Church Pastor Kicks Gay Keyboardist Out For Being One Of The Boys In The Band

A pastor in Kansas has kicked out a member of the church band for being an unrepentant homosexual.

Chad Graber found a spiritual connection at CrossPoint Church in Hutchison, KS, located about forty miles outside of Wichita. He discovered his passion for music there, became active in the church orchestra, and even found help for his substance-abuse problem in the church’s recovery program.

The Kansas City Star reports:

“My goal was to put more good things in my life, and church was it,” he remembers.

Sometime around 2007 he joined the six-piece worship team for Celebrate Recovery, playing keyboards, learning Christian songs and practicing chord changes.

He belonged.

His playing caught the ear of other worship leaders at CrossPoint, the largest church in Hutchinson, boasting some 1,400 members.

It wasn’t long before Graber joined the Saturday worship band. For nearly four years he played in both worship groups.

But when senior pastor Andy Addis found out Graber was gay—and not exactly grappling with his same-sex attraction—he sent him away like Mary and Joseph at the inn.

Graber, who was single, hadn’t discussed his sexual orientation with many people, but he had come to realize it was something that “refused to go away,” despite his prayers for healing. He had never talked about it with anyone at church, though. So it was surprise when, last fall, Pastor Addis pulled Graber aside and asked him point blank: Are you gay?

It turns out a fellow band member had “complained” about Graber, a gay man, having a leadership role in the church. Addis said that was a dealbreaker, and that he was also worried a “troubled Christian” might try to hurt Graber.

“But he told me he’d love for me to keep going to church services,” says Graber, who passed on the opportunity to sit in the back of the bus, er, chapel.

The good pastor says he still accepts Graber but that the Bible is the Bible: “I have to stand on Scripture,” he explains. “People on both sides of the aisle need to be willing to forgive, understand and accept their differences. When I say ‘accept,’ I can still believe that I’m 100% right and that you may be wrong, but I still have to accept you as a person.”

But Graber—who has since found a new welcoming church (and a partner)—doesn’t think you can cast out someone you profess to accept. “That’s like someone saying they love black people but believe in slavery,” he says. “Or they love women, but they fight to their dying breath to deny them the right to vote. Or they’re with the Nazi party and work in the Holocaust, but they say they love Jews… There is no compromising my life.”

At least Graber can be content knowing Addis is being equitable. He says he’d treat a heterosexual parishioner exactly the same if they were committing adultery. “Everyone sins. But the issue is whether you see it’s a sin and make changes as a response to what you see in Scripture. The difference with Chad is that he switched from struggling with his sin to embracing it.”

So Christians like Addis accept us, but only if we’re miserable.

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  • marc sfe

    What an idiot – the pastor. Nowhere in the NT does JC ever talk about homosexuality – – NOWHERE! Now if he wants to pull out the tired old Leviticus line, what so many today like to conveniently forget is that refers to a conquering army raping the other army – – not a loving relationship. Frankly, the word abomination meant unclean, not a sin.

    I am so sick ‘n tired of these fuckwads trotting out their damn bible and cherry picking their way through it. Does this pastor wear a cotton/poly blend shirt?? If he does, he’s “sinning.” Has he stoned any disobedient children lately?? Oh and how about a lady who’s not a virgin? Cast her out and stoned her as well?

    What an idiot – he is no christian at all – – this young man is better off being out of that hate filled, bigoted, hypocritical “church.”

  • FStratford

    More fake Christians who spout right wing propaganda.

  • Dumdum

    The Romans really screwed up when they failed to feed ALL the Christians to those poor starving [email protected]FStratford: Fake Christians? Are there any other kind?

  • randalaw

    And, once again, an alleged Christian gets to do the Church Lady’s “Superiority Dance.” Regardless of what anyone may say, the usual underlying meaning of “acceptance” or “tolerance” is that the one professing said trait is sitting in judgement on the other.

  • hyhybt

    Even in Topeka, there are other churches. Glad he found one. Why stay where you’re not welcome?

  • KJ

    @Dumdum: If you’re not afraid of learning new things, and just as an opportunity for growth, you might want to do some reading-up regarding as to why the Romans sent many, including early Christians who knew the risk, to their death (Not necessarily just to lions.).

    And to find an example of an authentic Christian, it seems in this case one doesn’t have to look any farther than Chad.

  • Dumdum

    @KJ: I was being glib, ridiculous and inflammatory. As an Anthropologist I am well aware of the spectacle of the Roman Colosseum and the various reasons and uses thereof. I was albeit unsuccessful in my attempt to illustrate the archaic aspect of Christianity. Perhaps I should have said that it is an outmoded belief system that has no place in modern society.

  • doug105

    But Graber—who has since found a new welcoming church (and a partner)—doesn’t think you can cast out someone you profess to accept. “That’s like someone saying they love black people but believe in slavery,” he says. “Or they love women, but they fight to their dying breath to deny them the right to vote. Or they’re with the Nazi party and work in the Holocaust, but they say they love Jews… There is no compromising my life.”

    Now if only Goproud and Logcabin would learn this.

  • Ogre Magi

    @Dumdum: Why feed the poor lions such tainted meat! It would surely give them a stomach ache

  • Guillermo3

    @Dumdum: You know there are real Christians,
    Dumdum.The tragedy is the not fake,but tragically wrong,judgmental,hateful
    ones out -shout & overshadow those who understand and believe Christ’s teachings.
    We live in an era when,to quote Yeats:
    “The worst are full of passionate conviction.”

  • EmersonCollins

    It’s crazy this story just came out, we JUST launched a campaign to raise funds to film the GLAAD Award-winning play Southern Baptist Sissies by Del Shores. It’s the story of four boys who grew up in the church who are gay and how they deal with the rejection of the church. We are doing it because we think it’s even more important now as churches continue to spew hate. Stories like this are sadly the reason we are working to bring this project forward as a film to show the damage the church does. Check us out if you want:

  • Billysees

    @hyhybt: Re 5, “Even….

    “Why stay where you’re not welcome?”

    That’s the best answer.

  • Laurance

    I have, somewhat reluctantly, come to the conclusion that all forms of organized religion are clubs with their own often arbitrary rules of membership. If we don’t like these rules, we have two choices: change them from within, or just reject the club and move on. But it is evident that many leading power brokers in these clubs are not amenable to change (one has to have an open mind at the very least), which leaves only the second choice for many people. But then, ask yourself: Does the religious “club” you happen to belong to actually DO anything for you? I mean, does it satisfy you in any way at all? And isn’t it possible that you could find what you are looking for elsewhere (perhaps in another club, but not a bigoted, prejudiced, close-minded, intolerant, hypocritical, cruel religious one)?

    Of course, this does not solve the key problem of stopping these clubs from harming other members (either by tossing them out or, worse, by attempting to brainwash them to reject their own sense of self). I am thinking particularly of young people who may find themselves stuck: not fully accepted by the club but not able to leave it either. What this comes down to is that even such clubs are NOT free to do what they like, especially when what they stand for is bigotry, prejudice, close-mindedness, etc. etc.

  • living4truth

    @marc sfe:
    How a Church handles an individual that is homosexual depends on the Churches belief system. Also if the Church believes that the New Testament is the Inspired word of God in its original form.

    The individual above uses the Old Testament in his reference. Actually in the New Testament Rom 1:26, 27 & 28 For this cause gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. Vs 27 and likwsie also the men leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust one toward another: men with men working that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error was meet. Vs and even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind which are not convenient.

    These verses basically say the same thing in the original Greek. This doesn’t mean that this action is worse than gossip, drinking alcohol, lying, over eating etc. We have homosexuals in our Church and love and treat them as we do each other.

    Each of us need God’s forgiveness for our sins (falling short of the mark in GK). We believe the Gospel (good news) is about healing our minds and emotions from the damage we each experience while growing up.

    It is important that we do not function as a Judge of others. None of us are smart enough for this. The truth that we believe is for us and to share it as an option of others not as a Judge.

    If a person believes that they can be an homosexual and a Christian no one can judge this because life is too complicated for any of us to know exact truth to a point that we judge others.

    A Minister or leader in a Church has to decide the belief system for his followers. This is simply normal for a leader to do. He has to go by his own perception of truth. We as individuals can choose to follow his perception or not.

    I have very close friends that are homosexuals. I feel completely comfortable loving them and caring for them as I would any other friend. There was one individual that wanted not to be a homosexual because he didn’t believe it was right but felt he was born this way.

    I am not smart enough nor is any doctor, theologian, or anyone to say you are or not born with certain genetic tendencies physically or emotionally. We My husband shared with him set this particular individual free from his suffering.

    My husband told him that many of use are born with genetic tendencies both useful and unwanted such as genes for diabetes, cancer, emotional instabilities, talents etc. If you are born with diabetes do you take insulin? or let you die. If you are born with an emotional tendency toward anger do you let yourself be angry or try to control your anger even if it is difficult? If you as a heterosexual or homosexual felt compelled to molest a child since it seemed normal would you learn to suppress that tendency or let it go?

    Born a certain way doesn’t have to govern our lives. We are intelligent beings and can determine our destiny to an extent. It is normal in life to not let yourself do everything you would like to do. This is what constitutes a functional society.

    You feel right as a homosexual so be it but if you don’t like being so there are answers. Love all.

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