Snow Cones, Popcorn, Gay Kids… Witches …What?

snow coneOne of the things I like doing at Exodus is talking with people on the phone. Especially concerning how to interact with gay people in our families, who are our friends, and in our community.

Today a church volunteer, I’ll call Sharon for the purpose of this post, called with a dilemma: gay kids from the local high school Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) requested to use the church’s snow cone and popcorn machines. Her question to me:

How can we let them use the machines without giving the appearance that we condone homosexuality?

I asked a few preliminary questions to figure out the history and purpose of those machines. Sharon shared that the church wanted the local community to be able to use them for whatever purposes they would need. It’s a service type of outreach effort. Sharon said any of the other high school groups would simply be allowed to use the machines with no questions asked.

… well, “except for the witches.”

Personally, Sharon wanted the gay kids to use the machines but not the witches. For which she felt guilty, and nervously laughed about.

The first thing I said was, “It’s just a snow cone machine. If you would let any of those other kids and their various groups use them for their activities you would be unfairly discriminating against the gay kids. Truth be told, if any of those high school groups you’d allow to use the machines with no hesitation were held to an across the board strict standard of behavior and belief, your machines would sit in the church lobby gathering dust. It isn’t a good message to send to the GSA that you would deny them and no one else.”

Seriously, it’s just a snow cone and popcorn machine, not the potential catalyst for the downfall of western civilization.

Sharon agreed and said the church was saying the same thing. She was glad to hear an objective voice outside their church affirming their view.  Sadly, people in the Church at large are scared to love boldly. Thankfully, as evidenced by my conversation with Sharon, God’s people are overcoming their fear!

Taking it a bit further as we finished our conversation I said, “Consider this; when Jesus fed the 5,000… at what point did He kick the gays and witches out?” Sharon chuckled. I continued, “He didn’t even make disclaimers like, ‘I just want you to know that I, the Son of God, am about to miraculously feed all of y’all but if you are in sin right now, or a witch … you will have to drive down to McDonalds.’”  She chuckled some more. Finally I said, “Sharon, He didn’t discriminate. He fed all of those people. You should simply feed the kids.”

We can trust the Holy Spirit to honor selfless service to our local community.

Sharon breathed a big sigh of relief. I can’t wait to hear how it all works out.

Randy Thomas is the Executive Vice President of Exodus International. You can also follow his personal blog or online at Facebook and Twitter.

%d bloggers like this: