Yesterday I had the privilege of attending Activate Church in Adelaide to meet LGBTI members who serve in the church and hear Pastor Brad Chilcott publicly declare they are an affirming church. Read the statement below and watch the video of the announcement and interview afterward with Anthony Venn-Brown, founder of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.
“We announced in this morning’s gathering that Activate would no longer be a part of the Australian Christian Churches (formerly Assemblies of God) denomination because of our choice to include LGBTIQ+ people into the life, ministry and leadership of our church in full equality with any other person.
A significant part of our consideration was the ACC’s membership in the Marriage Alliance, a coalition which we could not be in alignment with.
We think gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people are people. And that’s enough for me, and for our church.
Two thousand years ago the Apostle Paul wrote that in Christ there is no male or female, slave or free, Jew or non-Jew. I wonder what social divides he would’ve included were he writing that letter to the church today.
Many churches are struggling with gender inequality, women are unable to preach or take senior leadership positions. Others have changed their interpretation of Scripture in this area and fully include women.
Some denominations don’t let divorced people share in leadership and some rituals of the church, like communion.
Many, many churches have decided that LGBTIQ people should not be allowed to have equal participation rights in leadership and ministry.
We have a different practice on all these issues because we believe that regardless of gender, sexuality or background there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus and all are loved, welcomed and included equally.
All people are welcome to be full, contributing members of the Body of Christ as expressed in this church.
I hope for the day when we can stop talking about who is included and excluded and unite around a vision of a world set free from violence, greed, exploitation and inequality, where all people have equal access to peace, freedom, belonging and the opportunity to thrive.
Activate is a church that welcomes and affirms people who identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer.
In other words, we welcome and affirm all people into the fullness of life, leadership and ministry in this church.
For this reason, and in solidarity with people who are currently not afforded full participation in society and the church because of their sexuality, we have chosen to leave the Australian Christian Churches denomination and I have chosen to resign my credentials as a pastor in that movement.”
Founder and Lead Pastor of Activate
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