Cover Image: Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea

Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I am sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the time to read this anymore and have lost interest in the concept. I believe that it would benefit your book more if I did not skim your book and write a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Was this review helpful?

Fascinating book delving into Christianity and the intersection with LGBTQIA identity. The in-depth discussion of scripture passages is eye opening and thought provoking. A must read. A very important book for all.

Was this review helpful?

Taking time to dissect divisive Bible passages and examine the language used, this book is conversational and easy to read. I only wish it was longer and I hope Kesller writes more on this topic.

Was this review helpful?

“Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea" by Mitchell Kessler is a transformative guide, skillfully unraveling the complexities between Christianity and LGBTQ+ identity. Kessler challenges entrenched interpretations of 'gay-bashing' verses, unveiling fresh perspectives through historical context and lexicological analysis.

The book goes beyond personal insights, delving into rigorous research and courageously confronting misconceptions. By peeling back layers of misunderstood scriptures, Kessler presents a compelling narrative that redefines faith, emphasizing a God of love, inclusivity, and acceptance.

This thought-provoking exploration doesn't merely seek understanding; it champions liberation. Kessler's linguistic and contextual analysis offers a powerful reevaluation of verses, challenging the historical condemnation of homosexuality. Each page reflects the author's dedication, resulting in an essay-like work that makes academic insights accessible.

"Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea" is a must-read for those ready to engage in a journey that breaks barriers, making faith and identity a harmonious tapestry.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Publisher for an early copy of this book.

This book was insightful. It absolutely has brought to mind several questions and makes me want to research these things further. This book was well thought out and was written very comprehensible.

Was this review helpful?

As a lifelong queer Christian, this was a very emotional read for me but it was important to revisit of the passages that have been used against me and my community for centuries. A must-read for every religious queer person.

Was this review helpful?

The author makes persuasive arguments for why the Bible verses used to persecute the LGBTQ community do not mean or most likely do not mean what Christians claim they mean, putting each verse/set of verses in context, both in terms of the surrounding Biblical passages and the historical context, as well as discussing the meaning of key words or phrases in Hebrew or Greek and how the meaning has or may have been mistranslated as the Bible was translated from one language to another. The discussion of the historical context is particularly beneficial, as it often indicates that what was being condemned was not the behavior itself but the circumstances in which it occurred (idolatry/worship of pagan gods).

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book. It was very heart felt and relatable. I found myself rereading it a couple of different times because I could relate to so many words throughout all the pages. Definitely recomment!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book.

Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea was a heartwarming letter of encouragement to the queer Christian community wrestling with fear and doubt. Kesller offers a personal deep dive into biblical truths backed in research through academic discussion. I did feel a few places were a bit stretched where the research was not thorough enough. That being said, there were several moments in the narrative that stuck deep and resonated with me.

There are heavy triggers in this book, so read with caution.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 / 5 Stars

CW: Mentions of Rape, Mentions of Child Abuse, Mentions of Racism, Mentions of Homophobia, Mentions of Slavery, Mentions of Abortion, Mentions of Sexism, Mentions of Harry Potter

Lets get some facts straight before we get into the review.

Number 1: I'm queer
Number 2: I'm christian
And Number 3: I've stopped feeling welcome in the christian community a long while ago.

Now, did this book change any of the above mentioned facts?
Well, to be honest. No.

This wasnt the first time I came in contact with "And this is why the bible actually isnt homophobic" stuff. I've been in a few lectures at university who where organized by our queer repesentatives.
Most of them where horrible and I remember feeling even more excluded afterwards.
Now, this book however, is different.
Maybe its because the author is queer themselves, I dont know. But it felt like the book actually cared deeply.

It argues using a lot of different sources, sometimes even going an extra mile just to find some kind of evidence.
I was shocked to see that a certain phrase was activly and knowingly mistranslated.
And I felt very seen when our author confirmed that "The bible isnt homophobic. But some christians - including those who translated the bible are"
Excluding Luther. We quote him a few times and the parts he's in are fine. Thanks Luther ^-^

We then go on and show how the christian community isnt just using its Text against gays. Oh no, we also used it to be pro slaves. I liked that we didnt pretend that those lines didnt exist.
We even talk about abortion. Even though the quotes arent really doing the arguments any favour and even though those pages felt like they didnt really do anything to enrich the book.

Some parts felt like they dragged a bit, but I still cant help but appreciate the effort that was put into it.

And yet,!! when I came to the ending of the book and read the author Bio I was shocked speachless.
Here he is, our author , defending the gays, and - apparently- trying his best to speak for the LGBT+ community and then! he puts his ducking HOGWARDS HOUSE into his author bio. My dude. I'm No words.
It says a lot.
How has noone stopped the man from putting that there???

Anyways, it's a nice book. Has some flaws but means well.
I had a good time - most of the time.

Was this review helpful?

an informative deep dive on what it means to be queer and religious. as someone who has felt alienated from their religion because of their sexuality, reading this book felt like a warm hug, reassuring me that i am not alone.

Was this review helpful?

As a gay woman who grew up in the church community I found this book really interesting. It has long stressed me out trying to combat the church/faith/bible based arguments about homosexuality. I have been criticized and told I am not a woman of faith and been through a really difficult journey since coming out. This book made me feel better about it and gave me some insight into the inner workings of christianity and how it related to being gay.

Was this review helpful?

There’s a big divide in the various sects of Christianity about what to say and do about us queer people. Some say simply being queer is an abomination. Some say it’s ok to be queer but you must not act on it. And some are affirming churches – that say being queer is how God made us, and He loves us just the way we are. Catholicism’s response to queerness is a mixture of tradition, catechism, and what the Pope says. (It has tended to come down on it’s ok to be queer as long as you’re celibate.) Protestant sects, in contrast, make their decisions based on interpretations of the Bible. Mitchell was raised Protestant, and this is a Protestant exploration of queerness. Thus, it is largely rooted in interpretations of the Bible and focuses a large part on the clobber passages. These are 6 (or 7, depending on who you ask) passages in the Bible that non-affirming interpretations view as condemning queerness, whereas affirming churches view as not doing that. I tried to find a neutral explanation of the clobber passages but could not. So here is one from a non-affirming viewpoint. Here is one from an affirming viewpoint.

Kesller starts the book with a memoir chapter, explaining who he is, his upbringing, and how he came to his affirming viewpoint (without the fine details – those are covered later in the book). I found it particularly interesting that his perspective is of a bisexual person. I know as a bisexual person myself that often people find it difficult to understand why I couldn’t just let go of my queer identity and pass. Kesller does a great job of articulating why that wasn’t possible for him, and I found it quite relatable. Another interesting aspect of his perspective is that he immigrated to the US from Brazil as a child, so his childhood church experience wasn’t the pasty-white version of Evangelicalism you usually see on the news. In general, Kesller has a humble, relatable tone throughout the book. He’s not preachy. He’s just trying to share his own journey of how he personally came to understand the Bible and Christianity generally and the clobber passages specifically.

After the memoir section, the chapters explore the ancient church, how we got the Bible, and how God is represented in the Bible. Only then does Kesller go into the clobber passages. I like that he gives context to this exploration. Too often people dive right into Bible verses with no surrounding context whatsoever. I appreciate how Kesller tries to focus on the big picture of who Jesus is, what his message was, and what that means for Christians. I think some of his points on the clobber passages are stronger than others – and that’s coming from an affirming person. This is to say….I think some of the apologetics need some work. But that’s not really a critique because this is his own personal journey, not an apologetics book. There are other books out there if that’s what you’re looking for. (Clobber the Passages or UnClobber spring to mind.)

Interestingly, I think the greatest strength of this book is in calling out modern day Protestant churches for falling into Pharisee like behavior – being focused on religiosity rather than living lives of radical caring. The two quotes that I think really demonstrate this are these:

More often than not, we see Jesus living out a ministry of relationships rather than one of religiousness.

loc 299
The Church often tries to eliminate a symptom without treating the underlying cause.

loc 1829
I also think this book could be really useful in trying to help build a bridge between a non-affirming family member and an affirming one. It answers the question of “how can you both be happily queer and a Christian” in a gentle manner.

Overall, I appreciate Kesller’s bravery in writing this book and being so open about his own life and faith journey.

In Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea, a bisexual, Christian man explores how he came to a queer-affirming version of his faith. This book could be really useful in trying to help build a bridge between a non-affirming family member and an affirming one. It answers the question of “how can you both be happily queer and a Christian” in a gentle manner.
Thank you to the author and publisher for the free copy provided via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

#bookalicious #booksinthewild #avidreader #bookaesthetic #whatimreading #bookrecs #queerbooks

I appreciate the author sharing his personal journey of how he came to understand being a queer Christian as a queer Christian himself.

This is not in-depth theology or apologetics, nor does he present it as such. Rather it's his own understanding of the big clobber passages, Jesus, and Christianity, and how he has chosen to remain a Christian as a queer person.

Check out my full review.

*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.*

Was this review helpful?

This took me far longer to get through than I had hoped (thanks life), but it was a fantastic read, and I hope more folks get to read it too. Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is about an author who explores the relationship of the church, the Bible, and the LGBTQ community. He did a great job taking the reader through the history of the church, and how we got to the church we had today, as well as deconstructing the verses homophobic folks most commonly throw around as justification for being, well, homophobic.

He sites his sources, and it is clear he has done his homework. Like any book, there is always a bias, though I think this one was worthwhile to explore. At points, it did get academically dense, but mostly it was presented in a way that would be digestible to anyone with an open mind looking to learn more about the Bible and how it talks about LGBT relationships.

I received this free advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Beautifully written and well done. Thank you Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for sending me this e-ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I’m Christian (Catholic) and queer (Pan/Ace) so I thought this book would be perfect for me, however it wasn’t. There were parts that I liked but there were also parts that I felt were not meant for me as a Catholic and it left me feeling like I still needed to pick between my religion and sexuality.
For the parts I liked/found the most useful were the author’s background on this book and dissecting verses used to condemn homosexuality. The author’s background and reasoning behind this book I thought were very important to this book and I liked how he explained what his background was/his journey and what caused him to write this book. The other part I liked was the chapter taking about the verses that the Church used to condemn homosexuality. I thought that was a well written part and very informative. The verses and background information were well explained and I loved how our author briefly summarized each one and I wish I had a better memory or access to these explanations after the book leaves my shelf on Netgalley. I also liked how Kesller talked about the Church has used the bible to justify slavery, racism, antisemitism, etc. and how they were wrong (except not the abortion part, I have a couple issues with that section).

Now for the parts that lost stars. While reading this book there were parts that left me feeling like I still needed to choose between my religion/Catholicism or my sexuality. One example of this: the theme of not needing to be a part of a church community or needing to attend church. On one hand I agree, God is not strictly within the walls of a building. On the other hand as a Christian who likes the community I have found at my church and who likes adoration and (slowly growing to) like Mass and the sacraments I felt like this book was not written for me. I don’t want to have to pick between the two and I feel like the book did not do a good job of trying to find a way for a person to survive in both worlds (I’m sorry if that’s worded weirdly I couldn’t think of anything else). It was like Kesller was very quick to say “Yeah, you don’t need to attend services or a church community” and then didn’t try and find middle ground or be like “it’s tough, but you can have both: attend church and have a community and be queer”. And I don’t know if that’s because he thought we were good on our own without needing the reminder or if he doesn’t think it’s possible to have both and didn’t care about those of us who want both enough to write something or even if I'm just misunderstanding something.
Another part of the book that I didn’t like were certain parts regarding Catholicism that left me feeling a little uncomfortable. I’m not saying the author was trying to be anti-Catholic, but at the same time it kind of was anti-Catholic. The author put a lot of research into this book (regarding the Bible’s view/verses on homosexuality), but then he referred to praying to the saints (and Mary, he didn’t mention Mary, but this goes for her as well) as “worshipping them through idols’ and comparing the Pope to an Emperor and pagan gods/idols when that is not at all true. Praying to the saints does not mean we worship them and to imply as such is ignorant, either accidental or purposeful. And again I don’t want to say which one or accuse him of anything, but with how much research he put into other elements of the book I find it hard to believe that Kesller really tried to understand that part of Catholicism. However, the Catholic Church is not above criticism and I don’t find a problem with Kesller criticizing buying indulgences in the Middle Ages or whenever (I need to say this so that others know Kesller criticizing the Church wasn't the issue, it was certain comments he made).

The other issue as I mentioned before was the section on abortion. Abortion and Christianity is a conversation that should be had, however it is a huge topic with lots of sides and it was a mistake trying to cover the debate in a couple pages (it almost needs it’s own book, but I don’t trust Kesller to write it). The way Kesller used the Bible to justify abortion made me feel like he was doing the same thing the Church did with using the Bible to justify homophobia and either ignoring the history/background of the verse or purposefully misunderstanding the verse to justify his viewpoints on abortion. For instance, trying to act like Adam’s creation is comparable to an unborn baby doesn’t make sense. I’ve also heard alternative takes on the Numbers verse saying that isn’t about abortion at all and is more about adultery (which it is and I think it is a bit of a stretch to say that the verse supports abortion). I fully agree that abortion is a tough decision and that those that have an abortion are not terrible people and deserve to be treated with compassion. The Bible doesn’t contradict the pro-life stance and also there are scientific reasons to be pro-life and the abortion industry deserves to be criticized. It was also slightly wrong for Kesller to fall into the “If you were truly pro-life than you would support xyz” mindset. Those few pages were not enough to discuss the abortion issue and I think it was a mistake to try. Also a part of me also thinks that if we are to discuss abortion within Christianity, especially "is a fetus a baby?" it would have been interesting to bring up the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, started his time on Earth in Mary’s womb (he was a human, he was not “just a fetus”) and John the Baptist “jumping” for joy in Elizabeth’s womb. Abortion is not a simple issue and it’s not black and white and to treat as such and only give it a couple pages was a mistake. The abortion section is why the book is two and not three stars.

This book can be and is useful and perfect for other Christians, especially those who are still struggling with trying to make both their religion and sexuality work, however, I am (mostly) comfortable with both parts of my identity and I am proud and happy with both parts of my identity and went into this book with that mentality. This book did have useful information and some parts were well-researched, but at the end of the end day this book was not written for me, which is disappointing and because of that I couldn’t rate this book as high as I hoped.

Was this review helpful?

I'm very glad this book exists.
Thank you to NetGalley and Promethean Publishing Group for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This was meticulously researched and thoughtfully presented. We need more dialogue filled with grace and compassion for the LGBT members of the church and Mitchell delivers here in spades.

Was this review helpful?

This is a thoughtful look at queerness and Christianity and how a queer Christian is not an oxymoron. The language is really geared towards someone who still very much subscribes to the Christian faith, and not so much those who no longer relate or believe in the bible and a christian God. That being said, it is still an insightful read for those seeking answers about their identity within a religion that has historically, at best, respectfully ignore them and, at worst, advocates and cheers for genocide against LGBTQ+ people.

Was this review helpful?

This is a great book for people who want to think critically about the intersection between religion and sexuality. The author provides biblical, historical, and cultural context around the Bible verses commonly used against the LGBTQ+ community. The text can be an important tool for those struggling to reconcile their beliefs and their sexuality. I appreciated the memoir/essay format with references to academic research as appropriate.

Was this review helpful?