I love those commercials put out by various liberal churches talking about how open they are toward practicing homosexuals. In fact, the commercials often include a variety of people in other walks of life, but the people that these churches accept in these other walks of life are all people every church I've ever known would be glad to have (people of different color, people who have a disability, people who have been divorced or have made poor decisions in life). In fact, every church to which I've ever belonged would be happy to have people who practiced homosexuality come and listen to the gospel that calls them away from it, or people who were once homosexual and who are now struggling to come out of it. "Come one, come all," is the cry of every church in which I have sat. The problem with these liberal churches that put out these commercials (and seem to be claiming that other churches are not accepting of diverse groups) and claim they are accepting and open, however, is their gospel. They call people to remain as they are and believe in Jesus too. This isn't the response to the gospel that Christ Himself preached when He declared, "Repent, for the dominion of God is at hand."
But what I would say to these churches is that they're not consistent, and that if they were consistent, it would show their gospel to be false and harmful to all people. Let me explain.
If I asked these churches if they would be accepting and open toward practicing pedophiles, serial killers, and racists, what would these churches say to me? Do you think they would still be beaming with their open message and calling all people to just come believe in Jesus, or that they would switch in their view concerning to what the gospel calls us and what love truly requires in terms of repentance from sin?
I seriously want to remake one of these commercials. It would go something like the SNL parody below.
Pastor: We want to be your church and we will accept you no matter what.
"Seeker" 1: Will you accept my indulgence in the homosexual lifestyle?
Pastor: Of course.
"Seeker" 2: I like to burn crosses on the lawns of people of other ethnicities in order to run them out of town. Is your church open to me too?
Pastor: We'll even supply the wood and matches for you.
"Seeker" 3: Will you accept me as I molest your children?
Pastor: You bet.
"Seeker" 4: I have a fetish for killing pastors of the churches I attend. I want a church that is fully pastor-killing affirming.
Pastor: Well, killing is a choice, so we won't accept that.
"Seeker" 4: No, it isn't a choice. God made me this way. Who would choose to be a murderer? Look at all of the persecution you get for it. You can even go to jail. People hate you. Who would choose that? I've had these inclinations from before I can remember as a child, so this is no choice. Are you going to be open or aren't you? Are you going to exclude people based upon your own dated and bigoted views concerning murdering pastors? Hey, some people don't kill pastors and others do. Let's just all love Jesus and get along.
Pastor (starts to sweat and pull on his collar as he smiles nervously): Well, we want to be your church, so OK. Join our church today and we will fully affirm you in your murderous rampage to kill your pastor.
LOL. What absurdities we come to when we have false gospels. The gospel is saving because it takes a sinner and makes him into a saint by calling him away from his worship of Self in sin and toward the worship of God in righteousness (read Romans 6). Hence, it saves those who are repentant of their sin by saving them from their sin. It does not save those who willingly engage in it, because those people don't want to be saved from their sin (obviously). They want their sin established as acceptable. That's why Christ tells those who claim to be His, but practice lawlessness, to depart from Him, as He never entered into a salvific relationship with them in the first place.
So open churches are just open enough to accept what is acceptable to culture, but they are inconsistent in their false gospel in that they do not accept everyone (nor should they). And God have mercy upon them if they weren't. If love is letting those who might attend your congregation be destroyed by sin and the acceptance of the destructive Self that curses God and His image in us, then may God grant to me the title of most hateful man to have ever lived. And perhaps in my "hatred," I can bring people to salvation and the glory of Christ, snatching them out of the fire and placing them on a throne of goodness and grace.
O Wretched Man that I am, who will save me from this open and loving church environment that helps the devil push others into the fire? But thanks be to Jesus Christ our Lord who does not tolerate the devil's work in one's life, so as to love the sinner and hate the sin. He is open to all who come in repentance, and closed to all who wish to destroy themselves by rejecting the gospel that calls them to the dominion of God.