Matt Glover, a respected and passionate suburban Melbourne Baptist Pastor and family man has been made to leave the Christian ministry he’s been developing for over 10 years. This is response to openly disagreeing with the Church hierarchy about his belief in marriage equality for same sex couples.
This move has shocked many of his congregation and gay and lesbian people and their families who have described a sense of healing from hearing and reading his words of acceptance and Christian love from Matt.
There are serious concerns that he will not be the only Christian Leader silenced in standing for Marriage equality. Mike Hercock, Pastor of Surry Hills Baptist Church in Sydney also openly supports marriage equality. He fears that this crackdown has silenced many Christians leaders who are concerned by the Churches approach.
“If we as Ministers choose to support this change for marriage equality we face serious consequences, as we’ve seen with Matt. How can we then say to our Church congregation that they have a freedom of conscience in reflecting on their beliefs around same sex attraction and marriage equality, it is clearly a double standard.”
“Some of the Christian Leaders I speak to are deeply concerned by the distress caused by the message and language of exclusion, disorder and defectiveness given about GLBT people by the church and have witnessed firsthand the detrimental results in the lives of GLBT Christians.”
Paul Martin, Principal Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential in Brisbane, who has specialized in same sex attraction and mental health for over 25 years also fears the impact on LGBTI people: “This move from the Baptist leadership sends a powerful message to any gay, bisexual or lesbian that not only are they not welcome in the House of God, but they are sinful,
disordered and defective. This lays the foundation of deeply held beliefs which cause psychological disorders, substance abuse and poor self esteem.
I have counseled dozens people who have experienced psychological distress including those who have attempted suicide after being rejected by the Church for being honest and open about who they really are.”
“It seems incongruous to me that those of us who are respectfully stating our beliefs about marriage equality are being accused by Fundamentalist Christian leaders of persecuting them, however the evidence strongly suggests that it is they who are persecuting their own who happen to not tow
the party line.”
Mike Hercock said that “Pastor Matt Glover is one who stood with integrity of conscience to find a new way forward but not without a sacrifice.”