It was a busy week of travel and it’s good to be home again.
Last Saturday, Jacqui and I travelled to Lake Wylie for confirmation at St. James Church. We had a very good time with the leadership team and are excited for the work they are doing with this new church plant. On Sunday we went over to visit with the folks at All Saints, Anglican. It was a full morning with confirmations, receptions and reaffirmations. A full house packed into the Charlotte Catholic High School chapel. I was also pleased and very happy for the folks at All Saints to learn that they’ve purchased property for a new building in Weddington, NC. Now, I’m just back from a few days with Winfield Bevins and the folks out at Church of the Outer Banks. They are doing a fantastic work in both the OBX and in our Diocese (Winfield heads up Kardia, our church planting initiative) and I enjoyed my time with them. I was especially interested in the launch of their new traditional service. The Church of the OBX has a great reputation and they have offered a powerful and popular contemporary service – with 500 or so folks attending. But now, having recognized a need for a traditional Anglican service in the OBX, they’ve dedicated a chapel for the offering of the service and recruited leaders to pioneer this work. I bet it takes off. We have some amazing leaders and churches in our fledgling Diocese. Jacqui and I are blessed to have a part in their lives. Thank you for your prayers.
Getting caught up on office work this morning I ran across this fascinating blog posting over at Hunter Baker‘s blog. You may have already come across it as it is getting wide circulation after being posted by Justin Taylor over at The Gospel Coalition. It’s worth the read and touches on our sermon this Sunday at SAMP, “The Welcoming Church.”
To the churches concerning homosexuals and lesbians:
Many of you believe that we do not exist within your walls, your schools, your neighborhoods. You believe that we are few and easily recognized. I tell you we are many. We are your teachers, doctors, accountants, high school athletes. We are all colors, shapes, sizes. We are single, married, mothers, fathers. We are your sons, your daughters, your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren. We are in your Sunday School classes, pews, choirs, and pulpits. You choose not to see us out of ignorance or because it might upset your congregation. We ARE your congregation. We enter your doors weekly seeking guidance and some glimmer of hope that we can change. Like you, we have invited Jesus into our hearts. Like you, we want to be all that Christ wants us to be. Like you, we pray daily for guidance. Like you, we often fail.
When the word “homosexual” is mentioned in the church, we hold our breaths and sit in fear. Most often this word is followed with condemnation, laughter, hatred, or jokes. Rarely do we hear any words of hope. At least we recognize our sin. Does the church as a whole see theirs? Do you see the sin of pride, that you are better than or more acceptable to Jesus than we are? Have you been Christ-like in your relationships with us? Would you meet us at the well, or restaurant, for a cup of water, or coffee? Would you touch us even if we showed signs of leprosy, or aids? Would you call us down from our trees, as Christ did Zacchaeus, and invite yourself to be our guest? Would you allow us to sit at your table and break bread? Can you love us unconditionally and support us as Christ works in our lives, as He works in yours, to help us all to overcome?
To those of you who would change the church to accept the gay community and its lifestyle: you give us no hope at all. To those of us who know God’s word and will not dilute it to fit our desires, we ask you to read John’s letter to the church in Pergamum. “I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore!” You are willing to compromise the word of God to be politically correct. We are not deceived. If we accept your willingness to compromise, then we must also compromise. We must therefore accept your lying, your adultery, your lust, your idolatry, your addictions, YOUR sins. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
We do not ask for your acceptance of our sins any more than we accept yours. We simply ask for the same support, love, guidance, and most of all hope that is given to the rest of your congregation. We are your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are not what we shall be, but thank God, we are not what we were. Let us work together to see that we all arrive safely home.
A Sister in Christ