People have inquired about the story on KVUE and USA Today regarding Shoreline Church and the Mertz family. The story is about a gay couple who wanted to dedicate their child at Shoreline Church and felt wronged because of the way we handled the situation. We first learned about their hurt yesterday on social media and were formulating a response when we got a call from KVUE saying they were going to pick up the story. They asked us for a statement and here is what we released:
“We are deeply sorry for the pain we have caused the Mertz family regarding the dedication of their child to God. We understand how our attempt to make a reasonable accommodation was misguided and hurtful. It is our intent to uphold human dignity, and in this regard we have failed. We are reaching out to the family to invite them to our next baby dedication.”
Our position is that this is about a child, not about homosexuality. We shouldn’t have conflated the two issues. In the story of the Good Samaritan a priest and a Levite found themselves confronted by a situation in which, had they engaged, they would have become ritually unclean. That was a big deal for a priest and a Levite, so they did the moral calculus, evaluated the situation, decided the price was too high and walked on by. The Samaritan, an enemy of the man who was left for dead on the road, saw the man, had compassion on him and rescued him from certain death. The fact that they disagreed about important aspects of their faiths didn’t alter the Samaritan’s course of action. The Samaritan did not think that he was ‘endorsing’ what he disagreed with by helping the man. In the end the priest and the Levite were motivated by the wrong values, the wrong focus.
With this in mind, Shoreline church will not hinder any child’s walk with the Lord, regardless of the situation, because Christ himself said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14