Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea
by Mitchell Kesller
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Pub Date 30 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 15 Dec 2022
If you're a Christian and LGBTQ+, it can be difficult to reconcile your faith with your identity. In an era of misinformation and blind faith, "Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea" aims to explore one of Christianity's most marginalized groups--queer people--and break down exactly what the Bible says about queerness through a contextual, historical, and lexicological lens. The author looks past the superficial reading that so many today have embraced and brings about an academic approach to truly decipher the "gay-bashing" verses in the Bible today compared to its ancient context. Bridging the gap between identity and faith is possible when we conclude that perhaps the God preached on the Sunday pulpits isn't the whole truth of who He is. From an author deep in the trenches comes this hard-hitting book exploring our place in Christendom today.
What do you do when your identity directly contradicts your faith?
The Christian Church has long been one of the most influential institutions in society. Self-proclaimed as God’s representatives on earth, it is ironic to see how a faith of love and inclusion has been the source of wars, genocides, slavery, and oppression throughout the ages. In an era of misinformation and blind faith, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at the Bible and “judge by the fruits” of what is real and what is not. Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea aims to explore one of Christianity’s most marginalized groups and breaks down exactly what the Bible says about queerness through a contextual, historical, and lexicological lens. Bridging the gap between identity and faith is possible when we conclude that perhaps the God preached on the Sunday pulpits isn’t the fullness of who He actually is.
From an author deep in the trenches,
I’ve broken the bread,
it’s time to spill the tea.
"Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is a great read for anyone who might be struggling with faith over their identity or for anyone who just wants to dive into a historical interpretation of some of the Bible's more controversial topics. I felt this book did a great job at blending factual academic writing with a friendly, approachable voice as a guide."
"This is an important book, especially for young adults/teens in the church who are searching for answers, but don't know where to go."
"Broke the Bread, Spilled the Tea is a book that deserves to be on every queer household’s coffee table. Regardless of whether you’re religious or not, this book can equip you with biblical and historical knowledge that can put things into new perspective, answer any curiosities, reaffirm your identity or become the basis of a deep and interesting conversation."
Average rating from 48 members
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.
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.
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’m not usually one to read books like this but I was pleasantly surprised. Very insightful and a quick read :)
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.
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.
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 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.
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