With the renewed controversy in the media surrounding the “Statement of Moral Standards” of Crandall University, we considered it necessary to voice our position as a supporting organization.
We are not only not anti-gay, we are not anti-anybody. Our church’s mission is based on the idea that people matter to God – all people – all people of all backgrounds, colours, ethnicities, and sexual orientation. The mat at every door reads, “Welcome.” And, for 250 years we have opened the doors to the full array of humanity that touches the Tantramar region, and hundreds have come to learn the teachings of Jesus. So, to suggest that we are anti-gay, or that we check any kind of issue at the door is simply not true. Just ask the people on various life journeys in our community who have been welcomed here each week.
Now, what is true, is that we challenge homosexuals and heterosexuals to live out the sexual ethics taught in the Scriptures, which encourages full sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of marriage, and prescribes sexual abstinence and purity for everybody else.
But, even as we challenge all of our people to these biblical standards, we seek to do so with grace-filled spirit, knowing the confusion and brokenness that is rampant in our fallen world. And, at Middle Sackville we honour the journey of everyone who is sincerely attempting to follow Christ. So, it’s unfortunate that some have chosen to attack Crandall U. and its supporters for being anti-gay.
I am also concerned by the propensity to attack any group publically without dialogue. We see this foremost in politics and it makes for strained relationships. Jesus taught and modeled a better way – to treat everybody with respect; to believe the best about others; to seek to understand those with whom we might disagree; and, if we must disagree, to attempt to do so respectfully. We acknowledge our own guilt in not always being like Jesus in this way.
Our desire is to respond in genuine Christian love and say that our church is open to anybody, and we would like to have everyone visit us some day. We all need to be willing to talk with a gracious spirit and see if we can come to a better understanding of what it means to live with respect in the midst of differing points of view. Attacks on either side based largely on prejudice and emotion, are at best unhelpful.As for the issue of government funding, every faith-based organization in Canada, of every description, has rights to hold to certain beliefs and operate according to those beliefs. Every one of them also benefit from tax dollars in one way or another. These are taxes paid by adherents to these religious groups as well as the general public. Governments support a variety of causes and special-interest groups, and some of those causes we may not personally support. This is part of our democracy and freedom of religion as stated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The decision of Moncton City Council to issue financial grants is based on their perceived return on their investment, which is their responsibility as community managers. We trust tolerance of differing views will triumph before some seek an end to our rights and freedoms.