Sunday we approved a “Statement of Faith and Church Policies Regarding Sexuality, Marriage, and Related Issues.” This document, just over a page in length, states what we, as a congregation, believe the Bible says about marriage and sexual intimacy.
Congregational affirmation of this understanding was needed to legally protect the congregation within a rapidly changing and highly litigious culture. It is not intended to govern our response to people who disagree with our understanding of Scripture, who struggle with sexual sin, or live with same-gender attraction.
I have six grandchildren. I am well aware that the day could arrive when one or more might express a sexual identity in conflict with this statement of faith and policy. If that should happen my love will not waver a bit. In fact, I may express and affirm my love all the more. Furthermore, I hope that he or she would be just as welcomed then to worship and fellowship at Alsbury as today.
The presence or absence of sin must not influence our love and acceptance of others. If that is the case neither you nor I would find any measure of love or acceptance at Alsbury. We are all, including you and me, sinful individuals.
Typically, the sins we struggle most with accepting are those that we don’t identify with. The person who struggles as we do finds empathy and acceptance. The one who struggles in different areas than we do must find the same level of love and acceptance.
Jesus loves all people. We must too.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to love the world. We must too.
Jesus accepts all people unconditionally. We must too.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday. We celebrate the resurrection and Jesus’ victory over sin and the grave. If you regularly attend the 10:30 service, consider joining us at 9:00 to make room for our many guests. I look forward to sharing the day with you and your family!