In response to all the Christian hate directed at gay people lately, it looks like a breath of fresh air to see the San Diego-based Missiongathering Christian Church‘s new billboard in North Carolina:
Before you get all excited like everyone online seems to be, here are two questions worth asking the members of this church:
1) Are gay people who act on their homosexuality going to hell? (In other words, is homosexuality inherently sinful?)
2) Does the church support same-sex marriage?
I can’t find the answers to either of those questions on their website and I suspect the answers are “Yes” and “No” — in that order. If that’s the case, is this church really worth praising?
I don’t believe they’ve earned our appreciation for apologizing for what other people have done if they ultimately believe the same things about homosexuals as those “other” Christians. Good for them for supporting equal rights — perhaps even civil unions — but if they would cast a vote against gay marriage or condemn gay people to hell for the “crime” of being gay, do you really believe they’re on the right side of this issue?
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the billboard. But I’m not yet ready to send a bouquet of flowers to the Christians who run that church.
For what it’s worth, I sent the lead pastors there an email with these questions yesterday morning. It’s been 24 hours and I have yet to hear back from them.
I’ll post an update if/when they respond.
***Update 1***: To those commenters who wonder why I’m asking these questions in the first place — Aren’t the answers obvious? Why are you just assuming the worst? — I don’t think it’s that obvious. There are gay-friendly Christian groups that go out of their way to hide the answers to those questions. In my opinion, they do it because they know answering those questions honestly (Sure, gay people are going to hell) would go against the very message they’re trying to spread. This isn’t trivial. I want to hear what the pastors at this church have to say about it. I still haven’t heard back.
***Update 2***: The church has responded to both questions. You can see their responses here.