I recently wrote the pastor of a sizeable church in my area, asking him if he ever discussed the gift of celibacy during his sermons. And I asked him why his church, which is almost 200 years old, had never hired an unmarried preacher. This was his reply. I changed the names of everybody, except myself, and changed the name of the church.
Dear Mr. Morgan,
Thank you for your recent note. It is a rather interesting topic. But here at Family of Grace Baptist Church we welcome everybody. It doesn’t matter what their background is. We just want to express God’s love. There are more married folks here at Family, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love singles too. Our youth pastor spends a good deal of time with the youth and they go on a spring retreat every year. We understand their struggle to find a suitable spouse in a time when there are not many Christian singles to be found. But we share God’s love with them too and are there when they falter in their faith. As you know, many of them have problems keeping their sexual desires under control. We show them mercy and grace and give a special offering every year to the local teen pregnancy center. But the line has to be drawn somewhere and here at Family of Grace it’s drawn on the issue of homosexuality and celibacy. We cannot go down the same road that our country is and we will have no part of same sex marriage. Now, let me be clear. Here at family, we do not follow the doctrines of the Catholic Church with all of their problems with homosexuality among priests trying to follow vows of celibacy. We have a responsibility to be fruitful and multiply. And we recognize that the family is paramount and is the glue that is holding this tenuous society together. We could never hire a man as a pastor who had not matured and shown responsibility for caring for a wife and family. You’re welcome to come visit and I know one of our outreach directors would be happy to talk with you about the grace and mercy Christ offers. Just tell him what your name is so he will know who you are and where you go. Again, thanks for your letter.
Ben Wright, Pastor
Family of Grace Baptist Church