Cover Image: Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea

Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC digital copy. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.

I am an LGBTQ+ ally who aims to support all those who need a voice. I believe this book is much needed for anyone dealing with religious judgment. From my experience, far too many in the gay community are left to choose between living their authentic selves or living the way their religious family expects.

While this was not the book for me, I firmly believe in its purpose and hope it finds its intended audience. 

4 stars and my respect to the author.
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“I remember spending so much time hating myself because of what I had been taught growing up.”

“Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea” by Mitchell Kesller offers answers and peace of mind to those who are torn between being who they want to be or staying true to their beliefs. It is a historical tour, where most of the book focuses on denying certain concepts of homosexuality and other controversial issues (such as abortion, women's rights, etc) 

Why do I say it is a (religious) historical tour? Because in this book to 'deny' concepts of religion, we must get into it, this was an essential tool for the true understanding of "what god is really like" and how initial messages can change over time due to mistranslation, misused words, and even human wickedness.

Does it works? Does it bring calm to those who believe that being part of the LGBT community is bad in the eyes of God? Absolutely. I was really surprised how the author managed to explain (and practically gut) the verses. Not only did he show us the context of the events, but he also talked about bad translations. It was all very interesting and I found myself sharing certain opinions with the author as well, although in my opinion towards the end the book strayed a bit from the LGBT community.

“As in the Middle Ages, we show blind faith to the leaders who claim to know the truth.”

“The biggest issue we find throughout humanity’s history is our ability to take something so holy and transform it into a destructive force.”

Conclusion: Not only do you see the concept of homosexuality and whether it's okay or not, you can also read about the separation of church from state and that was captivating as well. Unfortunately, it is too late for me to heal my experience with the church, God and Christianity itself. But if there's someone there who really needs to be reassured, then you have to read this. It won't fix everything but it will bring peace.

What hits the most is how he (Mitchell) admits that they weaponize the words of God. To keep us under control, to create a perfect society free of sins. But is there such a society?

Even though I no longer belong to any kind of religious group, there were so many things that resonated with me that I felt like a child scared of God again. Scared of something I didn't know if it hated me or if it would send me to hell. Damn, certainly Broke the Bread, Spilled the tea manages to communicate with everyone, not just Christians.
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Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea by Mitchell Kesller is an insightful look at the church as an institution and the LGBTQ+ community. It's a harder book to review as it is primarily a memoir and secondly a dive into the interpretation of scripture. The memoir portion of this book is moving. As a queer person who has gone through deconstruction herself, I could easily empathize with the author and his journey to self-love and acceptance despite the church making him feel otherwise. As for the arguments the author makes for homosexuality and the scripture, I feel some points were very strong and others less so and are easily picked apart based on translation. I no longer identify with the Christian faith but I do like his take on the church as an institution vs the church as a community.
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What a wonderful summary of how much the Bible does NOT say on homosexuality. I greatly appreciate Kesller’s research and citations and his encouragement to study more on your own. I also really like the part where he talks about other times the Bible has been cherry-picked or otherwise misinterpreted. The fact that he explained his own past and how it relates to the subject is nice because it clearly shows this is a man who wanted to do this research and was willing to be found wrong. The bite-sized summations are logical and concise and it’s altogether a wonderful book on love.
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Every review I've seen so far for this book is very comprehensive so I'll keep mine short.

I often had the impression that the author was going in a great direction and then he would just switch to another idea. There were even a few instances in which he contradicted what he earlier stated. Many of the discussions were great, but I wish they would go even deeper. At the same time, I don't agree with and cannot get on board with all of his arguments, but that is unavoidable. 

All in all, this is an accessible book, and I strongly encourage reading it through a critical lens.
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I really enjoyed this read! As a member of the LGBT community, and a end of life care provider, I struggle with where faith fits in my life. I am sharing this with my friends and family
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Voting this one for title of the year. The book itself is a kind, generous, loving, enlightening of homophobia and Christianity, the damage it has done and the cultural biases and ignorance behind it.  I was a young lesbian in a convent school in the sixties and the messages were terrifying. Now I know my God loves me but when we see the heartbreaking teenage LGBTQ suicide rate,  added to the brutality of  social media, and  right wing propaganda  many young people have internalized the homophobia in their lives and can’t.  Let’s make this a banned school book to get the word out there, or maybe Biden could send it out with the next Covid tests.
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I found this book to be pretty triggering, relating to my own upbringing. It's not something I would enjoy reading again.
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I always hesitate to review a memoir because who am I to decide how worthy someone’s own story is of being told or read? So from the perspective of reading this as a memoir, I think it’s always good to have another queer Christian voice in the room. However, the theology in the book is, in my view, not entirely sound. I struggled to connect some of Kesller’s points and I don’t know that all of the conclusions are well-explained (or well-founded, to be frank). So take this one with a grain of salt, read it for Kesller’s story of grace and self-love, but perhaps don’t look too closely at the scholarship.
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An exhaustive review of the biblical texts which have been used to condemn homosexuality.  Although a lay person, the author has dived deeply into the language and contexts of weaponized scriptures, and found the love of God shining through them all.  The nature of God is to love us all.
As a personal note, it is hard for me to read such a kind book about God while I have to mentally ‘translate’ the exclusive male language used for referring to God, in whose image we are made:  neither male nor female.
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I didn't enjoy this as much as I was going to... This might be the perfect book for the right person, but that person was not me.
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I read this and I got something out of it, but I really didn't have the background knowledge or understanding of the Bible to really understand it. Maybe I would have done better reading it in print or via audiobook, but I really struggled with this and didn't enjoy my reading experience. Luckily it was short and did manage to finish. I do think there are MANY people who would benefit from this book and who would enjoy it (or who need it), but it wasn't for me. 

I still might buy it because it seems like it could be a good little reference source for when I hear people using these verses out in the wild.
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Mitchell Kesller writes a historical and philosophical examination of LGBTQ issues. It does succeeds in its exploring the disconnect between Christians and LGBTQ.  As I read it, I though it was interesting how the Bible talks about queerness.  It makes me think that what we hear at our Sunday sermons may be leaving something out.  An interesting read that would be good for everyone to read.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found it to be a lot of information as well as a lot of interesting thought-provoking  commentary from the author. The author both explains his own position on beliefs and his family history with both Christianity and their involvement in the clergy. 

This is a relatively short book, but it's packed full of information, and it took me several days to get through the text. I loved how he not only dives deeply into the hermeneutics of each verse and the language and translation of each, but he also provides a skimmed-down synopsis of each of his points. This is an excellent reference, as well as an important offering for opening up, hopefully, educated and non-judgmental dialog on the scriptures used by the exclusionary narrative often spouted by the church. 

I hope that the author writes more, and shares more of his own experiences in the future. I recommend this book for anyone who would like to look beyond the surface level verses and into the heart of the matter.
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"Cheers to religious trauma!"

This book was not what I was expecting. Kesller is open, bold and vulnerable in Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea.  It is part exploration of his own journey, part an examinations of the failure of the institution that is the Church, and part deep dive into some of the most classic and critical Biblical passages on LGBTQ+ issues. 

The book is dense, but it is open, and Kesller has a truly driven and open heart in his writing. I found myself drawn in and relating to his own story. The biblical examination can get a touch on the drier side (but really, there's not a ton that can be done about that). This book is needed, this book is powerful, and this book is just the start of what will be a journey of healing for so very many people. 

"Your existence is valid. You are loved. You are free."
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Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea peers into the struggle that a marginalized group falls into when it comes the Western church culture. The LGBTIA+ community has seemingly always been a target for church leaders and attenders for simply choosing who they love. This book observes Biblical scripture and attempts to show where others may have gotten it all wrong in their perception of this group. 

I enjoyed this title as I am someone who identifies in the LGBTIA+ community and also was a high functioning member of a local church. I believe that there is so much work that needs to be done to break up years and years of misinformation and fearmongering. This book gives a peek into the explanation that God is bigger than rules and regulation. God is love and that is what this community is asking to be able to do.
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Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is a fairly straightforward book addressing the Bible and the verses that are commonly weaponized against the LGBTQIA+ community. I am a bisexual woman who is still a believer, but I am also willing to think critically when presented with books like this, so I was very intrigued by what Mitchell Kessler had to say.

In the time since finishing this book, I can't count how many times I have referenced it in conversation or recommended it to others who find themselves in my position. This book gets straight to the point, and Kessler came with receipts. There is much historical context given as well as discussions of how not only homophobia has played a role in the current church, but racism, violence, and politically motivated manipulations of the Word. It was very easy to follow, and I can't say enough times how important I think this book and the work that was obviously put into it was. Reading it, I felt hopeful about my future in a spiritual setting for the first time in a long time, and for that I am greatly appreciative. I'd happily read Kessler's future work.

Thanks so much to Promethean Publishing Group as well as NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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As a queer Christian who has always struggled to reconcile those parts of myself, I appreciated the deep dive on the passages that have long been used to vilify me and those in my community. I think the book reads a little bit like reverse engineering on language and justification between two parts of a life that seem incompatible. But that's honestly what I needed, I think.
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Simply put, it's an essential guide for those who desire an honest, condensed, and intelligent approach to LGBT+ issues (and much more) in The Bible. 

As those engaging in what's been tagged as Christofascism obviously co-opt Christianity to their own (exclusionary and oppressive) ends, Kesller's work ends up being something far more Christ-like than those groups will likely ever produce: Something not just filled with acceptance and love, but invites thoughtful conversation, spiritual growth, and gives space for forgiveness of all kinds. 

It's not an expansive book, and that works to its credit: It starts out with the events that led to the project's conception, dives briefly into the minutiae of why certain banner/supposed anti-LGBT+ scriptures don't add up, and ends with concise, elevator-speech chunks for reiteration/re-visitation.

Not only worthwhile, but reinvigorating, restorative, and worthy of passing along at will. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Promethean Publishing Group for the read.
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I loved Kesller's writing style. It felt like he was in the room with me just having a conversation. He obviously did a ton of research on this book, but is able to distill it down to its essence and impart important truths . I especially enjoyed the little summaries at the end of each section. His empathy and intelligence and humor shown through on every page.
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