Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

My Radical Pastor Friend

  • Jim Daly
    Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. He is husband to Jean and father to Trent and Troy. Jim's Focus on the Family Blog
  • 2012 Dec 31
  • Comments

The Reverend Graham J. Baird is the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs.

He’s also my friend.

Prior to coming to Colorado, Graham served as the founding pastor of Highlands Church in Paso Robles, California. The ministry started with 25 people in a drive-in movie theater and has since grown to over 2,000 weekly attenders.

Graham’s philosophy has been to pull down the barriers and make it easier for those wanting to come to church to learn about God. He has done a good job. Wherever he’s been a pastor, whether in rural California or the front range of the Rocky Mountains, he has led with a straightforward ministerial motto:

“No perfect people allowed” — pastor included.

During his time in Paso Robles, Graham encountered a variety of family scenarios, including a lesbian couple married in a state where same-sex marriage was legal. They began coming to his church and eventually had twins via in vitro fertilization. He had an opportunity to lovingly share the Bible’s perspective on human sexuality. They continued to attend.

When the couple asked to have their children baptized, he had a dilemma on his hands.

According to his Reformed theology, the baptism of a child does not “save” a person but represents a commitment from the Christian parent to raise the child — or children — in the faith. Graham explained that given the couple’s same-sex relationship, he couldn’t ask them to present the child and make that commitment since they weren’t actually members of the church. They were disappointed. Graham asked why they didn’t simply find a church that would accommodate their request.

Their response was powerful.

“This is the only church where we have felt loved in,” they told him. The children were later presented for baptism by their grandparents, who were members of the church.

Graham went on to explain what I believe strongly — that people know very quickly whether or not they are loved. The fact that this couple continued to attend — even though the church’s theology with regard to sexuality was at odds with their personal actions — suggests that Highlands Church truly loved them for a variety of reasons, but especially for this one:

They know that nobody is beyond the reach of God.

Follow me on Twitter @Dalyfocus

Follow me on Facebook

Keep up with Focus on the Family on Facebook