We need more books in this area. The LGBTQIA movement has christian allies. This is such important work.
If you've ever been claimed to be a "sin" or immoral based off of the Bible, this is the perfect novel to pick up. This goes to say, it can also be viewed as a way to help see the truth behind how homosexuality is written in the Bible. If you're ever struggling with your faith in these regards, it is written in such a personal way that you'll be able to feel the love you so desire.
Needless to say, Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is more of a scholarly deep-dive into religion with light-hearted moments. Typically I wouldn't pick up anything so heavily religion based, but the way in which the material is represented seems to alleviate that overwhelming pressure you would find in most nonfiction religious novels.
The information is introduced exactly as the title goes. It provides a short rundown of the topic, and then delves into the "tea" of it all. In reading these snippets, it leans towards a light-hearted discussion about certain verses that have been categorized as anti-homosexual. You'll find humorous moments depicting said events described, but also serious moments that clarify why these claims are false, why you shouldn't believe so heavily without researching, and why the latest texts have been translated in such a way to provoke such a claim.
All in all, Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is most notably a way to help bridge the gap between identity and faith without becoming too personal by the author. For anyone struggling with this, I would highly recommend giving it a quick read.
This is a unique perspective on how people use religion against LQBTQIA+ from a religious scholar. It shows how you can still believe and be your unique, individual self. Great read and I recommend it for anyone who loves someone or my ever interact with someone who is LGBTQIA+ and believes in the Bible.
Mitchell Kesller is clearly well versed in the history and theology of his faith. And although the prose isn't the smoothest or most polished I've ever read, his sincerity and honesty shine through. I hope his discussion will be credible to its intended audience of Evangelical and other fundamentalist/"conservative" Christians who are queer or have a queer family member or friend, and who believe that their deity and their holy book condemn queer sexuality.
On a purely technical level I might be inclined to give this book 3.5 stars. But something this socially important, thoughtful, and conducive to, well, basic human rights has to get 5.
ARC from NetGalley.
Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea by Mitchell Kesller
Published: March 30, 2022
Promethean Publishing Group
KKECReads Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.
Mitchell Kesller was born in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and later moved to Boston, MA. Raised Bostonian, he moved to Orlando, FL, fell in love with it, and refused to leave. Though Orlando is his homebase, you can also frequently find him traveling to Italy to explore more of the ancient and medieval history it holds. As such, he speaks English, Portuguese, and Italian.
A Philosopher in the word's original sense, Mitchell has never stopped chasing after wisdom and continued education. Though achieving two Bachelor's degrees in unrelated fields, his passion has always been to thoroughly study ancient history and religious topics. He and his fiancé, Daniel, currently live in Orlando. When they aren't traveling abroad, they enjoy exploring the city for its different restaurants and can often be spotted hanging out in the region's many theme parks.
“Please fasten your seatbelts as we may face a bit of turbulence.”
Written from a place of passion, compassion, and a desire to connect people, this book was well put together.
It’s clear that Mitchell researched this book and that he spent a lot of time putting it together. He is knowledgeable in his interpretations, and I felt he was respectful.
It was interesting reading a different viewpoint regarding the well-known passages used in this book. It’s always fascinating to me to see how other people process and interpret the Bible.
I enjoyed the conversational and friendly tone throughout this book. And that Mitchell explained things along the way that helped further understanding. I also appreciated that he encouraged the reader to do their research. To not just take his word (or any word) as THE word without doing some digging.
For a passion project that was anticipated to be received negatively, I applaud Mitchell for taking the time and bringing this to light.
The biggest takeaway from this book is that God loves all people. And that’s the tea.
Full of good information, seems well researched and jibes with some things I've read about previously. It's written from a very lay perspective which should be good for anyone not versed in Bible study. The early chapters are a bit unpracticed but the author owns up to the fact he's not a writer by trade so fair enough. He does come from a very religious background and does slip into borderline proselytizing early on. But once he gets into text analysis the book is excellent and well done. I will be recommending this book to others.
I read this over the course of a week, limiting myself to one chapter a day. The author is a Brazilian American who was raised in Boston, MA but has settled in Orlando, FL. He grew up immersed in the church in a family that spans generations of highly devout Christians. He has always had great faith in God, but was disillusioned by the church when they rejected him for being bisexual. It was a conversation with his Lesbian aunt that made him realize that he could spend all of his considerable knowledge of the bible and energy trying to win acceptance from the "Christian" and homophobic Brazilian culture, or he could use that same energy and knowledge to help the thousands in the lgbtq+ community find peace, guidance, acceptance, healing, and strengthen their faith in who God really is.
Not too long ago, our pastor led our church on a year-long journey where we studied scripture as a church and together decided we wanted to be a welcoming and affirming church. Much of what we studied completely agrees with what Kesller presents very clearly in this book. I found this book to be very accessible for all that Kesller claims to NOT be a writer. He writes in a straightforward fashion and goes through the "gay verses" one by one and gives us historical context and how that changes the meaning in a significant way.
Not everyone will be happy with what he writes here, but from our own experience, we did have some people leave our church after we made our decision, something we were expecting, although we were hoping it wouldn't happen. But as the author says in the beginning, this book is not written for those who have deliberately closed their minds to the idea that they could be wrong. This is written for anyone who is seeking or who is hoping, and who is willing to keep an open mind coming into this. This is also written for all those in the queer community who have spent their lives doubting their own worth and value in God's eyes. This book is worth reading and rereading and could be used as part of a study for a church that is also seeking.
I received an advance review copy from NetGalley for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
If you are looking for a short, easy-to-read, well thought-out, and well-cited book that covers some Bible history and takes the clobber passages (verses traditionally used to say homosexuality is a sin) head on, back into their original context, then you should absolutely pick up this book. Kesller writes almost conversationally, making this book seem less overwhelming and technical, and more relational. I was really impressed by the research into Bible translation history, and the break down of context and original words used. This is the information I have been wanting to find but haven't had the mental energy to know how to begin researching it.
Thanks to Netgalley and Promethean Publishing Group for the e-ARC!
I love his passion and admire his research.
However, I don’t think his book will change any minds of those who use the Bible to justify their homophobia, but for some young LGBTQ person who is questioning their faith, it may help solidify their relationship with God.
For that reason, I give it four stars.
Was written as a lot of scripture and leading to acceptance. I feel the writing was done well and the point was delivered . This may help some seeking acceptance. It did stray and go heavy topic on abortion , but overall could be great read for any in LBGTQ+ community.
In this book the author attempts to give many perspectives of damning homosexual verses in the bible. He attempts to have us understand that these verses are very, very old and some of the words within the verses do not translate to today's interpretation.
The first 35% of this book gives you a history of the bible. The rest the chapters picks out specific verses and again gives you the history of that verse and what was going on at the time. And how it didn't mean exactly what it might mean today.
This was an interesting attempt at giving you another way of interpreting the verses. But it was way too much bible talk for me. I got bored.
I was given this ARC in exchange for an honest review
First I want to say that this author was very knowledgeable of the Bible. In fact, some may not enjoy reading this book because of the vast amount of material quoted from scripture. I have a similar background in the church therefore I enjoyed it throughly. I don't agree with him but I was impressed. However, I did not like the fact that the author went so far off script as to give his thoughts on abortion. Had I wanted to read a book about abortion and the Bible, I would have chosen a book about abortion and the Bible.
This guy is a pretty good writer and I would probably read more from him. Even though he didn't convince me, I really enjoyed reading his thoughts.
I’m not usually one to read books like this but I was pleasantly surprised. Very insightful and a quick read :)
If you like these five things, consider reading this book:
- Religious nonfiction
- Theological arguments supported by historical context and multiple scriptural interpretations
- Inclusive religion
- Easy yet informative reads
- Support for the queer community
Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is a strongly put-together argument against the Church's treatment of the queer community. The author systematically presents the verses typically used as arguments against homosexuality in the bible and provides context and translation that shows the true complexity of the verses. Additionally, the author presents some of the histories of the Church and its failure to love countless groups of people using scripture as a weapon. Overall, the message is that the Church is missing the point of God's love and using religion as yet another tool to oppress the queer community. I did feel like the book failed to address gender identity fully, which would have made this volume more complete for me.
Source of book: Bought by me
Relevant disclaimers: None
Please note: This review may not be reproduced or quoted, in whole or in part, without explicit consent from the author.
This is a charmingly written and accessible whistle-stop-tour through the notion that maybe, just maybe, scripture comes with a historical and cultural context and that maybe, just maybe, the Church—as a bastion of institutionalised power—has spent literally centuries stripping away those contexts as well as cherry-picking elements of the Bible that best advance a conservative, oppressive social agenda.
Sorry, that’s coming across as sarcastic. Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea really is a sweet, sincere and potentially necessary book for anyone struggling with reconciling their faith, their community and their LGBTQ+ identity. It’s personal when it needs to be personal, detailed without ever becoming overwhelming, and never positions itself as an authority on the complexities of history Biblical scholarship it attempts to explore.
It's also the sort of book—the sort of faith, I suppose—where God directly speaks to people, makes them feel loved, and encourages them to do things in the world, which is personally rather alien to me (my own experiences of faith growing up were very much of God is an abstract dickhead who is judging you and finding you a failure like your actual father, except this one also died for your sins, yes yours personally, and what the fuck have you ever done, you worthless loser).
Basically, I’m happy this book exists. I want there to be more space in the world for the notion that LGBTQ+ identity and religious faith (whatever your particular branch of it) can co-exist very comfortably, actually. I didn’t especially connect with it, and it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it was still reassuring to see such things discussed, interrogated and analysed in a non-intimidating way. I also appreciated that while the book was mostly focused on dismantling anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, it also rebutted elements of the Bible that are used to justify racism, misogyny and antisemitism.
Anyway, you’ll already know if this book is for you. It didn’t ever feel especially “for” me but that’s about me and not about the book. If you’re LGBTQ+ and Christian, and you’ve began to doubt your God’s love for you, then I hope Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea can help reassure you otherwise.
NetGalley ARC Educator 550974
It's time for the people to learn and search the holy scriptures and texts for themselves. It's past time for a book to delve into the topic of LGBTQ affairs as it relates to religion. God created and loves all, without regard to their sexuality. Hard to believe but this book gives evidence and back ups its exertions.
I hope this book gets into the hands of any questioning God's love for them. There are many accepting and inclusive ministries and more and more books exploring this topic.
“I would rather hold onto hope (even if it’s a sliver of it) than hopelessness.”
WOW!!!! So many important statements made throughout the book, but the author really emphasizes God’s love for ALL humans.
As a person that is overtly analytical, paying close attention to context & details, I found this book well researched & consistent to the matter being discussed. I often found myself thinking of Matthew 6:7, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” The author get’s to the matter at hand without being overly wordy or complex.
Such an amazing read that I look forward to re-reading again & again!
I thought this was beautiful and personal. This is the exact book I wish I had as a teenager begging to come to terms with my faith and sexuality.
I discovered this book on NetGalley! I wish I had read it sooner.
I'm participating in a community group with Queer Christian Fellowship called "Deconstruction/Reconstruction".
Having read this book, I think it would be a very useful tool for guiding and affirming the deconstruction/reconstruction process.
I deeply appreciate the way that the author engages with the Biblical text, traditional perspectives, their impact, as well as the contextual and historical elements.
I loved the format of "The Church's Crumbs" and "Spilling the Tea." Very informative and accessible.
It is clear that a lot of research, personal reflection and time went into the compiling of this resource. I hope all Christian's have an opportunity to engage in this text, learn something new, feel affirmed, and challenge their inherited perceptions.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and author for allowing me to receive an arc in exchange for my honest review- all thoughts and opinions are my own!
As someone who is deconstructing her own faith- this hit hard. Beautiful, insightful, and backed up to easily pull your own research. I wish the author well- as well as anyone who is struggling. You are loved. So loved.