Is Creekside Community Church changing its tune on homosexuality?
In what may be a sign of the times, the Creekside Community Church seems to be toning down its anti-gay rhetoric. Most conspicuously, it has redesigned the website of its Celebrate Recovery “Christian based” 12-step program to remove mention of “same sex attraction” as one of the addictions that it covers. Indeed, Creekside is going as far as having its Coordinator of Children’s Ministries, Peggy McGregory, deny the existence of that part of the program (alas, an archived version of their website from 2009 clearly shows it listed among other “addictions”, the page describing the program is not archived, but this is the standard CR same-sex attraction brochure). There is no other mention of homosexuality or same-sex attraction on its website, though its statement of faith suggests it continues holding the same fundamentalist beliefs it’s used to justify homophobia.
I can only speculate as to what is behind Creekside’s apparent retreat from condemning homosexuality. Locally, Creekside anti-gay stance came into play last year when a number of Roosevelt Elementary parents refused to let their children attend theatrical events at the Church. Creekside’s children theater program was started in order to provide an alternative to the theater program at San Leandro High School, which at the time was ran by a gay teacher. It had expanded to include elementary school kids and for a number of years, Roosevelt Elementary students would be taken to the church to see these plays during the school day. Last year, gay parents and their allies complained, given the church’s homophobic positions, and Roosevelt has now ended its association with the Church. Creekside counts as members several pillars of the San Leandro community, including a City Council member, and it may also be the negative attention the Church was drawing was starting to embarrass them personally.
But the issue may be a broader one. Homosexuality is becoming more and more accepted in the United States (at least among adults). Polls show a growing acceptance of gay marriage, with a majority of Americans being in favor of it. The surge of gay teen suicides last year, meanwhile, has brought attention to the deadly consequences of the homophobic rhetoric of churches like Creekside.
Whatever the reason for it be, I welcome the change.
Several Creeker kids told friends that they couldn’t be in plays directed by “the gay teacher.” It was during the reign of a Creekside-connected SLHS principal that school facilities and school support were given to this church-based alternative to a school program. I assume if a church wanted to run an alternative faith-based creationist “science” class, they would receive a school classroom for it.
I have been attending Creekside Community Church since 2005, and I can honestly, truthfully, God is my Witness say that I have not heard Anyone At all mention a “anti-gay stance”. Maybe I am naive, Maybe my ears were not always open, But you would think that I would hear something at least once??? Especially in such a long period of time? anti-gay stance….
Ok, to be honest, I can not tell a lie, I did hear One thought expressed, that 20 years ago they had participated in something , “OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH” “as Private citizenS, AND not speaking for the Church, In fact, I don’t believe they belonged to the Church 20 years ago
, And. . . again I will say that I was pleasantly surprised that this person was “SHOT Down” for their comment…… So…. Please before you believe what you hear, come check out our wonderful Godly, Loving People, Church that we are. and Do not form opinions until you have seen for yourself. Thank you So much, Gini
Hi Gini! After I got your comment I took a look at the links on my article, and realized they were broken. I have now fixed them.
I honestly don’t know whether explicit anti-gay messages are given during services or other church programs. I don’t attend the church. But Creekside is a fundamentalist church and for years it’s run a program to make gay people “recover” from their same sex attraction “addiction”. This program was run by Bob Reinhart, Creekside’s co-founder and associate pastor for 24 years. So it’s hard to believe that the fundamentalist, homophobic beliefs of Creekside’s associate pastor were not shared with the congregation. It’s also hard to believe that the other leaders of the Church do not share such beliefs. By the way, I found the archived description of Creekside’s same-sex attraction recovery program at http://web.archive.org/web/20091108015554/http://www.celebraterecoverycreekside.org/same-sex-attraction.html, so you can read it yourself.
My gut feeling is that Creekside’s homophobic message is not the “all gays will burn in hell, so repent now” or the “let’s throw stones at gays” that we hear from more virulent fundamentalist churches, but the “homosexuals are damaged people that need to be saved” message that is just as homophobic and just as harmful to the LGBT community.