Viewers of CRC persuasion were highly surprised when a character in Sunday’s episode of “The Good Wife” identified herself as a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Rev. Pieter Pereboom, pastor of First CRC in London, Ontario, said his reaction was, “Wow! I am not used to anyone other than Paul Schrader recognizing the CRC in the mass media.”

LuAnn Westerhuis, 56, from Fleetwood CRC in Surrey, British Columbia, was another surprised viewer. “I immediately looked up the writers of the show expecting to find a disgruntled Calvin College alumnus, but that was not the case,” she said.

“The Good Wife” is one of the most popular dramas on network television today, broadcast on CBS in the U.S. and on Global in Canada. (The episode can be viewed on the web until December 11.)

In the episode called “Parenting Made Easy,” the CRC character was fired from her job as a professor because of her religious views about homosexuality. Her views were aligned with the fact that she is Republican. She was being defended by the show’s main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (played by Juliana Margulies).

In fact, it was a college connection that led to the CRC being mentioned in the show, but it wasn’t Calvin.

The show’s executive producer and co-creator, Robert King, attended Westmont College, a Christian liberal arts school in Santa Barbara, Calif., many years ago. He told The Banner that it was there that he encountered some students who belonged to the CRC. He did not know them well. King wrote the episode in question.

“We try to do television differently,” he said, “taking issues normally ridiculed or patronizing and take them seriously.”

He noted that many portrayals of religion are lumped into Baptist, Roman Catholic, or Jewish. He wanted this character’s denominational affiliation to be more specific. “It felt like the CRC fit our interests,” he said. He said they realize that the range of views on homosexuality don’t necessarily match what’s on paper in terms of a church’s official stance.

“We wanted the character to be a little more hard line working in an environment that was hostile,” he said. “I liked that she had a strong argument for her beliefs, and I liked her view that Jesus tempered the need for punishment, hard line but not without compassion.”

The show has matters of faith in several of its story lines, most noticeably the daughter of Alicia, Grace, played by Makenzie Vega. In this episode, Grace sneaks off without her parents’ knowledge to be baptized in a United Church in a strangely private ceremony. Grace has been exploring Christianity, an activity that flummoxes her mother. “We wanted to play off liberal parents whose children rebel in unexpected ways,” said King. “Alicia is so open-minded and liberal and her child becomes more religious.”

The show also has openly gay and bisexual characters.

King said he believes in original sin, and that everyone is in a sinful state. “The show is showing people in a fallen state,” he said.

CRC viewers weren’t necessarily happy with how the CRC came across in the episode. Westerhuis said, “The portrayal of the character could very well fit a CRC church member, but certainly not all CRC members have the same political or social views. CRC members [in Canada] find themselves on a continuum from conservative to liberal, depending on the issue.”

Andrea Kloet DeVries, 42, was flattered that the show was accurate about the church’s name. She felt that the character could easily be a CRC member, but “as she is only one person, she was not a full accurate portrayal of the entire church.”

She did not like it that in an appearance on prime time television, the church was associated with the controversial topic of homosexuality. “Christianity is much more than one topic,” she said. DeVries attends Meadowlands Fellowship CRC in Ancaster, Ontario.

Pereboom thought the portrayal of the church was largely negative, but he did appreciate that the character insisted on reading the Old Testament command in the light of the grace and mercy won for us in Christ.

Heather Fieten, also from First CRC, said, “I would have preferred it if the writers had chosen another faith group to ‘pick on.’ The idea that if the professor was a member of the CRC then she must be a Republican and anti-gay is somewhat annoying.”

Rev. Joel Boot, executive director of the denomination, wrote a letter to the Kings and CBS, objecting to what he termed the caricaturing of the CRC’s position on homosexuality.

“What was not shared or even hinted at in the episode was what our church actually believes and teaches about homosexuality” he wrote, laying out four main points of the CRC’s position. He requested that CBS post a link to the denomination’s website where the CRC’s position is described.

He also asked that CBS not re-air the episode without either editing it or providing an apology for misrepresenting the CRC’s position “on this important and sensitive topic.” (See below for the full text of the letter.)

[Letter to CBS from Rev. Joel Boot]
Dec. 9, 2011

Robert and Michelle King
Creators and Executive Producers, “The Good Wife”

Dear Mr. and Mrs. King,

On behalf of the more than 250,000 members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, it was a surprise and a shock to hear our church being singled out in a recent episode of “The Good Wife” that aired on CBS on Dec. 4, 2011.

Episode #58, “Parenting Made Easy” highlighted and then caricatured the Christian Reformed Church with regard to our supposed position on homosexuality. This misrepresentation does a disservice to both our church and to your viewers.

What was not shared or even hinted at in the episode is what the Christian Reformed Church actually believes and teaches about homosexuality.
We hold that all sexuality for all persons has been broken as a result of sin in the world.
We recognize a distinction between homosexuality as a human condition and homosexualism as a lifestyle.
We believe that the church is called to provide community and pastoral care to all persons, including those with a homosexual orientation.
We are called to love all persons even as we also uphold identified biblical injunctions regarding lifestyle.

I believe that an appropriate response would be for you to provide a link to the Christian Reformed Church’s stated position on homosexuality. That position is described on our website at: http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions_homosexuality.cfm. Our website also contains links to additional materials regarding homosexuality. Even if you do not agree with our perspective, please let viewers judge what we teach and believe from factual statements, rather than the caricature that was presented in your program.

In addition, I ask that Episode #58 not be re-aired or put into any seasonal episode package without editing or providing a statement of apology for misrepresenting the Christian Reformed Church’s position on this important and sensitive topic.

I appreciate your review and consideration of this matter. I am available for further discussion about how CBS portrays people of faith and particularly the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Sincerely,

Rev. Joel R. Boot
Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America

cc: CBS-TV

About the Author

Gayla Postma is news editor for The Banner.

See comments (43)

Comments

OK...I think the official hot button issue for the CRCNA in 2012 may be homosexuality- interesting it was pushed not by a church member but a TV writer who had a casual encounter with CRC culture. Then to add to the intrigue- a letter from our ED "to boot."

We are called to be lights in this world, to be in the world- but not of it. We are being watched know on how we respond- let our answers show clarity, not jargon; not "knee-jerk" either, but love and wisdom.

Writers of the Good Wife chose to use our denomination as a touchstone for their episode; may our touchstone be scripture as we write the sequel to this dialogue that may not be of our choosing.

It is interesting that a casual remembrance by a TV producer produces a flurry of wonder, excitement, concern, and activity in the CRC. Personally, I wish it hadn't. Imagine if the Catholic or Baptist church or representatives from the Jewish community felt the need to investigate and letter write every time they were mentioned in a way that did not completely accurately represent them? Did we actually think the producers would research the exact position of the CRC and then attempt to represent it perfectly? I think the mature thing to do would have been to take it for what it is, a TV drama, and focus on more important things.

Even if the episode's writer and director had decided to devote another minute or two to the scene in question (which is doubtful), do you really think that our ED's suggestions would have been helpful? Would the viewer have understood the subtle distinctions between "homosexuality as a human condition," "homosexualISM as a lifestyle," and "homosexual orientation"? Or would they simply be confused?

CRC folks who are obsessed with "the biblical injunction" (OT) would benefit from viewing and discussion of the 2009 TV film "Prayers for Bobby." Would they identify with Bobby's mother, his father, or his siblings? Should Bobby's suicide simply be regarded as an inevitable consequence of sinfulness and brokenness rather than a personal tragedy?

It would have been more appropos for Joel Boot to point out what the new testament says about homosexuality, which is usually what is ignored by those who want to put a negative context to it.

Other than that, as politicians say, any publicity is good publicity. Ignorance of existance is worse than ignorance of a particular position or nuance. You can't correct the second until you correct the first, first.

While Joel Boot gives the correct official response, I am glad that we can be broad shouldered enough to take a little abuse. Giants like we are are seldom slain by a pea shooter.

What Rev. Boot fails to realize is that the CRC's official position is far more degrading to the CRC than the rather benign portrayal in The Good Wife. Be grateful they didn't provide more explanation.

Joel Boot needs to step outside the cloistered confines of the CRC denominational offices. To non-CRC people, the church's stated position on homosexuality sounds bizarre. To them, the CRC's contrived distinction between homosexuality vs "homosexualism" amounts to schizophrenic rationalization. Now that you have pointed CBS to a link that explains the church's official position, they may very well do a whole series of shows. If not CBS, then perhaps Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report?

As a Gay Man, who respects a persons belief. Believe it or not I was born this way. In a CRC family as well.....! No person in their right mind would chose being gay and invite all sorts of scorn and abuse, even from those in religious circles who talk about love, and think they are liberal by loving the sinner not the sin. Justifying this whole "bully syndrome" True love does not set rules or guidelines by which one can decide. I know my reaction is due to the fact you pushed my button!
It is good to read some sensible well thought out comments. Here is one I rather like: "Other than that, as politicians say, any publicity is good publicity. Ignorance of existance is worse than ignorance of a particular position or nuance. You can't correct the second until you correct the first, first".

If I were the ED I definitely would not have sent the letter Boot wrote. I wouldn't have sent any letter at all but just leave things be. We should be thankful that our little denomination has been finally recognized in a mainstream TV show. Just because the CRC has an official position that is 30 years old and out of touch with the real world, it doesn't mean that everybody in the CRC agrees with it. Also, I dont know where he got 250K members from;I think its closer to 200K.

Can someone please quote the actual dialogue that took place about the CRCNA in the show?

To speak of the CRC (and many religious institutions) as suffering from a sort of "bully syndrome" is completely fair and accurate. We do not treat people with love and respect, in many cases. It is sad, and should be the focus of our discussions and prayer on homosexuality.

However, the simple fact of having the position that homosexual acts are sinful, is not disrespectful or unloving. The distinction between tendency or desire versus action is completely Biblical and legitimate.
True love certainly does set rules and guidelines by which each of us can decide what actions to take.

I can not empathize with those who have a homosexual orientation. Still, I can say that all of us struggle every day with the temptation to sin in many ways.
I know that probably doesn't change anyone's mind or make anyone feel a lot better. But I do want to support those who believe our position describes an honest ideal worth striving for, even though we have a long way to go in living it out.

truthmatters: you can watch the clip and see for yourself what was said and in what context by going to this link on the CBS website: http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_good_wife/

The discussion in question begins shortly after the 25th minute and continues for a few minutes after that.

Even though I did not see the episode in question, I must say that I appreciate Rev. Boot's response. The topic is difficult enough without such a 'narrow' representation (as I read it from your article).

My wife and I are fascinated by this show [and also “Person of Interest”], and we saw Sunday’s program when they used the CRC in the plot lines. Seems the church (any denomination) can’t win when it gets the attention of the culture and popular media, especially when they aren’t represented just right in the script or situation. Waiting for some new book titled “The Good Wife and The Good News.” (PS: We are not CRC members or attenders.)

So, I read the article, still haven't seen the episode, still don't care to. But my big question is this: Banner, couldn't you have interviewed someone NOT from Canada. Not trying to be totally mean, but as the complaints here are that the show is a biased one side view of the CRC so is this article on what we believe. Please be more fair and balanced to how you interview

Good for Joel Boot,

I wholeheartedly agree. The CRC was not painted in a good light and so it bordered on slander when the character was given a CRC label. It portrayed our church as somewhat small minded and graceless even in spite of the quick 'Jesus reference' in the show.
The CRC has a very balanced and gracious way in which we treat homosexuality. The episode painted us as stuck in the OT law and without an understanding of how the OT and its laws (from Leviticus - as were referenced in the show) are packaged in a cultural setting. A setting which the NT recognizes and Jesus demonstrates when he teaches us how to love our neighbour or how to graciously heap burning coals on our enemies (an act of kindness meant to bless an offender) in Romans 12.

Does Joel Boot actually think that CBS is going to cater to his demands? Does he actually think that society needs to go look up the CRC's "official beliefs" after the show?

Deal with it. You (the CRC) have been blasting out hatred toward gays for many, many years. Your chickens have come home to roost. Numbers are dwindling. The rest of the world is seeing you (the CRC) for what you are. The Dutch are far less homogenized today and are leaving the mother CRC.

This man's silly letter has pushed me one step further!

Oh, by the way, the woman on TV said she was a "Member" of the CRC, not an official representative or Minister! You take yourselves too seriously, much the reason there is ALWAYS controversy in this church.

I just watched the episode again, I followed the link provided by Joel Boot, I re-read the CRC position, and I still do not understand what the character in the show said that is technically inconsistent with the official position of the CRC on this issue. I have also listened to CRC ministers use this same sort of language from the pulpit. So what is Mr. Boot complaining about? My theory is that, like many others, Mr. Boot is conflicted. Intellectually, the CRC’s position makes sense (to some). But on the other hand, deep down inside, it just doesn’t feel right. Rationalization?

I am not a fan of the show, but I did watch this episode with interest. I am very encouraged by how the CRC was represented in this episode. In this 42 minute show the writers of the episode try to deal with a very real challenge that Christians of all denominations (not just the CRC) face - "In a liberal, permissive culture that prizes relativism as its standard, how do Christians remain faithful to God's Word, which often challenges our culture's standard." In this episode this challenge is played out via the hot-button issue of homosexuality. I am sure the intent of the writers was not to provide an educational program about the CRC's position on homosexuality as it would take much longer than 42 minutes to do that (and be much less interesting to watch). Rather, the conflict in the show was between a conservative, Bible believing Christian who happens to be CRC (this describes many CRCers, including myself) and a university dean who unfairly fires the professor because of her beliefs about homosexuality. The English professor says she believes the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. It is Michael J. Fox's character who represents the dean in court, not the CRC English professor, who suggests she is homophobic when he quotes God's judgment for homosexuality as found in Leviticus. If God’s Word is authoritative how do we approach verses like Leviticus 23:13? I think the English professor gives a good answer in her comment towards Michael J. Fox. It made me proud to be a part of the CRC - "To say that Jesus' love tempered the need for punishment doesn't change what is right and wrong." While the death penalty in Leviticus introduces us to God's holiness and justice, the English professor shows us the other side of the coin- God's mercy and love as revealed in the Gospel of Jesus. I don’t see how this comment made by the English professor stands in contrast to any of the 4 points that define the CRC’s stand on homosexuality as mentioned in John Boot’s letter. As I read it, the English professor’s comment is a rewording of the 4th point, “to love all persons even as we also uphold identified biblical injunctions regarding lifestyle.” By the end of the episode the viewer is (1) sympathetic to the fired professor. This goes against the grain of popular media that typically portrays conservative Christians as bigoted and closed-minded. (2) That a conservative response to homosexuality is not based on homophobia but on the Word of God, (3) understands that a conservative response to homosexuality as based on God's Word can both recognize homosexuality as a sinful and as an area in which God’s love and grace can be applied, (4) that a response to homosexuality based on God's authoritative Word is a valid response that should be respected, even if one disagrees with it, (5) and that liberal-minded stereotypes often misrepresent what many conservative Christians believe.

Thank you Robert and Michelle King for so accurately portraying the challenge we as Christians face when we are stereotyped and misrepresented by those who are more liberal-minded.

I am disappointed by Joel Boot’s strong advocacy for the current position of the CRC. Yes, the ruling class has successfully imposed this position on the entire denomination. No, this is not the view held by everyone in the denomination. Many believe that the CRC’s official position is deeply flawed. Those who say it is based on scripture fail to acknowledge the credible and well-supported arguments that say the CRC’s position does not correctly understand and apply scripture. This issue is far from settled. Synod voted 93 to 81 against re-examining the CRC position. It is disturbing to see the Executive Director of the denomination pander to the extreme right, while ignoring the 47% who disagree.

No one outside the CRC will even remember tomorrow that the CRC was mentioned as the church that this character attended.
So many important things to discuss, but we like to make mountains out of molehills.

Not only that, but why such a defensive response? Either stand behind what you believe or move on.

The CRC's stated position on homosexuality is wishy washy, partly unbiblical, and embarrassing to stand upon with any credibility.

that girl... AMEN

It was not my intent to kill discussion on the subject entirely with my earlier comment.
Just because the CRC's name was used on television, I don't believe we should be getting in a tizzy about it, however, if it opens a dialogue about our stand on homosexuality, I believe that's a worthy discussion to have.
In regard to the CRC's "wishy-washy" stand on homosexuality, I believe there is quite a number of factors that weigh in here.
On one side:
The biblical truth we face is that homosexual acts are sinful ones. If we believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God, and we accept our interpretation of that, we must stand behind that.
That said:
We cannot ignore that we all are born to weakness regarding certain sins.
The first problem is that most sins are hurtful to others... murder, theft, greed, etc. Homosexual acts are not, especially when two people have committed themselves and their lives to each other. It makes it difficult to denounce.
The second is that when you ask someone to give up their sins, you generally are not taking something away from them that is fundamental to their lives: a union of love with another person. When we tell a homosexual to give up his sin, we also condemn them to a life of loneliness. We are called to be loving and kind to others, so I think we face a lot of guilt and difficulty with handing that life of loneliness over.

So what's are response? Stick with what our interpretation of the Bible has given us, and live by that? Or, do we make a stand at all, and hand over the responsibility to the individual to make their own decisions regarding whether the acts of homosexuality are a sin.

I do think it's something we need to think about, pray about, and discuss if that helps.

This, however, is key: we should not ever give up our position based solely on public opinion. The fear of how we are viewed by some people should never affect our beliefs.

That girl, Yes, this subject is worthy of further discussion. However, I respectfully challenge your presumption about biblical truth. The bible does not say that modern day committed gay relationships are sin. The bible talks about sex practices in connection with idol worship and other issues but it does not say that sex between committed lesbian or gay partners is sin. I know this has long been the presumed meaning of scripture but this presumption is inaccurate. Much literature has been published in recent years and there has been a rather extensive discussion about this subject in the comment boxes following the Banner article, “A Defining Issue for the 21st Century,” August 26, 2011 and the Banner news story, “No New Study of Homosexuality,” June 14, 2011

John, I was arguing from the CRC official position when I made my points against homosexual acts.

Thanks for the clarification. You comments are excellent.

There are no legitimate evangelical, Reformed bible scholars who would separate biblical injunctions against homosexuality from the contemporary debate. Those who would attempt to do so are invariably from mainline traditions that have a low opinion of the inspiration and authority of Scripture, at odds with our confessions.

Kirk, Your statement is just plain false. I personally know a number of legitimate (PhD, well respected by peers, published) bible scholars in the CRC and other reformed churches who disagree with you. I suppose you reserve the right to define "legitimate" as some who agrees with you? Are you saying that Dr. Lewis Smedes was not a legitimate evangelical reformed bible scholar?

QUOTES FROM EVANGELICAL SCHOLAR DR. LEWIS SMEDES.
In sum, then, the promiscuous and lust-driven people Paul was talking about in his letter to the Romans could not have been, it seems to me, Christian homosexual people who - being left with no better option - choose to live together in covenanted partnerships.

My church's exclusion of homosexuals who confess Christ and live together in committed love makes me very sad in the same way. And when I think about it, I am haunted by the same hymn. Is there really a wideness in God's mercy like the wideness of sea? Is his mercy wide enough for people who, through no choice of their own, have no other way to fulfill one of the deepest of all human needs but the way that my wife and I have fulfilled them for fifty years - in an abiding partnership of lasting love? I think I know my own heart well enough to believe that if his mercy is wide enough for me, it must be wide enough for them.
http://www.soulforce.org/article/638

(excerpt from The Bible is an Empty Closet by Dr. Ralph Blair)
...as Calvin Theological Seminary Old Testament scholar Marten H. Woudstra says: "there is nothing in the Old Testament that corresponds to homosexuality as we understand it today" and as SMU New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish says: "There is no 'text on homosexual orientation in the Bible." Says Robin Scroggs of Union Seminary: "Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today's debate. They should no longer be used ... not because the Bible is not authoritative, but simply because it does not address the issues involved. ... No single New Testament author considers [homosexuality] important enough to write his own sentence about it."
http://www.ecwr.org/resources/the-bible-and-homosexuality.html

John-
May of us are aware of the rumors about Dr. Woudstra. However, the man is deceased and whatever his motivations were, he never publicly expressed the view that gay relations were acceptable. Smedes did grow up in the CRC and was an apologist, teaching at Fuller. He did, in my opinion, go off the deep end shortly before his death. Neither man, however, ever published are argument for same sex marriage in an evangelical journal.
As to your other, examples- Union Seminary?? Not exactly a bastion of Reformed thought for the past 100 years. I would encourage you to consider the works of RC Sproul, NT Wright or our own Neal Plantinga on this topic.

Dear Kirk,
I wonder if you're aware of the "legitimate" Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.'s view on the gender of God. Probably not.

Go to this web address to watch a video of Dr. Lewis Smedes explaining his views on this topic. He seems lucid to me.
http://current.com/groups/religion/89042616_theres-a-wideness-in-gods-me...

Jake Sneider and That Girl, as well as most of us, could benefit from some additional courses on biblical interpretation,rather than rushing to conclusions based on superficial knowledge. It is important to study the historical context and recognize the overriding Jewish cultural influences when interpreting scripture. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to take one text out of context and use it to form a viewpoint. Even the term authoritative infallible word of God is a nebulous abstract concept that some human being coined. Many of the conservative and right wing views within the CRC are a result of a top down indoctrination process by pastors and a tight control of the denomination by some clergy. Look at the flack when a couple of Calvin professors stated that the Adam-Eve story was probably myth; something most well-informed scholars knew already decades ago. We need to stop labelling others as sinners and shift the focus to ourselves to be more like Jesus and less like Jerry Falwell. Even Sneider’s reference to conservatives being Bible-believing Christians makes me wonder if those of us on the more progressive end are not included in this community. Jesus showed compassion and that’s all we are called to do, and leave the judgments and labels up to God.

Arguments about the CRC's position on homosexuality aside, I find it embarrassing that the executive director wrote the letter. The thought that the producers of the show ought to be concerned about the nuances of our position or that they might care how we feel about the reference in the show seems far fetched. I think we would have come out looking (and actually being) much more mature simply saying nothing. I hope this article doesn't appear in the Banner.

Here are some websites that may help LGBT CRC members:

Evangelicals Concerned
http://www.ecwr.org/

The Gay Christian Network
http://www.gaychristian.net/index.php?

Gay Christian 101
http://www.gaychristian101.com/index.html

Soul Force
http://www.soulforce.org/

Would Jesus Discriminate?
http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/

Christian Gays
http://www.christiangays.com/

Gay Christian Survival Group
http://gaychristiansurvivors.com/

Gay Christian Online
http://www.gaychristianonline.org/

Wow... reading the article, and especially the 'reactions' of some church members, and then reading Rev. Boot's letter, and finally the comments here... I'm so glad I left the CRC years ago. Friends and family keep sending me links to articles like this and I wonder why? Are they hoping things in the CRC will ever change? Are they hoping over time people might wake up to the truth of the Gospels?

I gave up hope for the CRC years ago.

Despite the CRC's "official position" on homosexuality, in practice gay kids in the CRC are given two options: kill yourself or leave. I heard it from pastors, I heard it from teachers, and I heard it from 'good christian' parents and kids. Most in the CRC don't even know (or agree) with what the "official position" is. Stop fooling yourselves.

If you're gay and reading this, get out. Find a supportive community or church elsewhere. Don't listen to the people who 'love the sinner but hate the sin.' No where in the Bible will you find Christ advocating conditional love. No where do you find Christ saying "I'll love you but..." or "If only you were like this..."

Christ is love, and anyone who tells you differently is selling you a big steaming pile of something else. God loves you just the way you are.

I agree with Morgan C. Demanding an apology for airing the personal opinion of one fictional character who merely claimed CRC affiliation on one TV episode seems oversensitive. The creator/writer's quote on the character further highlights an overreaction: "I liked that she had a strong argument for her beliefs, and I liked her view that Jesus tempered the need for punishment, hard line but not without compassion." From someone who was born and raised CRC, and educated in CRC schools, I would say that description fits the majority of CRC members. I don't understand the discrepancy of this character and CRC folk.

In an earlier comment (John - December 19, 2011 - 3:48 pm) we were invited to view a 30 minute video by the late Rev. Dr. Lewis Smedes, a respected CRC theologian and retired professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Seminary. Some may not take the time to watch the prophetic wisdom offered by my friend, Lew, so I will provide a three paragraph transcript from the heart of the message below.

“…and then I met a lot of other gay people, lesbian people, who suffered a lot — in the hands, of all things, their churches. The ONE place on this Earth where grace, and love, and fairness ought to be the theme of life for them. Their gay children — their gay sons, their lesbian daughters — are treated with such cruelty and injustice.

Nobody that I’ve met in these churches wants to be cruel — and wants to be unjust and unfair in their treatment of them. But, their minds are so conditioned that when they are cruel to homosexual people, their minds tell them that all they are doing is eschewing rejecting SIN. And, that grieves me so terribly.

I think that the Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the Church. It’s living heresy — because it’s treating God’s children as if they’re not God’s children. If there’s any heresy in the world, it’s that. It isn’t just that the Church is making a mistake — it’s doing a great wrong.”

In the rest of the video, Lew makes a scholarly defense of the above words. Allow him the grace to hear out his arguments. It grieves me that he did not live long enough to defend his words. He was a skilled and loving teacher.

In an earlier comment (John - December 19, 2011 - 3:48 pm) we were invited to view a 30 minute video by the late Rev. Dr. Lewis Smedes, a respected CRC theologian and retired professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Seminary. Some may not take the time to watch the prophetic wisdom offered by my friend, Lew, so I will provide a three paragraph transcript from the heart of the message below.

“…and then I met a lot of other gay people, lesbian people, who suffered a lot — in the hands, of all things, their churches. The ONE place on this Earth where grace, and love, and fairness ought to be the theme of life for them. Their gay children — their gay sons, their lesbian daughters — are treated with such cruelty and injustice.

Nobody that I’ve met in these churches wants to be cruel — and wants to be unjust and unfair in their treatment of them. But, their minds are so conditioned that when they are cruel to homosexual people, their minds tell them that all they are doing is eschewing rejecting SIN. And, that grieves me so terribly.

I think that the Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the Church. It’s living heresy — because it’s treating God’s children as if they’re not God’s children. If there’s any heresy in the world, it’s that. It isn’t just that the Church is making a mistake — it’s doing a great wrong.”

In the rest of the video, Lew makes a scholarly defense of the above words. Allow him the grace to hear out his arguments. It grieves me that he did not live long enough to defend his words. He was a skilled and loving teacher.

In an earlier comment (John - December 19, 2011 - 3:48 pm) we were invited to view a 30 minute video by the late Rev. Dr. Lewis Smedes, a respected CRC theologian and retired professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Seminary. Some may not take the time to watch the prophetic wisdom offered by my friend, Lew, so I will provide a three paragraph transcript from the heart of the message below.

“…and then I met a lot of other gay people, lesbian people, who suffered a lot — in the hands, of all things, their churches. The ONE place on this Earth where grace, and love, and fairness ought to be the theme of life for them. Their gay children — their gay sons, their lesbian daughters — are treated with such cruelty and injustice.

Nobody that I’ve met in these churches wants to be cruel — and wants to be unjust and unfair in their treatment of them. But, their minds are so conditioned that when they are cruel to homosexual people, their minds tell them that all they are doing is eschewing rejecting SIN. And, that grieves me so terribly.

I think that the Church’s treatment of homosexuality has become the greatest heresy in the history of the Church. It’s living heresy — because it’s treating God’s children as if they’re not God’s children. If there’s any heresy in the world, it’s that. It isn’t just that the Church is making a mistake — it’s doing a great wrong.”

In the rest of the video, Lew makes a scholarly defense of the above words. Allow him the grace to hear out his arguments. It grieves me that he did not live long enough to defend his words. He was a skilled and loving teacher.