Pro-LGBT+ Christian leaders respond to “Nashville Statement”
by Kara Kliewer
“As the pastor of an LGBTQ affirming congregation in a denomination that is not affirming and is in the Bible belt, it is important for the people to know exactly where I [Scott Spencer, Lead Pastor at Mosaic United Methodist Church – OKC] stand and where our local church stands,” says Spencer.
Across the nation, Christian leaders are speaking out in response to the “Nashville Statement.” These leaders are spreading the message that Christianity isn’t collectively anti-LGBT+.
“I signed it [the Christian United Statement] because I believe, as a Christian and a woman of faith with an LGBT+ child, that we need to be the voice for these people [LGBT+ individuals feeling excluded from the church],” states Sara Cunningham the founder of Free Mom Hugs of Oklahoma. “The Nashville Statement does not represent what I believe at all. To not say anything would be more detrimental than the statement itself.”
If you are unfamiliar with the statement, it was released at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in Nashville last week. It was created by 180+ evangelical leaders who came together to announce a statement against LGBT+ and transgender inclusion in the church.
In response to this statement, Christian and LGBT+ allies are coming together in support of Christian inclusivity in the church via the Christians United Statement movement.
“Mosaic United Methodist Church believes in the full inclusion of all LGBTQ+ persons in the life of the church and in our society and is working to change those places where discrimination exists,” adds Spencer.
Listed on their website is a preamble with 10 articles defining the movement’s pro-LGBT+ Christian views and stance against the Nashville Statement.
Thus far 100+ Christian and pro-LGBT+ leaders have signed onto the statement.
“The non-affirming churches continue to hammer home their non-affirming stances and every time they do is important for the affirming churches to state where they stand so that all people know they are loved and accepted by a loving God,” Spencer says.
Cunningham who works in educating parents, often Christian, with LGBT+ children has seen many change their minds on the issue.
“I belong to a private-online Facebook group of mothers to LGBT+ children,” Cunningham states. “We started with 250 moms in late 2014. We have over 2000 moms now. Our children may vary on the spectrum, but we have the same story of being alienated from our church homes.”
“We are saying enough is enough. The evangelicals have alienated, destroyed and caused so much destruction within families. We are standing up for our children and our faith.”
Copyright The Gayly - 8/30/2017 4:10 p.m. CST