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2017): Top Christian leaders in Metro reject Franklin Graham crusade RELATED: Willingdon mega-church: Rocking to a morally conservative beat Evangelicals lean to right, but some are ‘crunchy conservatives’Putting on his youthful charm, Bonney peppered his sermon with slang expressions and references to pop culture.
He used words and phrases such as “you guys,” “dude,” “burbs,” “I’m, like,” “super-cool,” “blow off,” “hey,” “tattoos,” “video games,” “pool party,” “flip out” and “awesome.”But Bonney also put forward a lot of traditional Christian language, including conservative interpretations of the Bible.
The promotional package, sent out by AHA Creative Strategies, boasted of two “casual” and “forward-thinking” Metro Vancouver churches.
The churches were said to “serve great coffee, provide free Wi-Fi, have a live Christian rock band, no dress code and offer baptisms in the Pacific Ocean at Kits beach.”The Metro Vancouver print and broad-cast media responded enthusiastically when Westside Church and its North Shore spinoff congregation invited journalists to witness new members being baptized at Easter in the frigid waters of English Bay.
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But, when it comes to religion and family, Bonney said, “Westside teaches the principle of male leadership, not only in church but in the home.”Gazing up at a version of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians posted on the video screen, Bonney read aloud: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.
Bonney emphasized that women are equal with men in God’s eyes and can, in the secular world, be “professionals” and “CEOs” and “doctors” if they so choose.
Would Westside Church’s theology be as free, open-minded and liberal as its marketing appeared?
Westside Church elder Casey Wickham (L) baptizes Greg Beatch into the Pacific ocean at Vancouver’s Kits Beach.
service, almost exclusively women and men under age 30.
Led by a loud rock band, the congregation was singing Christian “praise” music, while many held paper cups of coffee obtained from lobby dispensers. Then pastor James Bonney bounced on stage, dressed as casually as most of the members in the audience.