Redemptive Message to Gays Preached Amid New Church Policies

Coming weeks after major denominations made some leeway for ordaining gay clergy and lay officers, a ministry to homosexuals is continuing its preaching across the states, walking people out of homosexuality.

After encountering protests last month in Dallas, Cross Ministry's More Than Words conference will speak to another group of Christians July 8 in Cleveland, Ohio, on understanding and ministering to a homosexual.

Cross Ministry head Tim Wilkins, a former homosexual, created one-day workshops to bring the topic of homosexuality to the churches and proclaim a message of redemption. While Wilkins preaches a message of love when discipling homosexuals, he clearly stated that homosexuality is a sin.

"Homosexuality is a sin and freedom from same-sex attractions is available through Jesus Christ," he said, according to the ministry.

Last week, newly elected leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told CNN that she believes homosexuality is not a sin and that homosexuals were created by God “with affections ordered toward other people of the same gender.” Her comment came as the denomination passed a resolution calling the diocese to "refrain from" ordaining gay bishops or developing rites for the blessing of same-sex unions. The Episcopal Church leaders had voted down a tougher resolution and adopted the language of exercising restraint for the consecration of any candidate "whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion."

That same week, the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. voted to allow local congregations and regional presbyteries to exercise some flexibility when choosing clergy and lay officers of local congregations. The Presbyterian national assembly still stands firm on a church law that says clergy and lay elders and deacons must limit sexual relations to man-woman marriage but the new legislation made some leeway for homosexual clergy.

At the grassroots level, Wilkins had previously noted more churches becoming proactive in addressing the homosexuality issue. Although Cross Ministry was met with protests at its most recent conference, one of the protestors who sat in on Wilkins' workshop expressed amazement at the "love" shown.

"Although I completely disagree with your message, I was amazed at the genuine love and respect I felt from you and the congregation," said the protestor, according to Wilkins.