Although it is unlikely that the mainstream Assembly of God church will change their view that LGBT people are damned to hell and therefore, not worthy of civil equality (let’s face it, that’s the argument, plan and simple), one church, the Highland Assembly of God near Denver, CO, has opened its doors to openly gay and lesbian attendees. But when Pastor Mark Tidd proclaimed the evangelical church a welcoming place, he lost more than just a few members of the church.
But Tidd isn’t phased by the protests from the mainstream Assembly of God church against his inclusive ideas, he states:
Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice.
And therein, Tidd responds to the actuality of the gay debate in the United States. Religion is imposing its ideology on the meek – but it should be a matter of justice. Does Pastor Tidd’s movement indicate that the church may start recognizing the difference between social justice and persecution in the name of religion — or is their little hope that mainstream evangelicals will ever see the light?
Unfortunately, because evangelical history, at least in the United States, sends mixed messages, those questions can’t easily be answered. Although the evangelical churches for the most part no longer preach that blacks are soulless and cursed by Ham as they once did, they still preach that a woman should serve man. In some cases, extending those teachings further to prohibit women from wearing jeans or cutting her hair.
Perhaps what we will see is a slow migration in the evangelical church, as with that of women’s rights, where evangelicals will no longer seek to impose legislation restricting women from wearing jeans or cutting their hair and recognize such laws as strictly religious, not civil.
As the bumper sticker on the minivan in front of me this morning read: “Want to live in a country rule by religion? Move to Iran.“