I respond to Louis Stevens' letter published on Tuesday as follows.
It is very unfortunate that Stevens, as a homosexual, experienced condemnation in a church that purports to proclaim the love of God.
Stevens makes some very compelling arguments about how the church should approach homosexuals - extending a hand of love and forgiveness instead of condemnation if homosexuals are the big sinners the church makes them out to be. Very well stated.
As a pastor and devout church member, I have seen exactly what he has experienced and he has all my empathy. Let us not forget that our judgment of homosexuals is based on human interpretation of the scriptures, tainted by our education etcetera and not on divine revelation.
So let us remain humble in our judgment of others. I want to encourage Stevens by advising him not to give up his search for a "homosexual-friendly" church. They are out there and I am pastoring one of them.
Attitudes have changed a lot over the years and tolerance is on the increase in some churches but unfortunately not in others.
A lot of Christians now realise that homosexual people also have a longing for spiritual adherence and participation, in some instances even more so than heterosexuals. So there is hope.
Keep up the search, Stevens.
With love from a non-gay homosexual-friendly Christian pastor.
Pastor PJ Reynders, Ruimsig