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Jan 12, 2023

Pastor Matthew Carriker Re-evaluates Christian Beliefs on Homosexuality and Pluralism in New Book

“Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love”, a new book written by American National Pastor Matthew Carriker seeks to dispel the dogmatic, fear-based belief systems, myths and misinterpretations that permeate the Christian faith.  Pastor Carriker first came to Belize in 2001, where he became a teacher at Sadie Vernon High School. He spent three years serving in Belize through the Jesuit Volunteer Program. He met his wife of seventeen years here and they both moved back to the U.S. where Pastor Carriker attended seminary and began exploring the concept of agape love, or unconditional love. In his book, Pastor Carriker does not shy away from some of the more controversial topics in the Christian faith, like heaven, hell, salvation, Pluralism, and even homosexuality. He is back in Belize to host a book launch event on Saturday at five thirty p.m. inside the Om Shanti Yoga and Wellness Center on Fort Street in Belize City. He stopped by our studio today to tell us more.


Matthew Carriker

Matthew Carriker, Author, Giving Christianity Back to Agape Love

“When I came to Belize and I was teaching religion all these questions came up about what is true and what is not true. I had all these people saying some things are not true and some things are. And, that is one of the things that inspired me to go to seminary. I wanted to dive deeper into these questions. I had people saying all these things like, well Ghandi must be going to hell and for me that did not resonate with me. Ghandi seemed more Christ like than most Christians I was talking to. But, I did not have the kind of theological language to back that up. So that is one of the reason I wanted to go to seminary in addition to feeling how God was calling me. And I realize homosexuality is a hot button topic so to speak. In the states there are churches that are splitting and dividing because of that one topic. In the Episcopal Church they have some people going in this direction and that direction because they have different beliefs about that. So, one of my favorite prayer is, “in essentials unity, in non essentials diversity and in all things charity”. That is to say, we may have some disagreements but at the core let’s be charitable, loving to one another. So, even if people disagree with me I hope they can still have a charitable spirit to me realizing that my intention is to give Christianity back to love and Jesus. So, even if they may have different believes about pluralism, homosexuality, that we can still have a dialogue. But, my sense in the chapter of homosexuality I am reframing some of the Christian believes and the scriptures used to justify those beliefs to say actually maybe it is not a sin to be gay and that is what my denomination in the states affirms. We were one of the first denominations to say that God loves you just as you are. It is not a sin to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.  And the same with the people of other faiths with pluralism, people, Muslim, Jewish, Hindus, Buddhist, at least as I see it, this is my humble opinion, that they are not going to hell. In fact some of them are more faithfully living out the gospel than more Christians that I know that are locked in dogma and doctrine.”

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