I found a story this evening that I just had to share with you. It absolutely reflects my own heart in how to deal with the LGBT community. The LGBT community assumes that if we stand by our convictions concerning God’s design for marriage and sexual purity, that we somehow have the same mentality as Westboro Baptist Church and their hateful attitudes and rhetoric. Nothing can be farther from the truth. This story about Pastor Scott Volk and the Fire Church is one that should be modeled in every Evangelical church across this nation.
I have spoken very openly about my convictions concerning same sex marriage, and I have spoken just as openly about my convictions that we need to reach out to the homosexual community. I have done so on this website, on my Facebook page, and on the Christian Post, where I am a featured blogger as well. Every person who reads this article should take note on what is the godly approach that should be used when dealing with the homosexual community and especially when they target you for a protest.
Here are some excerpts from the story I found in CharismaNews.
The Gay Protest That Had Nothing To Protest About.
11:30AM EDT 8/28/2012 MICHAEL BROWN
Last week, Scott Volk, one of the pastoral leaders at FIRE Church, my home congregation, received a call from the local police informing him that there would be a gay protest outside our building on Sunday morning.
The leader of the protest announced on Facebook, “We will meet just before service begins, and protest as they gather, we will have a silent protest as service is going and let them have it as they leave for the day. Remember we will be peaceful and respectful, something they don’t understand. We are going to STAND TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY to show that our love is stronger than their hate.”
In response, I wrote on my blog: “On behalf of FIRE Church, I want to extend to you the warmest welcome and let you know that we are thrilled that you are here with us on Sunday. We have been praying for you for a long time!
“As always, you will only meet with love, kindness, and respect from the FIRE leadership and congregants, and we proclaim to you once again the amazing grace of God. Jesus died to save us from our sins, heterosexual and homosexual alike, and only in Him can we find forgiveness, redemption, and transformation. Jesus alone is the Healer, Savior, Deliverer, and Transformer.”
On my radio show, I also encouraged them to come in good numbers so we could greet them, and Scott posted a note on Q-Notes, a local gay website that had announced the protest, saying, “As the pastor of FIRE Church, I just want you to know that you’ll be greeted with the same love and compassion as we always endeavor to show anyone–you are more-than-welcome! You make mention of the ‘hate’ that we show. Yet, in all our years here we’ve only desired to reach out with love to everyone in the local community here whether they are labeled as gay or straight. Hopefully, you’ll see that love demonstrated on Sunday as you protest.”
Scott responded by inviting them to his home for dinner to spend a night with him and his family. And he explained that, “to call someone hateful without ever meeting them, seeing them, or hearing them speak, is an indication of a heart that needs love. I make myself available.”
On Sunday morning, Aug. 26th, about 10 protesters showed up (we were disappointed there were so few) and some of our FIRE leaders met with them, offering them water and snacks, sharing God’s love and truth with them, and then inviting them to join us in the service. After a few minutes they left, explaining that we were too nice and loving to deserve a protest!
Bear in mind that these protesters know the stands we have taken for biblical values and some of them have listened to my radio broadcasts or read my writings, so they recognize how strongly we differ with them on many key issues. Yet they also recognized our genuine love for them and saw that we were not full of hate. The love of Jesus, flowing out of Spirit-filled, godly hearts, makes an impact that cannot be denied.
Scott shared this good news on the Q-Notes website, along with the invitation to those calling us hateful to join him for dinner at his house. In response Spydre wrote, “I want to hear more about this Jesus,” and Jaybea commented, “Even I would be welcome there? It would be an honor to meet Scott Volk and Dr. Brown. I’m beginning to see light as very attractive.” How amazing!
The next day, Monday, Aug. 27th, the leader of the protest called into my radio show to apologize publicly for the protest, explaining that their “anger … was aimed [in] the wrong direction.” And then he said these words: “Once we got there Sunday morning we were greeted with absolutely perfect love. I mean, it was fantastic.” Praise God!
After the broadcast, we exchanged contact information and are looking forward to sharing a meal together and, more importantly, candidly sharing our hearts. This is genuinely good news.
When the Lord called me to get involved with homosexual issues eight years ago, He said to me, “Reach out and resist,” meaning, “reach out” to the people with compassion and “resist” the activist agenda with courage.
Is it possible to do both? By God’s grace, the answer is yes, and in the end, love never fails.
Love never fails.
You see my friends, when it comes right down to it, we are just dealing with hurting people. People who need Jesus, and if we are not willing to meet them at the door, even when their intention is to make a stink, with the love of Jesus, then we are totally missing the boat. I have said more than once that if the picketers for Jesus would for one moment just lay down their picket signs and pick up a cup of water and serve that cup of water in the name of the Lord, much more would be accomplished. That is what the people of Fire Church did.
Perfect love casts out fear. The fear that the LGBT community has is the fear of condemnation. That is why they assume that we hate and attack those that stand for the biblical teachings on marriage and sexual purity. They think we will not love them, and deep down, they are afraid that they are not worth being loved. The same Jesus that died on that cross for your sin, is the same Jesus that loved the LGBT community to die for their sins. We who have received that love, must repent of our hard hearts and be willing to express that same love we received to them.
Praise God for Pastor Volk and the people of Fire Church.
Blessings to you all!