When I was a writer for the Faith Page of the Winnipeg Free Press I would frequently get letters telling me I was not a Christian. I would write about the equal roles men and women should play in the church, or encourage religious institutions to join the campaign against smoking, or present evidence that sanctions from other countries were hurting the most vulnerable in Iraq. I never knew what kind of column might invite a response from someone who’d tell me I was not a Christian or inform me that despite my membership in a Christian church I did not represent its views.
I was reminded of that this week when the Nashville Statement from 150 evangelical leaders was released. One of its articles essentially states that you cannot call yourself a true Christian if you approve of homosexual or transgender lifestyles. The article goes on to say people who call themselves Christians shouldn’t even agree to disagree about the morality of those lifestyles.
That certainly leaves me and my church out of the Christian loop. We have a rainbow flag on our church website and each week our church bulletin states that………………. Imitating the inclusive welcome of Jesus, we seek to be a community marked by the love of God. Regardless of age, race, or sexual orientation, we invite you to make our church your spiritual home.
Literally thousands of Christian leaders have responded to the Nashville Statement saying they disagree with it.
It seems to me that debates and pronouncements about whose ‘in’ or ‘out’ when it comes to being a Christian are a colossal waste of time in a world where millions are waiting for love and help and hope.