Apology Billboard Makes Appearance at SD Pride 2009

July 21, 2009 by

For the 2009 San Diego Pride Parade, we decided to bring the apology billboard back for another appearance.  The theme for this year’s pride was “Activism For Equality.”  We thought that showcasing our billboard response to Prop 8 from last fall would be a great way to demonstrate our activism and support of the LGBT community while reminding people of our firm belief and message that God’s greace is available for all people.  As was the case when the actual billboard went up, people have taken pictures of the float, posted them, and have stirred more dialogue.  Check out the two sites we’ve found so far:

joemygod blog – lots of comments & discussion

SoCal Muchacha blog – photo with cool caption

goodasyou.org – great thread of comments, especially about us redefining “church”

Let us know if you find any others, and we’ll keep updating the list!

11×17 Posters

July 6, 2009 by

i_am_sorry_105x13_05

You can download an 11×17 copy of the “As A Christian, I am Sorry…” poster by clicking the link below:

Click Here: 11×17 Poster


Why Make A Statement Like This?

November 25, 2008 by

If you are reading this, it should mean that you have read our “I’m Sorry” statement either on our webpage, a billboard, a magazine ad, poster, or Facebook.  The words of this statement are strong…and strong for a reason.

What do we hope to accomplish?
Our primary hope in publishing this statement is to offer the love, hope, and grace of Jesus through a new voice of Christianity. The statement came in response to the passage of Proposition 8, but our message is not just to the LGBT community and its supporters.  We believe that God’s love and grace is for ALL people, regardless of race, creed, sexual identity, or life circumstances.  Jesus meets us right where we are.  “Christianity for ALL” is not a battle cry for a crusade, but it is a set of words around which a movement can rally to let ALL people everywhere know that God loves, cares, and accepts them just as they are.

We pray also that this statement will create dialogue.  Many have said they believe the language will keep people from the table of discussion, but conversations are happening all over blogs, Facebook, email, and in coffee shops all across the country.  In the midst of these conversations, we pray that God will let Truth be known in the hearts and minds of all of God’s people.

Why Make a Statement Like This?
With the passage of Proposition 8 in California banning gay marriage, the Church has successfully taken away the rights of a group human beings…the first time this has ever happened in the state of California.  Yes, it was accomplished through the political system, but it was the conservative church that started the movement.  While Missiongathering Christian Church is part of the Church (all churches in the world), the conservative churches who started, funded, and propelled Prop 8 do not speak for all
churches.  Some Christians do not speak for ALL Christians.  We as a church feel called to be a new voice of Christianity.

This “issue” has begun to create some division within the Church, but that conversation will always be there and will likely take decades to find resolution, if it ever does.  Our concern is the ever-widening gap between the Church and the LGBT community and its supporters.  With the campaigning and passage of Prop 8, that gap is widening at an even faster rate.  Gay and lesbian men and women who may have been open to the message of Jesus, heterosexual people who support the LGBT community who may be seeking faith and spirituality now have seen the Church exclude a group of people based on their sexual identity in the name of God.  Why would they want to have anything to do with a God like that?  It’s not an “issue;” it’s people.

Why use such strong language?
As a leadership team, we spent a lot of time wrestling with the words to use in writing this statement.  We realize that many will take offense to the wording, but strong words are needed in a time like this.  As we look at the life and ministry of Jesus, we see repeatedly where He would use strong words to rebuke the Pharisees and Sadducees when they would use religion to exclude the outcasts from participating in the story of God: hypocrites, foolish, unmarked graves, white-washed tombs, brood of vipers.  The most memorable, of course, being when Jesus turned over the tables of those selling animals and changing money in the temple courts who, by doing so, were barring many from participating in worship.  Jesus responded with righteous anger.

We are not saying that all people who voted yes on Prop 8 are narrow-minded, judgmental, manipulative, or deceptive.  Individuals are entitled to their convictions.  When one’s convictions are acted upon someone else against his/her will, the act takes on a different quality.  The word “actions” was used specifically because the act of voting yes on this measure was narrow-minded and judgmental.  The actions of the proponents of Prop 8 were manipulative and deceptive in their use of misinformation, half-truths, hyperbole, and the gross exploitation of children and fear to advance their cause.  These actions, done in the name of God, took away the rights and equality of thousands of California men and women.

May we all faithfully journey with Jesus in our passionate pursuit of God’s Kingdom here on earth…never stop seeking.

Blessings,
The Leadership of Missiongathering Christian Church

Rich McCullen        Jay Selnick            Alex Roller
Lead Pastor            Creative Arts Pastor        Pastor of Connection
& Worship Leader        & Spiritual Formation

http://www.missiongathering.com
ourheartsarewithyou.wordpress.com
Our Hearts Are With You – Facebook Movement

*If you or your community would be interested in talking more with us about our journey in this area of social justice & theology or would like us to come work with you on this process, please feel free to contact us! Email alex@missiongathering.com and we will get back in touch with you.

Prop 8 Billboard Sparks Nationwide Conversation

November 25, 2008 by

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Here are some links to conversations happening nationwide over this billboard:

http://current.com/items/89557229/church_billboard_apologises_for_prop_8/25.htm

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2008/11/san-diego-prop-8-apology-billboard.html

http://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/7f3fs/best_billboard_apology_for_passage_of_prop_8/

http://www.feastoffools.net/community/topic.php?id=3668

http://bugthumper.blogspot.com/2008/11/billboard-apology-for-prop-8.html

http://www.sddialedin.com/2008/11/best-billboard-ever-apology-for-passage.html

http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/11/christian-billboard-apologizes-for.html

http://prop8life.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/church-apologizes/

http://www.mollygood.com/san-diego-christian-church-apologizes-for-prop-8-via-giant-billboard-20081124/

http://missionalthoughts.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/2037/

http://lesterleavitt.blogspot.com/2008/11/san-diego-billboard-that-went-up-this.html

http://sweetpotatoqueen.multiply.com/journal/item/207/Sunday_Thoughts_Religion_The_Way_it_Should_Be

http://bluelinchpin.wordpress.com/2008/11/23/just-three-things/

http://desertspeak.blogspot.com/2008/11/from-friday-to-sunday.html

From Suzanne… This is awesome

November 18, 2008 by

I just wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU. Thank you so much.

My wife and I had our hearts broken November 4th with the passage of Proposition 8. As our marriage sits in legal limbo, we are feeling lost and depressed.

We marched with 20,000 others this past Saturday in San Diego. We saw several of your signs, and have seen them on cars in a few locations.

We are not Christians ourselves. I think it’s very easy to have a knee-jerk response to the idea of (and the believers in) Christianity. Your stance has tempered that response, and reminds us that not all Christians or people of faith are against us. That means more than I can possibly tell you.

Thank you again. I believe your “type” (forgive me if this is not the right word) of Christianity is pretty darn close to God’s ideal.

A Letter to my Dad and Uncle

November 14, 2008 by
Edit
The following is a conversation with both my dad and uncle after they had learned my stance on Prop 8 and homosexuality: (Their names are omitted for their privacy).

Uncle:
Jay, I am very disappointed in you on this issue. It is not a rights issue and you should be yes on prop 8. You and your friends are confused on this and have believed the propaganda. We need to talk. Please email me when you are available.

Dad:
Dear jay.

read your letter you sent to your uncle.

I am all for taking passionate stands. but in this case i must lovingly say you are completely deceived.
This “new christianity” is completely false.

your stand is not against the church, but against God himself.
God speaks about this whole homosexual issue very simply and plainly in the scriptures, old t and new t.

From my experience seek God very earnestly regarding the truth on this whole subject. He will show you if you honestly ask him for the truth.
But i must warn you, if you persist in this belief, you are headed for a great fall. you are stepping on a very huge landmine.

If this is the position of your church, you should consider leaving your church.

You are very passionate in your beliefs and faith but are very youthful in your faith as well.

The key is this; Surrender all you are, all that you believe and think, your beliefs, your faith – everything to Christ… trusting him to fill you with his life and give your his truth and understanding.

Speaking for the church. the church is not “against” homosexuals, but like any other sin, homosexual behavior must not be tolerated or accepted or promoted by the church. It is God himself that gives us this instruction. (leviticus & corinthians, genesis). They need salvation like anyone else. But their lifestyle and belief system is an abomination to God.

I am disappointed you have gotten to this position. But i am hopeful and trust that God will himself show you his way and give you his understanding.

love, dad

My Response:
Thanks for both of your concerns.

Although I love you both and respect your opinions, this is an issue that we vehemently disagree on. Instead of entering into a verbal mash-up of theological exegesis and policy analysis, I hope that you can see my heart… see that there is no deceit or personal reason for me to take my stand, and hopefully, begin to understand where I am coming from.

In a nutshell, I truly believe that God is love (love for the other and for the outcast). No matter your theological views, the homosexual community is one that has been made the “other” based on the very words that you use such as “abomination” and “against God himself.” I have “honestly asked God for the truth” and I believe that truth means love. I am not “youthful” in my understanding, nor am I “false” in my beliefs. We ultimately love the same Jesus… I just see Jesus differently than you do, I see Jesus as love and see myself as an extension of that love.

Through my daily experiences, I can see how we as Christians (and specifically this judgmental, righteous version) have caused pain, exclusion and judgment to God’s beloved. Simply put, I will no longer allow myself to be a part of that… regardless of the personal consequence. We simply disagree on this issue.

Let me finish with this: At the end of the day, when I stand before God and recount my steps in this life, I don’t want a “well-done” for my theology. I don’t think that anyone, from Luther to Calvin to Mclaren to Dobson have got God’s theology correct. Theological issues have divided churches for centuries (need evidence, look at the splintering of denominations) and often these differences have caused us to stop being extensions of God’s loving grace. This issue is no different, it just happens to be at the forefront now. No, when I stand before God, I want God to tell me that I might have gotten my theology wrong, but I genuinely and fully loved those that God loves, and that I took them at their word… void of judgment, moral righteousness or exclusion.

I love you both, but I will answer to God not to you.

Please do not email me back using words of judgement like you used in your first email. I will not respond to these emails, nor will I acknowledge their worth in my life. I am open to having an open-minded dialogue about this issue, but am not going to get into scripture-slinging. I am still your son, and your nephew, and no matter how much “more” you think you know than me, your “knowledge” and “insight” will not change my view on this issue. If that has consequences for our relationship, I am willing to accept those.

With love and grace,

Jay

344!! And Counting

November 13, 2008 by

I woke up this morning and logged into our group… 344 strong!! I just wanted to take a minute and thank you all for having the boldness to step out and make a stand as both a Christian and a supporter of equality and grace.

Through you, and through the conversations you are having and have already had, God’s loving grace will be extended to those who have been told that they don’t have access.

Please continue to talk, to dialogue and to open your mouth with gentle yet bold differences with our friends, family and loved ones.

I am so proud to be a part of this with you…

grace,

Jay

From Mark…

November 13, 2008 by

As a straight, Agnostic, male, I commend Mission Gathering Christian Church for having the courage to call it like they see it. I wondered if there were any Christians at all who felt it was inappropriate at the very least to write discrimination into our state constitution. In a time when marriage is on the verge of becoming an impractical and archaic institution, it baffles me that there are those who want to deny people even the remote chance of achieving marital bliss on the grounds that same-sex marriage devalues their precious institution. Well, that institution is proving itself to be not so precious. We heterosexuals are doing a very good job of devaluing marriage and don’t need anyone’s help. Prop. 8 proponents called on people to “protect marriage”. They are fighting the wrong enemy. After all, who can save us from ourselves? Maybe the LGBT community is the true protector of marriage. Maybe they can show us how to do it right and make it work.

Thanks And Posters

November 10, 2008 by

Thanks to all who have joined this movement. A small voice is beginning to take shape through our willingness to stand up and come together.

If you are interested in getting an 11×17 poster of the graphic, please post to the wall in our group. If there are enough people who want them, we are going to try and get some printed and shipped to whomever wants them.

I want to encourage you to continue to send this out to your friends. In whatever sphere of influence you have, lets grow this voice together.

grace,

Jay

From Jessica in Mississippi

November 10, 2008 by

Some will be appalled
Some will rejoice
Some will be angry
Some will feel like
they finally have a voice

When the victory is won
it will still be a fight
So many hearts torn
So much darkness never
overcome by light

Some will be appalled
Some will rejoice
Some will be angry
But some will finally,
finally have a voice

Thank you Jessica


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