A pastor, who grew up with gay parents and hating Christians, shared about his story on how his effort to disprove Christianity has led him to finding Christ.
In an interview on "Edifi With Billy Hallowell" podcast, captured by the Christian Headlines, Caleb Kaltenbach, research pastor at Shepherd Church in Los Angeles, revealed that he used to think of not wanting to be a Christian due to his experience of encountering believers who hated him for their view on homosexuality.
Kaltenbach's parents divorced when he was just two years old. Both pursued relationships with the same gender. The family, alongside his mother's partner, went on to become pro-LGBT activists. He then observed about Christians' hatred toward the gay people.
"I learned real quick from things that I saw in pride parades, the way how I saw Christians treat people, the way how I saw families ignore their young sons dying of AIDS in the 1980s - I saw real quick that Christians hated gay people. And I thought to myself, 'Man, I never want to be a Christian. If Christians are this bad, I can't imagine how awful Jesus must be if He's their leader,'" he said.
At 16, he joined a Bible study to supposedly disprove Christianity but was converted instead.
"I became a Christian, changed my view on sexuality to what I hold today - that God designed sexual intimacy and affection to be expressed in a marriage between a man and a woman," he shared.
When he told his parents about his newfound faith, they kicked him out of the house. He then joined a ministry and moved to Dallas. His parents later followed and moved to be near him. They started attending his church and eventually gave their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Based on his experience, the author advised that believers should have "a lot of empathy" to others, which he equates to humility.
"Empathy is not rejecting somebody... Empathy is acknowledging somebody's reality," he added.
To share his ideas on how to help the LGBTQ people connect with the Christian community, Kaltenbach released his new book, "Messy Truth: How to Foster Community Without Sacrificing Conviction." It is "a compassionate playbook to help Christians, church staff and ministry leaders create a culture of belonging without sacrificing theological convictions".
Asked about what readers can learn from the book, he said that he hopes people will walk with Jesus alongside others and not merely by themselves.
"That people find and follow Jesus better in community not in isolation. That we process truth and we learn how to follow Jesus best when we are with other people not by ourselves," he declared.
Kaltenback has also written a couple of other books, including "Messy Grace" and "God of Tomorrow." He used to be a lead minister and an associate pastor, as well. Further, he founded "The Messy Grace Group," an organization which aims to assist churches in dealing with gay people appropriately.
Listen to Kaltenbach's interview with the "Edifi With Billy Hallowell" podcast below.