• Heavy Burdens

  • Seven Ways LGBTQ Christians Experience Harm in the Church
  • By: Bridget Eileen Rivera
  • Narrated by: Lisa Larsen
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Religious faith reduces the risk of suicide for virtually every American demographic except one: LGBTQ people. Generations of LGBTQ people have been alienated or condemned by Christian communities. It's past time that Christians confronted the ongoing and devastating effects of this legacy.

Many LGBTQ people face overwhelming challenges in navigating faith, gender, and sexuality. Christian communities that uphold the traditional sexual ethic often unwittingly make the path more difficult through unexamined attitudes and practices. Drawing on her sociological training and her leadership in the Side B/Revoice conversation, Bridget Eileen Rivera, who founded the popular website Meditations of a Traveling Nun, speaks to the pain of LGBTQ Christians and helps churches develop a better pastoral approach.

Rivera calls to mind Jesus' woe to religious leaders: "They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them" (Matt. 23:4). Heavy Burdens provides an honest account of seven ways LGBTQ people experience discrimination in the church, helping Christians grapple with hard realities and empowering churches across the theological spectrum to navigate better paths forward.

©2021 Bridget Eileen Rivera (P)2021 eChristian

What listeners say about Heavy Burdens

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Succinct and Essential Insight

A much needed discussion of the destructive effect the church has long had on those in the LGBTQ community—not only physically, mentally, and emotionally, but spiritually as well. Rivera dauntlessly tackles a number of key issues and how they’re often only discussed as problems by those outside the church, while those same issues are allowed to perpetuate harmful teachings and ideas inside the church.

Her research brings insight into the way many of those ideas (despite how they’re taught) are not based on Scripture but are based on a number of historical and modern movements of thought which are often morally indefensible on closer inspection. Each step of the way, the research provided is careful and thoughtful towards both sides of each issue, and shows Rivera’s ability to discuss the topics succinctly while offering a depth of other resources as well.

This book, along with similar ones it references, are vitally important for the church today if we are to further our understanding of the creation of God and the way His image is manifested in us as human creatures with all of our God-given facets of complexity.

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Continuous Mic Drop

A thorough, tempered exploration of a heated subject in a respectful way. I wish we had 20 more like this.

1 person found this helpful

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Best book on LGBTQ Christian issues

I have read dozens of books on LGBTQ Christian issues, all of which were very helpful in assisting me to engage in an authentic way with these complex and challenging topics from a biblical perspective. If you can only read one this would be the one to read the author is historic, biblical, humble, and challenging in a very authentic way. Although my perspective is one that would affirm homosexual marriage, and she is following a traditional sexual ethic, she demonstrates that both should be part of the Christian experience and we should all be working together to follow Jesus. This is a must read! Ten stars!

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Great perspective & argument

This was a wonderful book that humanizes the LGBTQ community unlike many Christian books on this topic. The information that was present was well informed and researched. This is a good read for someone wanting to understand the journey LGBTQ Christian’s are on.

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Thoughtful

Difficult subject handled with thoughtful reflection from a heart of faith and desire for continuing faithfulness. There might be points of agreement and disagreement for readers, but there is an invitation toward longer conversation well after the last page is turned.

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Very Educational even for non-Christians

Excellent job explaining the hypocrisy of heterosexual Christians versus their acceptance of GLBTQ Christians. For me personally, reinforces why I don’t like Christianity as it is today.

If you are a Christian, I think this is definitely worth listening to. If you dismiss this book out of hand than you further prove that you really don’t follow the teachings of the Bible.

Hate the “sin” and love the sinner. Judge not unless you be judged yourself.

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Imbalanced, but thought-provoking.

Rivera does an exquisite job documenting the torment of the LGBTQ community - especially those within the church. The stories she shares are painful, yet important. However, one gets the sense that while the LGBTQ persons she interviews are completely pure God-seeking victims, the Traditional non-affirmers she talks about are always presented as skewed and self-righteous. She takes every non-affirmer to task in her book - including the likes of Piper, without any of the mercy she hopes to see non-affirmers give the LGBTQ community for whom she advocates for.

This book is unhelpful as a theology textbook, because that is not what Rivera is after. If it were, the reader would be sorely disappointed with intentionally diminished evidence for the traditional view (though she does say that she is personally compelled by the traditional view and personally called to celibacy).

If Rivera reads my review I want her to know that this book meant a lot to me. I listened, and learned a lot through this book. I deeply appreciate the personal stories, and chance to learn from the church‘s mistakes.

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Amazing resource! shame about the narrator.

Lisa Larsen reads this book like she is trying to impersonate Alexa's text-to-speech engine, except she also mispronounces or obviously misreads words all over the place.

Once you get past the monotone, the content of this book is easily within the top 3 most important messages the Church needs to hear today. Rivera has done her homework and she knows her audience. Context and definitions are placed perfectly to get ahead of assumptions without sounding patronizing, and each point is accompanied by a real person's experience to humanize the conversation.

I've already ordered physical copies for a couple of my mentors, and I'm making a list of other people to share this book with!

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