Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nashville Evangelical MegaChurch Declares Full Acceptance Of LGBT Members

I grew up as a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian. In high school I remember writing letters to newspapers stating that "homosexuality is a sin" as my country (Canada) was debating same-sex marriage. I then went to Bible college and had serious doubts as my 3rd year came to an end. After a couple of years I left Christianity altogether, and long ago became a strong ally of the LGBTQ community. My first reaction to this story/sermon was to think "What?! It took you 3 years and 50 minutes of a sermon to accept LGBTQ people?!" However, as I dialed down the emotion, and listened to this pastor, I realize that change unfortunately does sometimes come slowly, and this is a very painful, turbulent process for many, many churches. For many non-fundamentalist Christian churches, inclusion of the LGBTQ community came many years ago, but for Evangelical churches, now seems to be the time when they are wrestling with it. I am hopeful that more churches and pastors will have these important discussions, and that it will lead in the direction that this church and leadership has taken. Far too many in the LGBTQ community have been damaged by and left out of faith communities for far too long.

(I don't hold most of the same theological views that Pastor Stan Mitchell expresses, particularly when it comes to the person of Jesus. However, even though this is an hour-long sermon and it takes a few minutes to see where he is going with it, it was worth the viewing as a Unitarian who continues to be curious about the future of Christianity.)