by J. A. Littler

Churches should be welcoming to all people, no matter their skin color, gender, background, or favorite sports team. In the previous entries to this Welcoming Church series, we have observed how today’s postmodern culture has added, in the form of godless expectations, a lot of unwholesome baggage to the concept of a “welcoming” church.

Welcoming and Faithful: Easier Said than Done

Consider the word gender, for example. Some unsaved folks would consider it unsavory and certainly unwelcoming for a church to say it is inviting all to enjoy the love and salvation of Christ by faith while refusing to recognize as valid certain so-called genders (e.g., transgender, asexual, pansexual). Conversely, God expects His church to always be devoted to the truth and to speaking that truth with a loving desire to see the lost “saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4; cf. 1 Cor. 13:6; Eph. 4:15). So it may be more appropriate to use the term faithful instead of welcoming, for a truly Biblical church that faithfully proclaims the gospel will desire to be soul winners of its community (and beyond) without compromising the truth of Scripture.

Male and Female: God’s Designs and the World’s Desires

The world has sought to introduce division within the church by twisting and distorting God’s Word, especially concerning the topic of feminism. But even within the bewildering and confused modern feminist movement, there lies a grain of truth, namely, that women have value. Therefore, it is necessary that believers examine how Scripture defines the value of human beings, for then we will see the distinctions between the demands of the world and God’s expectations for His church.

J. A. Littler (MA, MDiv, MS) is an adjunct professor of Bible and theology at Clarks Summit University. He has also written a variety of articles and teaching resources for Sunday School and other ministries of the local church.