Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Either-Or Christianity and the Marriage Amendment"
by Tom Goodman
November 2, 2005

Last week we began a look at “Either-Or Christianity” in this newsletter.  Here’s the Second Commandment of Either-Or Christians:  “When it comes to standing against controversial social issues, you can either protest the sin or love the sinner.”

If we’re going to be effective for God, we have to break that either-or commandment.  We have to defend what we feel is right and love people at the same time.

This is timely, considering that on November 8 Texans are being asked to vote on Proposition 2, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.  If it passes, it will set that definition into our state constitution, preventing state courts from “discovering” a right to gay marriage in our state constitution.  This happened in Massachusetts, as you recall.

Can we defend the traditional definition of marriage and still communicate respect and love to those dealing with same-sex attractions?  We can and we must.

On the one hand, as citizens we have a seat at the table of democracy.  We have the right and the duty to participate in this statewide discussion that shapes what kind of society we want to live in.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have a seat at the table of democracy simply because your opinion of marriage is shaped by the Bible.  It will be a sad day in our American Experiment if opinions are screened before they’re heard.  Every citizen has the right to share her or his vision of the kind of society we want to live in.  Then, at the end of that discussion, a vote determines how persuasive we’ve all been at convincing others around the table to see things our way.

It’s important that you join me in voting “yes” on Proposition 2.  Early voting closes this Friday, November 4, and Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.  If you want more information on the Marriage Amendment, go to:

But, unlike Either-Or Christians, we can defend the traditional definition of marriage without being “anti-gay.”  We can and should continue to build relationships with those who identify themselves by their same-sex attractions.  We need to listen as they share the pain of rejection from family members or the alienation they felt in past church experiences.  And, once someone expresses a desire to break their same-sex attractions, we need to offer resources that can help.  People are finding hope and healing at our own church in a Friday group led by our friend, Don Brown.  In short, we need to offer them our friendship and our Jesus, confident that a same-sex attraction is no different than any other sin, including our own.  Forgiveness and recovery is available to us all.

Join me and together let’s break the second commandment of Either-Or Christianity.  Let’s take our stand for traditional marriage for the good of our society, and let’s open our hearts to everyone who needs our friendship, respect, and witness.



E-Giving is Here!  If you enjoy the convenience of automatic bill-paying, you can extend that convenience to your Hillcrest support.  We’ll tell you more this Sunday and in next week’s Winning Ways.
Great Weekend!  My thanks to all who made this weekend a great one!  The annual Craft Show was another hit, and we appreciate Jim and all the youth and parents who made it happen.  Jim extends his thanks at  Then, the next day I was thrilled to see so many people here on our High Attendance Sunday.  Go to to get details from Herb about that.  Then BJ and her team led a fabulous Pumpkin Party on Monday night.  I saw lots of new faces at that fun event!  See BJ’s write-up at
Voices Needed.  Add your voice to our Praise Choir!  Rehearsals are every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.  See Gene’s note at

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