A bit of a black day for the Baptist Church – among whom I am ranked.

After a secret? Clandestine? Impromptu? Members meeting Pastor Matt Glover has been asked to resign from his position at Lilydale Baptist Church because of his support for members of the gay and lesbian community.

Here is a quote from a paper Matt Glover wrote as part of his theological studies entitled:

Pastoral Response to Homosexuality in the Church

“Our churches have argued the issue on biblical, theological and moral grounds for years, and agreement seems elusive. But as the battles rage, real people are being forgotten, left bruised and hurting, and wondering where they fit. While not tackling the more specific issues of the debate like gay marriage and the ordination of practicing homosexuals, it is the purpose of this paper to bring another approach to the issue that is based on our equality before God, the work of the Spirit in our lives, and the unity that the Spirit produces in our church communities.

This alternative approach requires journeying with the real people stuck in the middle of the debate, listening to their questions and seeking answers together. It is a pastoral response that has its grounding in scripture and in my experience of ministry over the last twenty years …

Pastoral care begins with the life and practice of Jesus. With those on the fringe of his society, Jesus was welcoming and compassionate, touching the untouchable, loving the unlovable and creating a community that saw all people as equals before God. His life included teaching on scripture and the condemnation of religious leaders who had twisted scripture to protect the institutional religion. But never did Jesus isolate those with a genuine response to his care and his teaching on the Kingdom of God.

Pastoral care in the church must reflect the care of Jesus by opposing rules that drain life, and instead, create a life giving community where burdens are carried together.”

Not an unreasonable response, I would argue. Yet Matt Glover has been asked to resign.

This leaves him without full time employment.

Shelley Argent of PFlag (Parents and Friends of lesbians and gays) Queensland, has started a fundraising appeal for Matt Glover and his family by donating $1000.

She has opened a bank account at the Bank of Queensland for direct debits and donations.

BSB: 124-001 Account No: 2172-4166

Account Name: Shelley Argent (for Matt Glover)

Please put in what you can.

Alternatively, if you would like to post a cheque or money order please write them to Rev. M. Glover and address the envelope to PFLAG, PO Box 1372, Eagle Farm 4009.