A lesbian has announced that her new Bible app that refers to God in "neutral terms" in an effort to make the Bible "accessible" to those who feel "marginalized" by Christians is officially launching just in time for Christmas.
The "Our Bible App," which identifies itself as the first "progressive bible app for Christians who are LGBT affirming, pro women, and center people of color," launches December 25-30 of this year, according to its website.
"Our Bible App is bringing it back to the roots celebrating the diversity of God's creation with devotionals highlighting the inclusiveness of the text," reads the mission statement for the app. "Our goal is to untangle the binds that Christian colonizers have spread across the globe over hundreds of years. Through devotionals highlighting pro LGBT, pro-women and encourage interfaith inclusivity we hope to provide a tool that is needed to create healthy prayer and meditation habits."
Crystal Cheatham reportedly decided to create the "Our Bible" app after her Seventh Day Adventist church told her that Christianity and homosexuality were not compatible, according to PBS. In just a few months, she raised over $20,000 to fund the app.
"I couldn't find any devotional that represented me. And what about you? It has to be difficult for you too," Cheatham said in a video promotional for the app. "I created Our Bible app because everyone deserves to be nurtured spiritually."
The app has four major components: devotionals that are progressive and affirming of all lifestyles and identities; a library of Bibles and translations; daily Bible verses and readings; and social media "so you can share and stay connected with friends."
"It's the place where a transgender teen can find affirming bible texts," notes the website. "It's the place where your church will watch and then chat about a sermon, it's where you'll find new books and organizations that you care about."
"Our Bible" app is also a "movement," the website claims: "It's about ending a stigma against what it means to be a Christian and filling in a pitfall that generations before us have fallen into," it says.
"There are so many Christians out there that want to be accepting of LGBT people but don't know how because they haven't received the resources," Cheatham said to PBS.
She added that while she has received a "very small" amount of negative messages about the app, mostly "what I'm feeling right now is a pregnant silence, and I'm waiting to figure out the truth of how people are reacting to this."
The 2014 Religious Landscape Study by the Pew Research Center earlier revealed that majority of the 35,000 people they polled who identify themselves as LGBT are Christians (48 percent), followed by 29 percent who are Protestants and 17 percent Catholics.
This is not the first time the Bible has been modified to "fit in" with the gay community. As earlier reported by GH, Atlanta's Out Front Theater Company, which focuses on shows with LGBTQ themes, recently came under fire after running a play featuring a gay reimagining of several Bible stories.
The synopsis of "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" proceeds thus: "What if it really was Adam and Steve? That's what the Out Front Theater Company in Atlanta, which stages shows exploring themes relevant to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, will set out to answer for audiences..."