You don't love me 'cos I'm different
We are sometimes asked about our position regarding people who feel put down or rejected because some of their views are different from what is perceived to be the 'main stream'. Questions sometimes include; are we disability friendly?; do we accept people with different life styles or views?; do we hate certain classes of people?
The Church, by definition, is not the building or the organisation, but the worldwide community of those who accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Leader. As such we are uncompromising in applying His teachings and values to our personal lives, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We accept His teaching that none of us will ever achieve the standard set by God. We recognise that Jesus died to close that gap between us and God and that He loves every single person equally.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:22-23 NLT)
The Church clearly understands that not everyone who wants to try us out has yet accepted that path, so anyone is most welcome in our midst, without question about your status or views. We frequently welcome people who have slipped down life's running order or who have different views to us, just as we welcome those who appear to be more 'conventional'. Everyone is treated the same - as long as they don't expect us to change our goals from the standard set by Jesus Christ.
We sincerely hope that everyone will have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and, should that happen for you, we know that He will change your life and your whole being ever more into His likeness. If that's what you want from Church, you will find that we will go far beyond the realms of simple politeness in order to accommodate you and assist you. If it's not, then there are other institutions far better equipped to help you than the church.
On the subject of hate - we have noticed a new phenomenon recently. Some people have been tricked into believing that disagreement means hate. It's a lie! It is not permissible for a true Christian to hate anyone - however that doesn't mean that we are being disrespectful or hateful if we disagree with some of their views.
If you ask us for the church's views on any of a vast range of subjects, we will give them honestly and from the perspective of what Jesus taught. If they do not coincide with your own views, that's fine. We will never cut you off, disrespect you or treat you differently simply because our views are different. As I said before, Jesus Himself loves you as much as He loves me and wants to lead you to the way that will give you the absolute best possible quality of life - by turning away from your self-led life and allowing Him to lead you. For that reason you will never find us singing "I did it my way" in church. 'My way' will frequently lead to disaster and, even at its best, is never as good as 'His way', which is always perfect for us.
Jesus (said), “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)