Funny how Facebook algorithms sometimes alert you to events that you’d have no interest in attending. Northwest Bible Church, 8505 Douglas Ave., near the Tollway and Northwest Highway, is planning to engage the LGBT community in “conversations about Jesus,” on Wednesday, Feb. 28, according to its website:
“Join us as we explore how to invite and engage the LGBTQ community into conversations about Jesus. We are providing you with a catered dinner from Cantina Laredo and childcare so make plans to be there! (Please register your child here. Childcare registration closes on Monday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m.) Dinner opens at 5:30 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m. No registration is required to attend the event & dinner.”
Some LGBT advocates, though, are a bit skeptical.
“Skimming the church’s website raises red flags about their intent,” said Resource Center’s Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell.
The website warns:
“Homosexuality is a non-objectionable issue. The physical act itself is considered to be against God’s will and design and is considered wrong in all contexts, including marriage. I don’t say this to mean that people don’t object to it, merely that the Bible leaves no room for objection on the issue.”
“If they truly want to engage to the LGBT community, there are many ways to do that, and I would encourage them to pursue those avenues,” McDonnell said. But, he added, this looks more like a strategy session rather than a meeting to find ways to positively engage.
“This is not something I would participate in,” he said. “There are more constructive ways to build alliances with churches interested in community,” McDonnell said.
Eric Folkerth, senior pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church, called the church out for its disingenuous use of the term “non-objectionable.” He said if he were to use the word, it would mean he has no objections to homosexuality. From Northwest Bible Church’s website, he said the term meant homosexuality was wrong and you can’t object to that interpretation.
“They’ve made up their minds,” he said. “That’s not where many Christians in Dallas are. There are lots of churches in Dallas that welcome the LGBT community.” He called them deceptive and said this “would not be a spiritually healthy conversation to be part of.”
Folkerth said that church was “twisting the words of the Bible.”
“The way they’ve phrased it raises huge red flags,” he said.
— David Taffet