An anti-gay megachurch is moving into Portland, OR an ultra-liberal, gay-friendly city with an openly gay mayor. According to the Advocate:
The Mars Hill Church, which is based in another highly liberal city — Seattle — has bought a vacant church building in southeast Portland and will begin offering services there this weekend, The Oregonian reports.
Mars Hill has nine church campuses in the western United States, with three more to be added soon, including the one in Portland. Its founder, Mark Driscoll, often preaches against homosexuality. “A gay couple walks into your group, you’re supposed to tell them to repent,” he said in a sermon posted on the church website. “And if at any point you don’t tell them to repent, you’re not faithful to Biblical Christianity.”
Nine church campuses, you say? Sounds like the same expansion plans for New Birth Ms. Eddie was talking about in the wake of his "spiritual sons" scandal. Members of the Q Center, Portland's LGBT center, say that while Mars Hill is a "strange fit" for the city, they will try to build a bridge with the church, inviting congregants to visit the center. "We’ll be respectful of them and try to make friends," staff member Logan Lynn said.
This may sound cynical, but I wouldn't hold my breath that Mark and the majority of Mars Hill members will be hitting up The Q Center for drag queen bingo anytime soon. I mean, how can you be truly be friends and seen as an equal with someone who believes your sexuality is something you need to repent from, and that they are under a mandate from God to tell you so? If I were in Portland and extended an olive branch to one of Driscoll's disciples, I'd always wonder if their motivation for befriending me would be to "convert" me back to holy heterosexuality.
But then again, if The Game (with his cute self:) can tell closeted rappers to "be gay and be proud," maybe this is possible as well.