I was declared Satan by a local area church. It is better to disagree with kindness, than
judgement. And it's better to preach love and practice love,
than say we love and act with hatred.
Ways of Seeing and Loving God: by Steve Kersker
"You are not of Christ, but of Satan." That's
exactly what they said to me. That was the declaration
recently from a Board of Deacons at a large area church.
Their judgment and condemnation resulted from an article I
wrote that portrayed the loving relationship of a gay couple
as acceptable to God. In that column I said that Christ's
message of love is boundless and for everyone.
Apparently I'd committed an unpardonable sin: I had
contradicted the Word of God as they saw it. I'd stepped
outside Scripture, which clearly declares that homosexuality
is a sin. But worst of all to these deacons, I would not
confess or recant my beliefs.
We all sin at times, and I couldn't resist a little sinning of
my own. So, I glanced at one of my accusers, a man who
obviously enjoyed that extra piece of pie, and asked, while
pointedly looking at his extensive girth, if gluttony was a
sin? I'd always been told that to Jesus sin is sin and we all
sinned, just in different ways. So wasn't his Gluttony the
same as homosexuality in God's eyes? He got red and didn't
I know the above thoughts of mine are unloving, hence sinful
and cruel. And ask God's forgiveness and do openly confess
them. To me God can never be other than a God of love and
kindness. And I see love and acceptance of all the differences
inherent in God's children as the best way to experience the
joys' Jesus can bring to our hearts and spirits.
I then asked the Deacons to consider a visit to King of Peace
Church some Sunday. I told them how they'd experience the
church members' outpourings of love for Jesus, just like they
experienced at their own church. Perhaps in that expression
they'd come to see the gay and lesbian members as their
brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Deacons' response, voices trembling in anger: "Those
people can't be Christians, they can't love Jesus and be gay
or lesbian. They don't worship Jesus. In their sin they
With those words they closed our meeting and withdrew their
church's financial support of my ministries. While leaving, I
told them that I loved them and would never stop loving them.
Sometimes people disagree over how God sees the world and His
children, but disagreement doesn't cause me to reject or not
continue loving those who disagree with me. To me,
disagreement reveals just how expansive and truly wondrous God
is and shows the countless ways there are of seeing God and
experiencing God's love. And when we allow ourselves to see
Jesus through the eyes of other Christians, or even the God's
of other faiths, our knowledge grows and in this increased
understanding can develop a boundless love for Christ and
In the following letter to me from King of Peace, I hope they
can see the love of Christ it expresses and the spirit of the
God we all love. I've learned that to return hate for hate or
judgment for judgment as I did a little at the beginning of
this column with my joking about gluttony, is not the way of
love and only harms our spirits. It is far better to search
out the love and goodness that exists within all hearts: so
instead of seeing their hatred, see the goodness in them and
in this goodness, feel love for those who despise you:
Dear Steve, Greetings from your sisters and brothers at
King of Peace Church.
It has been a joy as well as an honor for
all us to labor along side of you for the past three years.
Our involvement in your many ministries, projects, and
outreaches in the community has definitely helped enable our
growth in our relationship with God. As the lyrics go in
a song from "Les Miserable" - "to love another
person is to see the face of God".
We also deeply appreciate your unwavering
support of our church's ministries to all people - especially
the gay / lesbian / bisexual / and transgender community.
As a Christ-centered church, King of
Peace has been called of God to adopt a new model of ministry
that is founded on a "Love, Appreciation, and Trust
Culture." As a result, new and wonderful changes are
happening on a regular basis.
As much as we have participated in your
work by supplying volunteers and food, offering our cooking
services, and planning functions for the homeless, we now wish
to do something more! Our Homeless Outreach Team ( H.O.T.)
has changed its name to the Human Outreach Team, and it wishes
to further expand its ministry into the community. That
team has decided to offer more direct assistance to you in the
way of personal monthly financial support in order to free you
up to further enable your work with the homeless, those
suffering from Hepatitis C, people living with AIDS, and so
many other marginalized and forgotten people.
We see this action by one of our
ministry teams as a statement of appreciation and trust in
your personal crusade to be a living witness for God in the
world today. It is our privilege to call you a friend of
our church and to share in your commitment of love for all
Yours in Christ,
Reverend Elder John W. Gill, Pastor
you, Steve Kersker