*CONTENT WARNING* This episode includes discussions around homophobia, transphobia, mental health and suicide. If any of these topics might cause you harm, we ask you to consider skipping this episode. Please reach out for support if you need it. You are not alone.
In our hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan, a toxic sermon was preached by Pastor Terry Murphy at Regina Victory Church and uploaded to social media. Word spread quickly, with many people disgusted by his comparison of the LGBTQ2S+ community to pedophiles and his blaming of high suicide rates in Trans kids on societal acceptance, rather than the rejection of christians like himself. And as much as lots were disgusted with his comments, we recognize that it’s an all too common sentiment within church walls.
Dallas and I have long been passionate about LGBTQ2S+ inclusion. We knew we couldn’t stay silent about this, especially with it happening in our own backyard. These words spoken so flippantly are evil and have no place in someone claiming to preach the love of God. There is no love in these words, much as Pastors like Terry claim otherwise while trying to manipulate God into their own hateful image. We recognized that as allies, our role wasn’t to lead the charge, but to offer support and join alongside. So we wondered how best to use our Shipwreck Over Safety platform to best challenge this toxic theology.
Then we met Cassie. Cassie shared with us about coming to terms with being a lesbian in a conservative Baptist church, and how her parents were removed from leadership simply because her dad wore a Pride shirt one Sunday morning in support of her. The same church that Cassie and her family grew up in and dedicated their lives to rejected them. All because they could not see past a fathers show of support for his daughter. But we all know it runs much deeper than just that. Cassie graciously offered to share her story with us. It paints a tragic picture of what happens when churches reject the image of God in the LGBTQ2S+ community, but also a beautiful picture of a families love for their child. A true representation of God’s love.
What would you do if you had to choose between your child and your church?
Here’s a news article about the situation in Regina:
‘Completely and terribly damaging: Faith community calls Regina pastor’s message homophobic’
Find out if a church is affirming or non-affirming at Church Clarity. If you don’t see your church listed, submit it for review. Clarity is important so people can be safe and know what they are getting into.
- Torn by Justin Lee
- Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter
- Transforming by Austen Hartke
- God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines
- Changing Our Mind by David Gushee
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3 thoughts on “SEASON 3, EPISODE 11: The Cost Of Being A Non-Affirming Church: Part 1 (w/ Cassie)”
As a church member it has always bothered me that Cassie and her family were treated this way. There are many good, decent people in our church who feel as I do. Unfortunately I knew nothing of this until the General meeting and there was no opportunity for discussion. What i heard afterward was basically that the church is governed by the rules of the Baptist Union. I’m sure most of us would agree that the rule needs to be changed. No where in the Bible do I find Jesus denouncing same sex anything. His one commandment was to love one another. I think all of this could have been handled better. It would have been such a learning experience to share Cassie and her family . It didn’t need to be this way. Shunning should never be an option. I wish nothing but the best to Cassie and her family.
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Hi Phyllis. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
Leadership in churches isn’t always reflective of everyone, and members are often frustrated to learn of mistakes made by their leaders which don’t reflect them well. So I hear your frustration and it’s a good reminder that often, church leadership makes decisions that do not always reflect the way everyone in the church feels. We tried to make that clear in the episode, that not everyone is in the wrong, just those who used their power to shun and silence. It’s good to know there are folks like you willing to challenge the status quo. Take care.
Hi Phyllis, thank you for your supportive and kind words. After looking into CBWC policies, the only “actual” policy states that pastors are not allowed to marry (perform marriages) for same sex couples. In the last Western Gathering in 2019, this was a topic that was on the docket for discussion. There are some churches that are affirming while others are against . Majority are against. The churches dont seem to understand how much damage they are doing to a growing and vulnerable community. They feel they are being loving by pointing out the “sin” and judging the behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being Gay is not a choice. Being Gay is not a behavior, it is just how the person was born. Science will back that up. I am an ally for this community and will always open my home and heart to hear their story. It makes my soul sing when I hear there are others in the church who are willing to listen and love. It’s all about making space for EVERYONE. I wish the church would be willing to dialogue. Maybe people like you can make that happen:)
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