What is Refuge.Church stance on “the whole gay thing.” It’s the most asked question I receive from those considering making Refuge their Fort Myers church home. Are you LGBTQ affirming? Will you, as a pastor of Christ, perform gay marriages? Do you consider homosexuality a sin?
Generally my answer has gone something like this: We are a church of misfits. Everyone is welcome. And we mean it. There are those in our church who think acting upon same sex attraction is a sin, and there are those who fully affirm the gay community. Since when do we have to agree on everything to be a community of Christ?
Our name may answer the question best. We are a REFUGE. That means we are a safe place for ALL to take shelter, and that all includes the LGBTQ+ community. At Refuge.Church we believe the message of love and compassion are at the very core of the life and ministry of Jesus, and it’s time for Christians to open their tables, homes and arms to the gay community.
And so in keeping with this openness, within this church you will find those affirming of all sexual orientations and gender identities. You will firm those who are non-affirming (but loving). You will find those serving who are in a committed same sex relationship. You will find members who are same sex attracted but choosing to live a celibate life. And you’ll find plenty who are trying to figure out where they line up on the gay question, but desiring to be part of a church where they can work through the question without judgment.
In the summer of 2021, I (Brian) preached a message called The Gay Question as part of our summer series of Difficult Questions that further expounds upon this question and both my personal position and the churches position.
It’s important to note, not everyone at Refuge agrees on “the gay question“. That’s precisely our culture!!! Refuge.Church is committed to being a safe place to have grace filled, intelligent conversations on the difficult questions (sexuality, science, doubt, etc) and not allow those questions to divide us from our mission of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus.