How to get a pastor over the last hurdle?
We have a new pastor at our church (here 10 months now) who has been saying a lot of the right things, but there is one last hurdle to cross.
I had told the previous pastor I am gay and he didn’t have a problem with it. But when we had one brief class about challenging the church’s stand on gays, this pastor, when doing Sunday morning announcements about the class, had a very hard time saying it was about homosexuality.
So with that as a comparison the new guy is wonderful. First, he is a rabble-rouser at heart — during his second week he showed up at the church picnic on his Harley wearing a sleeveless tee that showed off his tattoos. A few months after I told him I am gay I challenged him to guide the church into being a Reconciling Church (see http://www.rmnetwork…). He thought it was a fine idea and since then when he has preached on inclusion (we’re a white, suburban church) he has actually used the word “gay” in the list of people we should include.
Today, as we talked privately, he went on to say that not only should we welcome gays but that the denomination should not have that silly rule that bans gays from being preachers. Alas, then he said, “But I don’t know about that gay marriage thing. I’m still struggling with that one.” We didn’t have time to talk in detail then so I couldn’t prompt him with leading questions to find out what he was squeamish about.
Here is my question for the rest of you. What comments or questions would you put to him to guide him to change his mind? Some questions I can think of are: Do you think gays can’t love as straights do? Do you still harbor a feeling that being gay is a sin in the eyes of God? Please be gentle with him. He’s a big improvement over his predecessor and close to ideal.