The church with the rainbow banner.

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Image

I borrowed this from Facebook, thanks to Christine from St Johns who told me it’s St Stephens Church Copenhagen! 🙂

Anyway – so there’s this church who have dropped huge rainbow banner from their tower. When I shared this on Facebook immediately there were quite a few likes. I have a lot of friends on Facebook, most of whom are LGBT and something struck me.

This church building I’m sure contains people who have struggled with the Bible and LGBT issues. But their message, without words, is very clear. In the Bible it talks about lifting up a banner to God, banners tell God and others what we stand for. In a way, our lives are banners.

Those banners held by the people who hate us and call themselves christians don’t draw anyone, instead they just push us away. The bible says when Jesus is lifted up he will draw people to himself. What a beautiful parallel, that when the rainbow is lifted up, a sign of a promise, like Christ, it draws us.

So my heart is strangely warmed by an unknown church building that doesn’t say go away, you are not good enough to be in our church, but come in and be part of us, be part of our family and God’s promise.

You see, even a cursory reading of the New Testament will tell you that Jesus had this habit of going to be with the ones the Pharisees, the religious authorities of the day rejected. The more rejected they were, the more he would make a direct line for them. It’s that kind of unconditional love that breaks down barriers and demonstrates to the world God’s love and the true power of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Jesus talked about a heavenly meal where a King invited his nobles to a banquet, but they all made excuses, so he sent his servants out into the streets and welcomed in the poor and lame. Sometimes those who are poor in the eyes of the established church and of the world are made rich by God, but not a financial richness but a richness of a relationship with him.

I think heaven is not filled with religious bigots. But the very people that appear “the least in the Kingdom of Heaven”. People who drape LGBT rainbows down their church towers know the cost of doing this. Possible rejection by their peers, but then, I think they are following the example of their Lord. He knows a few things about rejection.

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Comments
  1. Sune Auken says:

    These days we are celebrating in the Danish protestant church that by now we are finally allowed to perform gay marriages. A landslide 70% of the clergy is in favour of the new law. And it is foreseeable that this number will even rise drastically once the idea settles.

    So from me: here is a Christian hetero hurray for Christian gay marriage. May we soon reach the day where it is simply “marriage”.

  2. Christine says:

    They had the banner up to show support for the new law here that makes it possible for same-sex couples to be wed in a church, and the gay pride parade in Aarhus that was this saturday (the day they had the banner up). It was a good parade, even though it was windy and rained a bit.
    And yes, it is Stefanskirken on Nørrebrogade in Copenhagen, or at least, that was the only church I had heard would have a banner up.

  3. Nice to see that our little banner has gone abroad!
    I could add to the above that the occasion for the banner was indeed the pride parade in Aarhus. Coincidentally, the following day (Sunday) was the farewell-service of Ivan Larsen, who has been a minister in the church for the past 36 years. Ivan is one half of the longest-lasting “registered partnership” in the world, and he has been an important player in the fight for equal rights and same-sex marriage i Denmark.
    Next week, 23 June, he and his husband Ove will have their secular partnership blessed in church. So there are many concrete reasons for the banner – in addition to the general ones mentioned in the post. “Our lives are banners” – I’ll steal that one.

  4. Nice to see that our little banner has gone abroad!
    I could add to the above that the occasion for the banner was indeed the pride parade in Aarhus. Coincidentally, the following day (Sunday) was the farewell-service of Ivan Larsen, who has been a minister in the church for the past 36 years. Ivan is one half of the longest-lasting ”registered partnership” in the world, and he has been an important player in the fight for equal rights and same-sex marriage i Denmark.
    Next week, 23 June, he and his husband Ove will have their secular partnership blessed in church. So there are many concrete reasons for the banner – in addition to the general ones mentioned in the post. ‘Our lives are banners’ – I’ll steal that one.

    • Paul C says:

      You are very welcome – I just wanted to say thank you and recognise this. It means a LOT to us LGBT Christians struggling with church.

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