Sunday 7-21-13, Dr Douglas McIntyre, self proclaimed founder of the oldest ex-gay organization in America, visited The ONE Church in Christ Jesus. He was en route to Washington DC on his much publicized "Grandpa Goes To Washington" campaign. He claims to have been looking for a place to worship and our church was the only church he found in an internet search offering an evening service. (He is a 7th Day Adventist.) He also said that he had fully read and investigated our church and GLBT outreach websites, so he was fully aware of the nature, beliefs, and positions of our church.
Pastor Charles KNEW who he was from the moment he drove into the church parking lot and saw his sign laden pickup. He did ask Dr McIntyre to move his vehicle to the parking lot next door and he complied. Knowing all this, Pastor still welcomed Dr McIntyre to worship with us, and KNOWING WHO THIS MAN WAS, even offered him the mic to add a testimony to those already given by church members. He felt to not allow him an opportunity to testify was inconsistent with Biblical Christian conduct. He hoped our visitor would have enough sense and respect to avoid saying anything divisive or controversial, as to do so, would be ungodly and inappropriate by any standard of Christian conduct.
This video shows this man's "testimony" and the pastor's reaction. Dr McIntyre CLAIMED in his remarks that he only seeks to get individuals who are homosexual out of depression and despair, and if they continue then living as a homosexual, he has done his part. If, he claimed, they desired to be free from homosexual "lifestyle" (a term abhorred us), his organization would attempt to help them with this as well. He also claimed to be trying to help both sides of the Gay debate, Fundamentalist Christians and the Gay community, to find common ground for dialogue. He clearly states that he does not even like to attend churches of his own denomination because they are so full of hateful rhetoric concerning gays, and he does not see this as necessary.
Upon investigating websites associated with this man's organization, it is CLEAR that he purposely and boldly lied, deceived, and defrauded our church by suggesting that his ministry has very different objectives than he claimed. This man is CLEARLY lying to and deceiving someone! If what he says in this video is true, he MUST be lying to his supporters - Fundamentalist right-wing Christians. If he was, in fact, lying to us, then he CLEARLY employs godless tactics meant to deceive and mislead in an effort to win false confidence and establish a rapport. Either way, something wicked is going on! God's people are not called to lie and deceive in an effort to do ANY work on behalf of the Lord Jesus Christ! We said not one deceitful word, but were as honest and open with him as we could be. Three men, including the pastor, met with Dr McIntyre after the service for over 90 minutes, not leaving for home until after 10:30pm. Pastor's conduct was clearly that of a caring pastor who leads as a pastor ought! We behaved as Christians and this man did not.
In recent weeks, the largest of the so-called "Ex-Gay" org's has closed up shop (Exodus Int'l). For decades these organizations have operated with dismal "success." Many poor souls, believing themselves to be defective and wicked, in spite of the fact that their sexual orientation has never been a matter of choice or preference, have gone to such organizations seeking to find deliverance from their sexual proclivities. When this fails, as it does in 99% of the cases, many have left all faith in God and any desire to even so much as speak of Jesus Christ. Many have been driven to hopeless despair, resulting in alcoholism, drug abuse, and in far too many instances, suicide. The issue is not their homosexuality, but the treatment, abandonment, isolation, and constant rebuke they experience at the hands of family members and former church acquaintances. It is the position of The ONE Church In Christ Jesus that EVERYONE is loved, accepted, and understood by God. All of humanity is bound by sin so long as we live and breathe (Rom 7) and the only hope we have for salvation is through faith and obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. True righteousness is BY FAITH in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. We do strive to live a godly life, which according to the Lord Jesus Christ is summed up in the "great commandment"; MARK 12:29-31
WE REFUSE TO DISCOURAGE ANYONE WHO SEEKS TO KNOW AND SERVE GOD! It is not the job of the church to preach condemnation, judgment, and hopelessness! It is our job to preach Jesus Christ, God in human form, crucified, risen from the dead, ascended, and soon to return. ALL are welcome in our sanctuary and ALL will be encouraged to live for God with all your heart, mind, and soul - within the context of who we are as individuals with unique attributes, issues, identities, and limitations.