Apr 122006

Hat tip to Pam’s House Blend for this story. It appeared in Agape Press.

Officials in one Minnesota county are punishing a church for taking a stand against sexual deviance. A report from Associated Press says Anoka County officials are refusing to send any more clients to a church that denied day care to a trans-sexual client. The county’s social services department has been sending disabled senior citizens and other vulnerable adults who need care during the day to Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Francis.

Photo of John Maxfield, Assoc. PastorBut the conservative Missouri Synod church turned away a client who had undergone surgery to be changed from a man into a woman. Associate pastor John Maxfield says the man’s decision is “contrary to God’s revealed will” — and now his church is paying the price for its stand. “The county has basically said that if we would like to continue the contract with new clients,” the pastor explains, “we would have to sign a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation — and that would violate our theological beliefs.” Maxfield notes that although the church is losing a lot of money by taking this stand, obedience to God’s Word is more important. He also believes other churches involved with government-funded programs will face similar challenges.

(Maybe it’s just me, but in the photo of the Assoc. Pastor, it sure looks like he has something shoved up his butt.)

I’m also trying to figure out this whole thing of how the church is “losing a lot of money by taking this stand.” I assume that means the Church was making money before on this program. To me, “making money” means profit. So what kind of scam has this church been running? Are they enjoying tax exempt status, even though they may be operating as a profit making business. Hummm…maybe there’s a call to the IRS in all this. A little scrutiny never hurt anyone.

I wrote Mr. Maxfield the following email. If he happens to respond, I’ll post his response.

Dear Mr. Maxfield:

I have read the story about your church’s adult day care turning away a person because the person has had gender reassignment surgery. According to a quote in the article on Agape Press, you state, “we would have to sign a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation — and that would violate our theological beliefs.”

First, this begs the question, what does a person’s gender have to do with sexual orientation?

I’m in the middle of teaching an adult Sunday school class on the Social Principles of the Methodist Church (I realize you’re not Methodist, but bare with me), and as such have done some research on the topic of how Jesus responded to other people. I have to say, you have some seriously flawed theological beliefs based on my research. I am pretty certain that Jesus (I hope you remember him) was pretty clear in Matthew 22:34-40 to define the greatest commandment as, 37″Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38″This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Unfortunately for you and your perverse theological beliefs, Jesus didn’t stop there in answer to the challenge by the Pharisees. Without missing a beat he went on to say in verse 39, “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

In verse 40, just to be sure the dense Pharisees of that time (and maybe for some seriously ignorant and bigoted people of today)got the message, Jesus goes on to say, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The Agape article says that you believe obedience to God’s Word is more important than the money you are losing. On that point, we agree, but obviously I am reading a different Bible than you. I try, in my life, to do the best I can to rely on the first and second greatest commandments, and the fact that Jesus (you remember him don’t you?) said that everything else hangs off those two. It would seem to me that following those three directives would be important in being obedient to God.

So, I was hoping you would provide me some guidance on which of God’s words say that we turn people away from the church. Any help would be greatly appreciated in furthering my understanding of this theology of exclusion. I look forward to hearing from you.

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