April 21, 2010

Jesus would welcome gay people to church

by David Masters

Jesus would welcome everyone to church, including gay people, a Methodist preacher has claimed.

John Beasley, a lay preacher from Peckham, said he was “disturbed” after discovering that a church in the area might prevent gay people from using its premises, a former cinema.

“There is no record that Jesus said anything about homosexuality,” Beasley said in a letter to Southwark News.

“It is disturbing to learn that the church publicises on various websites that homosexuality is akin to murder as a sin. Jesus did not say that.”

Beasley has no doubts that Jesus would welcome gay people to church.

“Jesus loved and cared for everyone he met.

“If he were running the church in the former cinema, he would undoubtedly welcome everyone.”

Beasley’s comments came after the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Camberwell failed to confirm whether it would allow gay people to rent out its premises, a former cinema and bingo hall.

The church said it plans to make the building into a “village hall” to be used by the whole community, but at a public meeting church leaders became cagey when asked if gay people would be allowed to use the premises.

A spokesperson for Gay Camberwell said: “One of our representatives was at the meeting and said the church was very vague about it.

“They said that obviously anyone was welcome to apply and all applications would be subject to scrutiny and decisions would be made on an individual basis.”

She added: “We’re concerned about this particular church’s views towards gay people.

“They publicise on various websites that homosexuality is akin to murder as a sin so we’re assuming they wouldn’t be willing to rent their church hall out to gay groups.”

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