To the Sioux Center News:

I’ve recently read an opinion piece in this paper from Mr. Nathan Nykamp (Oct. 20 Sioux Center News) voicing his disappointment and concern about Sioux County, regarding people’s response to an event that was to be held at a local eating establishment in one of our communities.

His concern was, in general, about the lack of welcoming the LGBT community received and the sheer volume of hate that the eating establishment received when word got out that they were to host a brunch specifically for this group and as a result of this, the message our children would take home from our actions and words.

Was he privy to every correspondence and method of communication to the eating establishment to say with certainty that there was in fact a “sheer volume of hate?” While I am not naive enough to assume there were unfortunately some who did convey that message, I would also assume there could possibly have been an even bigger number who, not out of hate, but biblical principle, voiced displeasure over what many of us see as a moral violation of God’s word.

My argument with Mr. Nykamp would be: Why is one’s desire to stand up for one’s faith, which may stand in direct conflict with the current culture, often have to be described as hate? I feel it’s a tactic to immediately stop the conversation because who wants to be labeled a hater?

When I read through the Gospels, there are many examples of when Jesus dined, talked and showed compassion and love to many people who were considered sinners and outcasts of the day. What I notice about those instances though, are that the people that Jesus encounters in those circumstances are contrite or at the very least, willing to listen to His message of reconciliation and salvation.

There are also examples of when Jesus encountered people where He was not all that “welcoming.” I would dare bet that if you could talk to a Pharisee or a temple money changer from that day, he would say most of their interactions with Jesus did not make them feel that warm and fuzzy. The Pharisees had their own levels of pride that got in the way of seeing their need for a savior.

I don’t want to come across as holier than thou because I, too, am certainly a sinner who, by the grace of God and the blood of His Son Jesus Christ, has been reconciled to Him. I would hope that whenever there is a time where I take pride in my sin, someone would have enough courage to show me the error of my ways, even if it didn’t make me feel welcome.

If this would have been a group of LGBT members who were gathering together to try to deal with their struggles and recognize their need for forgiveness and a savior, I would hope that we as a community would in fact be welcoming and show them that only through the blood of Jesus can we be reconciled and made right. Sadly, the very fact that they call themselves Orange City Pride proves otherwise.

These are the thoughts I want my kids to hear.

Craig Hoftyzer,

Boyden