The Orlando Sentinel published a sympathy piece for its local gay church bemoaning the fact that it couldn’t “attract” youth. Generation gap imperils gay church, the anguished headline reads. Imperils? That’s a highly ironic choice of words, considering their inbred rebellion and the condition of their souls has already imperiled them.
The pews were nearly full for the early Sunday service at Joy Metropolitan Community Church, but just about everybody in the sanctuary was male and most were middle-aged.
Started in 1979, the predominantly gay Orlando church is imperiled by its inability to attract a younger generation of gay and lesbian worshippers. Only about 20 of the 250 people who regularly attend the church are in their 20s and 30s, said the Rev. Lisa Heilig, interim pastor.
“The truth of the matter is the church is either going to stretch and grow — or die,” Heilig said.
The lack of young people at Joy MCC isn’t unusual in itself. Only about a fourth of Americans 18 to 29 years old attend church regularly, according to the latest survey by LifeWay Research, a research organization associated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mainline Protestant denominations such as Baptists, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Methodists are dealing with the same doomsday demographic of aging congregations. But the gay church faces not only fewer young people attending church, but also a greater acceptance of gays in other churches.
They forgot to mention that JMAC is 99.9% white too. Besides, its a fact that the gay church is just a sanitized version of the gay club. One is attended at night and the debauchery is unrestrained. The other is attended during the day and the debauchery is temporarily restrained. Nevertheless the Sentinel “reporter” wanted help to beat the bushes for some impressionable youth to replenish the pews before the increasingly nervous —and aging— homosexual men in the church die out. Reminds me of a Stephen King movie I saw once.
Moreover, gay churches don’t have the built-in ability to attract families with children, teenagers with youth programs, and young people with church services like rock concerts. There are no “crying rooms” for babies at Joy MCC or Sunday-school classrooms or a day-care center during the week.
“Joy MCC is going to have to change and adapt or they are not going to be around,” said Randy Stephens, executive director of Orlando’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Central Florida.
Young people are more fluid about their sexuality and less defined by their sexual orientation, Stephens said. They neither need nor crave the sanctuary that the gay church provided previous generations.
“What I’m finding is they don’t want to go to a church where they are segregated by their sexuality,” said the Rev. Jenn Stiles Williams, who has about 50 young gays in her contemporary service at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando. “Their relationship with God is first, but they want a church where they can be who they are and not have to hide it.”
One of the fallacies that the article attempts to ingrain is that youth are just “attracted” to church. The hand wringing lamenting no “built in abilities”. Exactly, people of the same gender cannot reproduce children. It takes a male and a female to pro-create like The Creator. That’s been a fundamental truth that has kept humanity in tact since the very beginning. In fact it was the divine command. But that’s lost on a “church” full of homosexual men looking for youth to pass their twisted ideologies on to.
What’s even scarier are the suggestions by the church’s cleric leader and the club director that the church is going to have to “change and adapt”. More dripping irony for a group of blind people who fight the one change that they really need.
Give the aging gay church what it wants and it will go away? Only in the movies.