California Megachurch Choir Forces Members to Sign Anti-Gay Pact

Well, isn't this disgusting? Orange County's Crystal Cathedral has asked the members of its choir to sign a "covenant" asking them to respect the Biblical view of sexual intimacy and marriage, between one man and one woman, the Orange County Register reports:

Crystalcathedral The "Crystal Cathedral Worship Choir and Worship Team Covenant," recently handed out to members, states that members should commit to being Christians by following the Bible in every way.

Former and current choir members say they are particularly offended by a statement in the document that refers to homosexuality. Long-time church members say this is the first time they have seen the cathedral take a firm stand against homosexuality and are disturbed by it.

The covenant states: "I understand that in an era where images of family relationship and personal sexuality are often confused, Crystal Cathedral Ministries believes that it is important to teach and model the biblical view. I understand that Crystal Cathedral Ministries teaches that sexual intimacy is intended by God to only be within the bonds of marriage, between one man and one woman."

Some choir members are furious.

"If I were still in the choir and if that was presented to me, and if a gay person had walked out, I would have walked out with him or her," she said. "If you are a Christian group and people come to you, you should be a good servant, love them and shine the light of Jesus on them – regardless of who they are."

A cathedral spokesman said that the pact doesn't mean gays are banned from the choir, they are just "strongly encouraged" to sign something that says who they are and what they do is wrong.

Comments

  1. hank says

    The last I heard, the crystal cathedral was on the verge of bankruptcy and was being driven into the ground due to infighting about wild spending habits.

  2. Skooter McGoo says

    @Darren you are so right and this “church” owes everyone money but won’t pay their bills. I hope they also included the seafood and clothing laws of the book of fairy tales. At least, they shouldn’t let women speak because that’s in there too. Signed- Glad an atheist lives in me.

  3. malcolm says

    It’s a conservative evangelical church, and as such, it is expected and supposed to uphold biblical teaching on sexuality, which forbids sex outside of heterosexual marriage. Period. If someone doesn’t like their rule, they should find a more liberal church.

  4. Rob says

    “Just ‘strongly encouraged’ to sign something that says who they are and what they do is wrong.” – Oh, OK, maybe it could be – oh something like a pink triangle they could wear on their sleeve. There was some group that used that once.

  5. Ish says

    I’ll say that these clows have lost their christianity, it’s all about spreading the hatred while overlooking hypocrisy. I say let the crystal cult house shatter. Demand they pay taxes!

  6. rovex says

    When will us homosexuals realise that the organised religions HATE us.
    If you must believe in sky fairies fine, but keep out of the churches, it just enables them to hurt you more.

  7. says

    “She” said?!

    REAL Christian women keep their mouths shut.

    Who let his property talk?

    She probably goes out IN PUBLIC when menstruating (you know, afflicted by the disease)… UNCLEAN.

    Enjoy the shrimp scampi at Olive Garden!

  8. jack says

    the tilt to far right is a function of sonny boy taking over and seeking to curry favor with the big money religious right. daddy was no champion of gay rights, but the church then elected to have no position.

    of COURSR it would be the adulterer claiming moral high ground…

  9. marshallt says

    @ellipse – Jesus said that it was “better to never marry than to divorce.” Contemporary Christians seem to interpret this as “marry as often as you like.”

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL (with) ELG:

    I hear you. If the Crystal Cathedral’s congregation and administration had been predominately Black we’d have been reading some Towleroad posters writing about “sending Blacks back to the cotton fields.” I’ve never seen so many people interested in cotton futures than on this blog. Oh, my…LOL.

  11. Hawthorne says

    Actually, I feel sad after reading this news. Yes, it is possible for gay Christians or choir members to leave Crystal Cathedral and worship elsewhere. But if they’ve been there a long while, this can be difficult to do. Strong or long ties are hard to sever. I’ll bet there are a number of gay choir members at Crystal Cathedral who are genuinely upset by this development, and who are struggling with what they should do. It’s so easy for those on the outside to say what people should do, much different if you’re on the inside.

  12. Josh says

    I hope the gay architect Philip Johnson, who designed their fanciful glass church, was well paid and is resting in peace. When will organized churches realize the immense gifts LGBT folks bring with our highly attuned sense of spirituality? And our immense creativity? When they force us out, churches become bitter and uninspiring places.

  13. Francis says

    These churches are so hypocritical, so inconsistent, and so lax on what and who they actually condemn for going against “Holy standards.” Let’s get real, people, these conservatives are going after us more and more the more and more we make advances. We are under ATTACK from religious fundamentalists. We need to no longer be tolerant of these individuals. That has gone out the window. They want to use the God factor to control us and denigrate our lives. Well, time to turn the tables, and use the God factor against them. Because no God I know would support such clear cut bigotry.

  14. Todd says

    I have to say I agree with the church. Christianity forbids homosexuality. They’re really just putting their money where their mouth is. More churches should do the same thing.

    I’m sick of all these gays saying “you can be gay and Christian.” No matter how much you want it to be true, qet it through your heads guys–you cant, and they don’t want you.

    The larger question, to me, is why gays stay with the church at all. It’s like an abused wife who refuses to divorce her husband.

  15. says

    This is depressing. But as others have pointed out, hardly surprising. What’s even more confounding is how any self-respecting gay person could continue to support a CHURCH in the first place? I have several gay friends who also are members of congregations and avid churchgoers, and while I am all for freedom to believe whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, here is yet another example of how the church DOES hurt, and hate (and while there may in fact be a few “liberal churches” out there, the large majority are no doubt right in line w/ Crystal Cathedral). C’mon, gays: isn’t time you evolved your spiritual thinking and practice beyond these silly old fairytales? Spirituality isn’t as rule-laden or as difficult as the religions of the world would have you believe.

  16. Tony says

    No self-respecting gay person would sign this piece of s#%t.

    I would like to know how non-gay choir members are responding. How many are sticking up for their fellow choir members who are gay?

  17. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Todd, what you describe applies to a large number of Christian churches, but not all. You actually can be Christian and believe in Jesus and his message without absorbing all of the sin dogma in the Bible. You wouldn’t be able to function in this modern world if you adhered to all the admonitions in the Bible.

  18. M. Bergeron says

    And here I thought to be a good Christian you had to follow Christ and try to live your life in a Christ-like way. Sounds to me like these guys love the Bible more than God, which I believe is the biggest no-no. Didn’t Christ say that the pharisees were so focused on the Law that they had lost sight of God? Sound familiar?

  19. just a guy says

    can non-members help stone? i don’t want to be a member, but i’ll show up to help with the stoning. but i’d be more motivated by their record of dirty hate, not really giving much a da#n re their adultery. but i’d still help out.

    yeah, gays deserve real spirituality. not this dress-up, smile, and lie to each other “tea-party”-style game of idiots.

  20. Steve says

    “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet”
    — 1 Timothy 2:12

    Not a very “biblical” church. Just like all other Christians they pick and choose which of the nonsense in the bible to follow.

  21. Danny says

    a lot of kinds of marriages are modeled in the bible. Check out Jacob’s two wives and two concubine-slaves. Or Solomon’s many wives. But they’re too numerous to go into and frankly I’m so go**amned tired of the sh*t that passes for christianity I could puke.

  22. Seattle Mike says

    It’s really horrible all the things that have been done against gay people in the name of Jesus. But let’s not paint all churches with the same broad brush. There are indeed many gay-positive churches in this country that don’t deserve to be lumped in with these losers at Crystal Cathedral. Would you as a gay person want to be held responsible for the actions of all gay people? Then how is it fair to hold all churches responsible for the actions of some? The Christian church I go to has an openly gay pastor, and if we kicked the gay people out of the choir, we would lose half the choir. It’s a wonderfully supportive spiritual community. Unlike the Crystal Cathedral.

  23. Gregv says

    Todd, I don’t know if your comment could be more ironic. Jesus (i.e. the one who clearly has to have the final word on what it means to be one of His followers) didn’t say one word on record against homosexuality, gay couples or any sexual-minority individual. But he did speak against divorce and remarriage.

  24. KJ says

    I bet their choir robes are of mixed fibers, which it also forbidden in the bible (Leviticus 19:19), yet I don’t see anyone being made to sign a paper saying that “Wearing clothing of mixed fibers is wrong.” Funny how they always pick and choose and target women, gay folks and anyone else who is perceived to have less social power.

  25. homogenius says

    @elg

    There was a remarkable black woman named Colleen Johnson who started out as Mrs. Schuller’s secretary when they started the Hour of Power TV show in 1970 and ended up as the Worship Coordinator before she died from a relapse of breast cancer in 1993.

    She was very loyal to the Schullers, but had great dignity. She had gay friends and supported the Schullers despite their faults. In 1993 she was the highest EVER person of color in the ministry and one of two women in senior management positions (other than Schullers).

    In short, the church was lily white until they started the Hispanic ministry. At this time, the Spanish-speaking ministry is the only thing keeping them from going under right now.

    But the Schullers always did love them some black singers. Algetha Brown, Whintley Phipps, the Albert McNeil Jubilee, Tom Tipton, Joe Bias (major closet case who hit on the sound man), Linda Hopkins, Jester Hairston, and many more. Yessuh, they did love them some happy Negroes.

  26. homogenius says

    @tony

    You have to realize that their choir is down from over 100 to around 24-36. It is the smallest since they started the TV show in 1970. It looks like the average age is now around 50-60.

  27. says

    It’s actually not that hard to leave when you’re driven out. Believe me, I know. My parents divorcing was the final straw after my parents not being rich, not attending church, and my actually interacting with the boys I grew up with there. Never mind that it was I who went to that small, Southern Baptist church, and not my parents. These churches love some drama. It’s the only thing that keeps things interesting, I’m sure.

    They probably figured the publicity from this travesty would gain them some new members (donators).

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