Progressives think they have a ‘better’ way of doing everything. But — just like the NFL — the agenda they were pushing backfired. Badly.
Time magazine had profiled this ‘mega-church’ as one of the first large evangelical churches to ‘openly stand for full equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ community’.
Before he gave this speech, they were a church of about seven or eight hundred visitors a week.
Three Sundays ago in Franklin, Tenn., twenty minutes south of Nashville and in the heart of the country’s contemporary Christian music industry, pastor Stan Mitchell of GracePointe Church preached what was perhaps the most important sermon of his life. You can watch it above–start around 44:40 if you are short on time.
That was a time when, as Mitchell, 46, explains, the position of the church on marriage was classically evangelical. People who were not heterosexual could be members, but they could not serve on the board, lead worship or other church groups. They could be baptized and receive communion, but they could not be married or have their children dedicated.
Source: Juicy Ecumenism
And so, the issue came to a head in January of 2015, and he took a stand, choosing to side with culture and against 2000 years of Christian Orthodoxy.
They’re self-consciously a ‘progressive’ community. The shirts they sell to raise money say ‘love is a human right’. Only it says it in ALL CAPS.
“Our position that these siblings of ours, other than heterosexual, our position that these our siblings cannot have the full privileges of membership, but only partial membership, has changed,” he said, as many in the congregation stood to their feet in applause, and other sat in silence. “Full privileges are extended now to you with the same expectations of faithfulness, sobriety, holiness, wholeness, fidelity, godliness, skill, and willingness. That is expected of all. Full membership means being able to serve in leadership and give all of your gifts and to receive all the sacraments; not only communion and baptism, but child dedication and marriage.”
With those words, GracePointe became one of the first evangelical megachurches in the country to openly stand for full equality and inclusion of the LGBTQ community, along with EastLake Community Church near Seattle. The results of the conversation, he told his congregation, were not unanimous or exhaustive, but they were sufficient.
Source: Time Magazine
Net result? They have scaled back their staff, and shut down many of their ministries. They still have Stan, and one administrator, but that’s it. Those peak numbers of 700 or 800 attendees a week are now down to maybe 250. And the financial future of the large building and property is also uncertain.
People don’t want a Church that changes the message to suit a culture. The Churches that are thriving are exactly the reverse. An eternal message that changes the people.
Jesus welcomed people — even those the religious types would never have seen fit to talk to — but he did something else, too. He told them ‘go and sin no more.’
If anyone is offering a Christianity that does not challenge the wide variety of ways our lives fail to align with a holy God, and challenge us to:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. Hebrews 12:1-4
Sin — any sin that a Christian might struggle with — was never intended to be embraced, but strived against.
His stance ignores the warning in James 4:4 about aligning yourself with Society’s values and morals rather than God’s.
Why would anyone attend such a place, anyway? Those who want to be challenged to grow in faith, won’t be. And those who don’t want to be challenged have better things they can do with a Sunday morning.
Honestly, it’s surprising those 250 people still keep coming.
by Doug Giles
Doug Giles, best-selling author of Raising Righteous And Rowdy Girls and Editor-In-Chief of the mega-blog, ClashDaily.com, has just penned a book he guarantees will kick hipster males into the rarefied air of masculinity. That is, if the man-child will put down his frappuccino; shut the hell up and listen and obey everything he instructs them to do in his timely and tornadic tome. Buy Now:The Effeminization Of The American Male
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