Josh Matlock believes that a lack of understanding exists among members of the community toward the church. A Calvary Church event, organized by associate pastor Matlock, attempted to address these misconceptions on the evening of April 19 by addressing another group of people who are commonly misunderstood: homosexuals.
Calvary Church, located in Santa Ana, is an independent church. This means, essentially, that the church answers to no one. Not even Pope Benedict XVI. The five-part event the church’s officials were hesitant to approve was a series of apologies titled ‘Confessions of a Sinful Church,’ for the actions of the church in general.
‘I’m not here to justify the church, [but to] clarify the church’s position,’ said Matlock, the 31-year old pastor and speaker for all five events. He acknowledged that although he does not possess influential power within the church, he was still apologizing on behalf of the entire church’s sins. According to Matlock, the intended audience was college students, especially those professing faith to another religion.
This being the case, I found it curious to be surrounded by a soft-rock Christian sing-a-long, in which song lyrics strongly suggested or even affirmed a devotion to Jesus Christ and God. If a major part of the target audience truly was college students from a different religion, beginning the event with 15 minutes of purely religious song could have been perceived as questionable to individuals faithful to a different religion.
Alienation of non-Calvary church members did not prove to be a serious problem, however, as there were very few, if any, non-Calvary church members in the audience. Matlock explained the motive behind his apology to the young congregation of people already loyal to the church.
‘It’s a hope. For what it’s worth, I want to apologize and say some things about [what] we feel as the church as a whole that may have been done wrong in misrepresenting God.’
Matlock believed that simply distributing the 2,500 fliers could be seen as a success in itself. If someone who was previously disgusted with the church received a flier and was pleasantly surprised by the church’s ability to apologize for past grievances or alter its position more favorably toward homosexuals, the goal of the event would have been realized. Changing the skeptical public’s perception of the church was the primary goal for the event.
When asked whether he would support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Matlock said he would have a hard time agreeing with it.
‘There is far more damage done to marriage, to God’s design of marriage
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