By Heather Clark on Christian News
WACO, Texas — Chip and Joanna Gaines, the hosts of the popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” were placed under scrutiny this week by a news outlet that sought to make an issue of the church the couple attends and present a rhetorical question as to whether or not the Gaines’ hold to the church’s beliefs on marriage and homosexuality.
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BuzzFeed published an article on Tuesday entitled “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage,” which notes that the Gaines’ pastor, Jimmy Seibert of Antioch Community Church, believes that the Bible defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.
The reporter, Kate Arthur, notes that because homosexuals and others enjoy “Fixer Upper,” and because the Gaines’—who identify as evangelical Christians—have not stated a position on homosexuality, BuzzFeed decided to look into the beliefs of their pastor.
She called the church and was pointed to the beliefs section of its website, which states, “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.” Arthur was also advised that the church has always held to that view.
Arthur additionally pointed to a sermon delivered by Siebert following last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he noted God’s design in the book of Genesis.
“This is a clear biblical admonition. So if someone were to say, ‘Marriage is defined in a different way,’ let me just say: They are wrong,” he said. “God defined marriage, not you and I. God defined masculine and feminine, male and female, not you and I.”
Siebert outlined that homosexuality is a sin, but that Christ can set men free from any sin, no matter what it is.
“Truth No. 2: God is able to give us power over every sin, including homosexuality. Lie No. 2: I am a homosexual in thought and action, and I cannot change,” he preached.
Seibert urged compassion for homosexuals and encouraged Christians to “lovingly, carefully bring them back to Scripture.”
“So are the Gaineses against same-sex marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show, as have HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ and ‘Property Brothers?’” Arthur consequently posed.
HGTV released a statement following the publishing of the article, advising that it is “proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.” It also stated that “respect[s] the privacy of our show hosts and will not comment on matters related to their personal lives.”
The Gaines have not commented on the matter, but Chip Gaines posted Scripture to his Twitter on both Thursday and Friday.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. DO EVERYTHING IN LOVE,” he wrote on Thursday, quoting from 1 Corinthians 16:13, and on Friday, he quoted from Ephesians 2:8-9, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Other media outlets picked up on the matter, including Cosmopolitan, which characterized the report as a “startling revelation.” However, some have criticized the BuzzFeed article as being a “witch hunt” and a “non-story,” as it is not a news flash nor a surprise that Christians believe the Bible.
“This is almost unbelievable,” said Tony Perkins of Family Research Counsel on his “Washington Watch” radio show. “It appears the media thinks they have stumbled on something—that there is actually a church in Texas that believes the Bible…”
The Benham Brothers, who as previously reported, had their house-flipping broadcast axed from HGTV in 2014 after homosexual activists noted their Christian beliefs on sexuality and marriage, likewise condemned the development.
“It’s a mafia,” David Benham told conservative reporter Todd Starnes. “They are going to go after the Gaines family. They are going to try and vilify them. They are going to try and vilify their church and their pastor. And if they can’t get anyone to bend or concede, they are going to start vilifying HGTV and going after their advertisers.”