The homosexual issue has always been controversial, although it has become less so in certain circles over the years. One proof of this is Highlands Church in Denver, which openly welcomes gays and lesbians to its congregation. Led by Rev. Mark Tidd, the church has broken away from tradition. In fact, the Reverend delivers a weekly welcome speech including these words: â€œqueer or straight here, there’s no hate here.â€
As can be expected, the church has drawn a lot of attention â€“ both positive and negative. For example, David Dockery (Union University President; Southern Baptist) says that the church will continue to be considered as a renegade congregation. He does accede that the traditional evangelical view cannot be expected to be carried on unanimously by everyone considering the shifts in culture and way of thinking. However, he also says that this is even stronger reason to maintain a solid stand against homosexuality (not the person, but the lifestyle).
Since Highlands Church changed its stance on the issue, it has lost a considerable number of its members â€“ about half in fact. On the other hand, it has also attracted new members who have been seeking a church with this kind of belief.
The Church states that they are not out to fight for social justice or gay and lesbian rights. They exist simply to fulfill a spiritual need to those who are generally unwelcome in other churches.
To be honest, the whole thing disturbs me. It disturbs me that I maintain the traditional evangelical view because it seems to alienate people. That is why I admire Highlands Church for opening its doors. At the same time, the whole notion of dismissing something so fundamental, so clearly written in your Book of Faith, also doesnâ€™t sit well with me. I can just imagine how those who are more closely involved in the issue feel!
What are your thoughts?