Not Exactly John Locke's "A Letter Concerning Toleration," but Helpful

Chris Broussard said this:

“… if you are openly living in sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals, whatever it may be, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ, so I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”


and lit up the internet. The whole story here.

A Mission and Vision Statement

This was, and still is, our mission and vision statement. I wrote this in 1993, and think that it is probably still helpful. It does need some application to current situations, and some might be confused about some terminology:

Our Vision

—It is our vision to reach the lost in the city of Hamilton. By “lost” we mean those who most painfully know what life without Christ means. This includes all people, but especially those outside of mainstream church: the divorced, those unmarried but living together, the poor, the disabled, the unemployed, the alcoholic and their children, the abused, the immigrant, the criminal offender and their families; those without family, those hurt by churches in the past, those with no attachment to organized religion, those who have given up on church but not on God.

—It is our vision to intentionally reach those who are not church members, and those who would not be welcome, or feel welcome, in other churches.

What does this mean in practise?

—We must reject all forms of discrimination: sexual, racial, economic, ethnic, educational, and social.

—We will also reject anything that will hinder this vision. Many of the expectations normally found in traditional church settings can keep the “lost” from ever being “found”. Churches are often too concerned with “proper” dress, or have an obsession with order, embarrassing the poor, keep an ‘arms-length’ relationship between members, and place a stigma upon a select range of previous sins, etc.

—We must be careful to place only the demands upon people that God does.

We will be identified in our community by
these qualities:

—We will Love one another

—We will celebrate the cross-cultural family that is the church

—We will Embrace those without money, property, prestige or power

—We will have modest but well-used facilities

—We will be honest about our need for God’s salvation, holiness, and righteousness

—We will be Shepherding.

This means a big difference in how we do

 —Many churches expect people to get their lives together before they come to Jesus

—Jesus says, “come to me all you who are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest”

A means a big difference in the
individual’s life

We will reach the whole person: bring the salvation of Jesus to a soul, teach honesty, diligence and responsibility, right and wholesome relationships, financial responsibility, commitment, and hard work. We will seek to restore individuals to be the kind of people God meant for them to be.