It’s not very often that you see a whole article devoted to a church service in the Times, so as a Pastor it was with much interest that I read a few weeks back, “Local church holds Pride service.”
In the article were words that you would hear often in a variety of churches in the Rainy River District (Scripture, worship, gospel, welcoming), yet the definitions of those words would be different, depending on which church you were in–particularly in regards to the Bible and the way its instructions, commands, and truths are seen (either as fluid or static) really shapes the way one interacts with the society’s changing views on sexuality.
Doug Judson pointed out that “traditional approach” churches (which saw between 300-400 people in attendance this past weekend) tend to “condemn and ostracize on the basis of scripture.”
Churches that are seeking to obey God’s word and see it as the timeless authority should never be guilty of ostracizing. Jesus makes it clear that we are to love our neighbors, and where we have been guilty of doing that we have been wrong and must seek forgiveness.
However, it is that same obedience to Scripture that requires us to be honest about what God says is honouring or dishonouring to him.
Both sides in this issue have a message that we believe is valuable and needs to be communicated because it brings life, joy, hope, and peace. Yet many parts of our message are completely opposite.
We need to be having conversations and we must choose to be “tolerant” as the word is defined: “The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behavior that one dislikes or disagrees with” without being expected to affirm or support a lifestyle (be that of an evangelical Christian or LGBTQ individual) that we think is wrong.