News Nov 20, 2008 at 4:00 am

The Holy Spirit Comes to Neumos

Mark Kaufman


I'm a part of the 'mother' church and I can tell you I haven't found a group of people more loving and sincere than the people there (and the folks who plant churches out of it around the world).

'Accepting' is something that needs to be defined. Should I 'accept' someone addicted to drugs? If you mean 'accept' as in I treat them as a human being loved by God equally as myself, then yes I would accept that person. If you mean accept that person as in say their lifestyle is ok according to the Bible, then I wouldn't accept in that sense.

As for the stance of Antioch on the homosexual issue, a member of the church doesn't necessarily speak on behalf of the church (which is why you shouldn't take my words as speaking on behalf of the church). Ask Jaydy to clarify his statement or ask Antioch. I'd like to know where you saw a statement on Antioch's website.
yeah, right boycott Neumos, great idea there, anonymous... (NOT!) for cryin' out loud - get a clue about your community: NEUMOS IS ON YOUR SIDE and the knee jerk reaction to a simple and correctable mistake should NOT be to immediately "not go". you're getting a bit ahead of the game, dontcha think? in sum, learn how to play FAIR with those who deserve such treatment (like Neumos).
Don't get me wrong--I'm pretty sketched by hardcore literal interpretations of the Bible--, but I couldn't turn up any anti-queer "statements" on their website. They do have an application form at [1] that seems to frown, but that seems to fall short of what the article reported. Could we get a citation?

Mormons say they don't hate gays, that they're not "anti-gay" because gays, like all of the sinners in he world, have a chance to accept God and reform(i.e. pretend to be straight).

yeah, and KKK members don't hate blacks, they just want them to pick their goddamn cotton like Jesus intended.

nothing makes less sense to me than religions preventing people who share many of the same values from being part of them. It's creating a world in which people searching for a truly loving faith find only hatred, fear, and bigotry. The people who aren't complete morons will walk away from the whole fucking thing.

I'll walk away from Neumos, too.
Boycotting of Neumo's should not even be considered until the beliefs of this group can be clarified.

If it turns out this church is bigoted against gays, Neumo's still should not automatically be boycotted.

If the Neumo's the owner can provide a good reason why he would continue allowing such people, who WILL be the next generation of Prop 8 supporters, to gather and proselytize others to their bigoted way of thinking in the same space where so many GLBT people spend their money, then he should not be boycotted.

But, the reason has to be VERY good. Like, "Neumo's will go out of business if we don't rent the space to a bigoted church."

If the reason is lame, then boycott!

Finding out if this church is bigoted is simple. You have to ask the pastor a simple question, and tell him that he must answer either "yes" or "no." He can expand on the answer if he wants, but the "yes" or "no" MUST come first.

By the way, here's an example of a non-specific question that will lead to an equivocal, murky, non-specific answer:

Q: "What's your stance on GLBT people?"
A: "They're all God's children."

Here's the RIGHT way to ask the question.

Q: Do you support gay marriage?

If the answer is "no," then tell the owner to boot their bigoted asses out (unless he signed a lease with 'em!).

I have a feeling the pastor's answer will be "no," though I do not exclude the possibility of "yes."

However, the reason I would be very surprised if he said "yes" is that the Christian "church planting" movement, whose leaders and followers tend to be young, urban professionals, has the same position on the issue of gay marriage as stodgy, old geezer evangelists like Jerry Falwell.

Why doesn't "The Stranger" ask this question of the pastor, then write an article on his answer? It would be very useful for people to know if he supports same-sex marriage or not.
Actually, my previous post was rather knee-jerk.

What will a boycott actually accomplish? If this church is against same-sex marriage, how will their NOT having church at Neumo's help supporters of same-sex marriage achieve our goal?

Assuming this church is against marriage, which we do not know yet because its pastor has not been directly asked, imagine for a moment that this church could not find ANY place to meet -- no one would rent to them. I think resentment on the part of church-members towards supporters of marriage equality would be a more certain result than any alteration of church-members' support of marriage inequality.

Perhaps an examination (by "The Stranger"!) of the young, conservative, Christian church-planting movement (and the opposition to same-sex marriage which generally goes along with it) among young, urban professionals would be more helpful.

Why are they so attracted to these churches?

"The Stranger" did a feature like that before, but why not do it again? It is worth looking closely at a movement that is truly shaping the minds of many young, well-paid, educated and urban individuals and preparing them to be, intentionally or not, the stewards of the marriage inequality movement.
As a Christian myself, I fully support gay marriage, and I feel that any Church claiming to follow Christ's example should not hesitate to fully accept gays or anyone else into their church. Even if the church thinks that homosexuality is wrong, what gives them the right to deny access to "gay sinners" as opposed to "lying sinners," "greedy sinners," or "I worship Halo 3/Facebook sinners?" If Mosaic truly wants to reach an unreached population in Capitol Hill, turning them away at the front door is a bad start.

Most Christians I know believe that homosexuality is a sin, but I'm not sure how I feel. The only place that I can find in the Bible that advocates against homosexuality is in a passage listing it amongst several diseases and unhealthy activities. At the time the passage was written, medical knowledge was nowhere near where it is today, and there could have been health risks associated with it. Homosexuality is never singled out as a sin in the way that murder, adultery, selfishness, etc. are. On gray areas of the Bible, such as this one, I could never presume to pass judgment on another person.

As a side note, churches already have the discretion to allow/disallow people from getting married in their building for any reason. If they want to uphold their views of "traditional marriage," that is where they need to draw the line. Christians should wake up and realize that mandating moral values through legislation is a slippery slope FOR US, because it could easily backfire in the future.
As usual, the Stranger is all for tolerance. So long as the editorial board finds the cause agreeable. Christians, conservative, the military, etc., need not apply. If you're a homosexual, you are to be honored and embraced. If you're a Christian, get the fuck out.
"I do pray people will get a picture of Jesus that is true and right and Biblical."

This is an oxymoron. The Bible was assembled from huge amounts of source material by people with a political agenda to hold what remained of the Roman Empire together and retain their power.
They actively and violently suppressed Christian traditions that didn't meet that agenda and their entire ideology of fear, shame and control was the antithesis of the unconditional love and spiritual liberation that Jesus represented.

I think there were elements of the truth that leak through in the Bible, but those are in spite of itself. I think that humanity has a spiritual imperative to defy any book or "leader" that tells you to do something (or forbids doing something) that your heart tells you is right.
"I do pray people will get a picture of Jesus that is true and right and Biblical."

This is an oxymoron. The Bible was assembled from huge amounts of source material by people with a political agenda to hold what remained of the Roman Empire together and retain their power.
They actively and violently suppressed Christian traditions that didn't meet that agenda and their entire ideology of fear, shame and control was the antithesis of the unconditional love and spiritual liberation that Jesus represented.

I think there were elements of the truth that leak through in the Bible, but those are in spite of itself. I think that humanity has a spiritual imperative to defy any book or "leader" that tells you to do something (or forbids doing something) that your heart tells you is right.
D'oh, sorry for double post.
Hey, let 'em stay. Their plan could backfire. Meaning, the church-goers may come to the realization that those of us who live, work, eat, play, and walk our dogs here are not to be pitied or rescued and that we live pretty awesome lives. (Better than theirs. I know. I've tried that lifestyle.)
Luuuuuuke, come to the dark side...
Let's proselytize that holier-than-thou crap right out of 'em as they get their coffees, walk to their cars to drive back to their houses. Use their own strategy (befriend and infiltrate) to rescue them out of their darkness. Who is to be pitied here, really?
Again, if the church advances an anti-X issue that is incompatible with either the management at Neumo's, its clientele, or the given and representative feelings of the neighborhood it serves, then it should be out. Is MCC a Trojan horse? I have a firm and steady leery eye toward 'hip' churches, and I have yet to believe that this hip church will open its arms any wider than the neighborhood already does. I mean, really, anything goes here. MCC, take heed: We're in this neighborhood for a reason.

As a journalist, when I cover something like this it's done factually and without such blatant bias. I try to get in the head of the people I'm writing about to, you know, attempt to show the humanity of all sides involved.

This piece is cut-and-dry, overdone and JV. Really, can't you do better?
"If you're a Christian, get the fuck out. "

This attitude will get you nowhere. In fact, it will increase the divide between gay communities and faith communities. There are plenty of Christians, like me, who advocate for gay rights including full marriage rights (civil union is ridiculous). You need to find allies like us within the church, business community, legislature, etc. so that we can fight together for equal rights for all. Fighting bigotry with bigotry is a recipe for disaster.
Wow this is just a poorly written story. Get your facts correct before you write it. I just went to the website and it says nothing about being anti-gay. Then I checked for news stories involving the church and homophobia. Nothing. Bad journalism
Without knowing anything about the church, a simple reading of this article leaves so much to be desired. It's heavily editorialized and the reporting is shallow and inadequate. I'm left wondering what this church really believes and if they really deserve to be slandered in this way. And Neumos as well. Very irresponsible, Stranger.
if something that occassionally happens in a venue offends you, you should boycott the entirety of said venue? i really like girls a whole lot, and they bump a lot of bling bling misogynistic rap music at every single gay bar i've ever been to in seattle...and so i call for a boycott of every boy and girl bar on the hill! let's call it " spangenthal-logic", folks...
What's with this automatic boycott mentality on the Stranger lately? Boycott Utah, and hurt the many pro-gay business fighting the good fight in downtown SLC and Park City--Boycott Neumos, a gay-friendly venue just because they also happen to be friendly to other viewpoints? Let's think a little about who we're actually hurting here.
I'm the one that tipped The Stranger off to this because I discovered these assholes proselytizing on the UW campus. A best friend of mine from childhood went to Waco for school and was sucked up by Antioch Community Church. I know from personal experience what their beliefs are. Also, if you want to see the quote jonah mentions, download their "global updates - the americas" brochure.
"I probably shouldn't speak for the church as a whole, but I'll try...Antioch doesn't see homosexuality as any different from any other sin, but they do see it as a sin b/c we believe the Bible is the inspired word of God and that His word is truth. (Rom 1:24-27 speaks about homosexuality and then lists quite a few other sins at the end of the chapter).. We don't believe that people define their own truth but that there is a standard- God's word. I think ACC provides accountability to not act on the thoughts, to possibly find a root cause (if it might be rape, incest, distant father etc) and then allow God to change their hearts. I think that homosexuality can be a generational sin- see Exodus 20:4-6- (run though the family line like alcoholism) and therefore, people can struggle without any environmental reasons, but because someone in the family has struggled."

yes, this is what they believe.
I am also from the "mother" church. I do not know where you got your information, but it certainly was not from our website. It is interesting that you who want others to be so tolerant not only of your views but also of your behavior, are so intolerant of those views that are opposed to your's.
Also your article was so biased from the beginning, full of errors and poor journalism that I don't know why you even bothered to go there and see the church and interview Jadie. Your mind was already made up.
I think though if you watch the people in their church, you would see love flowing out of their lives, even toward gays and even toward those like you who persecute them. You might even find a release from the hate that has so consumed you. I will pray for you.
Here's the information:…

Yes, it is from your website. ACC (like Mars Hill) has scrubbed the website of search-able hate speech, but here is a straggler.

"...tolerant of your views but also of your behavior..."

I don't want you to be "tolerant" of my behavior. in fact, I just want you to stay the fuck out of my life, asshole. I'll be more "tolerant" of you when when you do not directly influence my life (my physical safety, at times, as well as my rights).

Artie, don't pray for me and keep your shit down in Waco. Thanks.

neumos knew EXACTLY what they were getting into when they allowed the church to meet there. this church doesnt sound radical. agree with them or not on their stance on homosexuality,but it's a the typical stance of most churches. Neumos wanted to make a buck off of them until someone cried foul, someone did, so they gave them the boot. Neumos has a history of this (see BUJU BANTON). if they dont agree with the churches position they lacked serious judgement letting them in the first place. Ironically, they're also being twice as intolerant as that church is by kicking them out for a religious belief.
quote from kt: "I just want you to stay the fuck out of my life, asshole. I'll be more "tolerant" of you when when you do not directly influence my life (my physical safety, at times, as well as my rights)."

How does the fact that this church rents neumos one a week "influence your life"? seriously, you seem to be a very angry and intolerant person.
It seems that, KT, the person who started this by "tipping the stranger off" has a serious grudge. It's a shame it came about b.c of that. (It's also a shame that she was probably burned pretty bad to be that mad)

My view:
I see some cool people in Capitol Hill and I see some messed up (by life) people - i.e. runaway teens who are coming out of abusive homes.

I work at a non-profit...counselors, churches and non-profits provide help for people that need it. Sometimes people have problems and needs that another fun night can't fix.

It is good to have a balance of all things in a neighborhood - Live and let live. seriously.
This church, being a plant from an Antioch church in Texas, is sure to have anti-gay, especially anti-gay marriage, beliefs. Most Antioch churches are by tradition, very conservative in their literal interpretation of the bible.

If this church were to take a pro gay marriage stance, they would surely have to split from their church planting roots.
What an insightful article by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee. Poorly researched, weak interview with Griffin, pathetic writing. And then Jonah ends with the rational conclusion to boycott Neumo’s. I mean – really – this is as bad as “reporting” gets.
Jesus. Obviously a majority of Seattlites were not raised in an ultra-religious part of the country. I can tell you it's fucking sickening. If I belonged to a church that worshipped the Easter bunny and claimed that being a hipster was sinful and an "abomination" how long would my wacko church group last in a place like Neumo's? Probably a little while, Seattle hipsters are so passive sometimes....anyways- a church that believes in a literal translation of the bible? Fuckin please..unless they use a different bible from their preferred King James version, rest assured they have some prrrrretty fucked up beliefs regarding homosexuality amongst other things.
I had the "joy" of being proselytized by these goobers at my favorite coffee shop. They are as smarmy and sneaky about putting Jesus into the conversation as you'd expect. Please leave Seattle - I left the South to escape you people.

I pointed out to them that we live here quite well without churches and we are not hurting each other in the streets despite a lack of Jesus outlets on every corner. They asked what I thought Seattle needs and I told them to do something of substance and meaning like help the homeless. Sadly they would rather recruit weak minds to fill their coffers.
ouch. this article made me wince, as did many of the comments. "get the fuck out"?
i attend this church. i support homosexuality, morally and legally. this hasn't posed any conflict for me. jady has never preached on the subject in my 2.5 years of attendance.
it's too bad this journalist couldn't suspend his bias long enough to get his facts straight, or at least the names spelled correctly. the stranger, you have let me down today :(
I love our country and the fact that we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It allows homosexuals and Christians to express their beliefs and live as they feel in their hearts is right. The problems arise when the expressions are violent against the opposing party. As far as I can tell mcc wasn't bigoting or being violent. They were being honest about their views but not condemning.
I wish tolerance could extend to all peaceful people liberal or conservative.
yep, I have been "burned". I don't have the right to marry my partner, and I don't have the right to adopt or foster parent children in some places. I can be legally fired in Texas (my home) for being gay, and I have been, and probably will be again, physically threatened or injured for being gay.

I love seattle, in part, because I do not have to deal with the condescension and outright disgust I saw almost every day in texas. I will do what I can to keep them down there!

of COURSE I am angry.
As a journalist for nation-wide magazines, I am DISGUSTED by the poor ethics in this article. You present a biased and opinionated article with inaccurate information. I am appalled that an article like this can be published in the Seattle's Stranger. We all know that Christianity is a sore subject in Seattle, and the author had no right to allow his personal opinions about Christianity influence his 'factual' article. You can't present your opinions as fact, it's simply not ethical. Please brush up on your journalism skills before you attempt to write another article. I think MCC is justified in staying at Neumos; it is legally unjust to simply kick them out because of religious beliefs. I think we could all use a little bit of tolerance...
Jonah, what kind of music do you think Eagles of Death Metal plays? Death metal?
Boycotting Neumos is a ridiculous idea. First of all, if its "tolerance" you're going for, any place that can house a christian church in the morning and "the Eagles of Death Metal" at night is doing a fairly fantastic job if you ask me. It seems pretty hypocritical for a place as "diverse, hip, quirky, edgy, insert fad word here" as Seattle to start dropping the guillotine - where every belief goes except Christianity. Sounds like you're putting in a lot more energy and effort into stopping Mosaic's freedom than they ever have toward Homosexual movement. Who's the hater? Secondly, stirring up tension between belief systems is most certainly not the best way to go about love and peace. If Mosaic had out right gone after the homosexual community (like in the recent Mormon/ prop 8 drama) out of their own passion and so called "bigotry", thats one thing, but to MAKE them speak about it, to MAKE them say things that hurt people is absurd and hateful on the instigator's part. I don't know this group and i'm not a religious person, but I can almost guarantee you that their time and energy is not being spent scheming up ways to STOP THE HOMOSEXUAL MOVEMENT or to CLEAN UP THE HILL. If the same situation had happened and "Eagles of Death Metal" had been asked what they think of Jesus and Christianity, I have a feeling Mosaic would not have called for a boycott because of their answer.

Id be interested to read a story about the positive things this group has done since their so called "take over." I mean, if they're going to "push their way" in, I sure hope they're not just taking up space and oxygen like so many other people Ive run into on the hill.....
"do something of substance and meaning like help the homeless. Sadly they would rather recruit weak minds to fill their coffers." - No Jesus Please

I personally know of one MCC member ("goober") who has spent time and personal finances reaching out to the homeless on Capitol Hill. This "weak mind" has given a hand up to a father and son. The relationship that has been forged, with time, between this church member and the street father has become a deep friendship. The father, for the first time in a long time, has hope that his son will soon be free of his heroine addiction and reintroduced into a vital, productive life . . . taking care of his aging father.

"No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Doesn't sound like the words of a weak minded goober to me. And one MCC member took his challenge . . .

Dude, I have attended Mosaic and they are some of the most "accepting" people I have met. Many members of Mosaic totally accepts their homosexual friends and love them dearly. They don't care if you are black, white, male, female, gay, straight, addicted to drugs, they just want to invite people into what they know is the Truth. Hang out with them for a day without trying to twist their words around and then write an article about this church. Also, throwing out a loaded question and backing someone into a corner does not really give you a true feel for what any organization is about.

I feel that Neumos is doing an awesome thing by ACTUALLY being diverse and renting out their venue to ALL types of people. Is that not what Capitol Hill and Seattle are all about? The fact that some people can NOT accept a church being on capitol makes me feel that they are the intolerant ones, not this church.
It seems like these church people are more willing to have a healthy dialogue than Neumo's and/or the Stranger.
that's because these "church people" have the supernatural strength of -The Truth- behind them... the rest of us are just tired of it.
Does Jonah still have a job? This article is so poorly written I could vomit. To the person that tipped The Stranger off to this story-GET A LIFE! If you were hurt by a church in Texas, Im sorry. But to ruin a perfectly good set-up in Seattle in childish, its like tattle-telling. I have seen them outside of Neumos, and there is nothing crazy going on there. Its just some college kids doing what they like. The great thing about Capitol Hill is that it is diverse. Obviously this chruch knows the area, did Jonah ask Jady why Neumos? Way to back him into a corner. I am a long time fan of The Stranger, but this article makes me question the skill of its journalist.
I tell my conservative Christian friends that they aren't allowed to make blanket statements about GLBT issues if they don't have any gay friends. The issues take on new meaning when they involve people you care about. I think the same holds true when it comes to making blanket statements about conservative Christians. Don't put them in a box if you don't have any you can call your friends. My opinion? The Christians at Mosaic would probably love you to pieces if you gave them the chance, doesn't matter who you are.
The Stranger clearly has bottom of the barrel writers working for them! It took Jonah three tries to spell this dude Jady's name correctly! Way to be a low quality editorial. As a long time fan of the Stranger, I'm dissappointed and won't be reading one anytime soon or ever!

Well, perhaps we should boycott Neumos for hosting primarily black hip hop shows...wait...getting more than ten percent of any crowd in Seattle to be anything other than white is tough... but lets run with the hypothetical. I know that 70% of black voters in California voted against Prop. 8, therefore, any establishment that hosts events sponsored by black people should be banned because black people hate gays. Better yet, if it's black Christians, we should have a sit-in. This is obviously tongue in cheek but you're seriously going to boycott a place that allows 100 Christians to get together to share their belief in a myth that helps them deal with life's difficulties. What if Neumos were allowing Muslims to congregate there for prayer time? Does Islam fit in with Capitol Hill's ideology? Pretty open minded Capitol Hill...way to be the thought police.

Are you still out there? It's been a few's life? You didn't seem so happy back then. You mentioned feeling burned and otherwise unaccepted in your home state. And you seemed frightened by the church meeting at Neumo's which you considered threating to the fulfillment you were finding in the neighborhood community. But Mosaic moved away from Capital Hill, largely because of your actions, and gay marriage has been legal in Washingon for a while now. Has this met your need for love and acceptance or are you still wanting more?

Please wait...

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