Kay & I went out for a cup of coffee this afternoon. I happened to pick up a copy of today’s San Jose Mercury News, and my eye was caught by a line on the front page of the local section: “Show of support for heterosexual marriage”. Unfolding the paper revealed “Renewal of Vows”. So this was some kind of celebration in which married couples could renew their vows. With a twist: “Hundreds celebrate, hear warning against gay unions”.
Scanning the first paragraph, I saw this was an event held at our local megachurch. In an extracted quote, the pastor said, “What you are doing today draws a line in the sand for God on what traditional marriage should be.” Hmm, I thought, so I read more closely. Here’s a quote:
“Folks, you had better wake up, and you had better be heard from,” said Buchholz, who wore a tuxedo for the ceremony. “For the first time in history, thousands of sodomizers — because that’s what the Bible calls them — will flock to Massachusetts to get legal marriages. All I can say is, God help America.”
Worshipers responded with “amens” and applause.
What is your reaction to this? I’d share how I reacted, but I am more interested in what you think.
Part of my reaction was to show the article to Kay. She pointed out the commentary somebody scribbled on the front: yeah, whatever. Click on the photo to see it for yourself. Is this a message from the world to the church? What do you think?
Darren Rowse recently blogged about Lovemarks and the Church, discussing a book that asks, “What makes some brands inspirational, while others struggle?” The book identifies respect, and to that adds mystery, sensuality and intimacy as important ingredients that make an ordinary corporate brand into a “lovemark”. Darren says,
The themes of Mystery, Sensuality and Intimacy are ingredients that many of us have been experimenting with over the years in our desire to make church a more relevant and embracing place for those living around us. They are elements that I suspect the church on a whole will need to grapple more with in the years ahead also.
The element of the ‘Lovemark’ approach that I suspect that we struggle with the most (and therefore need to work on the most) as ‘The Church’ here in Australia is that of ‘Respect’.
- How does this pastor’s message, as reported in the news, diminish any respect our society feels from the church?
- What steps can our church take to counter this and increase the sense that Christ-followers respect normal people?
Please do not think you have to be a Christian to share your thoughts — I especially want to hear from people who do not associate with church.