RIVERVIEW, Mich. — A large group of homosexual advocates protested outside of a Michigan church on Thursday night to object to a Bible-based workshop it is offering to help youth who are struggling with feelings of homosexuality and transgenderism.
“I think it is very sad that people are willing to yell and scream and be profane at people, but never actually talk to us to find out what we’re doing,” Jeremy Schossau, pastor of Metro City Church, told the News Herald this week.
According to reports, some became angry after seeing a social media post regarding the church’s “Unashamed Identity Workshop,”—a six-week offering for girls ages 12-16 who are struggling with thoughts that they might be homosexual or transgender.
“Does your child or grandchild struggle with sexual identity? Do you see the pain and hurt of their struggle but you’re uncertain how to help?” a webpage for the workshop, which is now only available via cache, read.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. With God’s help there can be healing, wholeness and hope. Through thoughtful, relevant and biblical counsel we will help your girl be unashamed of her true sexual identity given to her by God at birth,” it stated.
Some of those upset with the program accused Schossau of conducting “conversion therapy”—a characterization that he denies—and sent him threatening messages.
“The vast majority are filled with vulgarity, hate and threats of all kinds,” Schossau told reporters. “Threats to kill me, my family and to burn our home and church down. What we find incredibly odd is there is no seeking to understand what we are truly doing. There is only the assumption that we are practicing some sort of conversion therapy, as it’s traditionally known.”
He outlined in a tear-filled message on Sunday that the church does indeed believe that God made woman for the man, and that the workshop would simply and lovingly direct girls to Scripture.
“We’ve seen this movement in the culture, particularly younger people, where they are just struggling, and our culture is cheering that struggle on. For me, I believe it’s in the wrong direction,” Schossau told his congregation. “Lovingly and unashamedly, we believe that God is the creator of men and women, and that God created men to be men, and women to be women. And to find their completeness in one another; to find their help mate in one another.”
“Not man with man, or woman with woman, but with the opposite [sex]. That is God’s design. It’s always been that way,” he stated humbly. “And for those of us who want to follow the God of the Bible, that is what we believe. It will always be that way. It is not a hate-filled thing. … This church believes in loving sinners, and I’m the first among a bunch of you sinners. We’re in this together.”
Schossau said that brokenness propels all men to run toward sin, thus separating them from God. He noted that to love someone is to speak truth to them.
“I love my children when I tell them, ‘Do not play in the road or you will get run over,'” he outlined. “They may think I’m a mean old jerkface, but I love them by telling them the truth.”
However, the Metro-Detroit Political Action Network organized a protest outside of the church during when the first workshop was to be conducted, resulting in a reported 200+ people showing up outside of the house of God Thursday night to express objection. Some held signs such as “Self-hatred is not therapy,” “You can’t fix them; they’re not broken,” and “Love is love.”
“Conversion therapy is what it is, and Metro City Church is trying to repackage it as conversation therapy,” co-organizer Brianna Dee Kingsley stated, according to Pride Source. “But the basic premise is you are broken and you need to be fixed and that something is wrong, and we stand against that. We are here to show support for the LGBTQIA community.”
Some opposed to the church’s outreach gave speeches to those protesting outside, including through a megaphone.
Despite the threats and protests, Schossau said that as long as people come to him for help, he is willing to offer it.
“These are folks who are seeking us out,” Schossau outlined to reporters. “These are folks who are questioning their sexual identity or are maybe in the gay or lesbian community and they are just not comfortable there. They think that maybe they don’t want to be there, and they are seeking out conversation and potentially help and guidance.”
“Virtually all of the thousands of emails assume that we are forcing and judging and hating people. Simply not true,” he said. “The hypocrisy of some in the LGBTQ community is so incredible because they are not seeking to understand and making totally wrong assumptions.”
As previously reported, Christians believe, that homosexuality—like any inclination that is contrary to the law of God—is a part of the Adamic sin nature that must be regenerated by the second birth, as Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 also reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. … Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”