Matt Moore on Why the Gospel is for Failures and a Response to Jonathan Merritt

Matt Moore

Last Friday the Washington Post ran an article entitled, “The ex-gay Christianity movement is making a quiet comeback. The effects on LGBTQ youth could be devastating.” A family member texted my fiancé and me to warn us that the article mentioned us—an already-stressed couple eight days out from our wedding. 

“Several lesser-known leaders are ostensibly part of the second wave of ex-gay Christianity, even if they do not identify with it. This includes people like Matt Moore, a writer who was highlighted in a piece that was originally published in 2013 (later updated in 2016) reporting that he had an active profile on the gay dating app Grindr. He said he was looking for men instead of sex, repented of his ways and was recently engaged to Talitha Piper, daughter of popular conservative Christian pastor John Piper.”

I’ve been silent in the public sphere for a year and a half. And to be honest, I’ve kept my mouth shut in large part to avoid stuff like this. I don’t want to be mentioned in the press. I don’t want my story told by those who don’t really know it and who definitely do not know me. I don’t want my words and actions twisted to make me look like some backwoods idiot. I don’t want my past failures to be resurrected and gloried in by those who long to see God’s people fall on their faces.

But this past week has taught me that covering my mouth isn’t going to keep other people from saying or writing what they want to say about me and my life. Someone close to me recently said, “As long as there’s an internet, this will be a thorn in your side”—the this being my public humiliation in 2013. And they’re right. My rebellion against Christ six years ago is well-documented and not going anywhere. By some, I will always be known as that ex-gay Christian blogger who was on a gay dating app. This a longterm consequence of my sin that I must deal with honestly and humbly.

Humility requires that I not consider myself primary victim of this article. Humility requires that I not seek above all else to restore my “good name.” Humility requires that I not expend energy trying to paint my past actions in a more favorable light than others have painted them. Humility requires that I not seek to make myself look better than Jonathan Merritt described me in the Washington Post, because the truth is that the public doesn’t know the half of how sinful I am. So I will not seek to vindicate myself.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Matt Moore