Fixer Upper controversy continues: Pastor addresses anti-gay remarks; Chip Gaines calls for respect

Fixer Upper FAQ 1

The first Fixer Upper controversy in the show’s four-year history continues to swell, as the head of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ church has addressed his remarks regarding homosexuality, gay marriage, and conversion therapy practices.

The controversy first erupted earlier this week, just as Fixer Upper Season 4 premiered on HGTV. A BuzzFeed article pointed out that the Gaineses belong to the Antioch Community Church in Waco, and that the church is headed by pastor Jimmy Seibert, whose remarks following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states have since gone viral. Among other things, Seibert claimed that homosexuality is the result of sexual abuse during childhood, and advocated for conversion of homosexuals “back to Scripture.” (Click here for Seibert’s full remarks, and to see a video of Seibert interviewing Chip and Joanna at the church.)

While the article did not allege that Chip and Joanna agree with their pastor’s teachings to the letter, HGTV issued a statement shortly after its publication. The network stressed its acceptance of the LGBT community, saying it is “proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series.”

Additionally, Chipper Gaines offered his first comment on the matter. While he didn’t address the BuzzFeed article specifically, he tweeted out a series of messages that referenced “all hell appearing to break loose” and that ended with the straightforward declaration “Do everything in love.

Fixer Upper controversy 2
Jimmy Seibert, founder and head of Antioch Community Church in Waco

Now, in a brand-new interview with conservative columnist Todd Starnes, Seibert has spoken out for the first time, sharing some of his thoughts on himself, his church, and the Gaines’ membership. When asked whether Antioch Community Church is anti-gay, Seibert responded “Absolutely not. We are not only not anti-gay, but we are pro-helping people in their journey to find out who God is and who He has made them to be.”

Seibert went on to explain that “[The church’s] definition is not the definition we made up. It’s straight from the Scripture. One man, one woman for life. That’s how God created us. That’s what he has for us….People don’t know what the Bible says anymore on issues of sexuality. People don’t know what God says on homosexuality or any other issue. I felt the need to say we are all a mess – but the fixed points were set by God–not us.”

As for the Gaineses, Seibert called them “tremendous people with tremendous values,” said he’s “known them for many, many years,” and added that “This is who they have always been.”

In addition to his earlier tweets, Chip has taken to the social media platform with a series of related messages since the Fixer Upper controversy emerged. He tried to keep matters light with a little perspective…

…called for respect from all parties…

…and reminded his followers where they can find the Gaines family on Sunday mornings:

Fixer Upper airs Tuesday nights on HGTV.

RELATED ARTICLES: Chip and Joanna Gaines conversion therapy controversy marks Fixer Upper Season 4 debut

HGTV, Chipper Gaines offer responses to Fixer Upper anti-gay allegations: ‘Do everything in love’

Fixer Upper Season 4 brings huge changes to Magnolia Homes

(Photo credits: Fixer Upper controversy via Antioch Community Church on Twitter)

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  • Kate Kack

    I called them out on this very site months and months ago. They need to make a statement and not hide behind their sanctimonious twitter BS.

    • YourMom

      Why do they need to make a statement? Who cares what their beliefs are? They NEVER push their beliefs on anyone during Fixer Upper. This whole thing is ascenine!!

      • CatesZebraHoodie

        My thoughts exactly.

      • Jen

        Yep! They absolutely do not need to make a statement. Just bc they go to that church doesn’t mean they agree 100% w the pastor- and it doesn’t mean that they disagree.
        They’re not hurting anyone. Who cares??????? Geez! People getting amped up over stupid crap these days.

        • Beach Bro

          If I go to a church where the pastor is anti-Jewish or anti-gay or anti-black, don’t I have some responsibility to myself not to let my children hear that so they don’t grow up to be bigots?

          As for people saying that it’s unfair that a journalist brought this up in the first place, hypothetically, if the host of a reality TV show attended a church whose cleric or rabbi condemned Christianity, should the media not report on that?

          I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Gaines are very nice people. And since going to church is a social gathering for alot of folks, I know it might be tough to stand up in church in front of your fellow parishioners and say, “Pastor, we didn’t come here to hear anti-gay discrimination”. But if the Gaines are not anti-gay, they should speak up now and say so. For their own dignity, if for nothing else. If they don’t speak up, some of us are going to possibly assume that they agree with their anti-gay pastor who seems to think he can speak for God, but from the information below, obviously doesn’t:

          The following churches welcome gay members and embrace gay marriage: the Episcopal Church (United States)…the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America…Reform Judaism…Conservative Judaism…the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S and Canada…the Quakers, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Anglican Catholic Church, the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ (Salt Lake City, Utah), the United Church…the Dutch Reformed Church…the Affirming Pentecostal Church International, the United Reformed Church and several Baptist Churches among others and the list is growing.

          • YourMom

            I disagree with you. It doesn’t matter what they believe!! As long as they’re not pushing their beliefs on anyone. Everyone is free to believe how they choose, even if YOU may disagree that it’s “right” or “wrong”.

            Maybe I disagree with homosexuality. Does that mean that I should demand HGTV to have the host give a statement about why they think it’s ok??? For example, House Hunters since they show same-sex couples?? No. I can choose not to watch it. It honestly doesn’t bother me, but thats just an example!

    • Donnie

      They owe nobody nothing! Get over yourself Kate.

  • aimsless

    People want all of this peace, love and happiness but are so quick to pick people apart. Not everyone has to believe the same way to co-exist, if you will. They don’t owe us a damn thing.

  • chrisvogel

    As usual, religious nuts are endlessly critical of those who think differently, including same-sex couples who want to marry and provide each other and their children with the usual legal rights and obligations. Religious nuts, like these, on the other hand, hate it when others are critical of their arrogance, vanity, malice and wilful ignorance. Why would anyone respect stupid and destructive bigotry? usual, r

    • Gizmo

      Hey, HIV fggot who fcks little boys: Go and die of AIDS. You’re trash.

  • Of course their church accepts divorced couples who have remarried, which is hypocritical of them. I am sure they also have unmarried couples who are ‘living in sin’, too. Plus and most importantly their church is immensely wealthy and the pastor probably has a huge salary and expense account. Finally, the evangelical churches cannot define how marriage is a divine institution without a priesthood and sacraments. What a huge murky mess for that church. They should shut up when it comes to gay people and look at the log in their own eye.

    • Hope

      Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

      So, Bob, I agree with you to a point. I don’t agree with much that Pastor said, if that’s how he said it.

      We are told by the Lord to walk in love. Speak in Love. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Done! That’s do-able

      Daily do my best to emulate Jesus with all that I am. Many, many Christian’s I know are truly legitimate.
      We speak and do all things by the Word of God. That’s our choice and our right to do, but I have never seen (in my sphere of living NH,MA,RI,) a Christian berating others.

      I know it does happen, but what I’m trying to tell you is that not all Christian’s do that foolisness.

      I’m just living my life over here showin love, giving hugs, spreading hope.

      When you wanna really hate on those “Christians” I hope you stop and think of me.

      With respect and blessings,

  • Tim Casey

    HGTV doesn’t have a problem with LGBT but God does and the Gaines stand on the Word of God as a firm foundation and all else is built on sand.