Pastor Punishes Gay Church Member Because Other Members of the Congregation Are Bigots

Pastor Mark Brewer of Crosspoint Wesleyan Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick had to deal with a potential crisis this past week.

One of the finest members of his church, 20-year-old Colin Briggs, had been a camp counselor and church volunteer for a couple of years. He even went on a mission trip to Haiti in 2011.

Colin Briggs in Haiti (The New Brunswick Beacon)

But he’s gay. And there was a chance that some of the older members of the congregation wouldn’t take that news very well if they ever found out.

So Brewer met with Briggs a few days ago to let him know that, if the church members ever bothered him about his sexuality, Brewer would offer his support and defend Briggs’ character. That’s what their church’s mission was all about, after all: becoming “fully devoted followers of Jesus.”

I’m just kidding. Of course I’m kidding. You know I’m kidding.

Pastor Mark Brewer asked Briggs to stop by the church on September 18 for a meeting. The youth pastor, Nathalie Estey, was also present.

To his shock, they asked Briggs to stop his volunteer activities. They said he was welcome to continue attending church services.

“We felt it would be in the best interest of him and the church if he stopped serving,” said Brewer. This would “avoid any potential uproar that may be caused if families were to find out an openly gay male was working in the children’s ministry.”

And what would be so wrong if people in the church found out he was gay, anyway?

He hesitated, then said, “Having an openly gay male working in the children’s ministry may cause some parents to feel uncomfortable.”

Ah. There we go. Brewer’s concern is that some people in the church might ignorantly link homosexuality with pedophilia… and, instead of correcting their false assumptions, he decided the best option would be to just tell Briggs he couldn’t volunteer at the church anymore.

It’s kind of like when Jesus told the tax collectors and prostitutes, “Get out of here before you make me look bad!”

It’s like that Christian saying: Love the sinner, hate the sin, and then start over and make the sinner feel like shit.

I can’t believe the pastor has no desire at all to correct his congregations’ bigoted thinking. His immediate solution is to make sure no gay person ever represents his church in public. Briggs is still welcome to attend the church, Brewer added.

Because, you know, if Briggs wants to keep tithing, they’ll be glad to have him.

The church hasn’t responded to this article yet, but readers are letting them have it on their Facebook page.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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