Chip Gaines Responds to 2016 Buzzfeed Controversy in Blog Post Calling for Unity

"Disagreement is not the same thing as hate," the HGTV star wrote.

By Liberty McArtor Published on January 4, 2017

House-flipping celebrity Chip Gaines encouraged people to “lovingly disagree” in a blog post on Monday.

“If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow — we have got to learn to engage people who are different from us with dignity and with love,” Chip wrote.

The blog post appears to refer, at least in part, to the controversy that sprang up in November 2016 after Buzzfeed published an article attacking Antioch Community Church of Waco, Texas and its pastor Jimmy Seibert for taking a “severe, unmoving position” against same-sex marriage. HGTV Fixer Upper stars Chip and Joanna attend Antioch Community Church and have long been vocal about their Christian faith.

“So are the Gainses against same-sex marriage?” Buzzfeed writer Kate Aurthur asked of the married couple.

Since the teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman is a basic tenet of Evangelical Christianity, and since Chip and Joanna had never spoken about the issue themselves, many criticized Buzzfeed’s piece as a “non-story.”

HGTV responded to the controversy at the time with a statement saying the network doesn’t “discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows,” and moved forward with airing the fourth season of wildly popular Fixer Upper (the November 29 premier garnered 3.4 million views).  

Chip and Joanna initially refused to make a statement, with Chip turning to Twitter to request “respect” for Aurthur and tweet about the family’s faith.

In Monday’s blog post, Chip still didn’t address the Buzzfeed article, or same-sex marriage, head-on, writing:

Plenty of folks are sad and scared and angry and there are sound bites being fed to us that seem fueled by judgement, fear and even hatred. Jo and I refuse to be baited into using our influence in a way that will further harm an already hurting world, this is our home. A house divided cannot stand …

Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you. We are not about to get in the nasty business of throwing stones at each other, don’t ask us to cause we won’t play that way.

Chip went on to say that he and Joanna “feel called to be bridge builders.”

“We want to help initiate conversations between people that don’t think alike,” he wrote. “Listen to me, we do not all have to agree with each other. Disagreement is not the same thing as hate, don’t believe that lie.”

Chip ended his post by asking people to work together.

We propose operating with a love so real and true that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you. Fear dissolves in close proximity. Our stereotypes and vain imaginations fall away when we labor side by side. This is how a house gets unified.

Read the full blog post at MagnoliaMarket.com.

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  • Gary

    You cannot build a bridge to homosexuals. There is nothing on their side of the divide to support a bridge. You have a choice: you either oppose homosexuality, or you support it. There is no middle ground. And if you oppose homosexuality, you can be certain that the lgbtq and their supporters, will oppose YOU. Trying to be “nice” to perverts will never produce anything of value. America is a divided country. We are divided by many things, the most serious and important being morality. You cannot compromise morality with lgbtq and still be true to God. Choose sides and accept the fact that you have enemies.

    • Paul

      Gary, I’ve got to say you’re relentless. Unfortunately you’re misguided too. Yes, homosexuality is a sin. So is a lot of other things like adultery. It’s no greater a sin or less a sin. Read John 8:1-11 to understand Jesus’ approach. Jesus IS the bridge to homosexuals, and adulterers, fornicators, liars, thieves, murderers, idolators, and even the proud, arrogant, and foolish. Sin is sin. He built a bridge for everyone, you and me included, sinners, to be reconciled to the Father.

      I’m not sure why you’re so fixated on homosexuality in particular, yes it is sin, and no it shouldn’t be condoned, but it is one of many sins and we are to show love to the world, just as God did in giving us His Son. Loving the world isn’t about condoning it, it is about demonstrating Gods love in action in our own lives.

      Unfortunately I can easily imagine you in John 8 demanding Jesus throw a stone.

      • Gary

        Thank you for the compliment in your first sentence. But I am not misguided in any way when it comes to sexual perverts. Wherever they are, they always do the same things and have the same attitude toward God and God’s people. They demand acceptance and validation for their perversion and they oppose anyone who won’t give it to them, including God. You can claim to love them and still not condone what they do, but they will never accept that as being love. I already know how many lgbtq you have won to God: 0. And that number will not change.

        • Paul

          I never have claimed to have personally won any homosexuals to Christ, but I acknowledge the accounts of those who have. I haven’t won over any murderers either, but I acknowledge the adulterers, murderers, liars, fornicators and thieves who have turned away from their sinful past and followed Christ. Homosexuals aren’t a special case, they’re in denial of their sin just as other sinners are until such time that they repent of their sin and accept and follow Christ. But it seems you believe it is impossible for a homosexual to repent and follow Christ, if so then that is where we fundamentally disagree. Sin is sin, no one is worthy to enter the Kingdom except through Christ, and Jesus came to save the whole world, homosexuals included.

          • Gary

            I don’t believe lgbtq ever repent of their sin and accept and follow Christ.

          • Paul

            and that’s something you can’t support in the scripture, rather it’s your personal emphasis about that particular sin.

            In contrast I believe what the scripture says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

            A homosexual is part of ‘whoever’.

          • Gary

            Christ’s death and resurrection is no help at all to those who won’t repent and believe.

          • Paul

            I never said it was. Unfortunately though you’re in denial of the testimony of those homosexuals who have repented and believed.

          • Gary

            Why is that unfortunate? I’m not obligated to believe what they say. And I don’t. You are assuming they are telling the truth. I think that’s naïve.

          • Paul

            Why would I then assume anyone is telling the truth about their repentance of any sin? In the eyes of God it’s all sin.

          • Joseph

            Homosexuals don’t see themselves as sinners. they don’t think they’re sinning. that is the problem

          • Paul

            All kinds of people delude themselves into thinking their sin is OK. It’s not unique to that particular sin.

          • Joseph

            but other sinners don;t force others to accept them or throw parades for their sin or go around telling churches don’t preach on their sin like homosexuals do

          • Paul

            You talk as if homosexuals invented persecution of Christians. Sinners have been forcing Christians to accept their sin since there has been Christians.

          • Joseph

            Well l have never had an adulterer or drunkard come up to me asking me to accept them or attack me if I didn’t whereas as if you disagree with homosexuality or homosexuals you will get attacked. I have also never seen these sinners going after the church for its views on their sins.whereas homosexuals have attacked the church for its views on this sin. that is what separates homosexual sinners from other sinners. most of the persecution against Christians in America in the last decade were from homosexuals.

          • Paul

            Christians were tortured and killed for not conforming to other beliefs in the early church. They are beheaded today for the same reasons in other places. Churches banned, property seized, access to commerce cut off, physically displaced and arrested. Much of it from the Muslim community but also places like China and yet I read here at Stream about Muslims and Chinese coming to Christ in large numbers. We also read here in Stream that homosexuals have repented and come to Christ.

            I’m well aware of the current cultural issues here in the US, the homosexual activists pursuing their agenda, and the alphabet list of other perversions trying to ride their coattails to cultural legitimacy. I’m also aware of the plight of abortion on our nation. Not to mention the destructive influence of pornography. But like those, there are those people who have driven the sinful agendas, those who have fallen prey to the deceptions, and those who find Christ and repent of their sinful past. But if you still think homosexuals are the first to persecute Christians, the first to push a sinful agenda in our culture then you haven’t paid attention.

          • Gary

            I don’t think you should assume that anyone is telling the truth about their repentance and faith. I have learned you have to watch people for awhile, sometimes a long while, to see if their profession seems genuine. To see if their life confirms what they claim.

          • Paul

            I agree, but there’s also listening to Holy Spirit who knows the heart of the person. Even the early church struggled with that about apostle Paul.

          • Charles Burge

            Gary have you ever heard of Rosaria Butterfield? You might want to find a copy of her book and read it.

          • Gary

            I have heard of her.

    • Christian Cowboy

      I work side by side with homosexuals each day – just as I work with divorcees and other sinners. They are competent, dedicated people who do good work. They don’t push their views on me and I don’t try constantly to get them to renounce their sins. I do pray for them – and if given the opportunity I answer their questions and inquiries about my view of the sin that I see. It is called communication – and without that communication – nothing will change – ever. Shunning them is not what Jesus wants us to do – He wouldn’t and neither should we. We aren’t to condone the sin – but I believe we can never change their direction if we isolate them.

      • Gary

        Well, you do as you think best, and I will too.

    • johndoe

      Too funny! You nothing short of pure entertainment. Keep it up…lol!

  • galatians328

    Worth repeating time and again:

    Chip went on to say that he and Joanna “feel called to be bridge builders.” : ” We propose operating with a love so real and true that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you. Fear dissolves in close proximity. Our stereotypes and vain imaginations fall away when we labor side by side. This is how a house gets unified.”

    I knew, from childhood, that God requested the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to be ‘ambassadors’:

    2 Corinthians 5:20 (NRSV):
    20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    I knew that when I was a child because I was attending weekday religious education, Friday night children’s Bible study, Sunday schools, conferences and retreats … from childhood. It has always been a puzzle to me that so many Christians seem to have not a clue that God requests them to be this way: as someone God is using to appeal to others and to attract others to the faith. I have never understood how Christians want only to be with people like themselves instead of desiring to be ‘ambassadors’ to many people not like themselves.

    Even in high school I purposefully went to Roman Catholic Mass to see what that worship was like and to the meet those Christians. I purposefully went to synagogue to meet Jewish people. I purposefully went to Greek Orthodox services to see what that worship was like and to meet those Christians. I went to Pentecostal Revival. Etc.

    In college I worshipped with Episcopalians (with sung liturgy, incense, presentation of the Bible as the Icon of the Word of God, etc), with Quakers in silent worship, and with a large urban Charismatic Assembly. I also made friendships with Buddhist monks and Atheists and Lutherans, etc.

    I was one of the first in my area to volunteer to support poor rural people with AIDS who had returned home to die and many of whom had been abandoned by childhood friends, family, and even their childhood churches! I was one of the first to ask transgender persons how I could learn to be a friend (and I have made many friends among transgender community). I was always involved with dialogues in church and in community about color, race, and racism. I have been invited to join many groups – community groups, faith groups – to do what Chip Gaines says: “roll up your sleeves and work alongside the very people that are most unlike you. Fear dissolves in close proximity. We have had study circles, prayer groups, and volunteer service groups. I sought out and have joined a discussion group lead by local Muslim people. Etc.
    I am hoping that God will see that I took what I learned as a child seriously: to be an ‘ambassador’.

    • Gary

      You don’t know God, and He isn’t using you for anything.

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