Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What are your church's views on same-sex relationships?

I received an email from someone who attended one of the weddings I officiated this past weekend. This person asked, "What are your church's views on same-sex relationships?" Here is my response. Comments?
Dear ________, I'm glad you asked. We believe God loves and values all people. Isn't that awesome? :) It's too bad that he gets such a bad rap in our culture sometimes. He made and created each person to be loved by him and to know him.
The Bible says that all people have been made in his image and with a purpose to be loved by him and to love and serve him (through which like I said
yesterday he reveals this all through the Bible-which by the way is such a great book. What's your history with it?). So based on these truths we then also view relationships by God's design revealed through the Bible. So, to answer your question about same-sex relationships we believe that people are most satisfied and fulfilled in relationships by following God's design which he created between one man and one woman. But we welcome gay people to be a part of our church family. Our church welcomes all people to belong with us as we seek God together. God desires that all people understand his invitation is unconditional to be loved by him and be a part of his family. We love all people in same-sexed relationships. Something that's important to this discussion is that we don't expect anyone to share these same relational beliefs if they don't have a commitment to follow the ways of Jesus, nor do we condemn anyone who doesn't. We are more concerned 1st that people understand God's personal love for them and his desire to restore the world with hope and peace! It's not our desire to bash, harm, or make anyone feel less than. I assume that when you are asking this question it's a personal matter for you or someone you love. This is a personal issue for me in general as my wife and I have close family members and friends in same-sex relationships. We desire to love and accept. I don't know your background with God or his people (the church) but I hope in some way you'll simply hear through these words that God is a loving God, you are loved, and all of humanity is loved by our creator God, and that he has a special design for each person to be loved by him. Email isn't the best venue to discuss these issues, for sure, since it's very easy for misunderstandings. But I would be MORE :) than happy to meet and talk with you or anyone else that is questioning these views. What do you think?

In grace and peace,

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