Posted by: Ed | July 30, 2008

“THE STATEMENT” FROM LAST WEEK’S MESSAGE

In last week’s message dealing with gay marriage, I had a section on “the public square” where I tried to articulate where we were at in terms of the political battle that is taking place. I read a statement on where we as a church were at with respect to this battle

A good number of churches in San Diego & around the state are heavily involved in trying to get Proposition 8 passed. You can check out the web site here. I have been to the conference call / info meeting. We’ve discussed this extensively as a pastoral team & i have sought the counsel of many people from around the country and within our own church. This statement is not meant to be construed as a criticism of any other church.

Here it is:

Statement on Gay Marriage and the 2008 California Marriage Amendment

We, at Journey Community Church, desire that everyone would come to know God and understand that there is an indescribable grace available through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We desire to see many people, regardless of sexual orientation, live in a way that is God-honoring, aligns with God’s plan and restores them to wholeness.

We believe that, according to our understanding of the teachings of the Bible, that God designed marriage to be between one woman and one man. It was and is His desire that marriage be a covenant, designed to be a human expression of God’s relationship to humankind. Accordingly, Journey Community Church, its pastoral team and its staff believe that gay marriage is not God’s desire and does not align with His plan.

While we do believe that our values should inform the way we vote, we do not believe that God ever intended his Church to be a political organization
Therefore JCC encourages INDIVIDUALS within the church to defend human life, family life, & advance the common good through active participation in the public square as citizens – we are committed to providing scriptural & pastoral equipping & guidance to aid individuals to this end.

However, we are committed to keeping our focus on our purpose – to reach as many people as possible with the good news of Jesus Christ.
The kingdom of God, as expressed on earth through the Church, is a body that was created to serve others. In mixing it with political activism, that intent can be undermined.

Therefore, while we are not in support of gay marriage, we will not enter into the specific public policy debate or make that the focus of our ministry.
Journey is a place designed to serve and love people,
a place where those who are far from God can come and find Him,
a place where hurting people can discover restoration.

It is our desire as a church to reach out to all people – gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual, transgender – we desire for our doors to be wide open. We believe that using our influence for the cause of public policy would compromise our ability to continue to make Journey that sort of place.

The 1st draft was written by Daniel Benitez who was at the conference call / info meeting with Jason Denison & I. Several other people took a look at it & offered helpful suggestions. I re-worked it a little after the Friday night message. Since I simply read it during the message, I said I’d post it here.

May God help us live up to that last paragraph!

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Ed (et al)

    WELL DONE. I always held (at least as a Christ follower) that living a gay lifestyle was no better or worse sin than the sins I do on a daily basis. You message definatley solidified that stance so I thank you for that. I have never, however, been able to really put into words my “political” or “personal” stance to gay marriage of lifestyle. The church’s statement was well said and REALLY helps me focus my stances politically while not harming my view to continue to love and accept gay friends in my life. We can not support the “action” of gay marriage while still loving the PEOPLE…..

    Thanks again for putting this so well!
    Joe P.

  2. Dear Ed, Thank you so much for the wonderful, spirit- filled sermon on homosexuality. I do think that this is a topic that Christians need to know where they stand. Your sermon reinforced what I was taught from childhood on, that “a sin is a sin is a sin” and that we are not to place them on a chart that goes from 1-10 with 10 being the worst sin of all. At the end of the sermon, when you read the statement from the church, my eyes were filled with joyful tears because I am so proud to be a part of Journey Community Church. May God pour down upon you and the church many heavenly blessings..
    In Christ, Martha

  3. Ed strikes gold again. I actually allowed God to sway me in how I heard the message and to stay open to what you had spent so much time, thought and effort in preparing.

    A few weeks ago you started the message with a prayer that we would or could all just “be open” to what God is wanting for us. I must pray that prayer for openness a dozen times a day, thought you should know.

  4. “Hate the sin, but love the sinner.” That’s how I see it, and not just with homosexuality. The only sin listed as unforgivable is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
    I am happy to see Journey staying out of this messy political struggle, and closer to the word of God.
    Once again, Ed, thanks for all the hard work you, and the rest of the staff, put in each week, to help weak sheep from going too far astray.

  5. Ed,

    You did a great job Sunday. Your Billy Graham quote has stuck with me all week. I keep reminding myself that it is my job to love not judge. This is such a had topic to deal with and I feel that you handled it perfectly.

    For me I walked away feeling that it was a message about love. I also walked away with some hope for totally different reasons that what the message was intended. In the message you spoke about Plan A and the imago dei – man and woman reflecting the covenant of marriage. For me, this struck such a chord of hope that the longings I have to be married again are because of God’s original plan for me. I felt hopeful that if it is the original plan, that God will be faithful to me, and that in his time he will mend my broken heart from the loss of Steve and provide a path for me to be part of that image again. It was a great reminder to me to trust in Him and His timing.

    It is interesting how God will meet us where we are and give us what we need no matter what the topic is intended for. God is good and so are you Ed. God bless you.

    Nicole

  6. Ed,
    I was visiting friends and attended your service on Sunday all I can say is WOW! I sat and listened with my heart wide open, as I felt every word you spoke went right to my soul. My husband and I have been looking for a “Journey”- like church in the Fresno-Clovis area for awhile, do you know of any? We can’t make the 6 hours drive every Sunday, although we would love to! We can watch you on-line, but our little ones need to hear about God as well.
    Thank you and God bless you and your church.

  7. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful & heartfelt comments.

    I totally appreciate it.

  8. Ruth,

    I used to be on staff at what is now Bridges community church (formerly Ev Free). There are some great people at that church.

    Go Bulldogs!

    Ed


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: