Gay couples in your church directory?

Do I have to go to church? I want to find a church. Are churches good?

Church leaders are often faced with difficult decisions. In fact, they often have to make critical decisions on a weekly basis. Without taking sides in church politics, I feel for the folks at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Texas. They’re having trouble dealing with this issue:

Should gay couples appear in your church’s pictorial directory?

I realize that I’m opinionated, and that I don’t exactly fit the mold of a typical churchgoer…but this doesn’t seem like a difficult decision. If you’re going to welcome homosexuals into your church, and if you’re going to put pictures in your all-church directory, you should include them as well. Here are my reasons:

  1. A church directory is designed to make it easy to recognize and contact those who go to that church. Excluding anyone defeats the purpose of having a directory. They’re either welcome, or they’re not.
  2. Excluding someone from the church directory on the basis that they’re living a sinful lifestyle would make it more difficult for the average churchgoer to recognize and contact other members, including (but not limited to) the elders, deacons, presbyters and – in many cases – the church staff as well.

It seems to me that every church should welcome homosexuals. Jesus came for the sick, not for the healthy. Our churches should be a haven for those who are not yet fully Christlike, including me.

It also seems to me that purposely excluding anyone from your church directory is just a stupid idea. If you’re going to have to make decisions about who to include and who to exclude, why bother having one at all?