A lesbian has announced plans to launch a Bible app that refers to God in "neutral terms" in an effort to make the Bible "accessible" to those who feel "marginalized" by Christians -- particularly the LGBT community.
"The Bible should be accessible to everyone. At its core, the holy text was written to be inclusive of all of God's creation especially those on the margins. With all of the traditional versions of the Bible, Our Bible App will include translations that refer to God in gender neutral terms, and a library of progressive devotionals and other resources," a fundraising page for the app explains.
Crystal Cheatham reportedly decided to create the "Our Bible" app after her Seventh Day Adventist church told her that Christianity and homosexuality were not compatible, according to PBS.
"I couldn't find any devotional that represented me. And what about you? It has to be difficult for you too," Cheatham said in a video promotional for the app. "I created Our Bible app because everyone deserves to be nurtured spiritually."
So far, the Our Bible app has 20 Bibles and over 300 devotionals and includes special articles, podcasts and meditation exercises for users. Cheatham plans to release a beta version of the app later in June and another version in September.
"There are so many Christians out there that want to be accepting of LGBT people but don't know how because they haven't received the resources," Cheatham said to PBS.
She added that while she has received a "very small" amount of negative messages about the app, mostly "what I'm feeling right now is a pregnant silence, and I'm waiting to figure out the truth of how people are reacting to this."
The 2014 Religious Landscape Study by the Pew Research Center earlier revealed that majority of the 35,000 people they polled who identify themselves as LGBT are Christians (48 percent), followed by 29 percent who are Protestants and 17 percent Catholics.
This is not the first time the Bible has been modified to "fit in" with the gay community. As earlier reported by GH, Atlanta's Out Front Theater Company, which focuses on shows with LGBTQ themes, recently came under fire after running a play featuring a gay reimagining of several Bible stories.
The synopsis of "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" proceeds thus: "What if it really was Adam and Steve? That's what the Out Front Theater Company in Atlanta, which stages shows exploring themes relevant to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, will set out to answer for audiences..."
According to the New York Times, Catholic group America Needs Fatima called the play "a vile insult to the Mother of God! - because she is insulted as a lesbian!" and urged followers to sign a petition, which reads: "The Holy Mother of God is most pure and holy. To refer to her as a lesbian, or even to insinuate it, is an unspeakable blasphemy, which I reject with all my soul. I fear God's wrath will fall upon us if reparation is not made."