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Another question for another pastor

I’ve been reading the book No Perfect People Allowed by John Burke of Gateway Community Church in Austin, Texas. He has been reinforcing a lot of what I believe about Christianity (he’s not part of the AmeriTaliban) and is good at making that the foundation of church culture (which is what a new person experiences when first walking in the door). He says that a church must start with welcoming all who come and then provide a safe place to be who they are while giving them the time to explore how to respond to the message of Christ and of the church. He also has a wonderfully non-threatening way to explain how Christianity is different from all other religions. I thought about how we should pass the book around the leaderhship of the church.

Until (and you knew this was coming) he got to discussing gays. To his credit he says the church should welcome gays and does not say that a gay must give up being gay to become a member. He even acknowledges to a lesbian couple that God will not reject them based on who they love. But then he says the relationship should be non-sexual. Again, to his credit, he does not include an “or else!” Amazingly, the lesbian couple agrees, saying the sex wasn’t that hot anyway.

He says his response is because the bible clearly condemns homosexual activity (which he does not discuss in detail). I dispute this and back up my claim with two websites:

My question to you is: How would you respond to his claim? You do not need to get into the argument over what the bible says or doesn’t say, the two websites cover that well enough.

The second example he used in that chapter was also unfortunate (to put it kindly). It was of a man who had serious issues relating to his father and apparently acted out gay in compensation. Once he “resolved” the issue he was able to consider a straight marriage. My dispute isn’t that such situations don’t occur, but in having only that example implies that all men are gay for the same reason.

If this guy was a member of the AmeriTaliban I’d blow the whole thing off (and I would have stopped reading a long time ago). But since everything else he says resonates so deeply with me I feel the need to contact him and discuss the issue.

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Paul K

Paul K