Blurred Stained-Glass Windows: The Church’s Mixed Messages

A troubled teen makes the decision to visit a local church.


At the beginning of the service, the Pastor stands and welcomes those in attendance. “We are all God’s children,” he announces. “Everyone is welcome. We each have talents and gifts that were given to us by God and can be used by God.”

The troubled teen sitting in the congregation listens, hopeful.

Later in the service, the Pastor preaches a passionate message about the all-encompassing love of God and the “whosoever” invitation of the Gospel message.
“God loves us all,” he informs.

The troubled teen wonders.

Before the sermon is done, the Pastor extols the virtues of integrity, and living a life that's honest. “We are not to hide our lights under a bushel. Let your light shine,” he encourages.

The church sang together, Just As I Am.

The troubled teen summons up the courage, and after church, tells the Pastor, “I’m a Christian, and I’ve realized that I’m gay. I need to know what to do.”

The Pastor immediately and adamantly declares that such a sin is an abomination to God, and will result in an eternity of damnation. It is also made clear that until such time as there is clear evidence of repentance, the teen would not be allowed to part of the church.

Confused, the young mind tries to put the disconnected pieces together.

All are welcome.
We are all God's children.
God loves everyone.
Each of us have God-given gifts to offer.
We should all live our lives in honesty.


Then the unspoken reality became clear:
Everyone...except me!

The Pastor left the church, convinced that he had done his Christian duty.

The troubled teen left the building, and ….



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