Sunday, July 17, 2005

Visiting a Gay Friendly Church

Okay, so i visited a church here nicknamed "The Tab" (as they refer to it) this morning. I wanted to stay open minded but I wanted to keep my radar open for any "red flags" - any distortions of Scripture. First off, i'll say that i got a very good first impression. I was expecting to see an over-emphasis on homosexuality. As we arrived, the people were very friendly and welcoming. The worship time had already begun and the songs were familiar. At first, i found myself distracted quite a bit because i was preoccupied with looking around, watching people, seeing who was there and how they were acting. Then i realized that me doing this was distracting me from worship. So i refocussed myself and closed my eyes and began to worship Jesus. As i worshipped, i realized that (at least from what i could perceive) they were also worshipping Jesus. The worship "time" may have run long (about 45 minutes) but as best i could tell, they were genuinely loving Jesus. It was Christ-centered worship. Granted many of the people were obviously gay couples, but i began to realize that I can worship regardless of who was with or around me. I also realized that i cannot presume the sincerity of their worship merely based on the fact that they are gay.

Can a gay person really worship the Lord? Does the Lord accept such worship? When they sing from their hearts to God that "You are holy, You are worthy, You are God" - is their worship invalidated because they are singing it with their "partner" standing next to him or her? Is it much different from a heterosexual person worshipping with the same words standing next to the person with whom he or she is in a sexual non-wed-lock relationship? Anyway, the worship at The Tab seemed genuine to me.

After worship, the pastor's partner gave announcements. She had this awesome Scottish accent. She encouraged everyone to plug into a ministry school that they were having. She didn't say anything about homosexuality or anything. She sounded like any other pastor promoting their program.

Then the pastor began to speak and relate with the congregation. She was humorous, sensitive, and relatable. Their church is going through The Purpose Driven Life in their small groups and so the morning message was about fulfilling the purpose of our lives. In a nutshell, she said that our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God. In many of her anecdotes, she referred to a past story in her life or with her partner - in much the same way that a pastor talks about his wife - but the core message of the anecdote always pointed to God or the point she was making about glorifying God.

I listened closely - really closely. She didn't say anything that any other pastor wouldn't say too. Her words and her message spoke of the love of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins through Him. It was all evangelical - just like every church that i've been to. It was completely Christ focussed. At the end, she gave the typical opportunity to accept Christ as Lord and Savior - just like many other evangelical churches i've been to.

After the service, we stuck around to meet and fellowship with people. I met alot of very nice and cordial men and women. Some straight but mostly gay. They were like any other church i've been to except that they were comfortable with having "partners". I inquired more about their small groups and talked some about where i was at in my process. One person told me plainly - all the answers to our questions can be found in Scripture. He said that the Bible is the Word of God. It is true. It is right. It is infallible. He encouraged me to continue in it. He pointed me to Christ. He didn't try to justify a lifestyle based on an obscure interpretation of a single verse or anything like that. He just proclaimed that Scripture is God's word and that I can trust and believe it and in Jesus. Sounds like any other "straight" church i've been to.

From what i gather, everything i perceived was just like any other church - except for the gay people. In fact, perhaps one other difference that i noticed was that I felt free-er to worship the Lord here than I have felt in many "straight" churches. The Tab didn't seem like a "gay" church. It was simply a church with gay people.

1 comment:


visiting a "gay" church or a church with "gays" in it...a friendly church...pls find that in the Word of God...a "gay" church!!! Where is that in the word of God. Stick with the Word and not with sympathy...different from "love"...pls stop being deceived and deceiving others...comfortable with their "partners" - meaning comfortable in their "sin"...