Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Blast From The Past: Recap Of 2008 Mega Church "Americas Family Outing"

"Our relationships are just as sacred to us as yours,...The only difference, at the end of the day, is instead of a man and a lady, we are two ladies." ~ Michelle Freeman 42
"I am taking a stand for the God I love, who I know made us all equal," ~ Georgia Chambers 39


1 year ago there was an event known as the "American Family Outing" in which 6 mega churches were targeted for visits by gay activists underwritten by groups such as Soulforce, The National Black Justice Coalition; MCC; and COLAGE. Their aim was to challenge anti-gay messages in places of worship seeking to prove that gay families are every bit as important and morally and biblically right as heterosexual based families. According to Soulforce.org the churches and Pastors that were targeted for visits from Mother's Day to Father's Day 2008 were as follows:

Mega Churches Known To Avoid Gay Issues:

Lake Wood Church in Houston, Joel Osteen, pastor (Who gladly met with them)
Saddleback Church in Southern California, Rick Warren, founding pastor (Who says Soulforce lied about the visit)
The Potter's House in Texas, Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor

Two Others Serve Up A More Familiar Anti-Gay Message:
Hope Christian Church in Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, Bishop Eddie Long,

Lastly One Church Deemed With A Traditional Message Against Homosexuality:
Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, Bill Hybels, senior pastor

From the original Soulforce article:
  • "the Outing visitors hope to sow seeds of love and understanding so that, one day, mega-churches will help to end physical and spiritual violence against gays." ~ Deb Price
Now the physical violence part I believe we all agree with...but what is spiritual violence? Maybe it's name calling etc...but to tell someone that they are in SIN is exactly what the church is called to do. Please don't tell me that "spiritual violence" is to preach the bible???


2008 Results:

According to The Dallas News.Com representatives of the Americas Family Outing had the following to say after making the rounds through various mega-churches:
  • "We also learned that an openly gay or lesbian person cannot become a member or serve in most of the churches we visited. When LGBT people hear that 'all are welcome' at a mega-church, we encourage them to investigate the quality of that welcome...On the other hand, we also learned that support for reparative therapy and other kinds of ex-gay programs seems to be diminishing. We heard more talk about celibacy and less talk about change."

The Good:

Although some of the pastors chose not to directly address the issue, most of the churches seemingly displayed their abibility (at least when put on the spot) to stand for traditional Christian and moral values. That was an encouraging thing as mega-churches often take the hit for being liberal in their views of Christian living. So kudos to whomever the representatives were that displayed to the Outing Visitors that the change of the church would not be had through the mega church.

The Bad:
There was less talk about deliverance and being set free and more talk about just avoiding the activity of homosexuality. In line with what many think of mega-churches, there was not a push to bring individuals caught tempted by sin into true deliverance. The question I have is what have these churches done or said in response to homosexuality and in particular this effort to indoctrinize the church since then?

Homosexual & Lesbian Presuppositional Thinking:

One thing is obvious. The Outing visitors thought that they were on a Christian missionary journey in order to spread the "good news" of gay inclusion. The statements of two of the organizers listed above, reveal that part of the gay agenda is to create a sense of moral equality along with physical equality. For instance, to say something like "our relationship is just as sacred as yours" (contrasting homosexual relationships to heterosexual relationships) is very telling. These individuals think their biblically defined SIN, is something that is blessed and ordained by God. They also reduce the difference of their relationships to being only a physical "body" not a spiritual and moral value. In other words, the thought is that homosexuals can maintain equivalent and valid heterosexual moral values.
The problem and question is on what basis are those judgements made? What is the standard of that judgement? Is it a subjective value, subject to change, or is it an objective value, one that is absolute at all times and in all ages? Further, I have heard commentary from those who believe in homosexual moral equality suggesting that they "know" that homosexuality is right. The bible is absolutely clear in both the Old Testament and New Testament that is is condemned and is a SIN. So I would like to know from those who are homosexual advocates, how is your knowledge of homosexual moral equality and acceptance gained and what is the basis for how that is known?
One may think that I just want an argument, but I do not. I really want to have a forthright conversation based on how this behavior is reconciled both spiritually and naturally.

1 comment:

  1. Personally I find it interesting that this was caled "Americas Family" as if homosexual unions represent American family units.

    Historically I don't know of any significant contributions to America that homosexual couples have made...Specifically speaking outside of the entertainment industry.

    The nature of this type of group is to present themselves as if their behavior is normal and it isn't.

    Anyway...

    ReplyDelete

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