Christians are getting in on the “christian movie” craze.
Last year, Christian Fellowship Church in North Charleston, South Carolina, decided to accept a transgender man.
But the church’s new pastor, William J. Babbitt, isn’t exactly a movie star.
When Babbatt asked his congregation to bless him as a man, a man’s voice over the loudspeaker said, “I am not a man.”
Babbits church, which prides itself on being the only Christian church in South Carolina to embrace transgender people, will welcome only men.
He’s been the pastor of the church for five years, and in that time he has been criticized for not being an outlier.
“The way he has gone about it is not the way that other pastors are going about it,” says Michael B. Haney, a professor of church leadership at the University of South Carolina and a former gay-rights activist.
“He’s not trying to make a statement of love.”
Bunnitt, a white man, was ordained in 2007 and has lived in North Carolina for the past seven years.
He said he was initially skeptical of Babbetts claims, which he shared on Facebook.
But when he heard that a transgender woman was serving as the church pastor, he began praying for her.
“I think that if you can believe in God, and be an honest person and do the right thing, that he loves you unconditionally, that that is something that is really hard to find in our society, he says.
The story of this man and the transgender woman has gone viral on the Internet.
“God loved you, and I pray for you and your family.” “
This is the truth,” she wrote.
“God loved you, and I pray for you and your family.”
“We all want to be heard,” Babbithitt said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“We want to see other people treated the same.
I think that’s a positive thing.”
But other people disagree.
Many people are uncomfortable with Babbetts transgender behavior.
“It is really not something you should feel comfortable in being an ally,” says James L. Bunch, a gay-lesbian pastor in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“You should be uncomfortable being an accomplice in somebody’s crime, or someone who doesn’t live up to their own expectations of you as an ally.”
Bunch says the transgender man’s story was “an opportunity for people to hear how we’re treated and how we feel about being a part of our community.
And they should be able to come together.”
For Babbitty, being an activist for LGBT rights is about more than just preaching about the Bible.
“My role as a pastor is to speak out and to get the attention of those in authority,” he says, “to let them know that we are not going to be silent any longer.”
A spokesperson for the North Charleston church says Babbittle has since been re-elected to his current position.
But Babbtt says the church has never made a decision about who Babbit will serve as its pastor.
He says he has a special relationship with Kelly Bunnit, the wife of the pastor, and that the pastor is “very respectful and very supportive of me and my wife.”
The pastor says he’s not the first transgender person to be ordained in a South Carolina church.
Bidders, the former pastor, served as the pastor at a small Christian school in Washington, D.C., and was the first openly gay person to lead a Christian church there.
“To say I’ve never seen a transgender person ordained would be an understatement,” says Biddett, who is now a writer and editor at The Christian Science Monitor.
“As an evangelical Christian, I have seen a lot of people come into the fold and I’ve seen some people leave the fold.
I know a lot about how the Bible talks about relationships and sexuality and gender.”
But, he adds, “For me, the only way to live as an evangelical is to have a love for God and a love of Jesus Christ.
And I think you can have those relationships but also be a partaker in them.”
This story was produced by the The Christian Technology News Network and The Associated Report.