By Jordan Burgen
I have watched a few sermons online, and attended services a couple times in person as well. Each time I've heard the preaching at Flatirons I've been very impressed and I find the welcoming environment to be a breath of fresh air from what I've experienced church-wise. I do have some questions still though! Your answers to these questions will not effect my attendance, but I am finding a lack of clarity on the website. (I know this can be a sensitive subject, but I really do need direct answers to these questions- not "feel good" ones or ones that skirt around the answer).
1) Do you perform same-sex weddings at Flatirons church? (This may vary by location but I figured the answer would be the same for all campuses)
2) Do you affirm of same-sex relationships and same-sex sexual intercourse within marriage? (Basically: would you tell someone directly that it is okay to "act upon" being lesbian, gay, or bisexual including dating, marriage, and eventually sex after marriage?)
3) Do you affirm of transgender individuals going through hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgery?
Thanks for your time! Again I know these are tough things to navigate for some churches and it won't affect my attendance so I'm just looking for direct answers. Trust me I can handle it :)
Also! I just want to say that I know I said "you" a lot in this email but I'm just looking for the church's official position on all of these subjects. (I'm sorry to put whoever is answering this email on the spot).
Again, thank you for your time and thoughtfulness.
Thanks for reaching out! No worries at all about putting me or us on the spot. I get this question a lot! It is a very important question. I recently posted a similar question and response on the website here: Click Here.
But I will answer each of your questions directly (and probably post them as well so that this particular issue can be addressed more clearly on the website).
- We do not perform same-sex weddings at any of our campuses.
- We do not affirm same-sex relationships or same-sex sexual intercourse within a marriage.
- We do not affirm transgender individuals going through hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgery.
The reason for all three of these is basically the same. Jesus defines marriage in the Bible as between one man and one woman in Matthew 19:4-6. Jesus is quoting Genesis 2:24, where God created the institution of marriage. Furthermore, there are several places in the Bible where homosexuality is explicitly prohibited. These include Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 (both OT), 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 (both NT). In addition, Romans 1:26-27 describes homosexuality as “dishonorable passions” in the ESV. But perhaps more important than the prohibitions is what marriage and gender are meant to represent. God created two genders, each with distinct roles. Marriage is a union of these two genders that symbolizes God’s (and therefore Christ’s) relationship with His people (Ephesians 5:22-33).
As for people who wish to transition to a different gender, the same principle applies. God has given the two genders distinct roles. When God makes someone male or female, it is about much more than just giving them specific body parts. It is intentional and completely His decision. So, as Christians who are told to submit to and obey God, we are to honor the gender that He gave us. Doing something different than God’s intended plan is the very definition of sin.
With that said, welcoming everybody through our doors is very different than agreeing with or affirming all of their beliefs. In fact, we want them to come through our doors so that they can hear TRUTH, not just be confirmed in all of their different beliefs. There is a right way to live. It is described in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t condone all ways of living, so we do not either. But it does condone loving everyone. But loving everyone is different than agreeing with everyone. For example, if my 4-year-old son told me that he wanted to play in the street after dark, that it would make him happy, and then screamed at me when I refused to allow it, I would actually be loving him poorly if I gave in to that demand. Playing in the street after dark is very dangerous for a 4-year-old and might end in something very bad for him. As a loving father, I would have to teach him that that was actually a very bad way to play, and show him a better way.
In the same way, we, as a church, have been tasked with showing people a better way to live, as described in the Bible. This is not politically correct or smiled upon by modern culture. But we are accountable to a God that transcends culture and time itself. It is their choice to adhere to that or not. But our message will not change.
Gay people are more than welcome in our church, just as greedy people are, just as adulterous people are, just as liars are, just as murderers are, etc. But, just as we will not condone the behavior of those sins, we will also not condone the behavior of homosexuality or agree that it is within God’s parameters for marriage. The same goes for transgender people and any other form of “sexual misconduct.” And we do this BECAUSE of love, not in spite of it.
I hope all of this makes sense, but I understand if it brings up more questions or a need for more explanation or clarity. If that is the case, please let me know and I will absolutely go deeper into it with you!
The "Good Questions" blog is a place where some of the really good questions people email into the church can be shared with everyone, along with Jordan Burgen's response. Jordan Burgen is the Content & Theology Pastor here at Flatirons, so he answers a lot of the emails sent