NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2016

This Sunday is the final Sunday of Pride Month. I spent the week after “PrideFest” in events commemorating the loss and injury of so many in a gay bar in Orlando. Our community was moved by the outpouring of community support across religions and denominations that came together to express our collective repulsion and grief at this awful event aimed at the LGBTQ community and its allies.

Even the Southern Baptists voted during their convention in St. Louis the same week to stop denouncing gays. Can’t get much better than that, huh? Well that news wasn’t quite as good as it sounded. That turned out to be just another “Hate the sin, love the sinner” ploy. I found it ironic that the same week much of America was mourning the loss of 49 lives and 53 injured in this horrific act of terror carried out against our community, the language to stop denouncing gays, was contained inside a resolution denouncing same sex marriage. What is it about the tyranny of religion that has the inability to see the writing on the wall? Why is it they can’t stop bringing up the rearguard on justices issues and try standing in the vanguard for once in their history?

I know some will read that resolution and say “well, that’s an incremental step in the right direction, isn’t it?” Really? I don’t want to be incrementally free. I want total freedom, glorious freedom, especially from that kind of tyranny of religion.

In the Epistle text for this Sunday, Paul says, “Christ has set us free! That means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again. … My friends, you were chosen to be free …” (Galatians. 5:1 & 13a, Contemporary English Version)

That just says it all! I can’t improve on that! So I’ll just ask you to join us in worship on this last Sunday of Pride Month. We’ll look at how the appalling tyranny of religion was on display toward one of the families of a victim in the Orlando massacre. I’ll also be sharing the way the verses changed my life and to help me experience “Glorious Freedom!” The assigned scripture text is “Galatians 5:1, 13-23.”

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