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Church sign has me wondering
Jul 10, 1998

Rev Pieters, thank you for standing up to other children of God who are critical of you and following your own individual beliefs in your God the way God intended! I am a gay man who has lost 2 partners to aids and am hiv positive myself. I dont blame God for any of my troubles, or anyone else. I live in the buckle of the bible belt where sisters and brothers of the baptist faith abound. I recently passed a church and the welcome sign out front posted the following:

Murderers, rapists, prostitutes, pimps, bikers, drunks, aborters, moral, immoral, EVERYONE welcome!

I was starlted at first then realized that Jesus would have said the same exact thing. Although the sign didnt mention homosexuals, I got the feeling of of peace when I saw that sign and wondered just how peaceful the world would be if every person of faith in God felt the same way. My question is how do you think God will deal with people who have been so judgemental since he is the ONLY judge? I dont read the bible that much but feel a stong relationship with my God even though I was raised in the baptist faith and was "taught" that homosexuality is a sin. I hope this makes sense. Wanted to share with you and ask the question. Your veiws appreciated.

Response from Rev. Pieters

Thanks for your sharing! There are numerous sayings of Jesus which admonish us not to judge (Matthew 7:1, for example), for that is God's job, not ours. Also, in Matthew 6:14-15, right after teaching the Lord's Prayer, Jesus urges us to forgive, and connects our own forgiving with others with God's forgiveness of us.

That church sign is reflective of God's all-inclusive welcome. However, I would want to know what is the response to a prostitute or pimp in that church. Is it a loving, forgiving response which helps build the person up? Or is it a harsh, judgmental response that makes the person feel guilty and less than...

They didn't mention homosexuality in the sign, so hopefully this church does not have a judgmental attitude towards lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. The real test would be how they respond to diverse people: do they embrace the diversity, as I feel God does; or do they make differences something to be ashamed of and repent from?

Once again, I do not believe (and there are many other Christians who agree) that "homosexuality is a sin." How could God hate those who love?



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