Dear Family and Friends of City On A Hill,
Our next series isn’t going to be universally accepted. We’ve already had a few angry comments, a few predictions of our own futures in hell, and some quiet exits from our social media pages. Perhaps these things should worry the president of a company, but I don’t find myself worried. If anything, I’m encouraged.
Messy Grace, featuring the teaching of pastor Caleb Kaltenbach, is unlike any product we at City on a Hill have created. It directly confronts a topic that is controversial in society, politics, and in the church. Caleb, with an authority few have been given, speaks on the topic of homosexuality.
This isn’t a project we always knew we’d be doing. Messy Grace was brought to us by trusted partners and after prayer and wise counsel, we agreed to create it. It’s been a long journey to get to this point. Along the way, Caleb’s book on the subject was released (also called Messy Grace) and here’s what people have said about it:
"Messy Grace, written by my friend Caleb Kaltenbach, is a personal story of God’s incredible grace and a call to love people as God loves. The message of this important book combines grace and truth and offers hope to a broken generation. Messy Grace is pure truth spoken in love and will help you relate to every person in a way that pleases God."
Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
"Some authors have inspirational stories to tell while others have insightful points to make, what makes Caleb’s writing so powerful is that God has given him both."
Southeast Christian Church
"The narrative in Messy Grace is strong and compelling. It’s an easy read, and the writing is clear, funny, and profound. Readers will learn how to stand in the tension of truth and grace as they identify with Caleb through all the messiness, tears, victory, and sin."
"Messy Grace is an important contribution to the conversation about sexual identity for churches and leaders. Caleb's story is surprising and unique, and he weaves it together compellingly. He states his views clearly, leaves room for disagreement, and champions love no matter where you are in this conversation."
I really appreciate the distinction, “leaves room for disagreement.” The heart of this project is to help the viewer be fully informed. We want you to know what the Bible says. We want you to know what culture is saying. We want you to know what real people are experiencing. And there will be room for disagreement.
In his book, Caleb describes a tension between grace and truth. A picture of this tension is offered in John 8 when a woman is brought before Jesus who had been caught in the act of adultery. Jesus shows grace by sparing this woman caught in sin. Jesus upholds truth by saying to go and sin no more. What is this tension? It’s love.
Many of us would claim to love the LGBT community even though we don’t agree with them. But how can we love them if we don’t know them? How can we love them from the other end of a 10-foot pole? Alternatively, there are those who claim love, but refuse to speak the truth. They don’t share the gospel and there is never a call to repentance. That’s not love either.
True love is found in the tension of grace and truth. And it can be messy. But as Caleb says, “God loves messy people, and so should we.”
I know that Messy Grace will be used by God. Nothing good ever happens without controversy (look at Jesus and the Pharisees). My prayer is that you will give Messy Grace a chance, no matter where you stand on the subject, and that the narrative between Christians and the LGBT community begins to change.
Please join us in praying for a little more love – a little more messy grace – to take root in our communities.
President and Executive Director of City On A Hill
TONY YOUNG is the president and executive director of City on a Hill. He also runs an engineering company (as if leading us isn't a full-time job already!), is a football enthusiast, and married with three kids.