Let’s Kick Them All Out Of The Church

I get emailed a lot. Between Christian companies wanting my church to buy, sell, endorse, bring in their products and spam I get a ton of emails. You add to that the weekly emails I get about people wanting to know something about Next Level Church and I’m wishing I got a dollar for every email I get. I’d be filthy rich!

You want to know the question I get asked the most?

It’s not what denomination we are.

It’s not what our view is on theological matters.

It’s not what we offer for kids.

It’s not even what our vision for the next five years is. That’s the second most asked question.

The question I get asked the most through email is, “What is your views on homosexuality.”

Typically the email goes like this.

“I found your website and visited your church once. What’s your view on homosexuality.”

There aren’t a lot of warm pleasantries. There is typically zero information about the person. It’s just wham, BAM, thank you ma’am.

I guess there is nothing wrong with asking that question. It seems to be very important to a lot of people.

I rarely reply with an answer in my first response.

I don’t know if the person is a homosexual who has been verbally abused by the church or kicked out.

I don’t know if it’s a person who is disguising their hatred towards homosexuals with a Bible verse.

I don’t know if it’s from a genuinely concerned Christian whose conviction leads them to believe homosexuality is a sin.

I don’t know if it’s from a progressive Christian who is looking for a church to support their views.

I want our church to reflect the relationships that Jesus had.

And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

So at Next Level we will talk about sin. We will address tough issues. But we will be a place where sinners are welcomed.

And this will make Christians uncomfortable.

The question I often get is when will you confront homosexuals that come to your church?

When were you personally confronted with your sin?

If the topic were a sin you struggle with how would you want your church to handle it? Would you want them to kick you out?

If we are going to put limits on God’s grace then we need to be consistent.

If we are going to manage sinners then we need to be consistent.

If we are going to kick out sinners from the church then we need to be consistent.

If we kick out the gays then let’s also…

  • kick out the divorced
  • kick out the divorced who remarried
  • kick out anyone who is having or has had sex outside of marriage
  • kick out the alcoholics
  • kick out the gluttons
  • kick out the gossips who do so much damage to the Kingdom of God
  • kick out those that have a temper
  • kick out the greedy
  • kick out the men who lust
  • kick out anyone who has had an affair
  • kick out the liars
  • kick out people who illegally watch movies on their computer because even though they can get away with it it is stealing
  • kick out anyone who has sinned after conversion

If we are going to kick people out of the church let’s be consistent. Let’s stand at the door of the church, take sin resumes, and reject people like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld.

So what do I believe about homosexuality?

It’s a sin.

It’s a sin that is easy to target.

It’s a sin that Christians love to condemn.

Look at what Paul said to the church in Corinth. If you want to talk about a jacked up church it’s in Corinth. They had sons having sexual relations with their own mom. Do WHAT?!

Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:8-11

How many times do you have to lust before you are sexually immoral? How many times do you have to steal before you are a thief? How many times do you have go into debt before you are greedy? How many times do you have to get drunk before you are a drunkard? How many times do you have to talk bad about someone else before you are a slanderer?

Every person in every church could make this list.

Paul says, “That is what some of you were.”

You were known by your sin, but now you are known by being sanctified by Jesus.

Paul wrote this because the Christians in the Corinthian church had forgotten who they were in Jesus. They had issues. They weren’t perfect. They were being identified by their sin and not by their Savior.

When Paul said “some of you were” he was not saying that they didn’t practice those sinful acts anymore. They still did. They were suing each other in courts. They had forgotten who they were now that they were Christians. He was challenging them to find their identity in Jesus and not their sin.

So when do we call out people about their sin at Next Level?

We believe that it’s God’s job to convict. I talk about sin often. I talk about missing God’s best. I talk about finding our new identity in Jesus and not in our sin.

Now there are spiritual leadership positions where we have raised the bar. No one is perfect but we are doing our best to follow the leadership guidelines we find in the Bible.

Thankfully gluttony isn’t a disqualification for being in spiritual leadership.

There are certain actions that do disqualify us from spiritual authority. We try to raise the bar for spiritual leadership while still eating with, hanging out with, and going to church with people like Jesus hung out with.

Is this a perfect system? NO!

We don’t have all the answers.

We make mistakes.

We will change things.

We will figure out how to be a church of messy people.

We will figure out how Jesus talked about sin and still ate with sinners.

We will figure out what to do with people that make us feel uncomfortable.

We will learn to love Jesus, love people, and make a difference.

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

42 Comments

  1. February 26, 2015

    Get rid of them. All of them. That way I can go to church and not have to worry about it

    Reply
  2. February 26, 2015

    Rob
    Thanks for these well thought out comments. Unfortunately, I made the list several times in your bullet points. So I guess they need to kick me out. It is always easier to point out the sins that are someone else’s weaknesses. I keep having this troubling picture of standing in front of God one day and he asks me, “How did you treat gay people?” I hope I can say, “Just like I treated everyone else – with love and compassion.”

    We just gotta remember, the church has an enemy, but it is not other sinners. Keep doing what you are doing.

    Reply
  3. Bobbie
    February 26, 2015

    Confrontation is necessary. It doesn’t have to be done ugly. It’s actually a loving thing to do. I confront my kids … Does that suggest I’m kicking them out of my home? No. I’m loving them to produce a better behavior. I’m showing them right from wrong. On the other hand…I need & want confrontation where it’s needed from a loving person. I need to evaluate & reexamine myself. So the church needs to be both….teach, confront, demonstrate, etc. I also need to know that I’m coming into an environment that is healthy. If these behaviors continue among the flock then I have to question the perpetual behavior and it’s impact on the flock…protect the flock.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2015

      Bobbie, I agree that confrontation is necessary. But I think you have to see the tension in this. For example, you confront your kids but how would you feel if another parent confronted your kids? It would be awkward. Spiritual change should be happening in a church, but you can’t microwave spiritual growth. By some church members actions Jesus’ own disciples wouldn’t make the cut. Also King David wouldn’t make the cut, Abraham wouldn’t have made the cut, Noah would have got kicked out and the list goes on and on. I feel it’s a tension to manage and not a problem to solve. We want broken people to find healing. That can’t happen if they have to clean themselves up before they come to church.

      Reply
    • K
      February 26, 2015

      I agree with you and I also agree with most of what Pastor Rob wrote. It is our job as Christians to lovingly keep each other accountable. God is definitely the judge but it is the Christian brothers/sisters job to help people bring about the accountability, most specifically the Pastor. God ultimately convicts our heart. Yes all of us are sinners and ALL should always be welcome in church but we need resources and prayer and loving words of correction to help us see our sin sometimes. There are great resources like Celebrate Recovery but it is the pastor’s job or someone on staff to provide that to someone they see struggling with sin. To love is to confront otherwise we are not being examples of Christ. We have to have a place that is safe for our kids, new believers, non believers etc. If we allow the sin to manifest openly in church and say nothing then it is seen as acceptable and is confusing to others. Homosexuality for example is portrayed as nothing but acceptable in the media, television, society and the church should be a place if truth. We should not look like the world. Yes we should allow everyone in but not compromise our values in doing so.

      Reply
  4. Amy
    February 26, 2015

    Good stuff! The first thing that came to my mind was the story of the prostitute getting ready to be stoned. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
    I love all of the different elements that Next Level Embraces. Thanks for doing what you do Rob!

    Reply
    • February 26, 2015

      Thanks Amy! You and your family are a HUGE part of it. You take in, love, and help people become more like Jesus.

      Reply
  5. JJ
    February 26, 2015

    Convicted! Guilty!
    I love our church!

    Reply
  6. Jim
    February 26, 2015

    Isn’t a truely great Church really a band of misfits? What type of church do you think Jesus would be drawn to. The perfect church with the group of people that persecute people that they deem sinners? Or the band of misfits that welcome all the sinners snd broken with open arms?? My money would be on the church of misfits!!! That is what I love the most about my church. It is a truely amazing band of misfits!!!!

    Reply
    • February 26, 2015

      Jim, I love you man! Misfits who are becoming more and more like Jesus.

      Reply
    • Scott
      February 26, 2015

      Pretty much. We are all messed up. We should quit acting like some are worse than others. Our messed-up-edness should draw us to accept those that are rejected in other places. Not reject them because “we clearly have the one way to truth”.

      Reply
  7. Michele
    February 26, 2015

    Killer post. As you know, “the gay thng” is a topic that is close to my heart. I love so many gay people, and I am uncomfortable with the notion that they would not feel welcome in my church. Thanks for a wonderful post!!

    Reply
  8. Caz
    February 26, 2015

    Rob,
    This highlights the tension between,
    I am the dirty rotten sinner and
    I am a grateful believer who struggles with…..
    Also the fact that I am now the ambassador, the one with the good news that
    God loves me, forgives me, lifts me back up.
    Still waiting for the NLC t-shirt that says
    “Every member of NLC is a Dirty Rotten Sinner” !
    Thanks Rob!
    Caz

    Reply
    • February 26, 2015

      Caz, one day that shirt will happen. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  9. Lauren Cory
    February 26, 2015

    This is a topic that you know I care about. We may not see completely eye-to-eye on the matter, because mainly I don’t fully know what I believe about it from a Christian standpoint. But, I have always greatly respected the way you approach it, Rob. You approach with love and grace. You don’t beat around the bush and avoid the controversial topics. You put it right out there. And you try to reflect Jesus’ heart in all things. For that, I greatly respect you, and Next Level has a great pastor leading them.

    Reply
  10. Scott
    February 26, 2015

    The Bible is a collection of writings from various people espousing their beliefs and ideas about God. Paul was writing from his time and his understanding. He did not have our modern understanding of homosexuality. A modern understanding of homosexuality being that we don’t see it as a choice. He writes about it as if gay people are straight people in denial. But we understand that this is not the case. If we look at our own lives we probably didn’t make a choice to as to who we find attractive. Same for gay people. So YES Paul said this. But I have a hard time accepting that this applies to consenting adults who are in a healthy monogamous relationship. And even if it does, I don’t really believe that Paul speaks for God in all instances. I think the best we can do when it comes to the specific question of “is homosexuality a sin” is to come to a conclusion of “I don’t know. But it definitely shouldn’t affect how we treat them or accept them to our churches to work out their own salvation.”

    Reply
    • Scott
      February 26, 2015

      When I say “best we can do” I should have said “the most honest we can be”.

      Reply
  11. February 26, 2015

    If you got rid of all the sinners, that would open up some additional parking. Of course, my car would not be there either. Anyway, this post is spot on. I do not get why homosexuality somehow gets folks so riled up in the church when there are so many other sins that we all own. You said it much better than I could. Great post here.

    Reply
  12. Ron Johnson
    February 26, 2015

    If I were subjected to the list, I would get a thorough a** kicking!! I’m very grateful to a loving God for a church like Next Level. In my other group we like to say, “we’re going to love you to you learn how to love yourself”. This principle dovetails with NLC. I feel like I’m home on Sunday. Everyone should get to feel that!

    Reply
  13. Sara Hart
    February 26, 2015

    Rob you are soo right!! Christian’s are so busy doing the devil’s work! Excluding gays from church and other “Christ centered” activities. It is crazy to me that all of the awful things going on in the world that the church is so concerned with gay people. I have witnessed first hand wonderful people who are devoted Christians be prejudice against gays. My two oldest were invited to American heritage girl and the new boy scouts I forget the name of it. My kids had a blast and the leaders were telling me how it is Christ centered and all the cool things they do to keep the kids interested in the bible and church. Then I found out the two groups broke away from the actual scouts because the scouts decided to let gay children be involved with the scouts instead of kicking them out. How is kicking children out for being gay Christ centered?? It doesn’t sound like it at all to me. I can’t believe that is the number one question you get in emails. There are a lot of wonderful gays out there who are not going to church and are not taking their kids to church because of how the church has treated them. Shame on the church!! I am not sure if it is a sin like you suggest but even if it is like you said we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Thanks for your post I wish more preachers would speak out against the way the church is treating people.

    Reply
  14. Mimshepherd
    February 26, 2015

    “The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” Good discussion on a sensitive topic.

    Reply
  15. Connie
    February 26, 2015

    I think the shirt should say but Jesus loves us anywayon the back.

    Reply
  16. Bobbie
    February 26, 2015

    Confrontation may produce tension but if one is fearful of that then there is likely to be no change in the individual. I worked through some tough stuff with kids & clients to point them in the right direction. And yes…I would want my children confronted by spiritual mentors to produce Christkike behavior.

    Reply
  17. Kris
    February 26, 2015

    It is important that the truth of the Bible isn’t tainted with the world’s “truth.” We still need to exercise spiritual wisdom. If a sin is being manifested within the church then it should be addressed because it can be hurtful to others. This is with any sin. If someone is drinking alcohol in the church or someone is taking drugs or if two homosexuals are kissing, all these things should be addressed. Not addressing these issues causes confusion to other members. The problem with homosexuality is that many homosexuals do not in fact think there is anything wrong with it. No one should ever be kicked out but as a Christian if we love one another then confrontation is needed. Through love we can help them break free of sin and into healing from God.

    Reply
    • Bobbie
      February 27, 2015

      Thank u Kris. Good write! I think we have to understand that everyone in the church is not a Christian nor saved….and that there are some with cultural ideas that are not necessarily Biblical values and that there may be sheep in wolves clothing among the flock. (Judas for one among the disciples). I get the whole love and grace thing, etc. But a harsh warning needs to come if you ain’t fixin it. Tolerance should not be tolerated.

      Reply
  18. February 27, 2015

    A church that turns away sinners is either empty or packed full of liars. Great post, Rob.

    Reply
  19. DP
    March 1, 2015

    I appreciate your interaction with tough topics and your commitment to being open. Good post.

    In my opinion the problem with holding too strongly to any theological opinion that is not directly connected to the core of your faith is that it excludes people and there are strong points made by scholars who have dedicated far more effort and energy than you or I to a topic that come down on all different sides of it. Homosexuality is one of those topics.

    If one would like to get into the incredibly dry nuances of the linguistics which impact the topic this paper is a good place to start:

    http://www.oneby1.org/PDFs/The%20Truth%20About%20Homosexuality%20-%20Elodie%20Emig.pdf

    I haven’t actually read the entirety of this paper, but the author interacts with various scholars and touches upon their views and one could go back to the source material if they wanted to get further into it. He seems to be coming down on the traditional side but is (at least at the points I read) fairly treating other view points… Again I have not read the entirety of it. The Bible was written in a context (time, place, audience) that is dramatically different than ours and this greatly impacts meanings. Not to mention the language barrier. Rarely is biblical interpretation black & white.

    The problem with confronting someone based on the viewine might subscribe to is that perhaps your view is a misrepresentation of God that could cause one to reject your faith, which at it’s core is about forgiveness and acceptance and love.

    To me, I prefer to error on the side of forgiveness, acceptance and love. Many things we will not know on earth and are not worth excluding people over.

    Reply
    • DP
      March 1, 2015

      Finished reading the paper… well it starts out treating other sides fairly. It is a great introduction to the topic and if you want to read a solid theological anti- piece this is one. It’s a decent look into linguistic topics within the topic. At least for this particular passage. It makes my point that it’s not a simple, it’s what the text says.

      Reply
  20. Chris
    March 1, 2015

    As I read through this blog, it comes across as dismissive to the subject matter. As a matter of fact Rob, I was confronted for my sin when I was struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. A concerned brother approached me and noticed I had been acting a little weird for a few weeks. I broke down, told him everything and he recommended CR. I am in Celebrate Recovery getting healing and being set free from my hangups. If he didn’t care about me he wouldn’t have said anything. You are a pastor bro. Sorry, but it is your duty to protect your flock. Seeing homosexual couples kissing in church can be very confusing and misleading, especially to a new believer. You said it yourself, you view it as a sin. Yet you seem to have no problem when it manifests itself in the sanctuary of your church. Yes, church is a place where sinners may come, couldn’t agree more. If anyone suggests that homosexuals should be kicked out of the church that is absurd. We need to love the sinner, hate the sin, regardless of what the sin is. Ignoring it because you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings is both irresponsible and dismissive. I don’t envy the job of a pastor.

    -“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”- James 3:1

    It’s not about judging people for their sin. It’s about accountability and walking with the Lord. It’s a fine line between legalism and grace but there has to be accountability as believers in Christ. It doesn’t mean that people should be harsh about it. They should be loving with a heart of grace when they confront someone over a sin. But to say it’s not your problem or your responsibility concerns me. The word is pretty clear about homosexuality. I don’t understand how people can subjugate God’s word as being fallible or out of context. God burned down two cities over homosexuality. Christ came and died for our sins so we could be free from sin, not enslaved to it. He wanted us to walk with freedom on Earth as well as in heaven. People struggling with homosexuality need to understand they are loved and they need to be ministered to by church leadership.

    Reply
    • DP
      March 1, 2015

      I am assuming the “God’s word out of context” is in reference to my note on the Bible being written within a context and that it needs to be considered when you make your interpretation so I’ll respond.

      When one pulls a verse out of its context in the Bible and attempts to make it say something without consideration for what it was meant to say or how it fits in with the rest of the Bible I would suggest that they are taking God’s word out of context. One can pick and choose texts from anything and make it tell whatever story fits them.

      For more on Biblical interpretation and context I’d encourage anyone to pick up the book How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, A Guide to Understanding the Bible by Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart. It’s easy to read and understand and is a fantastic resource for in depth biblical study.

      Homosexuality isn’t nearly as cut and dried as one might think when they pick up their English translation of the Bible and read the canned verses against homosexuality without considering countering theological and linguistic arguments. There are numerous books and papers written that go into this topic… I don’t have a strong stance on it although I’ve spent a considerable amount of time looking into it . Sodom & Gomorrah are a great example… although it’s been put out there that homosexuality had something to do with their destruction the case for that is extremely loose at best. They were destroyed because of their wickedness… If you read Ezek. 16:49 you’ll find the reason appears to be more connected to their unconcern for those in need… Isa. 1:10-17 makes a similar case. The people became evil and turned away from God and what was important to Him and refused to repent. That’s just one of so many examples and it does not even touch on the linguistics of the phrase from the story that people have connected to homosexuality or the importance of hospitality in ancient middle eastern culture.

      To me it’s just not a topic worth holding a strong opinion on as I believe even if it is a sin, it does not hurt others and we all know that heaven is filled with sinners. One does not become gay by seeing a gay couple. In addition I am quite certain there has never actually been a gay couple kissing in the church lobby (I can’t recall ever seeing a straight couple kissing in the lobby), but I’m not sure how that might confuse a new believer other than they would see that we don’t exclude people from our church.

      I feel there is room for a range of opinions in most things theological and I certainly don’t claim to be an expert. I encourage people to not just accept beliefs but to critically examine them and why they hold them. If a belief is worth holding onto it can certainly withstand scrutiny. Truthfully I think God cares little for much of our theology and is far more concerned with how we treat others.

      Reply
  21. Chris
    March 1, 2015

    “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

    For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” – Romans 1:18-32

    “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

    “The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” – 1 Timothy 1:10-11

    I have never met an addict or an alcoholic who didn’t feel shame about their sin. I have never met a sex addict who doesn’t feel shame about looking at porn. Why is it okay to openly embrace homosexuality with no shame? Sin turns us from God, we should abhor sin. In our own lives and elsewhere. And for the record I did see two women kissing in the church on date night, in the sanctuary. Jesus died on the cross to fulfill the law and make the ultimate sacrifice, not to be used as an excuse to sin. He died to allow us to recognize our sin, and if there is no shame for that sin then there’s a problem. That’s why we repent and turn our hearts to God. It’s called humility. God is sovereign and his characteristics are everywhere in the bible. We change for Him, not the other way around.

    Reply
    • DP
      March 1, 2015

      I’m aware of the verses. I have studied them quite a bit actually. There are contextual and linguistic arguments to suggest the majority of the verses are not as black and white as they read plucked out of context in an English translation. I’d encourage you to consider the otherside to that theological coin and to really examine how that plays out both for you and others. I’d contend that perhaps it doesn’t change your faith at all yet could be the difference between someone else being able to accept faith or not.

      I’m not sure exactly sure where I come down on it theologically, I have considered all sides. I don’t believe that if one believes that they are gay and lives that life that it precludes them from a relationship with Jesus. Again, it’s not an issue I think is critical to faith. You are welcome to hold a view contrary to mine, but I’d encourage you to do so after consideration of opposing theological points and consideration for how it plays out practically.

      Reply
    • Scott
      March 1, 2015

      Just out of curiosity, can you prove that God thinks homosexuality is a sin?

      Reply
  22. July 12, 2015

    Rob,

    I *really* appreciate this article and your thought processing in your comments. I am really glad to hear such thoughts. I think the church needs more conversations like this right now. These are the similar points I’ve been advocating for in my books. I am urging the church to “Have the Conversation on LGBTQIA”. We must openly have these talks because, as you point out, it is the question of the day for this generation.

    The Body of Christ has been splintered into 80,000 factions. But not the Body is healing, coming together into just two denominations. Grace and peace.

    Reply
  23. Adam
    October 21, 2015

    There is an assumption made by both the author of this article as well as many of the commentators that homosexuality is a sin, one of many, and that we need to tolerate the sinner, but not the sin.

    I posit that homosexuality is NOT a sin, but simply a natural expression of our own individual sexuality–something that we have no control over, except to deny same sex attraction, often with shame and loathing, in a society that does not understand. My God made me a homosexual and I accept myself as a creation in His own image. I am in a loving and caring relationship with another human being, and we worship together at a church that accepts us and celebrates us as children of a loving God!

    Reply
    • October 21, 2015

      Adam, thank you for your comment. I appreciate your view and insight. I often say “You can disagree with me and we can still be friends.” Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Reply
  24. David M.
    December 5, 2017

    I was very interested in your Church until I read some of the comments. I am a Gay man and I am a sinner. I am not a sinner because I am Gay. I am a sinner because I am human. I would be insulted and hurt if I was confronted about being Gay, probably as much as you being confronted for being Straight. Do you ask sexual preference at the door? Do you ask that I come to your Church as a Gay man and leave as a Straight man after being preached to? I am one of God’s children. He made me this way. Good or bad, it was not my choice. Do you really teach the literal translations of the Bible? There are a lot of Human Rights Violations and discrimination in the Bible. I could not be a part of an organization that would allow me to enter, conditionally. I will continue to seek a Church that is open and affirming, who welcomes everyone and treats everyone as equals. I wish you and yours the best.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2017

      David, thank you for your tone and for taking the time to comment. My blog is open to anyone and often gets comments from those that do not go to Next Level. You’ll find a garment of opinions at Next Level, but I’m convinced most try to love others even when they disagree.

      Church is messy in that everyone has stuff they are dealing with and there are lots of opinions. I truly hope you’ll find a church and the continual grace towards those who may disagree. Thanks again for the comment.

      Reply

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