[by Dean Smith] Stan Mitchell, 46, says he is being moved along by a Divine wind, others suspect the movement is coming from his proverbial slide down a slippery slope.
Mitchell is pastor of GracePointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee and though he considers himself an Evangelical others question that claim.
The church recently announced that homosexuals and others “living in sin” will now be able to serve in leadership positions in the church. He added the church will also marry homosexual couples.
Up to this point, they were allowed to attend church, but nothing more.
Mitchell announced from the pulpit these people have now been granted full membership in the church, instead of just the partial membership they had up to that point. Aside from serving in leadership, full membership also includes receiving water baptism and the sacraments, baby dedication and marriage.
“We were thrust, I believe, by a divine wind, into a prayerful, painful, invigorating, careful and hopeful conversation regarding sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Mitchell added that homosexuals have left the church because they weren’t fully included.
However, since the announcement, hundreds more have left because of the decision. According to Time magazine, in 2012 GracePointe was averaging upwards of 1,000 people a week when they began discussing the issue, and since making the final decision its attendance had plummeted to under 500. There was no sign if Carrie Underwood, who considered this her home church, has left or stayed.
Mitchell confessed he is not absolutely positive this was the right decision, but was pushing ahead with it anyway.
The real issue is how do you treat the Bible. Is it the Word of God as it claims? Is it the foundation of our faith or not?
If it isn’t, then the slide begins and who knows where it will ultimately end. What other doctrines will be tossed aside because they are inconvenient or not culturally acceptable?
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; (Ephesians 4:14 NASV)
There is a line being drawn in the sand and at some point all of us will need to decide if the Bible is Scripture or just some thoughtful advice?