Minister Responds to Ad Attack on Homosexuality
A full page ad attacking homosexuality was recently posted in the Mid-South News in Memphis Tennessee. The ad interprets Bible verses as being, “a grim reminder of God’s hatred of the sin of homosexuality.” The ad was placed by “Memphis churches of Christ and interested individuals.”
Below is a response to the ad from a local church of Christ minister, Chris Altrock:
“On behalf of Memphis-area Churches of Christ, I’d like to say the following: disregard anyone claiming to speak for Churches of Christ.
Several days ago a full-page ad appeared in the Commercial Appeal. Its author indicated that the ad was presented on behalf of area Churches of Christ. The flyer claimed to present the view of these congregations regarding same-sex attraction.
Ironically, Churches of Christ are non-denominational. That’s a religious way of saying we have no formal superstructure, no official bishops, representatives or the like. For one person or group to claim to speak for Churches of Christ is a bit like me claiming to speak for Memphis when I vote next Tuesday. My vote speaks only for me. Each congregation in Churches of Christ speaks only for itself.
Anyone familiar with the history of non-denominational groups like Churches of Christ would know it would be a miracle to meet with the nearly ninety congregations in metro-Memphis and bring them to agreement on a written document like the Commercial Appeal ad. We’ve fussed over things much less significant (of course, we’re not the only group to do so). No such meeting took place. No such miracle was recorded.
Churches of Christ, and other Christian congregations in the U. S., have the perception of being repressive, exclusive and intolerant. Young people are leaving institutional Christianity by droves. There’s not an ad, no matter the author, that can adequately address these concerns. And, by the way, if I were going to take a page out in the Commercial Appeal, I’d probably speak of the transforming love of Jesus for all.
So, if you’d like to know what people in Churches of Christ think about an issue like homosexuality, don’t look for an answer in the paper. Visit a minister or elder at a local congregation. Go to lunch. Have coffee. Talk one on one with a real person. Who knows, you may just be pleasantly surprised at what you find.”
Good words, Chris. It is this kind of negative, judgmental behavior that gives followers of Jesus a bad name. Attacks are far from evangelistic, and do nothing to draw people into the loving embrace of Jesus. In fact, they often send people running in the opposite direction. God loves every person he created. No one is better than anyone else because we have all sinned. The Good News is that God has given us a way out of our sin through Jesus.
How can we show others the love of Jesus?
Go here for the full article.
Chris Altrock can be reached on Twitter at @chrisaltrock