?

What Is a Saint?

How the diversity of saintly lives reveals multiple paths toward God.

An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.