'People are not our enemy': The Crossing addresses backlash in Sunday sermon

Posted on 20 October 2019 at 5:03pm

COLUMBIA — Dave Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster Keith Simon during Sunday's services.

Simon had discussed gender dysphoria, which led to public backlash and several businesses to dissolve partnerships with the church, including the Ragtag Film Society.

On Sunday, in his sermon titled "What Makes Your Life Worth It?," Cover reminded his congregation they can learn from the experience while recognizing a "bigger picture."

"People are not our enemy. They are God's image and they are God's opportunity for us to be transformed with ever increasing glory as we learn to practice love and forbearance and kindness and gentleness and goodness," Cover said during his sermon.

Members of The Crossing had positive reactions to Cover's sermon. Mike Ireland, who has attended the church for over seven years, said he thought the sermon was reassuring.

"I was just encouraged that the church responded in the way I hoped they would, which was in love and patience," Ireland said.

The Crossing posted an FAQ on its website addressing last Sunday's sermon. In addition, Simon further explained his sermon in an opinion piece published in the Columbia Missourian.

Tiffani Smith, who has been a member of the church for 10 years, said the acceptance of diverse opinions is something she loves about The Crossing and keeps drawing her back.

"It's never 'if you come here, you don't have to be in lockstep and agree with everything I say,'" Smith said. "It's more like, 'this is what we believe, we've come around to this belief. Read the Bible, see what you think, let it kind of sit with you for a while and then if you come around to agree with us that's great. If not, you know, that's okay. You're still welcome here.'"

The audio from Cover's sermon can be found on The Crossing's website.

(Editor's note: This story was edited to correct the name David Cover to Dave Cover)