God doesn’t do balloon animals

Matthew Carroll's view

Recently, the United Church of Christ made headlines with a controversial television commercial campaign. It featured a bouncer standing outside a church blocking certain people from entering. The list of rejects included a random minority, some guy in a wheelchair and a gay couple. The ad ended with the line, “Jesus didn’t turn people away. Neither do we.”

It’s just a harmless message of acceptance, right? Not quite. Ignoring the absurd suggestion that a church would actually tell Mexicans and paraplegics to take a hike, it becomes apparent that the real message of the commercial lies with the two blokes holding hands.

Essentially, The United Church of Christ is condemning closed-minded Christian churches who do not agree with homosexuality because, as they put it, “Jesus didn’t turn people away.” They would like everyone to know that Jesus caught a couple of episodes of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” and decided that he is down with homosexuals. Jesus accepts everyone, so churches should no longer try to tell people what is right and wrong.

“Come one, come all to the Guilt-Free Church of Christ! Put a dollar in the collection plate and get ready to feel good about yourselves!”

Is this the message that churches should be promoting? Should all sermons be titled “God Loves Me … Isn’t That Neat?”

There is a huge difference between accepting someone and accepting everything that person does. Jesus did not turn people away, but his message was not freedom from restrictions, it was repentance from sin. No one is excluded from God’s love and forgiveness.

As far as I know, there is not a chapter in the Bible that talks about God dressing up like a clown while Jesus juggles cats. If their only job was to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then that is all they would need to do, no fire and brimstone needed.

The responsibility of the Christian church is to preach and teach from the Bible. If the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin — which it does — then it should not try to tell people otherwise. A church that believes the Bible is the true word of God should not attempt to change certain things because they are no longer “politically correct.”

A politically correct Bible is like a Taking Back Sunday greatest hits album. What’s the point?

I go to an independent Baptist church that accepts everyone, no matter what their situation is. If a gay couple wanted to attend church there, no one would turn them away. My church also accepts liars, adulterers, thieves and anyone else who has ever done something wrong. People are people regardless of the sin in their lives, but sin must be addressed, a fact the United Church of Christ would rather just ignore.

One of the main jobs of the church is to help people learn and grow in their faith. If the guy behind the pulpit refuses to say anything that might offend someone, then going to church becomes a pointless ritual — a regurgitation of facts out of a book that is as irrelevant as the people reading it.

Welcome to the modern day Christian church.

Matthew Carroll is a sophomore magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].