I'm probably going to regret this, but I have a few thoughts regarding a church asking its members to decide whether gays and lesbians should be allowed to worship.

The issue first arose a little over a year ago when Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas decided it was time to bring the emotionally charged issue to a vote of the congregation.

"We had a gay man in our church who kept being nominated to be ordained as a Deacon."

After more than a year's worth of discussion the votes were counted - and 61% of the 948 voting parishioners said 'yes' to LGBT worshipers - which is great!

It wasn't without controversy though. Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield acknowledges that the church lost a few members over the debate.

"We've lost more than a few over the 14 months of the study."

And now because of the vote the church may be facing sanctions from the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

When I first read this story it really struck a nerve with me. Maybe because of the fact that I'm currently struggling with the whole 'organized religion thing' myself.

Maybe I'm being naive and simplistic, but when Jesus walked the Earth didn't he preach love and acceptance for one another?

It's not for the parishioners in the pews, or the minister standing at the alter, to decide whether someone is 'worthy' of attending church on Sunday.

When did organized religion become so judgmental? Worship should be welcoming to EVERYONE. Sexual preference is none of the church's business.

I see so many churches preaching one thing and doing just the opposite. Looking good in the eyes of the community seems to be the #1 priority these days.

If we could only convince churches to spend a little less money on lavish fixtures and a little more on people, just think what we (as a society) could accomplish.


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