Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Boise Pride parade-conclusion

This is the label was made to affix to water bottles and to be handed out to the public free of charge as part of an outreach to the homosexual community.

This label includes the church logo, the church mission statement, the churches website and a website that will direct someone interested in leaving this lifestyle... nothing by force.

Also included on these labels is the scripture from John 4:13 which is the whole point of this ministry which reads:

John 4:13,14: Jesus answered and said unto her, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

This is one side of a two-sided flyer also as part of our ministry outreach that was handed out in addition to the bottles of water.

This was the second side of the two-sided flyer to send a message to anyone that received one of these flyers that we didn't turn people away and if they were interested in attending we would be happy to have them.

I was a little hesitant about this side at first because I did not want people to think that we associated all homosexuals to being criminals but only as another example that if Jesus didn't turn people away we wouldn't either. From the reception we had, no one seemed to take offense so I believe it was well recieved.

This outreach is called "The living water project" and began in Columbus, Ohio by friends of mine, Coach Dave Daubenmire of and Jim Harrison of who had planned on introducing this concept to the homosexual community at their parade in Columbus with over 4o,000 attendees.

The original version of this project was focused on the bottled water but we decided to take it one step further and include flyers.

The living water project is unique in that it targets and focuses the homosexual community. Today's Christian churches have managed to reach out to every other group of people but the homosexuals. They take care of the homeless, give to food banks, help out at church, take part in safe community projects, bake sales, garage sales as long as it does not push them out of their comfort zone.

The Living water project takes a message to this community. It enables Christians to reach out with the love of Christ, to prove that we are not "hateful" and let's them know that we are not scared " homophobic" of them, that we do not see them any differently than anyone else.
We do not feel it necessary to point fingers at them knowing that we certainly would not want fingers pointed at ourselves for the things that we do or have done.

This project also is a way to engage apathetic congregations to step out of their comfort zone, to become familiar with ministry, outreach, fear (of the unknown) and also a wonderful way to learn about something first hand while doing what Jesus has commanded us to do- Love God and Love thy neighbor.

For me this project was so much more in that it gave me the ability to learn and interact with others of whom I had known very little about. We in many Christian churches are taught that homosexuality is a sin. We are also taught that a sin is a sin indicating that according to scripture, one sin isn't necessarily any different that any other. Still Disagreeing with their lifestyle doesn't mean I need to be divisive or hateful because no one has ever turned away from their sin while being mocked and ridiculed. If Love conqueres all that by love it shall be done.

Interestingly enough, I set out on this journey, in part, to find out if the hated was media driven or a reality between opposing worldviews. To my amazment I received more hate mail from fellow Christians than those who support the homosexual agenda. An outreach pastor in Jersey who believed that I shouldn't be handing out water because they didn't deserve it, another in New York who called me wimpy because I didn't preach "fire and brimstone" and yet another stating that by entering the parade I gave more of an appearance that I supported the parade and the lifestyle they are promoting. Obviously these claims are false just by reading the articles and listening to the radio interview.

I do not say this to be used as ammunition against myself and others who believe as I do, only to bring awareness to fellow Christians about the importance about our attitudes and how we view others and what we say.If we are true Chrisitians then we are to follow Jesus and lead by His example.

Just to clarify, I do not support the hate crimes legislation because rather than eliminating hate crimes it actually perpetuates it. I believe hate crimes legislation to be redundant and unconstitutional, a violation of free speech. A crime is a crime and no special legislation is needed if the law is followed. Certianly speaking in oppostion of anything in this country should not be a crime?

Anyway,When this event was over I was enlightened, charged and left with a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done. I began this journey alone, looking for other people to join with me but prepared to go it alone if I had to because I felt compelled to. I couldn't back now, didn't really want to even though many of my friends told me that I would be hurt, ridiculed, chastised or even jailed. My response was simply that Jesus and the apostles were, was I or were they better than they who endured so much more?

Five others, including the pastor of Canyon Springs Christian church and I attended together and our lives were forever changed. Thank you to all of them and to all who attended who treated me with respect regardless of our differences.

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