It’s a charismatic church that seldom discusses policies or doctrines. The emphasis is the Kingdom, on earth as it is in heaven. They seek more. Worship is authentic and heart-felt. The community is warmer than most in the PNW. Calls to faith and repentance are left to the work of God’s Spirit, changing lives touched by Love.
Sounds perfect, you say?
We attended a prospective New Member dinner there last night. The explanation of the congregation’s history was actually the personal history the pastoral team. The expectations were a presentation of the building plans. The Q&A session tried without much success, to explore the policies and practices of the larger denominational affiliation (13% of the offering money goes there so those were valid questions). Mentions of Gay Marriage were carefully answered by explaining Christian hospitality, the universal nature of sin, and trust in God to internally motivate sinners to change. Gay Marriages would not be performed there.
Sounds right, you say?
Here’s the thing: God created homosexuals. They aren’t going to change. They might pretend to change or try hard to change to fit in. I grant that acceptance, support, and encouragement help heal everyone. In our culture, homosexual people nearly all have deep wounds. But God’s not going to redo who he created because we are uncomfortable. Given actual Christian love, they might stop being afraid, angry, dishonest, or judgemental homosexuals. We might stop being afraid of, angry at, dishonest about or judgemental of homosexuals, ourselves. Maybe the people who need to repent and change are the finger pointers.
It is clearly a log and splinter situation.
What of the Bible verses?
Did I forget the BIBLE VERSES? No, actually I remember and understand them much better than the people who forget the passages before and after. Those rules are for the wandering Hebrews spending 40 years in the desert and building themselves up for war. The leaders asked their homosexual members to join the team to make as many babies as possible. They needed tribal strength and there is strength in numbers.
Leviticus 18-20 should be read respectfully and in context. If someone wants to follow those rules, that’s fine. Most (all?) Christians ignore 99% of this material and only know two verses; those instructing the men and women to join the baby-making team.
What about Paul’s letters? Paul used a word “arsenokoitai” that is now translated “homosexuality,” understand that Paul made up that word. We’re unsure what it meant to his readers, but we know it was translated “masturbation” until the early 20th Century. And we’re reading someone else’s mail, those envelopes were not addressed to us.
The author of Matthew, tells us in 19:11, that Jesus (who said not one word against homosexuals) opened the Kingdom to people of all sexuality, just as Isaiah had done before him (chapter 56 and others).
Sounds loving, you say?
Isn’t that just like Jesus, though?
May blessings, strength and boundless love fill every marriage.