What do Jamey Rodenmeyer, Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh and Raymond Chase have in common? They were all teens who were bullied about their sexual orientation to the point that they committed suicide. That is a tragedy, no matter your theology on homosexuality. This is a case where marketing could literally be saving lives.
Youth pastor Brian Kirk offers an open letter to progressive churches, urging them to speak out for LGBT teens:
How many of our moderate and progressive mainline churches are completely welcoming of GLBT persons and yet offer no hint of this on their website or print material? “We are welcoming of all,” I’ve heard some say, “but does that mean we need to put a rainbow flag on our church sign?”
Brian Kirk says for the sake of these kids, yes. He encourages churches that affirm LGBT people to make their stand known. To communicate it. To put it in their marketing. One church in Toledo, Ohio, did just that, slapping their message on a billboard: “Being Gay is a Gift from God.” (Prompting a billboard war with another church. Note to churches that are not gay-affirming: It’s OK to disagree, but a billboard war sucks.)
How you communicate matters. It can lead people into eternity and it can save lives here and now.
Can gay-affirming churches really stand up as a whole with this kind of message? Hemant Mehta, the friendly atheist, says no: Progressive churches are too little too late.
There’s only one way to find out.
Please remember that we’re an ecumenical organization. We agree on the gospel, that Jesus is the way to salvation, and we agree to disagree on all other theological differences. We’re here to debate communication, not theology. Thanks!