Over the last year I have sat with a couple of people who have said to me, “Pastor Rick, the Bible says…”. I have had several people ask me what to say when friends tell them the Bible says homosexuality is wrong. To the first, I have tried to patiently listen as several passages were quoted to me. There were no passages brought to my attention I had not already heard, read or studied. Those words are in the Bible. There are many words in the Bible. Any casual reading of scripture reveals there are many places where the Bible seems to be in contradiction. The question is not whether there are words in scripture to support a particular position. The real question is how do you read scripture? How do you understand it?
I am a 40+ year-long theologian of the church and lover of scripture. I believe in scripture as holy and sacred. I am a Biblical preacher. (Which means I either start with scripture or need to go to scripture to have anything relevant to say in a message.). I do not believe I have total understanding of scripture. I am not the ultimate authority as to its message. Nor, do I believe. is anyone else. But I do keep scripture as a foundation for my personal life, for leading the church and for sharing with you.
Out of that love, I would like to share with you a Biblical understanding supporting inclusion. This includes full acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community in the church. It means full acceptance of all people in the church. This is not meant to be a debate. It is a sharing on how scripture calls the church to be radically inclusive.
I will be offering this three week class twice in January. We will meet on Wednesday, January 8, 15, 22, and Sunday nights, 12, 19 and 26th. Hope you can join us!