The following comes from a March 15 Christian Post article by Anugrah Kumar:
The Elder Board of San Francisco’s largest evangelical church, City Church, has announced that the megachurch will end its practice of preventing LGBT people from becoming members if they are unwilling or unable to practice lifelong celibacy.
“Our pastoral practice of demanding life-long ‘celibacy,’ by which we meant that for the rest of your life you would not engage your sexual orientation in any way, was causing obvious harm and has not led to human flourishing,” Sr. Pastor Fred Harrell writes in a letter “on behalf of the Board and for the Gospel.”
The pastor cites social science research, saying it points to “skyrocketing rates of depression, suicide and addiction” among the LGBT people. “The generally unintended consequence has been to leave many people feeling deeply damaged, distorted, unlovable, unacceptable, and perverted,” he says.
“We believe the thrust and focus of the gospel is the breaking down of former boundaries of exclusion and the expanding of the welcome of Jesus to all,” Harrell goes on to say.
“For so long this has been a ‘case closed’ kind of issue for evangelicals,” he comments. “Scholars and leaders who have previously been united in their interpretations are coming to different conclusions. This does not mean that your view must change, but it does counsel humility with how we each hold our views. Given the status and variety of these opinions, what has become clear to us is that there is no longer clear consensus on this issue within the evangelical community.”
“For all members, regardless of sexual orientation, we will continue to expect chastity in singleness until marriage,” Harrell concludes.