I apologized to the gay community on behalf of true Christians everywhere at last year’s Pride Parade in West Hollywood—and plan on doing so again this Sunday when we attend! (Meet at Hope Chapel at 8:15am to carpool or leave a comment and I’ll tell you where to meet us.) Why would I apologize? Because Christians have shamelessly preached a hate-filled Gospel, misrepresenting their God-given ambassadorship on behalf of Christ to those lost in their Pride.
Would you, evangelist, have the same attitude as Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army, when it comes to the lost? “Let them see the tears in your eyes; or, if you cannot weep, let them hear the tears in your voice, and let them realize that you feel their danger, and are in distress for them.”
The homosexual community, for the most part, hates born again Christians due to their judgmental, bile-spewing, finger-pointing “good news.” One street evangelist last year actually mocked the WeHo parade-goers, rebuking them, insulting them and inflaming them with unloving diatribe. Watch:
A reporter from WORLD magazine interviewed me last week about street evangelism and made reference to the street preacher in the video above saying, “I don’t believe he has a clear understanding of the message of the Bible.” (See my Facebook dialog with this preacher here.)
Hence, my apology.
So, what will be my game-plan? The same as last year. Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote before the 2012 Pride Parade detailing my intended dialogue:
…I’m called to go [to the Pride Parade] to show love, to speak truth… and to apologize on behalf of true Christians everywhere. I will tell them that I am sorry that the Christian community has not demonstrated tact, poise, reason and grace to those who are in dire need of a Savior.
Don’t get me wrong. I will talk about sin.
Inevitably, I will be asked: “Will God send me to Hell because I’m gay?”
My answer: “No one ever went to Hell because they are gay.”
Immediately, the person softens and I’m able to explain that they have sinned by breaking God’s ten Commandments. They will be judged for lying, stealing, looking with lust, hating or using God’s name as a cuss word. I warn that if they don’t change, they will end up in Hell because God is just. Then I remind them of God’s incredible grace, love and mercy as demonstrated on a cross. That if they repent and trust in Jesus, who suffered and died on their behalf, was buried for three days and rose again, they can be forgiven.
“So you see,” I’ll say, continuing the conversation, “it’s not about you being gay, it’s because you’ve sinned in these other ways. Homosexuality is a sin, it’s just not THE sin.”
When I speak to a gay person, I will be firm, but gentle—just like I am to everybody I talk to.
If I’m asked about whether gays should be married, I will not shrink back from the truth that marriage, as God created it, has always been between a man and a woman. We should never re-define a term to fit our culture’s preferences. Civil unions? Why not?
I will attempt to shake their hand, even give them a hug. I will ask them if they have ever met a Christian like me. Someone friendly, concerned, and gracious.
I suspect the answer will be no.
And that’s a sin.
On Saturday we will also be going to the Palos Verdes Street Fair.
Meet at Hope Chapel at noon to carpool.