It looked like the perfect job. It would get me back to Houston. It was in my field. It was working with a church, running their (surprisingly extensive) sports and outdoors program. They even had a ministry focusing on environmental issues.
I was fully qualified, and would be perfect for it. Experience in this needed, I’ve got plenty. Experience in that needed, have even more. Need to be in harmony with their beliefs. No problem there, but let’s just have a quick peak at their “About Us: Theological Foundations” page. Literal resurrection, kind of a given. Virgin birth, well yes. Old and New Testament are the Inspired Word, naturally. The church’s focus is the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, well good that’s certainly what it should be.
Scroll down to the bottom
A short section on “Our Church and Human Sexuality”
“Current momentum is pushing our denomination away from the Biblical standard.” Here’s a document we’ve hidden away as a pdf at the bottom of the page….
Three typed pages on how “Any sexual behavior not covered within the covenant of man/woman marriage is sin.”
Sexual immorality is apparently the only sin that by written rule prevents membership at this church. Or employment. Murder, fine. Robbery, fine. Beating the living shit out of your kid or wife Saturday evening while in a drunken rage, fine.
Here’s where it gets really amazingly bad:
“While someone’s place in the body of Christ – the Church universal – can only be determined by God, their membership at (NAME OF CHURCH) is based on what we consider to be the commandments of Scripture. Just as membership at (NAME OF CHURCH) requires an individual to believe that Jesus is the only way to God and that His resurrection is not a fiction, it also requires belief in fidelity within a marriage between a man and woman or chastity in singleness.”
(I’ve redacted the name of the church. They know who they are and you can find them if you really want from what I’ve written here. No need to out and shame. The bolding is mine.)
Basically they’re selling Hebrew National Hotdogs. They “answer to a higher authority.” Except one major difference. They feel that membership in their church is to be held to a higher standard than membership in the Kingdom of Heaven.
I grew up in the church. I am a Christian. I am straight. I’m a sinner. But I cannot work for a congregation like this. Prevention of membership for doctrinal reasons is one thing, prevention of membership due to one sort of sin but not another is very different. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. As Christians this is something we believe (or should anyway) and last I checked the concept of the “Unforgivable Sin” wasn’t about sexuality.
Here I stand, I can do no other.