In Psalm 133:1, King David joyfully declared, “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” The ancient king could easily distinguish between hostility and peace…and probably knew that the latter was often hard to come by.
Just like it is between two churches in modern day Toledo, OH.
In the Spring of 2011, Central United Methodist Church purchased use of a billboard in Toledo, Ohio and plastered the following message on it: Being Gay is a Gift from God.
Central UMC is a member of the Reconciling Ministries Network, which advocates for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) equality within the United Methodist denomination. A member of the Toledo church said, “We felt it important to express our faith this way. I think people have the right to express their faith the way they see fit, and I think it helps the community to know where churches stand.”
The leadership of the Church on Strayer, a Pentecostal church also located in the Toledo area, got the message loud and clear, so in early Fall, they purchased nine billboards around the city. Their message was just as clear: “Being Gay Is NOT a Gift from God. Forgiveness, Love, and Eternal Life Are.”
Let the battle of the billboards begin!
As expected, Pastor Tony Scott of the Church on Strayer has received an ample share of hate mail from homosexuals. But he insists his intentions are pure. “There’s nothing on that billboard about hate. I’m getting hate mail from lesbian and gay people, but my point is that I love them too much to let someone believe a lie. I love this city too much to let a lie be sown.”
Only one of these two churches can be right about this issue. (And according to the Bible’s teachings, it’s NOT the church that calls the sin of homosexuality a “gift” from God.) Unfortunately, all that the world sees is public disunity and bitterness within the Church of Jesus Christ. And that’s a shame.
But the church shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice doctrinal purity on the altar of unity when false teachings are being proclaimed.
If only the modern church didn’t have to choose between biblical accuracy and biblical fellowship….
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