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Church Slammed For Feeding Homeless LGBT Youth

The Rebel and Divine church in Phoenix offers a free dinner for about 200 attendees a month on Sunday nights. The church has garnered publicity because its attendees include homeless LGBT young people, a demographic not often welcome at churches.

"There's no shame," Jeffrey Dirrim, the founding pastor, told NPR in February. "There's no judgment. It's here to help. We're about health and wholeness. And you need toilet paper, we've got toilet paper."

The Rebel and Divine church, which is under the United Church of Christ, serves the poor and needy with basic supplies, but there are no Bible readings or mentions of Jesus.

The lack of proselytizing seems to be what attracts social outcasts to the church. This includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

"Know that you are blessed, that you are loved, and that you are never, ever alone," Dirrim told attendees at a recent Sunday meal. "And if anyone has told you otherwise, they were wrong. You are. And if you question that, come talk to me."

Someone who is upset at Dirrim's church is Ken Ham, an outspoken conservative Christian who runs the website Answers In Genesis.

Ham (pictured) also operates the controversial Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, that claims people and dinosaurs co-existed about 6,000 years ago, noted Business Insider in 2012.

Ham wrote about the Rebel and Divine church in a blog posting entitled, "A Church Promotes Tolerance over the Gospel for Homosexual and Transgender People?" on March 2:

"Giving people 'love' and 'acceptance' by condoning their sinful behavior isn’t real love or acceptance. It’s ignoring the truth of God’s Word and allowing people to live in sin without pointing them to the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"As Christians, we need to stand solidly on the authority of God’s Word. We need to offer aid to those in need -- but we need to do so in the name of Christ. We need to gently and lovingly call sin what it is, while never neglecting to direct people to the grace and love of Jesus Christ. It’s the gospel that changes hearts and lives for now and eternity.

"True love is to tell people the truth about sin, God’s righteous judgment, and God’s mercy and free gift of salvation."

Sources: NPRAnswers In Genesis, Business Insider / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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